Category: Philosophical Ramblings

rig-in-canyon-pahrump

8 Signs You’re Destined to be a Full Time RVer or VanDweller

Full time RVers and VanDwellers are as diverse as any individuals you’d find in a traditional community.  Some love to live in RV parks or explore National Parks. Some prefer to stealth camp in urban areas. And others,  like me, are boondockers who crave the peace and solitude that only the most remote National Forest and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands can give us. Some of us are retired, some, digital nomads. Some have families. Some have none. We come from all walks of life, socioeconomic statuses, races, religions and genders, but we all have one thing in common: the need for freedom and adventure.

Boondocking in Pahrump,Nevada
Boondocking in Pahrump,Nevada

There are so many in our society who dream of living the RV or Vandwelling life. But may not be sure t’s right for you.  I want to help you decide, so I came up with a list of 8 signs based on my experience – and others I’ve met – that you might be ready to be a fulltime RVer or VanDweller:

  1. You love road trips. If you’ve taken at least few road trips (or have always dreamed of it) and the thought of hopping in the car, hitting the open road and seeing where it takes you gets your adrenaline pumping and your daydreams buzzing, then full time RVing or Vandwelling could be the life for you!
  2. You fantasize about being free. My whole life, I just wanted to be free (watch the YouTube Video here for my story). I didn’t know what that meant really, or even what it looked like. I just knew that my life, chasing the American Dream, working for a few weeks of ‘freedom” each year, with a promise of emancipation when I retired,  didn’t feel much like freedom. Does that sound familiar? Do you robotically go to work every day, pay your bills, run your errands, go to your parties and submit to a life you thought you were supposed to want, all the while dreaming of something else? If so, you’re one of us!

    Desert Sunrise out my RV Window
    Desert Sunrise out my RV Window
  3. You crave adventure! Life feels monotonous. Blasé.  You love to explore, see new things, go to new places and experience different cultures/communities.  And your life feels more and more like a jail; keeping you from living the life you crave.
  4. Your life feels phony. For many of us, we had a nagging feeling most of our adult lives that something wasn’t quite right. We did everything we were told: got the degree, the career, the house, the spouse and the children.  And when that didn’t fulfill us, we bought the timeshare,  the boat and /or the RV. Day after day we’d stare at our freedom parked in the backyard, with longing,  as it sat, lonely and unused 49 weeks a year.  Deep inside, we felt like our whole life was a sham And then we’d feel guilty or ‘weird’ for craving freedom and independence.   If this resonates,  you’re one of us!
  5. You realize you have too much stuff. One day you wake up, look around your house or apartment and realize it’s full of stuff you rarely use and don’t need. You realize you’re paying rent or mortgage to house your possessions and if it weren’t for all that stuff you could be lighter and more free to travel, explore and live!

    RV Dog Nevada Desert
    Capone in the desert in Nevada
  6. You decide to be more minimalist. Once you realize you have a bunch of junk you don’t need, you decide to stop buying. For me, two years before I made the leap to full-time RV Living, I made a conscious decision to stop buying anything I didn’t need; no new lamps, vases or pictures. No new shoes, dresses jewelry, or handbags. I decided I had enough stuff and it was time to simplify my life. That was the beginning of a mind-shift toward tiny living.
  7. You cruise Craigslist for RVs or Vans. Yeah. You’re ready… If you’re daydreaming at work and the next thing you know you’re browsing craigslist ‘just to get an idea’ of cost. You’re practically there!
  8. You spend your free time watching YouTube Videos or reading blogs of full-time RVers and Vandwellers. If you’re practically obsessed with escaping the rat race and following your dreams and  you find yourself excited and inspired by others who are doing it. You’re ready!

Of course, being mentally ready, doesn’t mean you can sell everything tomorrow, buy an RV or van and hit the road next week. It takes planning. But if you can relate to most things in the list above, you may want to make an appointment with your realtor and start finding ways to become a digital nomad!

For those who are full-timers, what was the one sure sign you knew this was the life for you?

RV Life Thanksgiving scene

Gratitude: RV Living Style!

Tis the season to take stock of our lives and count the many things we have to be grateful for. It seems to be a practice that melts into our collective psyche, because without consciously thinking about it, a powerful and soothing feeling of gratitude has permeated my very soul this week.

I’m more contented and at peace  than I can ever remember being.

Maybe that’s because I’m coming out of the some of the most challenging weeks of my RV Life and being back in my RV, free to wander wherever the road – and my mood takes me – is like finally being free of a nagging headache.

Maybe it’s because. seven months into RV Living, I’m finally starting to grasp my freedom: it doesn’t happen overnight.  My therapist, Leslee, likened it to the slaves being set free; if you’re born in shackles and then suddenly set free, your freedom can be overwhelming and you can become paralyzed by the magnitude of your emancipation.

While I am, in no way,  comparing my life in society to the horrors of slavery, there is some truth in that statement.  In a world that indoctrinates and propagandizes us from birth, Freedom is something we must learn.  When you spend your entire life thinking of yourself, your life and your world a certain way – breaking the physical shackles is just the beginning; freeing your mind is a longer process.

Happy Thanksgiving from Carolyn and Capone!
Happy Thanksgiving from Carolyn and Capone!

Finding my freedom has been a lifelong process. First I had to stop denying the American Horror Story I was born into (I wrote a little bit about it in my John Muir Trail Blog, you can read it here). Then I had to get free of the addiction and alcoholism that were, for years, my crutches. Then I had to face my deepest horrors and stop trying to run from my ugly truths – and myself.  And then, finally, I could begin to heal; and through the healing, came freedom.

My process has been about finding my authentic self; a self that I spent a lifetime running from because to deny my painful past, I had to deny her. Now at last, I have become the woman I am meant to be! I am becoming the woman, who as a child I wanted to be. I’m writing. I’m exploring. I’m traveling. I’m living my life on my terms, with no regrets and no apologies.

Today I am thankful for my process. I am thankful for having the courage and the strength to fight back against my ghosts and persevere even in my lowest and most painful moments. I am grateful that I found an amazing therapist who helped me uncover my true self.bowie-quote

I am grateful for the community I found online who opened a whole new (RV Life) world to me. I’m grateful for the friends I’ve made here – some I’ve met – and some I have yet to meet.   I’m grateful for the best friend a woman can have: Capone. I’m grateful for Tilly. Sure, she can be high maintenance, but at the end of the day, when I’m tucked inside, there is no place I’d rather be!

And of course, I’m grateful for you and for all your kind words and encouragement! Thank you for following, reading, watching and subscribing. I hope to meet you out on the open road someday.

Happy Thanksgiving from My RV to Yours!~