Archive for the “Quality of Life” Category
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After living this lifestyle for a while, it becomes obvious to your closest friends and family that you are no longer “on vacation.” That’s when your choice to live away from the mainstream can make you somewhat of a curious oddity to people who live the traditional life that you left behind.
If you’re new to full-time RVing or just thinking about it, I encourage you to come up with a 30 second comeback for strangers who ask the inevitable question: “So, where do you live?”
Having your comeback ready can quickly weed out the exciting conversations from the snoozers.
We don’t really live in one place
Last weekend I had the pleasure of meeting a highly successful local entrepreneur. Upon meeting him, he asked me the usual “So where do you live?” question that newly introduced usually strangers ask each other.
“Well, that’s a long story, but basically I live and work from my RV.
My husband and I are full-time RVers. We don’t really live in one place. We’re just visiting my family right now.”
A long pause hung in the air as he squinted at me, trying to process what I just said. I could see a big question mark lingering over his head and almost hear him wondering “Is she saying she’s homeless? A hobo? Huh?”
“What, are you retired?” he said, and laughed out loud.
“No,” I said smiling. “We do work, we just do it from wherever we want, in our RV.”
He shook his head, still not really grasping what I was saying. It was as if the thought of doing anything other than running the rat race never even occurred to him.
“Oh, that’s cool,” he said. No questions asked and our conversation pretty much died there.
Later that evening at a charity event, I sat next to a freelance artist in the L.A. film industry. When he found out about our full-time RVer lifestyle, his eyes lit up.
“Oh wow! My girlfriend and I have talked about doing that when we retire!” he said.
“Why wait until you retire?” I asked, and proceeded to explain to him how he could live this lifestyle, now. He proceeded to ask me dozens of questions about full-timing, and we had a nice conversation about the benefits of living on the road.
That’s when it occurred to me: the people who question everything in life will reap the biggest benefits from the experience of being alive. No amount of money or career success can do this for people; fulfillment and happiness results from your inner desire to inquire, to be bold and take action by coloring outside the lines.
Never stop questioning and you never stop living.
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I may have bored readers with previous posts about my personal path to enlightenment, but after finally finishing A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, I just had to share a few more meaningful musings.
In all honesty, after enjoying The Power of Now, I found A New Earth to read almost like a textbook at first. And I kinda felt like the spiritual master was preaching to the choir as I read. But I kept on keepin’ on and was glad I did.
As I got deeper into the book, a number of messages emerged, and a few fun parables stuck a chord that should ring true with anyone who lives a life of adventure on the open road.
The first was this simple lesson about the importance of acceptance…
“Accepting means you allow yourself to feel whatever it is you are feeling at the moment. It is part of the is-ness of the Now. You can’t argue with what is. Well, you can, but if you do you suffer.”
Anyone who has ever had trouble parking the rig, push-started a motorcycle in 124° heat, or struggled with some disgusting RV duty has much to learn from these words of wisdom. Later in the book, Tolle explains that you don’t have to enjoy what may be happening to you at any given moment, but you must accept it. Otherwise you are not taking responsibility for your own state of consciousness, and therefore your life is out of your hands.
Next time you feel things have gone awry, take responsibility for your life and accept that whatever is. You don’t have to enjoy it, but it does help to smile.
Re-frame Your Fear
All full-timers are intimately familiar with uncertainty. In fact, I would venture to say most of us relish it. Not knowing the unknown is why many of us enjoy this adventurous lifestyle so much. For anyone allowing the false security of their current situation to keep them from following their own road trip dream, I give you the words of a Roman philosopher…
“The Desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise.”
Tolle refers to this quote when describing the importance of being able to live with uncertainty, and yes, even enjoy it…
When you become comfortable with uncertainty, infinite possibilities open up in your life. It means fear is no longer a dominant factor in what you do, and no longer prevents you from taking action to initiate change.
In other words, when you do not accept uncertainty, it turns into fear. Once you accept it, uncertainty will fill your life with alertness and creativity.
The journey is the destination.
Here’s another Tolle truth that applies to any adventurous lifestyle…
“…the end and the means are one. And if the means did not contribute to human happiness, neither will the end.”
In discussing how to find your “inner purpose” he describes the common misconception that success is a future event. But any outcome is inseparable from the actions that led to it. So enjoy the ride!
Wake up and do it.
Tolle describes “awakened doing” as the alignment of your outer purpose (what you do) with your inner purpose, which is to remain awake and present.
Not what you do, but how you do what you do determines whether you are fulfilling your destiny.
How you do what you do is determined by your state of consciousness. See that bit about re-framing your fear above. So in any situation you face, or whatever it is you do, make your state of consciousness the primary factor. The situation is secondary. In other words, lighten up and roll right along with those bumps in the road.
So what is your purpose? I realize mine is to be happy, and to help others discover how they can live a happier, more rewarding life. Interested? Let’s talk!
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Unlike many things in life, Jim and I found that RV road tripping is all that it’s cracked up to be (for us, anyhow). On this Thanksgiving holiday, here are a few RV-related things we are thankful for. Now, if you’re a RVer, what are you thankful for?
