How To Avoid Loneliness as a Solo Full-time RVer (Pt. 1)

avoid-loneliness-as-a-solo-fulltime-rver1One of the major points of resistance I hear from single people who want to go RVing is that they’re worried about loneliness. That question comes up a lot when I tell folks about what I do, doesn’t it get lonely? Some even assume I’m lonely, just because I travel by myself.

Before addressing how to combat loneliness on the road, we first need to talk about the difference between loneliness and being alone, personality types, and conversation types. I promise that this is all related to the topic at hand.

Being alone is not the same thing as being lonely. In fact, just about everyone benefits from having some time to themselves every day. The ideal amount of time spent with others varies from person to person, and often people are referred to as being introverted or extroverted as a definition of whether they like more time alone or more time with others.


I dislike labels, because they tend to make complex issues seem black and white which they rarely are. To me, it looks like a scale. On one end of the spectrum you have very outgoing people who are always seeking the company of others and they feel the best when they’re with a crowd, and they hate to be alone. On the other end of the spectrum you have those individuals who spend the majority of their lives alone, and only rarely do they enjoy the company of others, and then preferably only on a one on one basis. But there is a big wide range of possibilities between those two extremes, and I feel most people fall somewhere in the middle. To muddy the distinction even further, it is rare to always fall at the same point on the scale every day, by which I mean that some days/weeks/seasons you may desire more or less interaction with others than you usually do.

Our society tends to favor the outgoing personalities over the introspective ones, but both are natural and normal, phobias and anxiety disorders aside. There is no wrong way to be. No matter which end of the spectrum you generally fall on, it’s possible to make solo full-time RVing work for you, as long as you’re willing to put the effort in. Which is really the answer to any facet of the full-timing equation: as long as you’re passionate enough about it to put in the work, you’ll find a way to make it a reality.

So, have I ever felt lonely while I’ve been on the road? Of course. I’m not sure there is a person out there who hasn’t felt lonely at some point in their life. In fact you can be in a crowd of people and still feel lonely if you feel like you have little to talk about or common interests to share. Which brings me to the next important point we need to delve into before getting to the tips, and that’s the kind of interaction you’re looking for with others.

avoid-loneliness-as-a-solo-fulltime-rver3Some people thrive off of deep conversations, where you discuss your dreams and desires, your likes and dislikes, things that drive you, deeply held beliefs, stuff like that. And on the other end some prefer to keep it more superficial, talking about the weather, what you had for lunch that day, or about upcoming holiday plans.

In our society, when you’re meeting someone for the first time it’s normative to stick to superficial conversation, and if you ask someone you don’t know well a deep question they are likely to get uncomfortable. Most conversations start with superficial topics, and then as you get to know a person better over a period of time you may choose to get into deeper conversations, but as we all know not all relationships progress like that.

Now I bet all of us have at least a couple people, family members or close friends, which whom we share those deep bonds, but in general some will crave deeper conversation, and some won’t. There is some theorizing that people who tend more toward the extrovert side of things prefer to stay more on the superficial end of the conversation pool, making small talk with a lot of different people, and those who identify as introverts prefer deeper connections but with fewer people, but again that’s just more labeling and not super important to the topic of combating loneliness.

avoid-loneliness-as-a-solo-fulltime-rver4Again, it’s not right or wrong to prefer one type over another, it’s just important to note that there is a difference and that difference will influence how you go about finding your ideal mix of conversation on the road.

Since this post as already reasonably long and there is still quite a bit to go, I’m going to cut it off here. Part 2 will be about how you can make solo full-timing work no matter if you prefer a little or a lot of contact with others, and superficial or deeper conversations. Stay tuned!

* * *

Cherie and Chris of came to visit this past Tuesday, what a blast! That would be the first photo in this post. The others are coworkers (and friends!) who work here at the Lodge. In order from the top: Marisa from California and Nathan from Washington, Dele from Oregon (taken at Custer just this past Monday), and Alex, who’s lived in South Dakota a few years.

For part 2, click here.

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At IO I teach people how to ditch the status quo and travel full-time before retirement, and share stories of my adventures (and misadventures) to inspire future nomads and armchair travelers alike. Included at no additional charge: seizing your dreams, living boldly, and making a difference.


