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Confessions of a First-Time Full Timer in a Down Economy

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Taking the plunge and buying a RV is an incredible, yet scary, undertaking. Making the decision to live full time in that RV adds a whole new element of stress and excitement to the process. My boyfriend, Steve, and I decided to take it all on at once! In our case, we found that first finding the perfect RV and then moving into it full time was just the beginning. 


Our real dream lay in what the RV lifestyle represented to us. The romance of the open road, seeing new places, meeting new people, and creating memories that will last for years, all led us to finally make a major life change. The conversations all started the same way: “Are we happy in our jobs?” “Is there more to life that we may be missing?” and “Haven’t we always wanted to travel?” Those conversations led to deep soul searching and finally the decision: Full Time RVing. 


Nothing is ever easy, however, and the decision to pursue RV life full time is no exception. The process of researching what kind of RV we wanted included planning all the trips we wanted to do and what we wanted to bring with us. We stepped way out of the box and ended up purchasing a big rig of the biggest proportions so that we could fit all our toys and have plenty of living space. We were going to have a big adventure full of our big dreams and our big rig represents that. We realized quickly that we are not the “norm” in the RVing community. However, we’ve been welcomed with open arms by all sorts of people on similar adventures, in all different stages of life. 


At thirty-eight years old we chose to leave long careers in construction and real estate in order to travel across America a couple of times. We had no idea when we started planning this adventure that just a couple months after signing all the purchase documents for our rig, the economy would collapse as it did. Equity we thought we had vanished, security for the trip was gone. This is where being on the open road has taught us our most valuable lessons. After many sleepless nights, spent worrying about things that may or may not happen, we have come to understand that we need to create new opportunities for ourselves. For better or worse, we are on this adventure and even though our motivations have changed, we are now expanding our spheres of influence, utilizing our networking abilities and opening our eyes to new career paths. The adventure has just changed a little. 


The common bond that full timers have is the desire for freedom and sense of adventure. We may not be as free as we had originally planned and we may have to make room in the trailer for tools instead of toys, but we are making the most out of our mobile lifestyle. Our itinerary is now guided by work opportunities rather than recreation opportunities. We have found that no matter where we are on the road, the people we meet will offer us advice, put smiles on our faces, and share stories that taught them lessons at one time or another. Those people will have an effect on us forever. We’ve made new, interesting, life-long friends and we continue to be excited about our decision to “hit the road.” Part of being a full timer is learning to go with the flow, accept that things will always change and may not work out exactly the way you planned, but if you embrace those changes and make the most of the adventure, the RV lifestyle will reward you in more ways than you can imagine!

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