When you dream of hitting the road for good, do you have visions of enjoying nightly campfire chats with fellow full-timers? We sure did. But when we kicked off our full-timing journey and started staying in campgrounds, we quickly discovered that our fantasies of RVer camaraderie didn’t always match up with the reality.
Take an evening walk around any busy RV park, and you’ll see the blue glow of television and computer screens emitting from the windows of neighboring rigs. Whether it’s the coldest night of the season or the hottest day of the year, you’ll probably discover that the majority of RVing neighbors are inside their rig instead of hanging out around the fire ring. Usually about the only people you’ll see outside on a regular basis are kids, or campers like us who are outside walking the dogs.
I often wondered about the irony of how RVers are spending so much time indoors, which seems like the antithesis of what this lifestyle is all about. Then one day an old-timer RVer explained it to me in black and white. “It’s the Internet, and satellite TV,” she said. “RVers used to be outside all the time, but now that everyone can take the web and TV with them, they’re all staying indoors.”
My RVing friend hit it on the head: with a few exceptions, over the last few years more and more RVers are starting to stay inside where they can sit in cozy chairs surrounded by movies, satellite TV and the Internet. The thing is, I can’t blame them one bit; it’s great to be able to bring the best of stationery life with us! And Jim and I couldn’t be full-timers without it; after all, we make our living online.
Like many other RVers, Jim and I are spending less time outside since our income pursuits are now 24/7 thanks to our constant satellite Internet connection. Instead of gathering around the campfire, we’re often holed up in our rig, just like we did when we had a regular, stationary life. Lately I’ve been thinking about how we can change this bad habit of ours, so that we can live the dream. I want to learn from more experienced RVers and make new real-life traveling buddies instead of just virtual Facebook friends.
What it comes down to is this: changing our bad habit of staying indoors starts with just one step. From here on out we’re going to set aside one hour each day to walk away from our computers (we don’t have a TV) and make a conscious choice to go outside so we can get to know our neighbors.
The Escapees RV Club created these “Friendship Hour” invitations on sticky pads that I think we’ll finally use, just to see who shows up. Even if we don’t become the best of friends with our RV park campers, at least we have one more experience of meeting new people, which all add up to creating one fantastic full-timing adventure.