  1. RVing & Travelling As a Single Lady | Wheeling It on September 26, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    […] Interstellar Orchard -> This mid-20’s lady has been RVing solo in 17-foot Casita for several years now. She works on the road and blogs openly and honestly about what it takes to do this lifestyle & find workamping jobs as a single, and somewhat introverted lady. I particularly like her 2-part blog series on Avoiding Loneliness as a Solo Fulltime RVer. […]

  2. Thomas Fuller on October 29, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    When I started teaching 5 years ago, I used to think that if a student wasn’t speaking and participating in class, he or she wasn’t really involved. Since then I’ve studied more about introverts and extroverts. I’ve finally realized that just because one of my kids isn’t speaking it doesn’t mean he isn’t involved in what’s going on. A good teacher can watch his students’ faces and eyes and tell if they are engaged or not.

    People need alone time. Introverts are experts at being alone in a roomful of people. That’s not necessarily a curse,

    Thanks for your efforts at documenting your travels. I’m hooked.

    • Becky on October 30, 2013 at 3:14 am

      Hello Thomas, thank you for commenting and welcome to IO! I was definitely one of those quiet kids who didn’t speak up much in class, but I graduated from high school with honors so I guess I did okay.

  3. Amy on August 20, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    I agree with Krissie, in that i found you two weeks ago & “couldn’t put it down”… just kept reading. I’ve found now that i’m getting close to current, i’ve slowed down in my reading as i don’t want my constant influx of secondhand adventure to hit a wall & hafta wait for more posts each week. lol So yes, i also whole heartedly agree that what you’re doing is a big something for all of us.

    And i guess i’m getting very much into the thick of the RVing family when I saw the pic of you w/Chris & Cherie & thought “oh, yeah, there’s becky” and then realized that the girl i recognized *first* was not you but cherie. lol I’ve noticed that most of the shots of you in the past were more subtle, half turned from the camera, in lower lighting etc. Lent you a very mysterious air 🙂

  4. Ralph on August 17, 2013 at 8:00 am

    This is great stuff. But my question is, what about love? Do meet someone and upgrade campers? Travel together in a convoy? Hmm maybe that IS what you do. Thanks for the site. I cant do what you do yet. Maybe someday.

  5. The Good Luck Duck on June 23, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    Interesting observation that introverts may prefer deeper and fewer connections. I hadn’t heard it generalized like that before, but it’s certainly true of me. I’d rather cut the meringue and talk about the big stuff.
    The Good Luck Duck recently posted..New Mexico oddities, and I don’t mean us.My Profile

    • Becky on June 23, 2013 at 10:50 pm

      It was a revelation that came about on the NuRVers ( FB group actually. We had a sort of informal sounding off and realized that those members who identified as extroverts preferred lots of more superficial conversations and those who identified as introverts preferred deeper conversations with fewer people.

  6. krissie on June 22, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Hi Becky,
    I discovered your blog about a week ago and I just finished reading all of your archived posts (including all of the comments!) You have a really remarkable and supportive cast of followers. Your style of writing is magical in the way it brings to life all that you have been experiencing. When I read your posts it’s like I’ve found the latest and greatest summer-read novel…with one obvious and wonderful exception…this book doesn’t have an ending. I’d have to force myself to stop reading so I could do the mundane things like eating, sleeping, going to work etc… I’m so glad I finally caught up with everyone else and I’m looking forward to your next post! I hope my analogy of your adventure being like a novel doesn’t come off as sounding frivolous, I just mean I can’t put it down.

    I would also like comment on something you said in one of your earlier posts and would love it if your other subscribers would weigh in on the subject. In your March 1st, 2013 post ‘Tales from the Other Side’ you said “Another suggestion was putting up a donation link, a kind of tip jar, but my pride won’t let me accept something for nothing.”

    I feel I must take issue with the use of the word ‘nothing’. What you are doing on this blog, providing a well thought, wonderful written, insanely useful, compassionate, witty documentary of your experiences, is the farthest thing from ‘nothing’ that I could ever imagine. The hundreds of dedicated hours (yes it shows) you’ve spent on research, compiling said research and presenting it to the rest of us beautifully stated and easy to understand is a truly remarkable accomplishment. Several of your commenters have stated if you had a donate button they would use it. I really think you need to re-evaluate your stance on the subject and consider for a moment our point of view.

