No small part of my decision to go RVing was because I loved the outdoors so much. To me, going RVing was synonymous with spending more time outdoors. I loved camping. I loved hiking. I loved the idea of getting to sit outside in my camp chair in the woods, in a field, along the side of a river, and just read a book – with all the comforts of home just feet away.
And all of these things have happened since I started RVing. I feel more at peace with myself, have a greater clarity of thought, and am more in tune with the world around me when I regularly spend time outside. All of the worries of day to day living become more distant, and it’s easier to reason through problems and see the right course of action with that distance.
Nature is timeless. It counts seasons instead of days. The trees and grass and lakes and sky were here long before we showed up, and after we’re gone they’ll still be here. That makes some people sad, to know that once they’re gone, the natural world will carry on, virtually unchanged for their passing. I look at it in a more positive light. To me it’s proof that no matter what hardships I might be facing in the short run, in the long run it’ll make little difference. I get a flat tire on the way to work? No reason to panic or despair, this too shall pass.
The funny thing about this whole experience though is that I didn’t need to go RVing at all to have it, and I hope those of you who aren’t on the road yet and are daydreaming about how much more fantastic life will be once you are will take this to heart. Whatever your reasons for wanting to go RVing are, you can probably pursue them to some degree before you hit the road.
It’s easier to make small but important changes to our life when they’re tucked under the umbrella of a big one. Often when we try to enact small changes in our lives on their own, we end up falling back into old patterns because we’ve done nothing to our environment to encourage the new, desired change. Children in general are quite open to change, but the older a person gets, the more they tend to resist it.
For instance, if you want to spend more time on your computer working and less time aimlessly surfing the internet, clean up your computer desk except for what you need to get the work done, to put you more in a working mindset. Get rid of superfluous links on your desktop to Facebook, or Youtube, or wherever you find yourself spending too much time so that you can’t just click there on a reflex.
Sometimes it’s less about the physical environment, and more about the way you mentally approach the change that makes a difference. If you want to live a more active lifestyle for instance, try pretending that you already are. Move your active-wear clothes and shoes so that they’re the most easily accessible in your closet. Subscribe to updates on an outdoors or exercise blog or newsletter. Print and put up a picture near your desk or at the office that reminds you of being more active. Get up a half hour earlier in the morning to squeeze in a quick walk before work. Tell your friends about your plans so that there is some accountability if you fail to follow through on your new routine. Do a lot of little things to help reinforce the change, and you’ll constantly be reminded of what you’re trying to do when inertia hits and you think you’d rather just stay inside and watch tv.
Getting back to RVing, if you like to travel, find a way to work more travel into your life right now. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Chances are, there is some place not too far from home that people visit when they come to the area that you’ve never seen before. Take day trips to local parks, museums, or other sites of interest.
And in my case, sitting outside and reading more, or going to the nearest park, would have hardly taken more time out of my day. What often kept me from doing so was just a perceived lack of time. The more entrenched we become in a routine, the more tasks we find to fill in our days. My to-do list was always too long to spend too much time sitting outside doing ‘nothing’. There were always more things that I should be doing.
Here’s a tip for you though, there will always be things that need doing once you’re RVing too. Something is always breaking or needing maintenance on a RV. At some point you just need to put your foot down and make time. As I type this, I see that it’s a sunny, breezy morning out there, and if I want to get a little reading in before it gets too hot, I’d better go now.
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