As I have been writing this blog, I realize I don't have many pictures to share. Yesterday I wrote about our RV. This picture is from the first time we camped in it. Since we bought it in late October and live in Wisconsin, you can understand the clothes we are wearing.
I have read the blogs, websites and travel journals of quite a few fulltime RVers. There seems to be a common thread as to why most of them chose this lifestyle. Words like simplify, peace, freedom, spirituality, and happiness seem to be a common thread for most fulltimers.
Kevin and I have been fortunate to have spent the last 32+ years in a great marriage raising two terrific sons. This is not to say we didn't have problems; everyone does. But, overall our life has been very fulfilling and we have nothing to complain about.
As the boys neared high school graduation, Kevin started talking about "retiring" early and becoming fulltimers. I was OK with the concept, but wasn't sure about giving up my "home base" and my cherished "stuff". Kevin has been working in the automotive service business for 35 years and is quite burned out. He was ready for a change.
My goal was to return to school to update my degree as an administrative assistant. I returned to school in 2000 and received my 2nd associate degree in 2003. I dreamt about obtaining the ideal job with a higher income in a place where I felt I could make a difference. I had been working the previous 15 years in the school district where my children attended school, but it was a part-time job. With both boys grown, I was ready to get out there and find that fabulous career I envisioned.
You know what they say about the best laid plans. I found a job with a different school district as the executive assistant to one of the assistant superintendents. The entire interview process was very strange; my gut told me something wasn't right about it. I so wanted to find that dream career so I made the mistake of not listening to my gut. Unfortunately for me, I got the job. The next three years were some of the worst in my life. My boss was extremely emotionally and verbally abusive. I carried the health insurance for my family so I didn't want to just quit as so many people were urging me to do. I tried for 3 years to make it work. Eventually, I got quite sick and my doctor put me on medical leave. Luckily for me, I had been keeping notes of what my boss was doing and saying. I had numerous meetings with the superintendent and was able to work out an agreement with the school district to place me in a different position. What I learned from that entire experience is that a career and more income doesn't bring happiness. My priorities had totally changed.
At about the same time I was dealing with the stress of that job, Kevin and I met a very nice fulltime RVing couple who were working at a county park in our area. I believe God put them in our path to tell us their story of how happy they were. The last thing they said to us was that they wished they would have made the decision sooner in their lives. Now I was excited to start working on the dream.
Our youngest son was still in college and lived at home during breaks. We spent the next three years getting the house in tip-top shape for a sale. I watch HGTV so we repainted many rooms to a "pleasing neutral color palette" and worked at staging each room so buyers would see a move-in ready home. Just as we were ready to place the house on the market, the economy fell apart. The housing market took a huge dive.
The last piece of the plan is for the house to sell. As soon as this happens, we will begin the life we have been dreaming about. They say patience is a virtue. Believe me when I tell you I apparently am not very virtuous :) This waiting is extremely hard. We have had our hopes up with 2 offers, but each time it fell through. There is much interest in our house, but so far the right buyer just hasn't been found. The last several months have been an emotional roller coaster.
Our dream for this new fulltime RV lifestyle is to simplify our lives. We want to have the freedom to explore this beautiful country; work when we want to or need to; enjoy more time spent together; live a more stress-free life; and enjoy more harmony and peace along the way.
Over the past few years, I have been collecting quotes from numerous places that I found inspirational. I did not keep track of where they came from or who said them; just the thoughts and words. I plan to share some of them with you. Hopefully, they can inspire you, too.
"Take heed, you do not find what you do not seek"
22 minutes ago