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A downside to full-time RVing

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Brenda and David

By Brenda Bott
OutsideOurBubble.com
Whether you have been full-timing for a while like my husband, David, and me, or are new to full-timing, or are still in the research phase, the following video may be relevant. While most people think about the travel and the adventure and visiting places on your bucket list, there is another side to full-timing that is most often not talked about and ignored. By that I mean the disconnection you may feel from your family, friends, and community. A disconnection that can sometimes lead to depression.

David and I did not consider this when we were looking to travel full time. We both grew up in one area of the country. Most of our family is in this one area. Our friends we grew up with are all in this one area. When we left this area to travel full time, to get “Outside Our Bubble,” we were good for a while. Seeing new things and experiencing new things. New cultures, new foods, meeting new people.

I won’t go into too much detail here because I feel what David says in the video says it all. I did not know he was making this video but once I saw it, we both knew it had to go online and be said publicly. He wears his heart on his sleeve and I love him for that. He is honest and a good man and I am glad that we found each other 27+ years ago. We have both been there for each other in good times and hard times and I could not have picked a better partner to travel down the road with and have our various adventures.

We wanted to put this video out there to show that traveling full time is not all hearts and rainbows. Cupcakes and puppy dogs. Unicorns and, hmmm, whatever. There is another side to full-timing. The “disconnect” that some of us may feel. We hope this video helps paint a larger, more complete picture of the full-timing lifestyle by mentioning something you may have not thought about if looking to go full-time.

Visit David and Brenda’s website, Outside Our Bubble.

 

##RVT762 #RVDT1228 ##FT17

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Elizabeth Planteen
9 days ago

There’s more than one way to RV full time. I move my rig only a couple of times a year, from mountains to desert and back (within Arizona). Thus I avoid the cold snow in Flagstaff, and the brutal heat in Bullhead City. I never intended to travel with the motorhome, I intended to live in it. I love my lifestyle, so a couple of years ago I did get a bigger motorhome. Anyhow, I get a lot of pushback from people who are more nomadic, who look down their noses on my lifestyle, which has worked extremely well for me for 8 years. Not sure what their beef is. I travel a lot, in my car with a tent, or by plane, bicycle or kayak, or on foot with a backpack. I daresay I see more than a lot of full-timers I know. And I am parked close to family all year.

Last edited 9 days ago by Elizabeth Planteen
Dave
10 days ago

I once thought full-timing would be the ultimate experience, but it isn’t for me. After 2 or 3 months on the road, I’m delighted to be back home. I get tired of being in a small space. I get tired of moving every two or three weeks. Every problem on the road is more difficult. We live in a very active 55+ community and I call it our sticks and bricks campground. There’s everything one can think of to do. Plus at home, I can hunt, fish, hike, ride bike, tinker with my antique Mustang. I think the ultimate experience is to travel and return home to recharge. Plus, I would miss beautiful Spring time in Virginia.

Last edited 10 days ago by Dave
Dave
10 days ago

Deleted.

Last edited 10 days ago by Dave
Carson Axtell
11 days ago

Not all nomads are solitary. Some form communities with values of mutual respect and tolerance of each other’s differences, and travel together in loose affiliations that individuals can join or separate from at will. They keep in touch using social media and communicate their locations using apps like Google Maps and RVillage so that friends can rejoin them when they choose. And, as with most nomads, they gladly help each other through rough times, whether that means assisting with repairs or providing encouragement and emotional support. Potlucks, birthdays, and holiday celebrations are regularly shared together. Nomad societies have practiced this kind of social interaction for thousands of years on every continent where they have existed. Being settled is not a requirement for creating a community.

Last edited 11 days ago by Carson Axtell
Randy
14 days ago

My wife and I used three RV’s while we worked on construction for twenty years. After the work “played out” we started our own trucking business and the next ten years living in the cab of our 18-wheeler. So, full-time RV-ing is definitely not in our future.

During this time, we managed to keep our “stick and bricks” home, and looked forward to the occasional “visits,” which usually occurred around the holidays.

We have been “at home” now for five years, and yes, we still have our two Airstream’s … they will become what they were intended to be … recreational vehicles and not permanent homes away from home.

Our 18-wheeler was listed on eBay one week after we terminated our lease with our carrier … it sold in three days and we were out of the trucking business.

We look forward to finally enjoying the RV lifestyle, as we revisit some of the places we have been and some new ones we haven’t … and we still have our permanent home.

Keith K
14 days ago

We’ve been full timing for 16 years, and when giving advice to newbies we always recommend that they try volunteering. It gives us a sense of community and we make lifelong friends, learn new skills, and have the chance to spend time in a new area that gives us a chance to explore much more than a short visit. We’ve always volunteered as “interpretive’ hosts, and have taught nature to the “Junior Rangers”, developed and presented evening programs, taught the history of fisheries in the West, the history of coastal artillery, led birding tours, been “tidepool” guides, and much more. Our lives have been enriched by our volunteering experiences and we’ve made lasting friends all over the country. The diversity of volunteers and their experiences is amazing, and we can’t imagine being lonely.

Paul
14 days ago

Egads. Isn’t there enough depression this time of the year?

Virginia
14 days ago

First, thank you for your blunt honesty about the full time lifestyle. Too many folks won’t address that elephant in discussions about the FT life.

We discussed full timing but husband will not give up the sticks-n-bricks. Recently I began to agree with him. We decided several years ago to do 6 months of the year, and the first year or two it was great…the best of both worlds! As we age, however, we have found our trips cut back to 4 months or so, or even a month or two at a time with rest period and back out again.

We find even with those shorter “away” times that there is a big re-adjustment when we return home. Friends and neighbors are glad to see us, but they have gone on with their lives and we are — at least for awhile — out of the loop.

We also had a couple of health scares on the road that made us miss the comfort of friends and family.

We now volunteer at the same east coast campgrounds, spend a few months at each, and return home in between. Works for us.

Drew
14 days ago

It depends on what sort of person you are. If you need family and friends as a big part of your life then being on the road a lot isn’t going to be the fulfilling experience that it is.

mark
14 days ago

Common sense a minimal understanding of human nature should lead everyone to know that being grounded – in a brick and morter home, or a single location RV park – or with loved ones – whatever – but with frequency and always knowing it is there for you to go back to is massively important for the comfort it brings the soul.
It is hard to imagine going full time without always having a home base. Home – and everything that word conjures up – emotionally, metaphysically – not simply physically.
So travel. Explore. And do it with the comfort you always have a place to go back to.

Marvin
14 days ago

I appreciate David’s courage and honesty and his admission that life on the road can sometimes be a struggle. My wife of thirty-nine years died last Thanksgiving. We had been full-timing for the prior five years, and now I’m suddenly going it alone. When we sold the house – and everything in it – we knew we were heading out into terra incognita, but after just a few months on the road, usually spending our time as volunteers, neither of us would even considered changing a thing.

A recent three-week stop by my old home city – first time in four years – was an object lesson in Thomas Wolfe’s admonition that “You can’t go home again.” While your family and best friends can empathize, they can never fully comprehend how different your life has become, even without the added burden of grief. Trying to explain full-timing to someone that would never dream of giving up their homestead is all but impossible.

I’ve thought about giving up full-timing, but then what? Left foot, right foot.