5 Truths About Our Life on the Road

When we first decided to live full time in Waldo, I had a very different idea of what our life would be like. In some ways, it has far exceeded my hopes and in other ways, it has fallen drastically short. Here are 5 things I have learned about myself and our lifestyle:

1. We are NOT on vacation.

While most of my posts deal with all of the cool places we visit, the truth is we have to work. Neither of us are old enough to collect social security, nor do we have any type of retirement. Our only source of income is from the workamping we do. I had visions of living in Waldo the way my parents did, never staying anywhere for more than a week or two before moving on, sooner if the weather turned cold or rainy. But the fact is, we usually end up being somewhere for several months, after all, we made a commitment when we took the job. Quite often I find several months to be too long. I either get bored with a place once we’ve explored the area or the job isn’t really to my liking, but again, we made a commitment. For me, selling Christmas trees in Florida was nearly the perfect job. It was short term, it was warm and the money was great. If there was a “downside”, it was we didn’t have any time to explore the area.

 

2. Two people in 400 sq/ft can be a challenge

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We had been married for 14 years when we made the leap to full-timing. I thought I knew everything I could possibly need to know about us – nope! The biggest difference between living in an RV and living in a house is if you find you need some “space”, there isn’t any. I had a home office in our house, now my office is in the same room as the kitchen, living room and steering wheel. Steve had a garage to go putter around in, now he doesn’t. We don’t generally get on each others nerves, but it happens. We don’t generally have disagreements, but they happen. The difference is we can’t go to our separate space. Living in the confines of 400 sq/ft has taught me that I need my space more than I thought I did. Don’t get me wrong, I love Steve with all my heart.  I would never want to live this life without him, but sometimes I just need my space.

3. We’ll never get to see it all

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Thanks to my grammar school teachers, I know there are 50 states. If we spent 3 months per state, we could only see 4 a year – that’s 12 1/2 years (assuming we could drive to Hawaii). While we could probably hit the highlights in each state in 3 months, we’d never have time to seek out the out-of-the-way places we both enjoy so much. Oh yea, back to #1, we aren’t on vacation. By the way, I’ve added travel maps to the blog. You can check out where we went by year. I hope to keep it up-to-date from now on.

4. We are 6 wheels away from homeless

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I know this is a bit of an exaggeration, but it isn’t far off the mark. There isn’t much worse than seeing everything you own put on the back of a tow truck. I mean nobody ever towed off our stick and brick when it needed repairs. We’ve been exceedingly fortunate, nearly every time we’ve needed repairs, we’ve been able to stay in Waldo while the work was being done. The only time we couldn’t was when the roof was done. That wasn’t an issue because we were staying at my dad’s house. Every now and then, I get a little panicky when I think about what “could” happen. I know, no sense borrowing trouble. I just can’t help it.

5. We wouldn’t trade this lifestyle for anything!

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When I compare our stick and brick life to our RV life, I realize I wouldn’t change a thing. We love our life. We have met some of the most wonderful people, in person and online, because of the way we live. We have seen places lots of people only talk about seeing. We visited 15 National Parks in 2018 plus countless state parks. And we are doing it together! I doubt it really gets any better.

 

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15 thoughts on “5 Truths About Our Life on the Road”

  1. This is a great post that honestly looks at some of the challenges. My wife and I lived in employee housing in Alaska for 14 years, some of it in a two-bedroom cabin, some of it in a very small room. There were times when getting away fro each other was a challenge!

    Being six wheels from homeless isn’t far off. If you had an accident for something you’d be homeless for sure! In my time working in Alaska, when we had to fire employees they also got kicked out of employee housing, and they usually left town that day. A person could wake up with a job and be homeless, unemployed and kicked out of town on the same day!

    I can see why you might get bored being a place for months at a time, but do you feel that you get a thorough exploration of the area by doing that?

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    1. Add to the confines of a small living space, only one vehicle. It can definitely be a challenge!

      Yikes, I can’t imagine the consequences of losing a job that way. I don’t ever plan on finding out 😉

      It truly depends on the area and the job. 4 1/2 months on the Kenia Peninsula was more than enough. 5 1/2 months in Lone Oak, Tx was TOO long. It all comes down to how far you can travel without your rig or are you willing to pack it all up for a “weekend” trip. We try to find jobs where there is plenty to see and do within a 150 mile radius. We also will only take jobs where we have the same days off. I think this summer might be a challenge. We are heading to Black River Falls, Wisconsin. Not sure there is enough to explore for 5 months. But, refer to truth #1, we aren’t on vacation.

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  2. Another wonderful post with very honest lessons and outlook. The RV life is amazing, but it definitely comes with its challenges. It may not be the societal ‘norm’ of living, but it sure is full of unique and exciting experiences. I would not change this lifestyle for anything in the world! It has even expanded our social horizons–we’ve met more dear friends (such as you guys) and “neighbors” on the road than we ever did in our old sticks and bricks neighborhood.

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  3. I really enjoyed reading this! While we aren’t full timers and we are retired, I can relate to a lot of it. Especially the small space thing. Wonderful writing that really speaks to us RVers.

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      1. I do think about it. Last year we spent 3 months on the road in the SW. Went home to the NW too soon. Cold! This year we are doing 6 months. Easing into it, lol. I’m not the driver and that gives me cause to hesitate. I like driving independence.

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  4. It’s nice to read honest posts about all this stuff. There are an awful lot of people marketing the lifestyle as some romanticized version of itself, and others who, unfortunately, think living the lifestyle entitles them to behave differently. That occurred to me when I read your comments about having made commitments and keeping them. I’ve seen a fair number of posts and Facebook comments about RVers bailing on jobs because they wanted to do something else. I’m not a huge fan of that and respect that you guys stick with your commitments, even when you get bored with the location.

    I also hear you on the space thing. Kevin and I get along great, but we are together 24/7 and yeah, sometimes having just a tiny bit of space is nice.

    Finally, I checked out your maps and they look great! It’s nice to see all of your travels in one spot…and confirm that no, no matter how long we do this, we’ll never see it all. On the other hand, we’ll see more in a couple years than most people will have the opportunity to see in their lifetimes. We’re all pretty fortunate for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We hank you. There would have to be some dire circumstances for us to bail on a job. Boredom certainly isn’t one of them.

      I agree, we have already seen and done more than many and have lots of adventures yet to come. ~Happy Trails!

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  5. Laura, your thought-provoking honesty truly hits home. Your post should be required reading for anyone considering the lifestyle you and Steve have embraced. I’m so glad that you’re finding ways to make it work. Thanks so much for the fresh insight food for thought. ~Terri

    Liked by 1 person

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