I have been living in my Roadtrek SS Agile Class B campervan for over two years now. As the seasons roll into winter I take time to ponder what is good and not so good about this lifestyle. How long do I want to do this? Where is my next stop? Do I want to get a site in a RV resort so I have somewhere to rest up when I need some time off from traveling?
How is it to live in this tiny space, almost full time? Why do I say almost? If I am visiting friends and family I never turn down a bed in a house with a real shower. Once in a while I will resort to a hotel or other type of abode. A year ago I spent three months in a VRBO near the beach. I needed to stretch my legs and feel permanent for a while.
If I am house sitting, I really embrace the larger space. I also look forward to getting back into my tiny home on wheels and heading into the unknown.
What are the pro's and con's of this lifestyle? What do I enjoy the most and the least.
Pro's – any of us that have RV's know most of these.
- I can pick up at a moment's notice and head out to camp – Boondocking, RV parks, State Parks and some unique camp sites as well.
- I can plan my travels to include visiting friends and family all over the United States and Canada. It has made my far away friends seem much closer.
- On those cold, rainy or snowy nights it is so nice to be snuggled into my warm and dry home. No more tent camping for me, well most of the time.
- I have met very good and nice people as I have traveled. I have met other solo women whom I have traveled with. It is good to have company and share our individual adventures while also planning group adventures together.
- I exercise more. If I am near a town, I will walk into town to shop or tour. I also travel with my bicycle so enjoy biking and hiking as well.
- It is good to have a companion. Miss Elsie the Cat will occasionally join me on a hike. She doesn't always walk the whole way. She rides on my daypack or my shoulders. Who knew?
- I like the contemplation time. It is good to take time to ponder a whole myriad of thoughts and ideas. Pondering is always good.
- I have learned a lot about self sufficiency. I have learned a lot about myself. I have become a sometimes, plumber, electrician, builder and more.
- Do any of you know how dirty a small space can get? Add living in dirt or sand or even under trees and the dirt accumulates quickly. I clean more than I have ever done in my whole life. I hate to clean but I am at it at least a few times a day. I mean I can clean the surface of my refrigerator and other surfaces as well and within a few hours, boom there is more dust. Ay Yi Yi.
- It is hard sometimes, to keep a small space organized, although it is a must. The bed is made every morning. All papers get filed immediately. Everything has a place and it must go back in that place when done with it. I am not a dirty person but I have always been a bit of a clutterer. Not any more.
I tend to get lonely. I travel with a delightful kitty, yet it is not another human being. This year I have become active with Boondockers Welcome. I usually will try to find a site at least once every other week when I am “on the road”. Again, people are nice and it has assuaged my loneliness. I also get the perk of discovering places and events in the local communities. Even better I make new friends and feel that I am a bit more part of a community. I have made a few good friends doing this. They have enriched my life.
- I miss the permanent sense of community that I had before I sold my home. My friends were such an amazing support after my husband Jim's death.
- If something physically goes wrong with the RV, it is almost guaranteed to happen in the middle of nowhere. Thank goodness for good roadside support through CoachNet. Talking to a person on the phone certainly helps calms my nerves, when things go awry.
- Tackling health concerns can be a bit stressful. I can not always run to my doctor when something happens. I have become used to looking for urgent care facilities wherever I travel. I have also discovered The Joint for my chiropractic needs. I have accumulated a bit of a list of local health care workers wherever I may roam. I also see dentists every three months for dental cleanings. At first, tackling these issues was stressful but over time it has become routine.
- Just like a sticks and bricks home, this is my home and it occasionally needs to be fixed. I try not to fuss at the cost. I remind myself this is no different than owning a home and usually less expensive.
Currently I am stationary in San Diego County. Every year I return here for my annual medical and dental work. All my radiology tests are done and I am currently visiting all my doctors. For those of you who don't know, I am a breast cancer survivor so these annual visits are important.
I also get to visit with my strong community of friends. We catch up and trade stories. I enjoy spending the holidays with everyone. I house sat for a month and a half and am now stationed in a very pretty RV park with quick access to all my needs. Miss Elsie likes our spot in the back of the campground. I just need to bring her in before dusk. Coyotes are an issue.
I have no idea where I will go next and that is OK. I do know that it certainly will not be anywhere cold.
I enjoy being in the moment more now. I am looking forward to Christmas and New Year. I hope you are too. And next year I look forward to meeting some of you out there.
Happy Holidays everyone.