A growing number of retirees are selling their homes, dumping their possessions and hitting the road full time, according to a recent report in the New York Times. But, as regular readers of our monthly column, “On the Road for Good,” know, you don’t have to wait for retirement to make that move.
Columnist Rene Agredano was still in her 30s in 2007 when she and her husband opted to become full-time RVers. Rene has chronicled that experience in her monthly column for RV Life, on her website at LiveWorkDream.com and in her weekly blog, “The Full-Timing Nomad” at rvlife.com.
Rene is an enthusiastic advocate of full-time RVing, but she also paints a realistic picture of that life, writing about its challenges as well as its pleasures. There are tradeoffs. As she wrote recently on one of her blog entries, when you become a full-time RVer “you might miss many of the hobbies and activities that made you happy when you lived in a sticks-and-bricks house. I miss being able to maintain a garden, or having enough space to showcase flea market finds. But once I remind myself about the costs and hassles associated with having a big house and yard, I come back down to earth and remember why I love full-timing.”
If you are a full-time RVer, contemplate becoming one, or take extended RV trips, you will find valuable information and enjoyable reading by logging onto rvlife.com, clicking on “Blogs” and opening “The Full-Timing Nomad.” Here is a recent post that offers an insightful peek at the lifestyle:
The Full-Timing Nomad: Workamping Reflections
By Rene Agredano
Many places on the full-timing highway earn a special place in your heart, and some you’ll never want to go near again. A handful will escape from memory as soon as you leave but a few you’ll want to return to over and over. For us, that place has been a Colorado dude ranch that we found because we were foolish enough to answer a vague Workamper News job listing that went something like this:
Wanted: Work in paradise at Vickers Ranch in Lake City, Colorado. Great scenery, good people, hard work. Needed May–September.
Without knowing much about Lake City, the business or the actual work we might be doing, we took a leap of faith and drove straight into a job and a hard-working frontier family who would touch our lives in so many unforgettable ways. Since 2008 we’ve returned to Vickers Ranch as summer Workampers where we’ve done everything from craft fireplace mantles from hand-milled wood, to answering phones, to splitting logs and cleaning cabins. We’ve picked up tons of skills along the way and while the work can be exhausting and our feet always hurt at the end of the day, each year we’ve returned because of the one-of-a-kind, generous people who have kept this business thriving since 1929.
This summer was just as exciting as the others, but sadly, tomorrow marks a bittersweet occasion in our Workamping jobs at Vickers: early in the morning we’ll hitch up and pull away for the very last time. As difficult as it was to make this decision, the moment is finally here and now we must commit 100 percent of our efforts to nurturing our own growing business endeavors that need our attention all year long, not just during winter.
The first day of September will mark the beginning of a brand-new chapter in our lives, one without a summer job income that we’ve gotten used to earning through the years. And while it’s a little scary to walk away from that sure thing, it’s no more nerve-wracking than that day in June 2007 when we pulled away from the curb in Eureka, California, and rolled into a new full-timing adventure that would become our permanent lifestyle.
This way of life presents dozens of new opportunities that can shape your future in so many positive ways. We never would have guessed that two low-paying dude ranch jobs would bring us so many rich rewards through the years, but that’s what’s so fun about living a life rich with spontaneous opportunities at every turn. Instead of staying in one place, sleepwalking through the same routines, working at the same job and being surrounded by the same people, each new day is an opportunity for creating an entirely different life just as you envision it.
If you’ve been dreaming about hitting the road but have been too afraid to do it, don’t let your fears or naysayers stop you from listening to your heart. Be smart about it of course: do your research, talk to others and follow that dream before it’s too late. You’ll be glad you did!