Last Week we attend an RV show in Austin with friends. As is our style with this couple we both went our separate ways and planned to meet for lunch. I made a bee line for the Mobile Suites and Landmark’s where we encountered a couple who were just beginning to ponder giving up their sticks and bricks for a full-time lifestyle.As we chatted with this delightful couple we started to recount the many joys of our lifestyle and in doing so we also reminded ourselves of why we are living it. We shared the challenges also and what we believe was the key to our easy transition into full-timing.
Some of the challenges I believe all full-timers face are:
A disconnect from our church body and the relationships left behind. (Yes, there are weekly phone calls and Facebook but nothing takes the place of real time hugs & prayers shared)The same concerning separation from family.
It’s hard to get a new credit card or car loan without a permanent address.
I can’t think of any more.
We talked about how to scan pictures onto DVD’s and flash drives for safe keeping and giving the photos to family. (Steve and I have our photos on a constant slide show on our TV so we review our memories all the time. They never get old.) We shared how long it took to divest ourselves of 45 years of accumulated stuff and why we choose not to pay for storage but rather to give our “treasures” to family now, rather than in a will later.We also talked about the wonders we have seen on our five-year journey. Glaciers calving, giant redwoods, whales spouting, Death Valley, Bridal Vail Falls, Mt. Rushmore and more new friends in more new places than may be recounted in this space.One question we are asked almost always is “What is your favorite place?” We honestly cannot answer that one. WE LOVE Yellowstone National Park, but we feel the same about Alaska and Monterey Bay in California and La Conner, Washington. When you have the freedom to travel to all these beautiful places and the ability to stay more than a day or two you can really see them and get to know the area. For example: There is a Veteran’s museum in Chehalis, Washington that has a quilt that is almost a half a football field long made of service patches. Without a full-timing lifestyle we never would have had the time to discover this gem. The reality for us is our “favorites” are tied to the friendships made in that location.
We shared our story of the couple who changed their travel plans to take care of us during our cancer treatments. The Duran’s have become lifelong friends. We met at the laundry at the RV Park and played cards that night. They knew us for less than two weeks when they made the commitment to take care of virtual strangers.
These are our stories, but they are not uncommon. The full-timing lifestyle is rich in friendship, shared experiences, great food and wonderful stories. What is not to Love?
Our new friends from the show? They retire next year and hope to see us on the road.