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Escape the Rat Race: How RV Retirement Changes Your Life Forever

| Updated Sep 8, 2023

Whether you’re planning for retirement or it’s just around the corner, here is how RV retirement can change your life forever…

For years, Jennifer and I planned to embrace the RV lifestyle when we retired. I had spent my career chasing stories as “one of America’s Most-Traveled Reporters,” and I didn’t want the chase to end with retirement. 

But in retirement, we wanted to chase our own story, adding chapters and adventures wherever the road took us. 

In 2012, that dream came true. We bought a used Roadtrek Class B campervan and have been enjoying our RV retirement ever since. 

We knew it would change our lives, but we didn’t realize how much or in what unexpected ways. So, we wanted to share with you how RV retirement can change your life forever.

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Reality Check

80 Little Pros of Owning an RV (According to REAL RVers)
80 Little Pros of Owning an RV (According to REAL RVers)

Let me first start by saying that not all of the changes are for the better. There are some real challenges to overcome when you embrace the RV lifestyle. 

We don’t want you to read this article and think RVing is all rainbows and butterflies. If you go into it with a mindset like that, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. 

We have written several articles on the harsh realities of RVing that you should be aware of before diving in. Here’s a sampling:

For this article, however, we want to focus on the positive! Despite all of the challenges, RVing has changed our lives for the better in SO many ways…

How the RV Lifestyle Changes Your Life

10 RV Life Pros and Cons (Beyond the Obvious)

It’s actually difficult to sum up all of the ways RVing has changed our lives. It’s changed our relationships, perspectives on life, stress level… and more.

We’ll try to break it down as best we can, and we’d also love to hear how the RV lifestyle has changed your lives in the comments at the end.

A New Perspective on the Rat Race

When you embark on RV retirement, you leave behind the conventional path of the rat race. The never-ending cycle of work, routine, and stress that dominates many people's lives becomes a distant memory. You gain a new perspective on what truly matters in life. 

No longer bound by the demands of a 9-to-5 job, you have the freedom to prioritize experiences, relationships, and personal fulfillment. The rat race fades away as you embrace a slower pace, connecting with nature, exploring new places, and discovering the joy in simple moments.

You Feel Big & Small at the Same Time

Escape the Rat Race: How RV Retirement Changes Your Life Forever 1

As you travel in your RV, you'll experience a remarkable shift in perspective. You'll feel both big and small at the same time. The vastness of the landscapes, the breathtaking views of mountains, oceans, and forests, will remind you of the immensity and beauty of the world. 

And yet, you'll also feel a smallness, a humbling realization of your place in the grand scheme of things. This blend of awe and humility fosters a sense of gratitude and appreciation for the wonders of the world around you.

Serendipity Replaces Responsibility

One of the most exciting aspects of RV retirement is the element of serendipity that comes with it. When you hit the road in your RV, every day is an adventure waiting to unfold. 

You have the freedom to go wherever the wind takes you, following your own desires and interests, and embracing unexpected opportunities along the way. 

Serendipity replaces rigid schedules and responsibilities, bringing an element of spontaneity and joy into your life. You'll discover hidden gems, stumble upon fascinating local events, and meet interesting people who become part of your RV retirement story.

Deeper Relationships

we wonder what RV travel looks like for the rest of the year
This is Mike and Jen at Bryce Canyon National Park…one of their favorite summer RV trip destinations

RV retirement offers unique opportunities to deepen your relationships with your loved ones. Both those who travel with you and those you “leave behind.”

In the confined space of an RV, you learn to communicate, compromise, and appreciate one another on a whole new level. You share intimate moments, collaborate on daily tasks, and create memories that forge strong bonds. 

These shared experiences foster a sense of togetherness and create a treasure trove of cherished memories.

It can be trying at first, but rewarding in the long run. It helps to know these 10 Unwritten Rules of RVing with your Spouse. Most of the rules apply to any travel companion, not just your spouse.

For those you “leave behind,” you start valuing more quality time in exchange for quantity. That’s one of our biggest unexpected pros of the RV lifestyle (beyond the obvious).

New Community of Like-Minded People

Escape the Rat Race: How RV Retirement Changes Your Life Forever 2
Our 2021 RV travel goals included having more gatherings in mind to meet our followers.

