I grew up a local, my family going back five generations in our small Pennsylvania valley.
People still know my great-grandmother’s name, the businesses she ran, her reputation. They know me by my connection through her.
Cutting the String
I told myself I love that fact, just as I love the little circles I run in here. It’s great to know the name of every back road, and having four different routes to take to work. And yet…
I was denying my love of the road, the calm and comfort I feel when I’m moving. The hunger I have for new roads.
Last summer, after three years of stress and strain, a very unpleasant landlord situation came to a head. I was lucky to find a nice, stress-free place to live without much warning, but something in me was just…done.
A string was cut.
What is “Home”?
I came to see that home is a more malleable thing than a structure you can point to, an address on a mailbox. Because that can be taken away with astonishing ease.
So instead of settling into my new place, burying my head and avoiding this new knowledge, I began to dream and research and plan for a life thrown to the wind.
Thank goodness for the Internet, and the community roaming folks have built there. So many sites and blogs and tutorials are out there for folks like me!
Last July I didn’t know the difference between a Class A and a pop up, or what in the world a toad was.
But I learned. I am still learning. The biggest thing I’ve learned?
Life on the road isn’t for the faint of heart.
A Mixed Response
It takes guts to even think about deciding to do this. To dig up all your roots, pare down your possessions, invest in a self-contained home where every system will be your responsibility.
Some people I share my plans with pat my head and call me adventurous, all the while – I can tell – thinking that I am just a little bit more than halfway crazy.
Others get that look on their face:
I’ve always wanted to do that! Oh, wouldn’t that be wonderful!
Some Early Steps
If that’s you – if you think you want the excitement and terror of emptying your own poo tank – here are a few first-step considerations I went through that helped me decide I wanted to go deeper:
- Take a walk through your house.
Every room. Ask yourself if you use, love or even really want each item you own. I found myself doing this while I was packing up on the fly last summer. I walked around thinking, Keep, Toss, Toss, Toss, Toss.
- Think about how you prioritize your life.
What do you spend your money on? Really good food, new gadgets, or do you take a lot of trips? Do you get excited about filling your gas tank and going for a long ride like I do? RV living is about going, seeing, doing – not owning. And in a very real way, it’s not about creature comforts either.
- Seek out your friendly local RV dealer.
The bigger the better. You want the big lots full of all different kinds of RVs, where at least the used models will be unlocked. Take an afternoon (and a bottle of water, and maybe a snack) and go crazy. There’s nothing like exploring actual RVs to start to get a feel for layout options, what you can expect in various price ranges, and exactly how important the difference of three or four feet can be.
If you find yourself heading back to the RV lot next weekend, or making multiple donation trips to the thrift store, then you just might have the bug. There may be no going back for you.
Scary Yet Wonderful
I know my own journey is just starting. But I also know now the first step of it was realizing my whole life has been leading me here. It is a very scary and wonderful thing to understand.
If you’ve got a yen to go, to be on-the-road free, embrace the fear and – deep breath – go for it.
Are You Ditching?
Are you somewhere in the steps I listed above? What types of RVs interest you?