Tuesday, September 26, 2023


I may be a ‘worrier’ RVer, but resilience keeps me truckin’ on

I come from a long line of worriers—three generations on my mom’s side, with a few mental incapacities scattered on both sides—women only.

So why would I choose the RV life? It really is not suited to worriers. After all, a coward dies a thousand deaths, a brave man dies just once.

But I am rooting for the cowards because they can be the secret heroes if they persist, overcoming odds, snatching victory from the jaws of … maybe not defeat, but fear.

We should not confuse worriers with cowards. I have actually gone river rafting—yeah, the first time was when I was 64. I have actually ridden a Ferris wheel. It did take me 60 years, but I did it!

You will not be surprised to hear that my worrying is bothersome to folks with whom I associate. Some of my family call me “negative” because I frequently—not predict, but outline—worst-case scenarios. But I have bounced back from so many worst-case scenarios in my life that I have a very informed idea of what could be lurking around the next corner.

Yet, like most people crowding 70, I am a survivor. Bad things have happened. I am still here.

My first year on the road was carefree. I really didn’t know what I was up against. Lack of imagination, I guess. I blithely sailed through a few months on my own, always finding a spot to park without a single reservation at national parks like Grand Canyon and Lassen and state parks along California’s Highway 1. I had no idea about how many ways my RV could fail me.

Eight years later, there have been so many mechanical failures that it would take a scorecard to keep track. Every time I open my slide, I wonder if I will be able to pull it back in. A management mantra from my days as a newspaper editor is “past performance indicates future behavior.”

You might say this is really no way to live, but I swallow my fears every day and I am learning (slowly, finally) that it’s better if I don’t voice them to the folks around me. And I truck on. Because I cannot possibly stay at home until I am forced to stay at home. I will be on the road as long as the road lets me. It’s been my dream since I was 10.

To me, the “R” in “RV” is Resilient. To the ones like me, the worriers (and I know a few of you), we are the RRVers.

Are you a worrier? Tell me how you cope with being a “worrier” while RVing in the comments below.

Read more by Jan here


Jan Steele
Jan Steele
Former newspaper editor Jan Steele started her career in third grade as a school correspondent for her local newspaper and has been writing for publication ever since, including a 30-year-stint at the Herald-News in Joliet, IL. She decided in fourth grade she wanted to hit the road as soon as she could—and retired eight years ago to RV full-time.


  1. Richard, I am so glad your sort isn’t in our lives. Worrying aka anxiety is indeed hereditary and believed to be genetic. Sorry that it infringes on you, perhaps someday you will indeed be ‘left alone’. My hope is that folks will have some understanding of mental health issues (because it certainly is) and those that suffer from it can get some assistance coping. We have a grandchild that exhibited symptoms from a very young age. Yes, it is in the ‘family tree’. Your comments serve as a reminder of how far society still needs to go to be understanding and inclusive. Jan, you go girl. The bravest of people go where our bodies and minds tell us there will only be folly. Overcoming the fear is awesome.

      • Richard needs a whopping dose of human kindness and understanding. Yes, born worrier indeed. The lucky ones get the support they need to manage it. Keep on truckin’. 🙂

  2. My wife is a pessimist, I am an optimist; between us we get it about right. An example—we wanted to visit my brother in another state. She estimated 7 hours driving time, I figured we could do it in 5. Actual time turned out to be 6.

  3. You pat yourself on the back for “Overcoming” your worrying. How about the people around you that have to listen to your litany of doomsday scenarios? You ruin their tranquility and make them want to be somewhere else. Take your worries to a quite place and leave others alone.

  4. I’m not a worrier. But my wife is. I’m glad you’ve decided to keep some of your worries to yourself. I find the limitations placed on our travels to be not worth the effort to travel.

  5. Growing up in FLA my momma said I had roaches in my shoes and would always be ready to go somewhere, anywhere and I still do. It took a cerebral aneurysm to get rid of my worrier personality now at 70 it’s easier than I ever thought it would be to just go with the flow.

  6. I’m definitely a worrier too. We’ve been full time traveling for almost 8 years. I also suffer from PTSD after serving 25 years as a firefighter/EMT, so I know that things can go quite wrong. I don’t ever leave out the “worse case scenarios in my planning. We mostly boondock, and I excessively plan for every possibility. I also look for escape & safety to an excessive degree. But, at the same time, we rarely make reservations anymore, and travel pretty much carefree. I will try anything, once. It’s an odd relationship between being a worrier and being a traveler. Somehow it works for us.

  7. Hi there,
    We live on a very busy Main Street, 5 lanes. I would start to get myself worked up when we were about 3 hours from home. You see, we have to back the rv in. I would stand out in the street with an orange flag to stop traffic. Nerve wracking to say the least. So how did I overcome this? I told myself it only takes my husband about 3 minutes for the whole backing up process and it has never bothered me to wait for other folks when they are in a bind. So now I don’t worry about it (most times).


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