As I write from the comfort of my mobile office while boondocking on BLM land that’s far from other humans, cell towers and asphalt, I can’t help but wonder:
What did those pioneering full-time RVers of yesterday do without the technology we have today?
- How did full-timers know what kind of weather was ahead?
- What did they do to find work on the road?
- How could they cash checks and pay bills?
- What did they do without Campground Reviews left by fellow travelers?
We are so used to accessing information whenever we want it and I was reminded of this modern miracle last week when we had to put our new satellite Internet dish down because of severe winds brought on by a winter storm.
Early full-timers were way tougher than us!
Once the dish was stowed, we had no idea how bad the situation could get because we are so far from civilization that we can’t even pick up NOAA weather radio on our walkie talkies. When that storm hit it was just us, the land and the dark sky above with no hints as to when it would end. Without being able to access information for nearly 48 hours, I’d never felt smaller and more insignificant in my life.
The technological advances that allowed my husband and I to hit the road in our 30s are so much a part of life today. Whenever I consider what full-timing was like before these inventions, I’m in awe of the courage it took to be one of the earliest full-time RVers. To hit the road and not have an inkling on what might be coming up around the bend took a lot of bravado!
I like to think of myself as having an adventurous spirit but those early full-timing pioneers had way more than me.
I’m thankful for tech, but I’m old enough to remember what life was like before the Internet and not a day goes by when I don’t think about how life was easier without things like social media or 24/7 business hours. The Internet has caused Jim and I to work more hours than ever before and when it all gets to be too much, we joke that we’d rather be digging a ditch (this is part of why we return to a dude ranch workamping job every summer).
You’ll be thankful when you hit the road.
Yet, I’m really thankful for the way technology has pushed us further in our endeavors because without it I couldn’t be living this awesome life out here on the range. I just can’t imagine waiting another 20 years do live in far-away places like this. We aren’t waiting until “someday.” We aren’t going to be that guy who retires with a full-timing dream but keels over the day after he leaves the office for the last time.
If you have the slightest inkling of making this a lifestyle of your own, I encourage you to do it. Don’t listen to people who think you’re crazy, pave your own road and find out for yourself if it’s the kind of life you want to live. It’s not for everyone but you’ll never know if it’s right for you unless you make the leap and get on the road. With modern technology that allows you to research, plan and wisely prepare for it, you’ll be thankful you did. I know we are.
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Rene Agredano and her husband, Jim Nelson, became full-time RVers in 2007 and have been touring the country ever since. In her blog, Rene chronicles the ins and outs of the full-timing life and brings readers along to meet the fascinating people and amazing places they visit on the road. Her road trip adventures are chronicled in her blog at LiveWorkDream.com.