If you’re not retired and want to become a full-time RVer, earning a living is going to be your biggest hurdle to a successful life on the road.
But if you have these characteristics:
. . . you have what it takes to enjoy many years of richly-rewarding travel. In my eight years as a working-age, young full-timer, here’s what I’ve learned about each of those characteristics:
Being creative on the road means finding multiple ways of bringing in money. Even if you specialize in one type of job or work skill that you’ve honed for years, you must always strive to expand your repertoire and learn how to do other things that can earn money. As many people discovered during the Great Recession, no industry is layoff-proof. If you lose income from doing your one skill, what will you do? Don’t wait: take stock of things you’re passionate about and ask yourself, “How can I use my interests to bring in money?” Focus on building your interests into other income sources, even if you already have a regular location-independent job with a remote employer.
As humans we can be so complacent when times are good. But don’t get too used to making money from the one thing you know how to do best – the minute you become too dependent on that income source is the minute Murphy’s Law will pull it out from under you. From workamping to dog walking, learn how to be ready to try something new and don’t rule anything out until you’ve tried it.
Be adaptable and find ways to move between working on multiple income sources that can bring in money.
Whatever kind of work you do on the road, commit to sticking to a daily work schedule, regular task and goal list and remember – you’re not on vacation. As tempting as it is to blow off work because your office view is a spectacular national park or other oasis, you won’t get to work from those locations for very long if you’re broke. With trial and error, you’ll find the right balance of work/life that can keep your customers, clients and your bank account happy. Sometimes you’ll need to work longer days than others, and that’s where the adaptability character trait works in your favor. Stay focused on maintaining the big picture and you’ll get though those extra-long workdays that give you the means to enjoy the fabulous full-timing lifestyle.
Being persistent about making money will keep food on the table and create the life you want. Whether persistence means beating on doors to find a new customer or sticking to a daily practice of your new income-generating skill, developing the persistence habit will keep the money rolling in.
As you can see, living as a younger full-time RVer isn’t the easiest path, but in my opinion practicing these habits allows you to enjoy an independent, freeing lifestyle that most people only dream about.
Through the years I’ve seen many full-time RVers who don’t have these character traits, and I’ve watched them struggle when their main income source wanes. Some have even stopped full-timing because of this. Don’t let it happen to you: read business and self-help books that can teach you how to develop these habits and maintain multiple income streams and you can support an awesome full-timing lifestyle years before your sixty-something year old peers are drawing from their retirement accounts.
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.