As 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.