    A donate button would allow us to say thank you in a tangible way. It would be a way for us to show unconditional support of what you are doing. It allows us to recognize and reward all of your hard work and effort. It’s not charity, but our way of doing what we can to help insure that you succeed in your endeavor. If you are still uncomfortable with the thought, may I offer these suggestions as food for thought and perhaps persuasion? You’ve mentioned before how you would like to be able donate your time to volunteer gigs but financial needs make this an impossibility. If you were to let the donated funds accumulate to the point where they could cover your costs for a period of time, you could pick and choose something close to your heart. Or maybe when a disaster strikes you could be one of the responders that helps the vets with taking care of the displaced and injured animals.

    I’m also 99% sure that anyone who donated would have no problem whatsoever if you used it for personal needs or for those little unexpected yet potentially costly emergencies that have a way popping up.
    So to all of Becky’s fans I ask What Say You? Becky, would you give more thought to a donate button if your supporters thought it a good Idea?

    Thank you for being such an inspiration! your postings have clarified a multitude of issues I’ve been having regarding starting a full timing journey of my own.
    Best Regards,
    krissie recently posted..There’s A First Time For EverythingMy Profile

    • Becky on June 23, 2013 at 10:44 pm

      Gee….I just don’t know what to say Krissie. It gives me serious warm fuzzies when people comment about how IO has helped them, that’s the whole goal for me after all, but seldom do I get a response as eloquent and thorough as this.

      You’re welcome, and thank you. I’ll give serious thought to a donate button.

      • krissie on June 23, 2013 at 11:26 pm

        Becky, I’m really glad that you will consider having the donate button. There are a multitude of other reasons that would justify it but I’m sure your other readers and supporters can supply them. I should apologize for getting off the topic of this wonderful post about dealing with loneliness as a solo RVer. Yet again you provide so much insightful information. I can’t wait to read installment 2….in fact… I’m heading over to read it now. Take care and be safe.

        p.s…I have three daughters ages 27 to 31 and if they were doing what you are doing…I’d be so proud of them that I could bust. (I’m really proud of them already in so many ways). I look forward to many future discussions on your blogs and I promise I’ll try not to be so wordy as the last reply…but you’ve really struck a cord with me!

        krissie recently posted..IS YOUR CREATIVE INSPIRATION HIDING?My Profile

        • Becky on June 25, 2013 at 5:43 pm

          Thanks again for responding Krissie and really happy to have you aboard for the adventure. The more the merrier. 🙂

  7. Elizabeth on June 21, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    Funny, but loneliness had not even popped into my head when thinking about solo RVing. You describe the spectrum of preferred interaction quite well. Even as someone comfortable on her own there are days when a large crowd sounds like fun. That’s when one seeks a local festival or event. I haven’t taken the plunge yet and look forward to reading more of your posts.

    • Becky on June 23, 2013 at 10:28 pm

      It’s not something I thought much about either Elizabeth until it became a problem for me. Hoping to keep other new full-timers from making the same mistake I made. Part 2 is live as of now. 😛 Welcome to IO and glad to have you aboard!

  8. road=freedom on June 19, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    Sorry to break the string, but I just wanted to enthusiastically suggest that you make it to Devils Tower in NE Wyoming sometime while you’re in SD.

    • Becky on June 23, 2013 at 10:26 pm

      It’s on the list! Luckily I have months to make it happen. 🙂

  9. Pleinguy on June 17, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    Good points Becky. I’m pretty much a loner, and have lived alone for years. I just retired, but don’t lack for contact because I’m visiting family and friends along the first leg of my journey. It will change in the fall when I complete the visiting phase.
    Pleinguy recently posted..Silver River RestMy Profile

    • Becky on June 18, 2013 at 12:34 pm

      Glad you found this helpful Plein! Also happy to hear that things are going well for you as you start off on the road. We both worked at it for a long time and now that hard work is paying off, huh?

  10. kristine on June 16, 2013 at 9:20 am

    I fulltime with 2 dogs and love it. Meet great people everywhere we go. I think there are people wh o do well alone (me) and those who cant be alone, often even staying in bad relationships to avoid being alobe. Im so glad to be a happy loner……lol. also I can not stress enough what great company the dogs are, I am never alone. Rescue a shelter dog and save a lufe and change yoyrs. Kristine

    • Becky on June 18, 2013 at 12:32 pm

      Glad to hear the waitress thing is going so well for you Kristine! I’m so happy that you’re now getting to live your dream. 🙂 I’ll be adopting a retired racing greyhound someday, but not while I’m living in a RV, haha. I probably will be adopting a cat at some point on the road.

