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How I Stay Passionate about Life on the Road

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 โ€“ this really IS your life now โ€“ 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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Becky

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.

16 Comments

  1. Allison on November 18, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    Becky,

    I’m kinda in Lori’s boat, I work remote at home. Some days get so lonely and some are exciting. I have to find joy in little accomplishments, keep in touch with my coworkers (a lot, lol) and be grateful that I can work anywhere. RIght now that’s at home but I’m hoping to soon get an rv and hit the road!

    Thanks Becky for your info here and on Youtube too!

    ~Allison



  2. Quinn on November 15, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    Thank you for such valuable insight! There seems to be very few people like you on the road who have maintained a blog for such a long time. There is a lot of information out there on how to get started but not a lot on what RV life looks like many years down the road. I like the suggestion of changing rigs. I know I’m going to start out small but as I get older I might need some indoor plumbing. ๐Ÿ™‚ I also started geocaching last year and I am hooked! That is definitely something I look forward to doing on the road. You might enjoy it too if you like a good treasure hunt! Thanks again for the inspiration! ๐Ÿ™‚



  3. Elle on November 15, 2019 at 10:38 am

    Becky gives some good info on how to enjoy being on the road fulltime for a long time. Nevertheless, ALL passion cools.

    I look at it this way. Passion surrounding new experiences is like finding a new love. It’s all fireworks and starlight for a time–something that corporate advertisers want you to believe never fades. If it does, then what is wrong with you? You should have constant passion–everyone else does! But adults know. When passion cools you’re left with one decision. Move on, by claiming a personal kickstart from another love, or stick with the thing you once loved so much by finding new angles of enjoyment (i.e. Becky’s advice). In this, one finds their truth–IF you do not lie to yourself. Maybe fulltime RVing, now experienced, has lost its allure and become more work to enjoy than you imagined in pre-RVing dreams. If so, you’ll find a nice little place to be and leave the fulltime road for other experiences. If you find comfort in that old love, you’ll continue. Relationships, of any sort, have a shelf-life.



  4. Michael on November 14, 2019 at 3:58 pm

    Thing is folks who live a regular s&b get the same feelings about their day to day. Perfectly normal. Understanding how you handled these feelings in the past may give you insight as how to handle them now. When your adventure first starts it is such a big departure from your normal that the excitement is fantastic. The advice in this post from Becky is priceless, I like the part about sharing, that gives me the chance to relive and appreciate my travels. When folks share their experiences their excitement can rub off on you. I think about my travels like a relationship. Takes work to keep them both working well.



  5. ann cabezas creed on November 14, 2019 at 11:37 am

    Thank you Becky. Very informative blog post. Next Oct will try our first “on road adventure” in 17 foot Casita ( with my husband) New Mexico,, Southern Utah.
    Thanks for all help you provide on your blog.



    • Becky on November 14, 2019 at 12:51 pm

      Glad you enjoyed this Ann, and you’re welcome. Sounds like a pretty grand adventure you have planned, enjoy!



  6. Lori on November 14, 2019 at 9:39 am

    It’s really interesting that you mentioned those 3 points, Becky. I work from home as an independent contractor and don’t currently full-time RV, although I would like to do that once my guy can retire from his job. People always ask me how I can stand to work at home every day, and I say basically the same thing you said here: 1) Make time to interact with other people outside the home on a regular basis, 2) Try new things (take a class, learn a language, etc.), 3) Take time every day to be grateful for your flexible schedule and being your own boss, and enjoy being in your own comfy space instead of an environment that you have no control over. I think those are universal principles that really do work!

    As always, I love to hear your thoughts about life on the road. I hope to join you there in a few years! ๐Ÿ™‚



    • Becky on November 14, 2019 at 12:50 pm

      It is interesting that our lists have so much overlap Lori! Thanks for sharing and I hope to hear from you on the road soon. ๐Ÿ™‚



  7. Mary on November 14, 2019 at 9:06 am

    I cannot imagine coming off the road if you donโ€™t have to. I try to tell myself little stories like you can have roses or isnโ€™t it great to never bump your head or have to empty the holding tanks or pickup a full propane tank and my dog loves having a yard to run loose in etc.. but it is really hard .
    Every time you figure out you are some place you donโ€™t want to be doing something you donโ€™t want to do get out a Paper map, eyes closed, put your finger on a spot and open your eyes and plan your trip. Stop a second and feel sorry for us that are stuck aa d then go have an adventure!



    • Becky on November 14, 2019 at 12:48 pm

      Alas, life on the road is not one constant adventure and even full-timers are not always free to travel where and when they will (https://interstellarorchard.com/2019/10/15/bravery-stupidity-and-tough-decisions/), but it sounds like you aren’t happy where you are Mary and I am sorry to hear that. If RVing isn’t in the cards for you right now, I hope at least you can get out and explore where you live and have mini adventures of your own. ๐Ÿ™‚



  8. Christine Burroughs Allen on November 14, 2019 at 7:34 am

    As I began reading your response, I also reflected on the passions and purpose that many search to find and/or hold onto in life in general. The answers may look differently if you live in a house on wheels but the search is meaningful and relatable regardless of style. Keep finding and redefining passions and hobbies. Accept that life is meant to have its quiet pensive moments. Creativity sometimes ferments well in what first appears as boredom and/or pondering thoughts. And what we find fills our spirit may change over time…..Discovering and exploring those changes should keep us occupied for a lifetime…..



    • Becky on November 14, 2019 at 12:40 pm

      Very eloquently put Christine. Thanks for sharing!



  9. Julie Gramoll on November 14, 2019 at 6:23 am

    This came at the perfect time! We are a year and a half in to our amazing new life and this feeling has just started to surface. Great advice and we are going to be practicing the month long stays as we explore the great big state of TX for the next seven months. Even throwing in a little State Park volunteering and so far it has been wonderful! Love following your story and HELLO from fellow cheeseheads!



    • Becky on November 14, 2019 at 12:39 pm

      Sounds like a great plan Julie, enjoy Texas! I enjoyed my time volunteering at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area near Austin back in early 2015. I’m glad you found this article helpful, and I think we can both be grateful for not be in Wisconsin right now. Record low temps recently, brr!



  10. Linda Sand on November 13, 2019 at 1:10 pm

    Set goals like visit all the National Parks, travel a specific scenic or historic road, travel through all the 48 contiguous states, travel to Alaska, or anything else that appeals to you. One couple set out to play golf as many places as they could. There are so many ways to enjoy this lifestyle I’m sure everyone will find one at least one that will keep travel fresh for them.



    • Becky on November 14, 2019 at 12:33 pm

      Good one Linda!



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