RVers are Thankful For:
Adventure. From far-reaching corners of North America, like Big Bend National Park to the coast of Maine, traveling by RV allows us to see so much more of this country than we ever thought possible.
Escapees Days End Directory. One way we can afford to live this lifestyle is by finding free camping spots. Our preferred method: this $10 Days End Directory that you can only get through Escapees. We’ve literally saved hundreds of dollars with this guide.
Experience. Each year our lives become richer because of everything we experience on the road. It’s not always perfect, but even when things have sucked, we learned better ways to handle adversity. When you live in 200 square feet, you’re forced to roll with the punches instead of punching each other out!
Freedom. We live life on our terms, outside of the box and far away from mainstream ideas about how adults are “supposed” to live their lives. We are grateful for the freedom to choose this path.
Free Public Lands. The West is definitely the best when it comes to free camping in America. With so much free camping to choose from, you could spend a lifetime boondocking west of the Mississippi and not camp in the same spot twice.
Friendship. RVers really are some of the nicest, most social people around! We’ve met more people since hitting the road than we ever did by living in one spot, and most of them have been great. It’s so much fun to randomly meet members of your own tribe when you’re traveling.
Internet Connectivity. With the Internet available anywhere you go (especially if you have a Motosat dish), your office view can change every day when you make a living on the road.
Pull-Thru Campsites. Our little 24′ fifth wheel can fit just about anywhere, but let’s face it, pull-throughs are so much easier to park in, especially after a long day on the road.
Being Debt Free. Everything we enjoy about living on the road wouldn’t be possible without a simple, debt-free RVing lifestyle.
Staying out of debt gives us the fearlessness we need to explore new ways of making a living, like our newest business venture that we’re so crazy about!
Tomorrow as we sit down to dinner in Austin with our RVing friends, we’ll raise a glass to these perks of living the road tripping lifestyle. Now, what will you toast to on Thanksgiving?
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At the risk of offending anyone about what they drink, life is simply too short to drink cheap liquor.
I’ve never liked gin. And tonic water is just nasty. But I discovered long ago that something magical happens when you mix the two and add just the right squeeze of lime.
At some point I learned that Beefeater and the like belong only in the well of a cozy dive bar.
Tanqueray became the gin of choice. Then Christopher turned me on to Bombay and I never looked back. Thanks to the liquor guy at Wilbur’s, Hendricks is now the top shelf gin of choice. And with its sturdy compact bottle, it travels well too!
Debating over the cost of Sapphire at Wilbur’s one day, a clerk noticed us spying the unique Hendricks bottle. He explained the new microdistillery craze and described how Hendricks is handcrafted in small batches, goes down smooth with much less botanical complexity and is great with key limes, or cucumber. How could we resist?
I gave the cucumber a try, but as refreshing as it was, I’ll have to pass. The key limes, however – with Hendricks and brand name tonic over ice – redefine freshness, and they take up less room too! Go ahead, call me a mixer snob too. But it’s true, generic tonic water simply does not do good gin justice.
“Small Batch” distillation typically yields 1,000 or fewer liters. Hendricks is distilled with two distinct spirits in 450 litre batches and infused with rose and cucumber.
What’s your favorite RVer cocktail? Republic Texas Tea perhaps? Or maybe a Nü Hawaiian? When we hit the road we usually limit the cabinet to one concoction at a time. This season, Hendricks should fit nicely under the couch. And it’s best we do not leave the tonic at home!
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Two years ago this month, we found our place in paradise at Red Feather Lakes.
After searching the country to find Jerry’s Acres, we landed in a place we had passed three times in our travels.
Not once did we realize that paradise awaited deep in the Mummy Range on the way to Walden.
If it wasn’t for the relatively affordable land for sale and our awesome realtors Mike and Marie Edwards, we never would have guessed that everything we were looking for was just an hour from what we think is the best small city in the nation, Fort Collins.
The Honeymoon’s Not Over
When you’re in a spot for a while, those little annoyances you didn’t see upon your arrival tend to make their debut. But not here, not for us.
Sure, there’s the pine beetle epidemic that’s killed quite a few magnificent trees, but we can’t control what the beetles do (thank you, climate change), only try our best to shoo them off with pheromones and natural tree fertilizers.
Sometimes this place does cost more than if we were still fulltime RVers. And while I don’t like the financial burdens of having a piece of the American Dream, I keep reminding myself that ultimately our little place will serve us even better than it does now.
Property values actually increased this year up here, which was a shock. Still, we felt incredibly fortunate to have been in that boat, even if our taxes went up.
Where to Next?
If we stayed here during winter, I think my complaint list would grow.
But we’ll still fly south in winter for the forseeable future. Just as we start to get fat, happy and settled into routines, it’ll be time to go test our wits out there in the world and live spontaneously once again.
We love Red Feather Lakes. And although it’s nice to have a beautiful place to stay for a while, the adventure of the road tripping lifestyle will always beckon.
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