I get a lot of wistful comments and e-mails from people who would love to do what I do, but there are very solid reasons why they can’t at this point in their life. These reasons aren’t just excuses because they don’t want to put in the effort. I get plenty of answers like that too but no, this group of people have family members they need to care for, other goals that are taking priority in their lives, and a dozen other equally valid reasons.
This article is for you, and here’s my advice on the matter.
Do what traveling you can.
It’s easy to see full-time RVing as an all-or-nothing endeavor, the very title implies it. But there is still a lot of fun and adventure to be found in traveling part time.
If you’re reading my blog you’re probably like me and on a budget. It can be harder to justify the purchase price of an RV if it’s just for recreation and not your home but think of it like this: it’s an investment into your happiness and well being and a promise to yourself that one day you will go full-timing in it once circumstances change.
Go with something inexpensive and simple as your first rig, something that lets you maximize the amount of time enjoying it and minimize the amount of time maintaining it since your time is limited.
Think of this phase as training. The experience you gain from weekends away is going to cut your learning time significantly when you finally get to hit the road permanently.
Can’t get an RV for whatever reason right now? Find other ways to introduce more travel into your life. Go tent or car camping, or take a road trip and stay in hotels. If even that’s hard to swing right now, look up attractions within a day’s drive of where you live. Chances are there are probably plenty of places nearby that you’ve never been to before.
Prioritize travel. It’s really easy to get caught up in lesser tasks that waste time or money with little reward. We don’t usually choose these things deliberately, we fall into them by default. Now that you have this dream though, you have something better to be doing with your time and money. If you really want more travel in your life, find ways to weed out these distractions to make more room for it.
Keep your eye on the goal.
Set a date to go full-timing, even if it’s years out. It’s amazing how powerful setting intention like this can be. If it’s years out your date might not end up being accurate but that’s okay. The real reason to do this is it gives you a sense of control over your destiny that a lot of people in this situation seem to struggle with since many times it’s because of someone else that they can’t go full-timing. If you can’t put a date on it, put a date down to review your situation and try to set a date at that point. This keeps the dream fresh in your mind and makes it seem more real and attainable.
Find ways to keep your full-timing dream prominent in your everyday life. Even little things can make a big difference in keeping the dream feeling achievable in the future. Place a trip jar somewhere highly visible in your house, and put your change into it. Label it “RVing fund” and save this money for the future to buy your RV, or if you have your RV, for travel money.
Spend an evening compiling a list of places you want to visit once you’re on the road. Print this list or even better, print pictures of these places and keep them around your home and work to remind you what you’re working toward.
Get involved in the RVing community. Keep an eye out for RVing events near you and participate when you can – even if you’re staying in your vehicle at the campground. Connect with other RVers and RVing hopefuls online in forums or groups and exchange advice and dreams.
More than anything else, I’d say connecting with others interested in living this way does the most to bolster you and keep the dream feeling real. When you’re in a vacuum by yourself, surrounded by people who just don’t understand, constant contact with them and their uncertainty makes you feel hesitant and makes the dream feel impossible. But hanging out with people who are full-time RVing already and those who are on their way there? That makes the dream feel not just possible but normal. Like it’s not such a big deal. And when you switch to that way of thinking, you remove a lot of your mental blocks around achieving it and suddenly it becomes easier.
Improve other parts of your life.
Why do we love to travel so much? Reasons include seeing new sights and meeting new people, but often there are internal reasons too. We want to travel to have more freedom, to pursue other interests we have, to get out of the rut of daily living we fall into when things remained unchanged for too long, and to grow as a person. Basically, because we want to be happier.
What a lot of people don’t realize is that while full-timing will help with some of these reasons, you don’t have to go full-timing to achieve them. In fact, believing that hitting the road will be ‘happily ever after’ is setting yourself up for failure.
You can have a more fulfilling life without ever stepping foot in a camper.
Enjoy freedom? Cut undesired obligations and time-wasters out of your life, and then you’ll find you have the energy and time to pursue other interests.
Need to get out of a rut? Switch up your daily routine and make a pact with yourself to try new things regularly.
Want to grow as a person? Read a book or watch a video on a personal development topic that interests you, and push yourself outside to act outside your comfort zone.
I know these bullet points are over-simplifying things but that’s my whole point. Expecting that going full-time RVing by itself will hand you your best life on a silver platter is over-simplifying things. In the end, it’s only one facet of the equation. If you start working on improving other areas of your life right now, you’re be ahead of the game by the time you go RVing.
Don’t lose hope.
With a long-term goal that won’t be achievable for a while, it’s all too easy to lose sight of it and let it fade away. But while you might not be able to travel full-time right now, there is still plenty you can do to invite more travel into your life, keep the dream alive, and improve other areas of your life in the meantime. Don’t lose hope, your time is coming.
Deliberate Living – If you’re into personal development and philosophical type stuff, here’s a list of all my articles that have been tagged as such.
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