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Matt and I have never chosen a particularly conventional life -- at least by most standards. We don't care about having the biggest house or the most expensive car on the block. We place more importance on free time and personal satisfaction than income and professional status. The only children we ever plan to have are small and hairy and poop in a box. And our home is a 29-foot Airstream travel trailer. Yes, that's right -- we're modern-day nomads.
The first thing strangers ask us when they see our license plate is, "Where are you folks from?" My husband and I explain that we're from nowhere and everywhere at the same time -- that we sold the house, ditched the stationary life, and now we travel year-round in an RV. The next question is usually, "What made you decide to live on the road?" I like to joke that we simply got tired of mowing the grass, but the real answer is a much better story.
Although we always knew we didn't want kids, Matt and I still tried living like other people expected us to for years -- doing the 9-to-5 grind, buying real estate, engaging in conspicuous consumption. But over time, we had become more and more disenchanted with the traditional way of doing things -- the "work-a-million-hours-have-no-free-time-make-money-buy-stuff-give-birth-get-old-and-retire-at-65" lifestyle did not resonate with us. I watched my father scrimp and save and delay all of his dreams so that he could relax in his sunset years -- then he died of cancer before he got to enjoy the result of his hard work. I realized that I didn't want to live that way. I refused to continually put my life on hold waiting for "someday." I was going to have my retirement while I was still young enough to enjoy it! The shift to full-timing just seemed like a logical and necessary step toward achieving this goal, one that brought all of our other life decisions into alignment.
So one day, as Matt and I were driving down the interstate (bitching about how exhausting it was owning a house, how we wished we had more time for travel and personal projects, how we would love to really downsize and unburden ourselves of all the "stuff" we'd collected), we saw an Airstream pass us on the other side of the road. We looked at each other and said, "Oh yeah!" We knew what we wanted -- a more manageable living space, the freedom to go wherever we wanted and stay as long as we liked, the chance to really explore and experience the world around us. We were self-employed already, so it was easy to take the business on with us. And since we had no kids, nothing was holding us back.
Once Matt and I declared our intentions, things sort of snowballed. We imagined it would take as much as 5 years to make everything happen the way we wanted -- but within 18 months, we had acquired "Stella" our 1989 Excella, sold everything that wouldn't fit in the trailer or the truck, and made the transition to full-time RVing. We've been on the road for 3 years and I'm working on my first travel book -- we wouldn't go back to a stationary life for anything.
Now, we spend 365 days a year traveling (this year, we're going from Key West to Nova Scotia) -- we can enjoy all that an area had to offer, then be able to pick up and go at a moment's notice when something more interesting appeared on the horizon. Sure we see the sights and do what the "tourists" do. But because we're not on "vacation," we have the time to go farther afield -- we attend art walks and meet-ups, participate in festivals and book clubs, take dance classes and attend lectures. We also continue to do the laundry, shop for groceries, and complete projects for clients while we're on the road (those responsibilities don't just go away when you buy an RV!) I personally like blurring the line between work and play -- the chores seem less mundane, and the "touristing" becomes a part of your normal daily routine.
If you're interested in becoming a working RVer, you're welcome to read all the gory details about how we made this lifestyle work at my website -- http://www.RamonaCreel.com. And if you need some help making the transition yourself, please feel free to contact me!
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