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EDITOR’S NOTE: We have asked RVtravel.com readers to tell us how they are adapting to life these days. Here is Dianne’s story:
Everything I learned about life in self-isolation was learned in my RV!
1) BE PREPARED – and we were! It’s funny to clean out the RV storage after a 4-6 month trip and find the MANY things you had packed because “we might need it.” We tend to pack as though there will not be a single Walmart along our path. Yet those zip ties, lighters, candles, matches, dominoes, backgammon, checkers, pens, notebooks, books, first aid kits, cards, stamps, tools and rock polishing kits are all there IF we need them during self-isolation.
2) WHATEVER – or as my husband says, “Ever what you want.” When we leave in our RV we have a general idea of where we are going but keep an open mind about when we will get there or even how we will get there and, of course, how long we will stay. This attitude has served us well during self-isolation. Last year when we were traveling, we had planned to zip right through Flagstaff. A check engine light (DPF to be exact) caused us to stay in Flagstaff for three weeks (at Freightliner). We loved the area and experienced the many wonderful and beautiful things around and in Flagstaff that we otherwise would have missed. Worrying, fretting and even cursing could not change a thing about our engine light and neither will any of these help during self-isolation.
3) ONE DAY AT A TIME. RV travel is best traveling one day at a time and just deal with what needs to be dealt with and make the most of every opportunity. The old “when life gives you lemons make lemonade” thing.
4) INVENTORY AND STORAGE – EVERY CUBIC COUNTS. All RV people know that everything has a place and needs to be in that place. We need to have supplies and what we need, but not so much that we overwhelm our storage and living space. YES…we were prepared for self-isolation as far as inventory goes. We had toilet paper on hand and we still have not had to cash in on our RV supply yet!
5) KISS (Keep It SIMPLE Stupid) – This basic rule helped us enjoy our RV travels AND is helping us cope with self-isolation. Don’t over plan and over schedule…take it as it happens. Don’t cram so much into a day that you are exhausted and your joy is depleted. Don’t try to prepare a gourmet meal when a simple sandwich or salad will fill you up. Living in an RV taught me that so much of the “frills” we think we have to have is really unnecessary.
6) LIFE IS NOT PERFECT. In our travels, we have engine lights and dead batteries and full sewer holding tanks and low fuel tanks. We have RV parks that are not what they advertised but then we have RV parks that we found accidentally that are so wonderful that we signed up to stay an extra week. I (like every other person in self-isolation) hope this will be over soon. Understanding that life is not perfect reminds me that being quiet and having an excuse for not running here or there and attending every event and function is actually kind of nice. Self-isolation is not what we signed up for but it may well be just what we needed.
7) THE PEOPLE YOU LOVE ARE ALWAYS IN YOUR HEART. When we first left in our RV, I missed my grandchildren and friends. Then I realized that in every town I could find postcards and gifts and mail them so that they are part of my travel. We are also so blessed to have Facebook and FaceTime and all the other “instant connections” available.
8) ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING. Enjoying RV travel and campsites and the complete RV lifestyle largely depends on the participant’s attitude. Self-isolation is no different. We can choose to focus on the half-empty glass (or roll of toilet paper) or focus on the half-full glass (or roll of toilet paper). The beginning of happiness and contentment with RV travel AND with self-isolation begins with a positive attitude (that has to be nourished and polished every day). Remember, it takes more muscles to frown than to smile.
SO…that’s how we are dealing with self-isolation. We are using our RV skills and mindset to make the most of this time. Can’t wait to get on the road again and use our self-isolation skills to enhance our life in the RV!!! Until then…another game of dominoes is set up and will have to do.
— Dianne Belk
Your essays wanted
Here is your assignment (should you choose to accept it): Write an essay no longer than 500 words on this subject: “How I have adapted to a life in self-isolation.” Tell us what you do with your time, how you keep active physically and/or mentally, how you communicate with friends and family and other ways you occupy your time. Have you taken up a new hobby? Started writing a novel? We can’t pay for these articles right now, but you could earn a place on our staff if you impress us with your creativity. Submit your article here. Please include a photo of yourself or of something that helps illustrate your essay. We’ll post many, if not most of these every day in our RV Daily Tips Newsletter. If you’re not subscribed, sign up here.
Really appreciated this article. I’m a bit tired of the whining I hear from some. There are people all over the world in the same situation, or worse, so make the best of it. Dance where you are.
Dianne your article was a breath of fresh air. You and your hubby seem to be people who deal with stress and issues in the best way you can without ruining your trip and spoiling it for others. That is a gift! Thank you for your lovely article. Be safe and continue to spread your wonderful attitude.
All good ideas, which I believe most RVers do already. The only one I thought was unusual, was traveling without reservations! How many of us have tried to book a place to stay, and they’re all booked up a year in advance! We refuse to stay at Walmart, sorry!
What a wonderful RV Life…article today! Dianne hits all the points and expresses them beautifully. I have so many friends who are complaining and”going crazy’ and while I want this to end I have not felt that. I’ve found the time to do things I’d been putting off, spent more time talking to friends and family and she makes me realize that this is from living the way we do. Ok, and though we’re full-timers (lucky enough to have a place to stay) we too have supplies in board that would make one think we never pass a store. 🙂