Finding Ways to Introduce Ourselves

IMG_6642There are so many excellent YouTube videos and blogs that describe the full-time RV lifestyle.  They include instructional videos, travel experiences, gorgeous photography, words of wisdom and encouragement, and vlogs on the daily life in the routine of a full-time RVer.  We have watched so many of them over the last two years as we have prepared to reach our goal of November 2016.  We’ve often thought that it would be really awesome to meet some of our regulars if they were in the area, but realized that even though they allow us into their daily life and travel experiences through their videos and writing, they have absolutely no idea who we are.

While we have no plans to be among the list of great YouTube videographers who share their experiences, we did want to do a brief introduction of what we are doing.  I have to admit, it was sort of fun putting our videos and photographs in the iMovie trailer template and seeing them come alive with the dramatic background music, but our (or my) video skills end there.  All of our videos and photographs include a finger, thumb, or  some unsightly thing that wasn’t noticed in the frame when taking them.

Although we might do a video that is more personal, we will probably stick with the blogging.  Then, of course, there is inevitably finding that embarrassing typographical or grammatical error after the piece has been published for a week or two.

It all boils down to this–we are every day people trying to achieve our dream–imperfect at best, but hopefully a lot of fun if we meet on the road.

This is the video we came up with below (look for my thumb).  If you have a YouTube channel, please post your channel URL in the comments here or on YouTube.  We’d love to see what you are up to.

Safe travels!

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Questioning a Sense of Community With The RV Lifestyle

We are guilty of spending way too much time watching YouTube videos in our quest in making an informed decision to move into our RV and travel.  We are/were like sponges soaking in all of the advice, experiences, and even mishaps to get a realistic idea of what obstacles we may encounter and the best way to make it as economical as possible.

The interesting thing about some of the YouTube channels is that the videos are daily and include mundane content such as trips to Walmart, Home Depot, or even a car wash.  These are things that really do not interest us, but we continue to watch anyway.  Why?  Because we really like the people doing the video.  There is a bond, even though we have never met them.  If we did run into them, while we know so much about their lives, we are complete strangers to them.  But, they are our RV community at the moment until we are up and roaming the open road.

Community is very important, whether it be virtual or around a campfire.  I’m curious, though, and would love your input.   While the nomadic lifestyle is very exciting and builds so many memories and adventures, do you lose a sense of real-life community while moving place to place?   Or is the sense of community through written blogs and YouTube people we have come to love?

Granted, we are pretty good at entertaining ourselves, but would love to hear your thoughts/experiences on what gives you a sense of community on the road.

Safe travels.

 

Can’t Wait to Go Big AND Go Home

IMG_6571As an introduction, we are Mike and Dawn.  We are two avid RVers from Jacksonville, Florida, and we’ve made a very big decision to move out of our sticks and bricks home and hit the road full time in our RV.  It’s been two years in the planning, and the countdown is nearing an end.  We are only 9 months away from obtaining our freedom from the traditional 9 to 5 rat race, and we couldn’t be happier.  I’m looking forward to retiring after 30 years in the same company, and Mike is going to be working mobile from the road.

“Hey, now we can go big AND go home.” …Mike

We love to spend time in our RV whether it is weekend camping with friends or taking multi-state road trips to visit family. We started out with a travel trailer and graduated to a fifth wheel (two different ones, actually). When we hatched this crazy idea to live on the road, we decided to upgrade to a 40-foot Thor Tuscany class A because it fit our needs perfectly.  After some friendly teasing from our camping buddies about our newest upgrade, Mike came up with the phrase, “Hey, now we can go big AND go home.” Thus, our new motto.

The last couple years have flown by as we have researched our decision to go nomadic. We’ve spent hours watching YouTube videos, reading RV travel blogs, joining RV groups, listening to podcasts, reading books, and traveling in the RV on long-haul vacations. We’ve explored state parks, RV resorts, small campgrounds, and have even boondocked at Walmart for a brief nighttime nap while traveling. There isn’t anything we’ve encountered so far that has swayed our decision. In fact, every time we come off the road we both feel a little sad to be coming back to our sticks and bricks. We can’t wait until the RV is our full-time home.

Meanwhile, we have been busy decreasing the amount of ‘stuff’ we have accumulated over the years. Our oldest moved out on her own and took a lot of household necessities, the second oldest will be going to college this year and will hopefully take more items. The rest has made a slow trickle being donated to charitable organizations and the remaining things will go in a series of garage sales the last couple of months before we hit the road. We plan to rent out the house.  Even though we have heard horror stories about renting out our home, we have a responsible rental agent who has agreed to help us. We are still debating whether to keep a small household of essentials in storage just in case something unforeseen brings us off the road. Either way, we plan to revisit the storage facility after a year of traveling to see if we can whittle things away even more with a new perspective.

Despite the excitement, there are still issues causing a little trepidation and some sadness. Pictures of the kids scattered all over the house are coming down, things they have made and/or written, and cards they have given over the years are being tucked away in storage bins. Since our last Christmas in the house was this past holiday season, the most special ornaments have been wrapped carefully and will be put in an easily accessible spot in the storage unit for our frequent visits back to Florida for Christmas, but the times of big Christmas trees will be a thing of the past. These things, too, will be revisited after a year on the road.

“When my husband and I are both old and looking back at our lives, we will remember times with family, adventures we’ve had along the way, and living life on our terms.  We definitely won’t be remembering our stuff.” …Dawn

We are just two wanderers who are looking forward to setting the wanderlust part of our personalities free.  There is a certain feeling of liberty getting rid of a lifetime of stuff that doesn’t really mean anything.  The minimalist way of life is becoming very attractive, as shackles are slowly being released with every piece of junk we get rid of.  When my husband and I are both old and looking back at our lives, we will remember times with family, adventures we’ve had along the way, and living life on our terms.  We definitely won’t be remembering our ‘stuff.’

We invite you to join us on our journey. We’ll make mistakes, learn valuable lessons, rethink and rework the plan as necessary. “Semper Gumby,” as a friend once said. Always flexible. That’s us—at least it will be. We just have to get through these next few months.

We are looking forward to meeting fellow wanderers on the road and building a sense of community.  We want to hear your stories and experiences, ask for solid advice, and spend good times by the campfire making new friends.  We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Until we meet here or on the road, Semper Gumby and safe travels.