Rainy day here in Bushnell, Florida so it was a great day to do taxes. We are even going to get a refund for the first time in a long time. I guess it pays to be poor… :)
We are also just a few days from our one year anniversary of full timing in our RV so to kick things off Sharon has contributed her thoughts about what it has been like living this dream…
Our full-timer adventure began March 2, 2011 and yet it seems like yesterday when John drove the RV to our front door in College Station taking my breath away. Once it rolled up to the front door it seemed so gigantic that I began to second guess our ability to tame this beast. It certainly helped that we had only a few days to get to our daughter’s collegiate softball tournament. That all- encompassing desire to be at each and every game of her senior year trumped my usual reluctance and fearfulness (even after realizing I would have to drive behind in the tow vehicle since we were missing a crucial towing part).
After softball, we traveled south to the Florida Keys, then all the way up the Northeast Coastline, back to North Carolina for a short return visit with our daughter and then four months wintering in South Florida. The scenery in the Keys, Vermont, Maine and Cape Cod all brought tears of joy from experiencing sheer gorgeousness. (We enjoy the countryside whizzing by side by side, now that we have all the parts and can tow the car). I really love sitting next to him in the cockpit! The enormousness of the bus still gives me pause on mountain roads, bridges and tunnels. I also feel a little stressed on moving days, however the freedom afforded us this past year makes me love this lifestyle more and more each day. We have no schedule and no set itinerary.I look forward to waking up and sharing every day with John exploring our new locations.
The view outside our dinner table window is different every week or two. How fun is that? The simple things are also very joyful such as washing dishes by hand, everything having its place, planning and cooking meals together, as well as our daily walks or bike rides. Mostly I love reflecting on our day and laughing with John. I realize now that former lives kept us much too busy to really enjoy each other. We have become a solid team. It makes me very happy.
So what are the challenges? Sometimes we are a little careless. We have lost or broken our sun and eyeglasses, we have left behind things at campgrounds such as our double faucet attachment, our 30 to 50 amp converter and somehow lost a part to the brake buddy (yes, we have checklists and still these things happen). Another challenge is too much togetherness. Our adjustment to this came naturally since I get “me” time late at night after John goes to bed and his “me” time is while I sleep later than he. Another challenge is living within our budget. I am highly motivated to stay within the budget because I do not want to have to go back to work., Therefore, I figured out how to do my own mani-pedis, John learned from my hairdresser how to color my hair, we get haircuts at cosmetology schools, we have our dental cleanings at dental hygiene schools, and consolidated our medical visits to one facility (the Mayo Clinic). The budget also makes finding a site much more difficult. We underestimated campground fees because in some locations, the site fees equal what we would have paid for a hotel! It can be really frustrating and tedious to find a place to land especially in destination locations,but yet we have managed.
The last adjustment was time away from my kids and grandkids, especially during holidays. I am discovering, however,that I am not seeing them any less than when back at home. In fact had we stayed back in our home I know I would miss them just as much and possibly interfering in their lives much more. Instead we are living full, interesting lives and have exciting experiences to share with them when we do see them. Plus, with Facebook, smart phones, Skype, email, etc., I feel quite connected. John reminds me this is as it should be. We are, after all, meant to raise them to lead happy, independent lives.
In conclusion, despite my fear of mountain roads, finding the right place to stay, careless mistakes, and time away from family, I am living a life with my soul mate that feels to me like a vacation each and every day…