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Full-timer bored out of gourd – “RV normal or RV nuts?”

Dear RV Shrink,
I can’t believe I am saying this, but I’m bored out of my gourd. I have been looking forward to traveling full-time in our RV for a dozen years. Now that I have retired, my wife and I have been on the road for just less than a year and I am a bit disillusioned. We both have many interests, love to travel, get along fine in a confined space, enjoy life and the many friendly people we meet. So, what’s wrong with me? Why do I feel I’m missing something? I’m always thinking I should be doing more. If you could get my head screwed on straight I would be forever grateful. —Lost in Paradise, MI

Dear Lost,
As Bob Dylan said, “Don’t think twice, it’s all right.” Many people go through an adjustment period just as you have described. Going from a structured lifestyle to “free as a breeze” can sometimes knock the wind out of you. You need to give it some time and find your comfort zone.

These exact conditions have created a new job description for thousands of people. Both volunteer and paid positions in many parks around the country are now filled by people like yourself that can’t seem to stop doing something that feels like work. Companies like Amazon have “work camper” programs. They need seasonal help in their distribution centers and they fill positions with RVers who want a work “fix” and some extra money. There are positions like this all over the country with various industries. The National Park Service could not operate today without the many volunteers who join the ranks in return for free camping in some of the most incredible places on the planet.

I just had a guy on the couch recently who bought a metal detector and went looking for gold. He thought that was going to cure his need to define his existence. He was back a month later. He traded in his metal detector for a digital camera to shoot wildlife. Last time I saw him he was happy as a lark, migrating north to Alaska.

The point is, keep searching for what makes you a happy camper. You have a lot going for you already – you just need to fine-tune your compass setting.

Always remember, if you don’t think you’re normal, you’re nuts!  —Keep Smilin’, Richard Mallery a.k.a. Dr. R.V. Shrink

Can’t get enough of the Shrink? Read his e-book, Dr. R.V. Shrink: Everything you ever wanted to know about the RV Lifestyle but were afraid to ask or check out his other e-books.

##RVT806 / FT22

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David
4 months ago

15 months into retirement and on the road. Still getting bored. Have plenty of hobbies but just not feeling a purpose. Why blog? Why shoot pictures? Why post on social media?

Paul
7 months ago

For most of my work life I also volunteered for different kinds of organizations, some charitable and at least one our homeowners assoc. When we got out on the road 10 years ago I figured that aspect of my life was done along with work. a few years into endless travel we bought into an Escapee Coop – Jojoba Hills SKP Resort and I found a place that is run by volunteers and, for me, heaven. Great community and a place where I can do something I love doing as a volunteer. It is very fulfilling. My wife has found enough volunteer projects to keep her happy as well.

Lawrence Ribnick
7 months ago

Don’t let anyone talk you into doing something unless it sparks an interest (or passion). There are uses of boredom. I gained a lot from reading Transitions by William Bridges in both a midlife retirement (where I knew I would have to work again) and in a final retirement (18 years now). I now allow myself to be bored without putting a lot of negative energy into it. If I open myself up to allowing for a passion to come in (may take awhile), I have not been disappointed. Hang in there with gratitude for the options that come to you. Larry

Jimmie
7 months ago

I’ve been on the road 6 years full time and have a routine that seems to work for me. I sight see and explore one day, sit on the couch with an ice pack on my back for one day after doing too much, spend one day working with the photos I took, paying bills online, planning my next adventure, etc. Then repeat! Some people have goals to visit every state capitol, every major league baseball stadium, the tallest/lowest point in every state, etc. I visit craft breweries and dive bars! I also love riding excursion trains with a future plan to park the RV and ride all the Amtrak routes. Find your interest, set some goals.It’s ok to stay in and read or learn a new recipe or visit a new restaurant if you don’t cook. everyday doesn’t have to be a sightseeing day – that will wear you out!

Richard Chabrajez
7 months ago

Buy a new RV! The repairs will keep you busy for months!

Bob S
7 months ago

We’ve been members of Escapees since before we went full time. We did our first Escapees Hangout in February of 2020 and we’re hooked. Small group of 12 to 16 rigs. Planned activities for the week. Food, fun and fellowship with other RVers. We’ve done 3 so far in Tucson, Driggs, ID and San Antonio.

We attended the Escapees Escapade in Rock Springs, WY last summer and are looking forward to this years in Lebanon, TN.

We also attended the Escapees Boomerville in Quartzsite recently along with the Newmar Gathering in the Desert. We’re also members of FMCA and are looking forward to attending one of their events as well.

