You can’t wait for the latest RV and travel magazines to reach your mailbox every month. You spend several hours reading the stories of other people that made their dream come true.
So, what is keeping you from realizing your own dream. Too many financial responsibilities, fear that you won’t like living in a small box on wheels, worried about how your extended family could possibly survive without you, afraid of losing friends and feeling isolated, still have children in school…did I miss anything?
Making the decision to follow that dream seems to be the difficult part of getting started down the path to fulfillment. Here are five basic tips that can help with the reality check:
1. Sell the house and buy a quality used motorhome (if you really want to travel) or a fifth-wheel/truck combination if you are thinking several months in one location. If you are concerned that you may not like the RV lifestyle, lease your house instead of selling.
2. Take the money from the house sale (or rental income), the furniture sale, the gardening tool sale, the workshop sale, the extra toys sale, the clothing sale, and put it in a bank that has national branches. This allows you walk-in access for cash just about anywhere you roam. Of course your ATM card always gives you access and those machines are everywhere.
3. Handle the responsibilities issue. This turns out to be the easiest part of the decision-making process.
…Go down the street to The UPS store and open a mailbox. They charge an annual fee for the box but send your mail anywhere for the cost of postage. There are many options for this type of service including the Escapees (a support group for RVers).
…Sign up for automatic payment on all your bills. If you have several old fashioned vendors that still send you a bill and expect a check in return, there are several options available. Check your bank first. These companies pay those bills for you right out of your checking account, free.
…Get your paperwork in order. Create a will, make a health directive from the many online forms available, and get a passport in case you want to wander into Mexico for the winter.
…Announce your independence to the family and give them a copy of the your completed paperwork. Amazing how quickly you find out that your family really does not depend on you after all. Sure, some family members appear shocked and critical, but over all they understand your need to live a full life. Show them a few photos of your RV, or invite them to visit you, and their fears about your mental state disappear.
4. There are so many opportunities to share your life with others. Because you carry your home with you, many opportunities around the country open and allow you to join in.
…Thousands of RVers work together around the country building homes, providing shelter, ending poverty, educating and training young and old alike to become independent. The most important element is expanding their own lives while enjoying the traveling lifestyle.
…On the recreation side, the National Park system, always on the lookout for RVers, hires you to live and work seasonally within the park system. Become a docent, park host, hiking guide, or any of the dozens of opportunities to live free in exchange for volunteer efforts. Plenty of playtime left over for you to explore all the natural wonders that abound in our National parks.
…Commercial RV parks are also competing for the RV workforce. Expect an hourly wage plus an RV site with utilities. At the top of the earning scale around $3000 a month — the seasonal park manager. At the other end of the earning scale expect around $8 an hour.
5. If you still have children at home, take them with you. The more public schools decline the more support systems mushroom for homeschooling. You can create the curriculum yourself or buy a complete system. Testing is done online or by mail. Most colleges and universities now accept homeschooling credits. There are hundreds of online forums just waiting to answer any question you have.
So…do you see yourself already out there, swimming in lakes, oceans or pools; fishing for bass, catfish, or marlin; and boating along coastal shores or in peaceful lakes. You could be golfing on some of the finest courses in the country; playing tennis day or night; or dancing the night (or day) away. Maybe you would be satisfied just to learn something new every day.