When you go through life, your “bubble” usually consists of a lot of people from work, kids’ school, etc. You all reside in the same bubble because you’re in a similar stage of life in the same location.

However, when you retire into the RV lifestyle, your bubble becomes filled with like-minded people. You join an entire community of people with similar dreams, priorities, and attitudes.

Best of all, this community of people is so similar yet so very different at the same time! You have a shared passion, but you come from different backgrounds and may even have different camping styles. But at the heart of it all, you’re united. 

It’s a very fulfilling feeling and a great opportunity to make friends while camping

Fleeting (Yet Meaningful) Friendships

Escape the Rat Race: How RV Retirement Changes Your Life Forever 3

When you join this amazing community, you may very well make new friendships that will last the rest of your life. That is a wonderful way RV retirement changes your life.

But there’s also another type of friendship we didn’t expect: a fleeting friendship. As you travel, you will encounter more new people you’ve ever met in your life on a different level.

Instead of passing by strangers in the rat race, you’ll have countless, fleeting interactions. These can range from a chat with a local waitress to a weekend campout with campsite neighbors you hit it off with.

Despite being fleeting, these friendships are meaningful and impactful in ways you won’t expect. These glimpses into other people’s lives enrich your journey and remind you of the beauty and depth of human connection.

You Rediscover YourSELF

Canon DSLR camera at Glaciier National Park
Part of my camera and vlogging gear from a few years back was this Canon 5D Mark111 with a 300 mm lens

Perhaps one of the most transformative aspects of RV retirement is the opportunity to rediscover oneself. You’re free from the constraints and expectations of the traditional working world and the responsibilities of taking care of others all the time.  

You have the chance to explore your passions, unique camping hobbies, and personal interests. Whether it's pursuing creative endeavors, engaging in outdoor activities, learning a new skill, or simply taking the time for self-reflection, you have the space and freedom to reconnect with your true self. 

You also have the chance to reinvent yourself, uncover hidden talents, and pursue lifelong dreams that may have been put on hold. RV retirement becomes a journey of self-discovery, empowering you to live an authentic, fulfilling life aligned with your personal aspirations.

Special Messages for RV Wives and RV Husbands…

Like what you see in these videos? We'd appreciate it if you would Subscribe to our YouTube Channel (easy to do right here) and consider “ringing the bell icon” to be notified of any new video from us. 🙂 Thanks!

Like what you see in these videos? We'd appreciate it if you would Subscribe to our YouTube Channel (easy to do right here) and consider “ringing the bell icon” to be notified of any new video from us. 🙂 Thanks!

In the above videos, we each address our fellow RV wives and RV husbands. We share our experiences and some tips for all who are new to RVing with a spouse.

Looking for an amazing place to visit? Explore our Adirondack Park and Finger Lakes RV Adventure Guide

Escape the Rat Race: How RV Retirement Changes Your Life Forever 4

New York's Adirondack Park is immense. In fact, it’s greater in size than Yellowstone, Everglades, Glacier, and Grand Canyon National Parks combined.

Created by New York in 1892, it is a constitutionally protected “Forever Wild” area and contains 85% of all wilderness in the eastern United States.

There are about 3,000 beautiful clean lakes in the region, surrounded by lush forests and dozens of small charming towns to visit.

This ebook is a seven day guided exploration of New York's Adirondack Park and Finger Lakes.

We provide a suggested route and itinerary, links to multiple campgrounds and boondocking spots, and the best spots to see along the way.

Don’t plan your trip to Upstate New York without it! 

Escape the Rat Race: How RV Retirement Changes Your Life Forever 5
Mike and Jennifer Wendland

Curious about the gear, gadgets, accessories, and RV products Mike & Jennifer use and recommend?

On this RV Lifestyle Travel blog, our RV Podcast and our RV Lifestyle YouTube Channel, we mention all sorts of RV-related products and gear that we use, So we created a special page that links to them. We update this all the time.  CLICK HERE to go to it directly. Have you caught one of our Amazon LIVE events yet? Just go here and Follow us – to be notified every time we go live.

Mike Wendland

Published on 2023-09-07

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

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