I grew up very much a tomboy and loved anything that had to do with being outside. Somewhere between childhood and all grown-up, my day-to-day has been spent mostly inside. I still love the outside but spending time in nature has become a treat or exception to my normal. Why did I allow that to happen?
Two years ago, for my 50th birthday, I wanted my gift to be a weekend with the family, “pretend” camping at a nearby state park. I reserved a spot at Greenbrier State Park, we packed WAY more than we needed and headed out to enjoy time with nature and each other. I call it “pretend” because we only had one tent, two hammocks, and no sleeping bags. Sleeping overnight was not an option for my city-raised husband.
We walked trails, got dinner from the local Sheetz like real campers (it was my birthday, people, and cooking requires clean-up) and played Spades until dark. You never really know true darkness until you are in the middle of a state park at midnight – it is a bit terrifying to say the least. I felt certain that there were bears standing right behind me the entire card game.
There park was full of all kinds of camping homes! Big ones that drive, ones that were towed with trucks, tents, vans, it was an amazing sight to behold. We were walking into a way of living we had never thought much about before that day. Everyone waived like we were old friends, looking nothing like the stereotype of a camper. Our family left that night uplifted from the experience, definitely wanting to do it again often, yet we never ended up camping again. Instead, our conversations began to turn into “what if’s” about the possibilities of living a different way; living smaller and mobile. You know how we all have the lottery conversation from time to time? Like what would you do if you won a million dollars? The discussions were similar but along the lines of what would that life look like on us.
Those talks led to watching youtube videos of families who made the transition to RV life full-time. Did you even know it was a thing because I did not? We checked out Heath & Alyssa, Keep Your Day Dream and Marc & Julie Bennett for starters and must have watched hundreds of videos over the months ahead. The idea began to take hold in our hearts and minds and continued to grow. The ultimate wowzer was the cost of living for the nomad lifestyle compared to our current living costs. We were already too familiar with living paycheck to paycheck, yet if we chose this mobile way of life our income would feel like it multiplied times three! Oh yeah, that realization alone had our heads spinning with possibilities!
With two RV dealers near us, we began to shop for the perfect home and that is a blog post for a later time…there were so many choices, do’s and don’ts about what to buy and what NOT to buy. ‘Overwhelming’ does not quite capture the huge-ness of this endeavor. In the end we made a number of decisions that felt right for us and really felt the hand of God leading us exactly where we needed to look for our first-time RV.
Almost a month in, it is still too early to know if we have made the right choice. But as I am typing this post on my laptop, sitting outside with more trees than I could count, the tom-boy in me is about to come out and play again. TODAY I know I have made the right choice. Except I will definitely need a different shoe-game for this reality; flip flops are just NOT gonna work for climbing trees.