A long-time reader reached out to me recently to ask what I do to keep full-time RVing ‘exciting’. They’ve been on the road for almost two years now, and while they still enjoy the lifestyle, they miss the intense enthusiasm and joy they experienced their first year on the road. The unwritten question was: is this normal, and what can be done about it. I started e-mailing back, then realized it would be a good topic for a blog post. So with their permission, here we are.
First off, yes, this is a very common phenomenon. Going full-time RVing requires a lot of time and effort for most people, it’s a hard goal. And achieving any big goal produces feelings of accomplishment. Combine that with the giddiness of seeing a lot of things in the US for the first time, and the wonder of realizing that yes – this really IS your life now – and it all adds up to some pretty intense highs. It also makes for some pretty intense uncertainty and lows, like when something breaks in your RV for the first time and you have no personal experience about what to do.
Basically, emotions are high all around.
The longer you’re on the road, the less intense the emotions get. You learn the eccentricities of your RV and how to take care of it. You learn more about the world and yourself. The newness factor wears off as you Figure Things Out. Which is good, because being in that jittery space, constantly teetering between ‘this is the best thing ever!’ and ‘what have I done?!’ may produce some amazing, vivid memories… but it’s also exhausting and cannot be maintained forever.
We’re all happy to reduce the uncertainty, and impact of the lows of life on the road. But there’s the matter of the highs. How to hold onto the passion, and keep full-time RVing from fading into the mundane and ordinary.
Here’s how I do it:
Engage with other RVers.
Learn from other RVers about places to visit and how they live their road life. This introduces you to places and concepts that you never would have thought of on your own.
Teach and help out new RVers, either in person or online. This will expose you to that new-RVer enthusiasm again, plus you’ll get the satisfaction of having made a difference in someone’s life, however small.
Camp and meet up with other RVers. There’s a certain kind of joy to belonging to a community that lasts long after the initial excitement of road life has faded. Any meetup between RVers is a shared celebration of the lifestyle.
Keep trying new things.
Never stop exploring. The US is a big place, and there’s a lot to see beyond the popular tourist attractions that all new RVers set out to visit. You’ll never get to it all, guaranteed.
Switch up your travel focus. Try boondocking. Try staying in RV parks for a month at a time. Look for new things to experience at locations you’ve visited before. Switch rigs as your style evolves. You can even put the RV away and try some other form of traveling entirely for a while, and when you come back, RVing will feel new again.
Try work-camping or volunteering. It’s an entirely different way of RVing, and can put some money in your pocket or further a cause you believe in.
Practice gratitude and presence.
Continually remind yourself of what you’ve accomplished by escaping default life, and of all the things you love about life on the road.
Find joy in the little pleasures of travel. Don’t let small moments of happiness blend into the background, just because it’s now normal and you’ve been experiencing them for a while.
Be present. Focus less on where you’ve been, where you’re going, and what you need to do next, and take time every day to truly Be where you are right now.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this article and as always, feel free to share your own tips in the comments below!
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