  11. Dave on June 16, 2013 at 8:48 am


    Enjoy your blog…wish you posted more often (lol). We enjoyed the area you are at when we visited there last summer for about a week.

    You are so right about how “alone” and being “lonely” are two different issues. I was a restaurant manager for ten years in my early life and loved getting away to be “alone” because my position forced me to be with people, actively with people, so much that I “had” to get away…and I always did so alone. Spent many a day off “alone” too, outside of a golf game here and there.

    RvSue is a prime example of a person who enjoys their solitude…but is willing to open up and be with people under certain conditions…one being “if the other person needs help”, then she is the first to step in and give up her comforts of solitude and offer a lending hand. Yet she is very “extrovert” of nature through her blog, and with those two dogs of hers, she is never “lonely”.

    Hope your job is going well…sounds like you are enjoying the area.

    Dave (Marcia and Bubba and Skruffy)

    • Becky on June 18, 2013 at 12:29 pm

      Hey Dave, glad you’re enjoying IO and happy to have you aboard!

      I tend more towards introvert, and I do get a lot of the social interaction that I need from all of the visitors I talk to at work. All you need to do is ask where they’re from, or where they’re headed, and that’s usually enough to strike up a conversation.

      And yeah, RVSue is a great example of a solo full-timer who is more comfortable being alone, I do read her blog regularly. I do wish I had more time to update IO like she updates hers, but unlike Sue I’m still working 40ish hours a week and that takes a lot of my time and energy, haha.

      Things are certainly going well here, safe travels and happy trails to you all!

  12. Ron on June 15, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    Just wanted to express how happy we are to have your blog on
    So many people have been exposed to your blog posts and your latest one about “How to Avoid Loneliness” is a great one. Your thoughts on this lifestyle are an inspiration to many. So glad you got to meet Cherie and Chris of
    Glad to have you listed on Hitch Itch.

    • Becky on June 18, 2013 at 12:23 pm

      Heya Ron,

      It’s nice being part of that community. Thank you for the shout out and glad you’re enjoying it!

  13. Reine on June 15, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    Becky – “some days/weeks/seasons you may desire more or less interaction with others than you usually do” This is a great insight. Some life changes can make you feel more/less lonely than previously and require a change in your level of interaction with different folks. I’m thinking specifically of the loss of a spouse although the loss of a pet or other companion or even retirement bring about the loss of daily interaction at work can change your need for companionship/interaction with others.

    I think the key is for everyone to know themselves and understand that they won’t feel exactly the same every day. I’m very much a people person and like to be part of a group but sometimes I just want to be by myself.

    • Becky on June 18, 2013 at 12:22 pm

      Hey Reine,

      Yes, self-awareness is the key when it comes to the topic of loneliness. You can make it work no matter how much or little interaction you need, you just need to figure out that level first.

      And of course there are trade offs. If you’re a solo RVer who is going to need to spend a lot of time with others while you travel, that generally leaves less time for working and other hobbies. But, often with a little thinking you can get your socializing in while doing other activities. Like do your evening relaxing outside of your RV and greet people who walk past. Make friends with your coworkers. Chat up other travelers when you’re out doing touristy things. But more about that to come. 😛

  14. Becky on June 15, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    The second half should be going up next week if all goes well, hopefully that will alleviate some of your concerns. 🙂

    The stuff I wrote about in this article I hadn’t thought much about when I went full-timing, but I realized in the first few months on the road how important it is to figure out how much and what kind of interaction you need from your fellow man to stay a healthy happy individual.

  15. William on June 15, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Nice topic Becky,

    This is something my friends and family bring up all the time. The thing is I live alone now, in my apartment. I’m just moving it on wheels. But you are very right, there is a big difference between being lonely and being a lone. I enjoy traveling and enjoy meeting new people in new places. I take vacations alone all the time and I’m rarely lonely.

    Looking forward to your tips. Even old dogs can learn new tricks.

    Nice to see Cherie and Chris, big fans of Technomadia. I hope to run into all of you when I get out and about.
    William recently posted..GAPSDietMy Profile

    • Becky on June 15, 2013 at 7:15 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it William, the next half should be up next week. And yeah, it was great to meet Cherie and Chris. They stayed at Circle 10 overnight and we had time to do a little hiking and hang out.

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