The decision itself was intimidating, and the steps we had to take to reach our goal were extensive, but in the end, it was all worth it.
Below are our ten reasons that you should cast off the drudgery of your 9-5 job and travel full-time in a recreational vehicle.
We purchased a one-year-old travel trailer from a private seller. It was in like new condition, so we had no necessary renovation work up front. Compare that to our apartment in Houston. From May, 2015, to April, 2016, we spent over $22,000 on rent, plus another $200-$230 per month for utilities. In just four months of living in our RV, the RV had more than paid for itself.
Since moving into our travel trailer four and a half months ago, we have caught up on two seasons of Bob's Burgers, watched scads of movies, taken numerous walks through various parks, and read a dozen books, with one more nearly finished. We have written and posted six new blog articles and taken thousands of travel and nature photos.
When we started thinking about what we needed to keep and what we could get rid of, we made a list of items we knew we needed. Then we started hacking away at our seemingly innumerable amount of clothes. We purged everything that didn't fit. The following week we went through again and eradicated anything we had very similar duplicates of, choosing the one that fit best or was most versatile. After a couple weeks, we invaded the closet again and wiped out a third round of clothing, this time focusing on keeping just enough to get us through a week of regular use for each season.
When we had finally cleansed ourselves of all non-essentials, we loaded up the Expedition to deliver everything to the Salvation Army. Four truckloads later, we had reduced our possessions to what would fit in our 17 feet of travel trailer interior, plus a storage unit for keepsakes and a few pieces of large furniture, which we still need to deal with when we get back to Houston.
The other side of minimalist living is not focusing on things at all, but on the people in our lives, which leads me to the next couple reasons you should move into an RV.
We take workamping jobs along the way, but we were still able to spend Christmas in Mississippi with Marvin's family and then New Year's in Pennsylvania with my family. In May we'll fly down to Florida to visit my brother, sister-in-law, and nephew. In July we will spend time with both of our families before we head to Canada for a month or so.
We have met couples from all over the country. Some live in their RVs full-time, year-round; others live in their RVs seasonally. Most are older couples; some are younger. Some travel with their kids; others with their pets; and some by themselves. Although each story is different, we are all connected by that desire to see more of the world than the town we grew up in.
For me, working with Marvin makes work seem much less like work, and much more like hanging out with my best friend while I occasionally sell Christmas trees or check in a truck entering the gate. And when we aren't working, we get to do all the things we love to do together!
We have observed glorious sunrises, beheld magnificent sunsets, strolled outside on bright sunny days, and laid in bed thinking the wind would surely blow our little camper over. Learning to bask in the delightful days and overcome the troublesome ones encompasses much of what makes RV living so attractive to us. Taking the bad weather with the good makes us stronger and forces us to gain new knowledge and to rely on each other even more.
Our list of places to visit across the US grows on an almost daily basis. We have explored downtown Memphis, as well as a small suburb outside Memphis. We have re-visited places around our childhood homes. And we are currently probing the small towns of South Texas. Our plans for the year include driving over to Mississippi and up to Pennsylvania, stopping along the way. Then from Pennsylvania, we hope to travel around the Eastern side of Lake Erie, making our way around the Canadian side of Lake Erie, part of Lake Ontario, Lake Huron, and Lake Superior. After a brief stint in Canada, we hope to continue down the Western sides of Lakes Superior and Michigan as we make our way back to Texas. Along the way, we hope to visit capital cities and small towns, little known wonders and major tourist destinations.
We'll be taking advantage of our mobility when we fly from Houston to Tampa and then on to Cuba in May, and when we catch a bus to Monterrey, Mexico, toward the end of the year. And who knows what other irresistible airfare deals will pop up before the year is out?
Summers in South Texas involve blistering heat and endless dust, so we will be spending July and August in the North. But you can bet your bottom dollar we'll be back in the South before the snow starts to fly!
Thinking about making this change in your life and have questions? We're here to help!