A + 30 – First Full Month Full-Timing
Well today marks one month since we left our stationary home and downsized in a big way!. And so far, we’ve made it without having any “OMG – What the &#@$ have we done?” moments!
In the past month we put 2,175 miles on the RV (I didn’t track Jeep miles, but I’m sure there were a lot – I’d guess around 1,500) and we stayed in 15 different locations, mostly one-nighters. Even with all that moving around, we stayed in budget for gas and lodging.
Food costs however, were way above normal! (Thank you friends and fam for all those wonderful restaurant meals!)
I can’t say there were any big surprises. A couple of SNAFU’s: the entry step and the Jeep tires. But nothing unmanageable.
Best and Worst of the Month:
My favorite part this month was hiking – around Sedona and in the Petrified Forest. I hope the future brings more back to nature moments like those and less of the driving and moving from place to place. But we knew in advance these next few months will be a lot of that.
We stayed a few days at Lopez Lake, and that was nice, but it really didn’t seem that much different than a usual vacation. Staying a week in the cramped RV lot in Tulare was definitely the worst place, even though we had great moments.
Oh! The most fun we’ve had so far was playing with the grand-baby. Can’t wait to get back to him now that he’s a whole month older
Biggest Challenge – Everything is Bigger in a Tiny Space:
Clutter/Messes, Fights/Arguments, Problems/Breakdowns, Maintenance/Chores – all are bigger when viewed from the confines of a moving/small home.
Clutter/Messes – We found out right away – even before we officially started – that everything needs a place to belong, and that things need to be kept in those places. Clutter and messes can get out of control so quickly! I have to admit, that even a month later, we still have a scanner, a couple of yoga mats, and some travel guide books residing under our dining table. Living with it seems to be easier than dealing with it for now.
Problems/Breakdowns – When you need a new tire and you live in a regular home, calling the tire shop and getting one ordered is a minor inconvenience. It turns into a major inconvenience when your home is on wheels and you need to find the largest town around that will accommodate your special tire needs, AND you need to find a place to part the home while getting the tires replaced. AND you have to alter your planned route, which means finding new places to spend the nights. No, it wasn’t an ordeal, but it was a Bigger problem because we’re mobile.
Maintenance/Chores – We definitely took for granted having a laundry room with our own washer and drier while living in our regular home. No we need to find a laundromat, make sure we have quarters, and trudge our garments from the RV and back. Laundry day is now a whole day!
Also, things like washing the Jeep or the RV – so much easier when you have a hose bib and free water (and it’s allowed). Tom bought some spray on waterless washer, but it’s more time consuming. Even getting the ladder out is a bigger headache.
Fights/Arguments – Today is also another anniversary: We’ve been married ten years! And I’m happy to report that our relationship is still good. That’s the number one comment we received when telling people our plans: “Oh, we could never do that – we’d kill each other!”
Luckily, Tom and I have been together 24/7 many times, like when we worked together. So I knew what to expect. I’ve always believed you should never go to bed mad, but in tight quarters every problem needs to be addressed even sooner – before it gets out of hand. We’ve had a couple of times where we just needed to be separated from each other – a bigger problem in a small space! But it’s doable – we are able to partition the coach into two sections. Plus, it’s easy enough to take a solitary walk, or a lone Jeep trip to the grocery store.
I think the main difference for us is the added stress of the unknown. While the lifestyle is fun and exciting, when you’re moving from place to place AND going to places you’ve never driven in before AND have special overnight parking needs (i.e. big and cheap and legal), it just adds stress to your life. Hopefully, after we have more experience under our belts, on those occasions when nothing seems to be going right we won’t snap at each other quite so much!
But the BEST thing about everything being bigger is that it IS! The world is a big place and there is SO much to get out to see and do!
Most Interesting Discovery To Date:
To us (especially Tom) it’s not just about the places you go and the things you see – it’s about the people you meet. I feel like we’ve already made some life-long friends. Some we certainly hope to meet up with again down the road. Traveling (especially full-time) seems to bring instant connection with people doing the same thing.
We’ve been surprisingly social. In our last camp spot we were instantly welcomed into their family, and it gave us a great sense of belonging. I think that’s what people crave the most!
Peace, & Love, Joy