There are a lot of things I love about full-time RVing. I love the frequent change in scenery, the hiking, the interesting people I meet, the new skills I learn while working, all the adventures I get to have. But on days when there’s no time for adventure, when I feel like being alone or everyone else has plans, when the weather isn’t cooperative for hiking, when I look out my RV window on month four of a five month stay and the scenery is no longer so new and exciting, when I deal with grumpy people at work, it’s the little moments that really make my day special.
The flowers that manage to grow through the thick cover of needles in the campground.
The hearty laugh of a construction worker being told a joke by his buddy.
Getting out of work in the afternoon and being greeted by a warm sun on a chilly day… or the promise of rain on a hot day.
The soft glow of a distant campfire on a still evening.
The sound of wind through the pines when I’m picking up my laundry.
The smile of a child who’s just seen something in the park for the very first time.
The first rays of sunlight sneaking through the blinds while I’m snuggled up in bed.
It’s the dozens of little moments like these that make every day amazing, even the ordinary ones with no big story to tell. And the funny thing is you certainly don’t need to be a full-timer to enjoy them, so before I hit the road why did I never notice the beauty of the sunrise during my morning commute and why did the call of gulls along the ocean never hold my rapt attention when I was still living along the coast of South Carolina?
I did notice them in some remote corner of my brain, but I never gave them my full attention because I was too distracted. Too busy worrying about my bank account, what my boss and coworkers thought of me, how I was doing at work, that my car was overdue for an oil change, or about my appearance, of how to cram five hours of chores into the four free hours I had in the evening, of how to use my free time in the most efficient way possible.
Even when I wasn’t too busy and had nothing immediate to worry over, there was such a deep-laid routine to my life that I could anticipate what I’d need to worry about next. I could worry about possibilities, worry about things that hadn’t even happened yet. I lived in the future instead of the present. I lived in my head, instead of in the world.
Full-time RVing broke the day in day out, year in year out routine. It was handy to have it forced, but it could be done even without the dramatic lifestyle switch. Trying new things on a regular basis is a good way to break up routine, and some of it is a matter of re-training how you think. Like most things that are worth achieving, it would just take patience and persistence.
The whole answer can’t be had just by going RVing though. Another part of the puzzle was freeing up time by simplifying my life and cutting out the things that weren’t necessary and didn’t enrich my existence.
The last part was overcoming the social stigma placed on being still and doing nothing. Taking some time every day to be quiet and observe is not the same thing as being lazy. It’s okay not to be rushing around every minute of every day. In fact, I’ve found it to be quite rewarding.