As full-time RVers, one of the most common questions we get asked is, “Where are you from?” Each time this inevitable conversation happens, Jim and I look at each other and simultaneously respond: “That’s a long story. How much time do you have?”
People like labels. Putting things into categories just makes life easier, but when it comes to the full-timing lifestyle for folks like us, labels don’t always cut it because of the fluid nature of our lifestyle. We work full-time but we always appear to be “on vacation.” We are old enough to walk into a bar without getting carded, but not old enough to stay in 55-and-over RV parks. We’re middle-aged “Tweens”!
For example, Jim and I are full-time RVers most of the time but is it right to pigeonhole us into this lifestyle during the months we haven’t moved, either because we’re workamping or staying at our cabin all summer? And when it comes to our location identity, although we have Texas license plates and driver’s licenses, we haven’t earned the right to call ourselves “Texans” because we’ve never endured a summer in the lone star state! No matter where we are or what we’re doing, even we find it hard to put a label our own RVing lifestyle.
Many full-time travelers will try to define themselves with off-the-wall labels you may never have considered. For example, in this recent discussion in the full-timers Facebook Group “NuRVers,” members attempted to answer the “What do you call yourself?” question with some creative answers:
Location Independent Entrepreneur
Rover, wanderer, Nomad, vagabond.
Public lands assessor
One group member’s response reflected a constant need to be mindful of inaccurately labeling yourself. “I do know that I have to stop saying ‘I live in my van,’” she says, “because it makes people think I’m homeless!”
She’s right. When I say that we “live in our trailer” to a stranger, I can see their wheels start spinning, conjuring up images of ramshackle trailer parks, tethered barking dogs and beat-up cars resting on cinderblocks. But if I say “we’re RVers and we move around a lot,” oftentimes they’re not even sure what a “RVer” is!
The nature of this nomadic lifestyle means that you never really are just one thing. Unlike people who live in a sticks and bricks home for the entire year, in the same town and the same state, we are constantly shifting and evolving like the nature of life itself. Whether that’s because we take on a variety of jobs to earn money throughout the year, or simply because we choose to move our home with the seasons or our own personal whims, we’re constantly adapting to changes that we willingly roll ourselves right into. How successfully we adapt to this ever-changing adventure is a story for another time, but the end result of consistently being able to roll with the changes means that your full-timing adventures can continue indefinitely as long as you’re happy.
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.