Our big “bucket list” item this year is the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. Really looking forward to that one.

We also have family in California, Wisconsin, Illinois & Tennessee. We try to visit those locations as frequently as we can.

Finding other folks with similar interests has allowed us to not be bored………..

Full-time since October 2019.

Last edited 7 months ago by Bob S
Robin
7 months ago

Dear Lost,

I feel you! Year one post retirement- honeymoon. Years two and three- not so much. Was an ER nurse. Worked hard and it was meaningful to me. Took a bit to withdraw from that and find something I enjoyed as much.
Good luck on your journey.

Now I’m found

Ed Soniat
7 months ago

The advice seems to be spot on, keep trying things. RVing or not “Where ever you go there you are”. One thing that can be very rewarding is volunteering to help people or animals. Go build a house for Habitat for Humanity, go to the YMCA and help with a program for underprivileged children, find an outfit doing sea turtle work. Whatever fits your fancy.

Steve C
7 months ago

Maybe I’m the lucky guy here as I am completely satisfied doing nothing since retiring. There are different chapters of my life, when one ends, I move on and don’t expect the next to be like the last. I’ve traveled the world, am a Veteran, enjoyed my work life as a construction estimator, and raised a family. Now, I’m a solo full-time traveler and will not ever work again!! Six months in Northamerica and six months somewhere else in the world. It mixes up my type of traveling; living out of a backpack and then living in my truck camper. Life is short. Do what you like to do. If you don’t know what you like to do, research yourself for clues. Boredom is not in my vocabulary and never will be.

Drew
7 months ago

This isn’t for everybody. If you think being busy is necessary there are all kinds of things you can do- some are mentioned here. I’m the opposite. When I worked there were so many demands on my time that I kept a promise to myself. When I finally retired I did very little and I enjoy that. My time is my own now and I’m at peace.

Steve
5 years ago

For those of us who have had very challenging jobs and have very active handy-hands personalities need to ponder this issue. How to go from a never ending “honey-do” list to “nada-ting”
We are looking at the workamper idea, because I cannot sit or travel or tour all the time. I am a do’er and I will need that.
I wonder if the writer of the original question has that type of personality – “nada ting” is just to much nothing for him. I am not sure if I ever see us full timing as we will both need something or it will never work for us. If it works for you – more power to ya, for us – well we will see!
Good luck –

Jesse
5 years ago

I am starting a website and will write our daily adventures and post pictures to it. Think of it as a tribute to your freedom. When you return home you can download pics and print what you want.

Jillie
5 years ago

Bored in Michigan? OMG. Otherwise when you do go RV ing? Find out about the area. Go exploring. Don’t stick around the campsite. Go exploring. I come back and start a big fire and cook over an open fire. O the possibilities are endless. Or order out and eat in. Great ending to a great day.

Elaine
5 years ago

I’ve been to Paradise, Michigan. Maybe you need to try a more populous spot with more things you like to do. Paradise is great if you like fishing, and this time of year is great for blueberry picking. You can rent a four wheeler and go trail riding. Go over to Tahquamenon and hike the trails. What do you actually LIKE to do?

Mike & Louise Bacque
5 years ago

Give yourself time, even “less than a year” isn’t enough time to get in the groove of full-timing pace and to learn to relax and enjoy the moment.

Marvin Thomasson
5 years ago

How can anyone be bored when there is so much to do! My wife and I became fulltimers a few years ago and joined Workampers and KOAWorkampers and made sure our resumes specify we’re looking for short term (6 weeks or so) jobs. We’ve been offered jobs in San Diego, CA, Firing Range management in the Columbia River Gorge, a hostel just outside Yellowstone, we’ve worked in Maine and Florida, Texas as well. This Spring we toured a bit in TX, NM, AZ and toured all the National Parks in Utah, pausing in Kansas at Dodge City to the Great Smoky Mtns for the summer. Come November we head for FL for a 12 1/2 hour/week each job as Activities Team for snowbirds that lasts until April. We’ve hiked all over the US, seen Natural wonders galore, and have made friends across this country. Still trying to figure out how to get to the last state we haven’t seen, Hawaii in our RV…

Don & Nancy Schneider
5 years ago

For a “temporary fix” try websites like Tripadvisor.com and “Things to do”. They give a list of things you might not have thought of. We have found 2 weeks of things to do in places where we were told “there is nothing to do there so just spend 1 night.
Good Luck

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