Three years ago today we handed the keys to our dream house over to the new owners. Three years! Let that sink in! We decided to take a leap of faith into the unknown, to live a life more intentional. I remember saying we’d make memories and mistakes, but I had no idea what was ahead of us.
One For All and All For One
When Justin and I first made the decision to sell it all and live and travel in our new home on wheels, we also made a deal with each other that this was a united decision. If ever one of us decided we’d had enough, there would be no questions, no regrets, and no ridicule. We would move forward with our next chapter, wherever that took us. Relationship first! Always! And that is why we can live in 39 feet together. Happy.
Exploring Every State
Today as I write this, I was looking back at the things we’ve done, and the places we’ve gone. By the end of this summer, we will have explored every state in the lower 48. But we’ve barely scratched the surface of this incredible country. There have only been a small handful of places that we’ve felt we completed everything we wanted to do and see. Every other adventure we’ve gone on, has left us with a longer list of things to do when we go back. And then there are the most amazing places we vow to go back to because they were just that spectacular.
Community, Friends, and Road Family.
What we didn’t expect living full time on the road was how much our road family would become such a big part of our life. We joined the Xscapers in 2017 and went to our first convergence. Through that, and many other gatherings we have met life long friends. But they are more than that. When you live and travel on the road, you find your road family. The ones who would drop everything to come help if it were needed. The ones who are quick to offer up valuable information, tools and lend a helping hand in every situation. The United States is so big and so vast, but there is always an Xscaper near by. I’ve never been part of such an amazing community of people. We accept and love everyone. What a beautiful road family to belong to.
I have no doubt we’d still be on the road had we not joined the Xscapers, but being part of this incredible group of people has made us better, stronger individuals. The priceless memories are just that much sweeter with friends by your side. If you want more information about the Xscapers, click here! If you join, and you’d like to give us credit for referring you, please click here. We thank you!!
What’s our favorite place?
We get asked this at least once a week. We can never pick! We’ve grown from each and every experience. Each place has changed us and taught us something valuable that we didn’t know. So every time we are asked, we say “the place we are at the moment”. Want to see our entire 2019 travel map? Click here!
Advice – Our 15 tips!
What advice do we have for someone who is about ready to take off on their own RV journey?
- Think of everything as an adventure. Even the bad. When Justin and I run into a stressful situation (something major breaks, or some unforeseen issue comes up), that is seriously when we are at our best. Both of us speak a little quieter. We are a little more patient. And even though it’s never been discussed, we each have a role we proceed forward to fix the situation.
- Make a realistic budget. Your budget is not my budget. There is no-one who can tell you how much it costs to live full time in an RV. We can share our budget with you, but it’s not going to be the same as yours. What are your needs, and wants? They will not be the same as mine. So make a real, honest budget before the launch date. We find it most sad when people think they will save money living in an RV but refuse to change how they live. If you’re broke and can’t pay your bills in a house, then you’ll be broke and can’t pay your bills in an RV. It’s as simple as that. Click here to see our blog post on our yearly expenses.
- Don’t do it alone! Have a network of friends and family. Justin and I are best friends. We enjoy spending every moment of every day together. It’s what makes this tiny living possible. But it’s also really comforting knowing that there are others out there who are checking on you, encouraging you, helping you, and loving you. The great thing about our friends is there are no expectations. Just acceptance, love, and understanding. So join a group of your choice. But join something! Step out of your comfort zone just once, and see how incredible a road family can be.
- Don’t get discouraged. If things don’t live up to your expectations, re-group, lower your expectations, and keep going. Remember that your life is what you make it. Life is still life. Things still break. You’ll still cry. And it’s ok. Tomorrow is never promised so don’t waste time being mad or upset at things you can’t change. Make the best of each day and stay positive.
- Be flexible. Be flexible and … yep … be flexible. How many times have Justin and I been on a path to somewhere, and in a 10-minute dinner conversation, we change the whole plan? A lot!!! Weather, friends, grand baby’s being born … life changes. Just roll with it!
- Eat when you’re hungry, sleep when you’re tired. It really is as simple as that!
- Buy an RV where you can access the bathroom without the slides coming out. Ask us how we know!
- Always find the good. Yes, sometimes things don’t work out the way you imagined. Or a trip turns into a complete washout of a day. Find something good! Even if you have to search hard for it. It’s still a memory worth having, and an experience worth sharing with others. I promise those bad days will come up in conversation down the road which starts with “remember that time … “. You might even smile about it!
- There are no rules! You get to choose where you go, what you eat, and you don’t even have to take your vitamins if you don’t want to. That’s freedom! True freedom! Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. I promise no-one died from eating dessert before dinner! Try it! It’s kind of fun!
- If you’re buying a used RV, get an outside inspection. Worth the money! Think about it. When you bought a house, didn’t you get an inspection done?
- Know all you can about how your RV and RV systems work before you take off on your journey. I (Stacy) am the first one to admit I struggle with that, but it’s more because Justin is so awesome and so mechanically inclined. Not an excuse! Just my reality! But one of you (or if you’re alone, then YOU) should know how things work and have basic skills to fix small problems.
- Don’t ever become so experienced that you think a newbie asks dumb questions. I say that because recently I was shammed for asking a question in a forum about a topic I was trying to gather information on, and realized just how mean people can be. I was actually shocked! And quietly left. I had not run across that in such a long time, that I let it really affect me more than it should have. I’m always so helpful, and no question is ever wrong, that I was really thrown off guard. Everyone starts somewhere. Be helpful. Be an adult. Be kind. You never know how your kindness could really help someone. Remember that everyone, even you, started somewhere. An amazing great friend of mine once said “If you don’t ask, the answer is always no”. (Thank you, Pam Santana! From Santana RVing)
- Not everyone is your friend. And that’s ok. Find your friends, and cherish them. And not every friendship will work out. Remember, this is still a normal life.
- If it doesn’t work out, it’s ok. You didn’t fail! You only would have failed if you hadn’t tried. I hope for the time you were on the road, that you learned about yourself, that you experienced some amazing things, and above all that you had fun. Never regret that, no matter how it ends.
- Be happy! Just be happy! If you’re not happy, either find a way to change that while still doing what you’re doing, or find your plan B!
We can honestly say we’re not done exploring, traveling, learning and experiencing. But if something happened and tomorrow I had to get off the road, it’s been an incredible and fantastic life. I’ve lived a whole lifetime in 3 years. We live in such a beautiful country.
Here are some recent blog posts we think you’d love!
- The Best 30 RV Hacks
- What to do With Your Photos When Downsizing
- RV Solar – Picking The Right Batteries
As always — Live Simply, Give More, Expect Less!
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