Believe it or not, we have been full-timing over three years as of last week. Seems like a long long time ago since we left our big house and yard and neighborhood in Fairfax, Virginia. We have been here in Virginia Beach for almost a month. Interestingly, we actually bought our 2007 Allegro Bus from a private owner who lives about five miles from here...
Regarding how we feel about this lifestyle--in a few words, I'd say its been great and we can't think of anything we'd rather be doing.
There are quite a few things we like about this lifestyle:
Being together. Pam is easy to be with and we have grown together through interesting times over the three years. Some good, some hard. All interesting.
Freedom. We know what retirement feels like (although I work a few hours each month for pay…) and for us, it works well. We are content to be able to chose to stay in an area to enjoy, volunteer, or to learn about the surroundings. We love having the freedom to go or stay…and sleep in our own bed every night.
Adventure. No doubt about it. We like seeing new things, learning about different places and putting more of our nation's history into context.
Fitness. Over the last three years we have adjusted to a routine where we can get enough exercise to feel better. We also have enjoyed times of discipline to manage our eating and get it into some form of balance.
Old friends and family. This lifestyle affords us the opportunity of seeing more friends and family in the last three years than we have connected with in the last 20. It has been great and we have a renewed appreciation and fondness for our family and heritage.
Reading. We both like to read but we have read a lot more than we thought we would. I am in the middle of finishing, Killing Lincoln, by Bill O'Reilly with Martin Dugard. Pam just finished reading, To the Last Man, by Jeff Shaara.
History. From traipsing around the gravestones and homestead of my mother's relatives in Colfax, Washington to walking through Hemingway's House in Key West, we have seen some interesting and fun places this last year.
Surprises. We really love Florida. And Montana. And Virginia Beach. After spending the winter in Florida this last year we are ready to go back next year. And we know it will never be like it was this year but
Has it gone according to plan? For the most part I'd say so. But not always. Some of the items we have learned to deal with:
- Medical. No doubt about it, our medical has cost us more dollars than if we had stayed put in our old house and been going to our old doctors.
- RV repairs. Again, the simple fact is we way under estimated how much we would spend on repairs, upgrades and general maintenance on our RV.
- Spending more money than we would like. We like being frugal and not spending a lot of money. Having said that, we have not gone into debt over the last three years and we feel much more confident about our future on the road and how much it will cost.
But then on the other hand, we have had some unexpected plusses:
- Making new friends. That has really been a source of enjoyment and satisfaction. After three years, we have met many, many new friends who have become good friends. That has been nice.
- Working more online and making enough money to live comfortably. Another big surprise is that somehow, by God's grace, I have been able to work a little more online (25-35 hours a month?) which have really helped out financially. It also gives us a good feeling that we are not only living off retirement and savings which is nice. The time may come when we have to workamp or something, but in the foreseeable future, that is not necessary and we are most thankful.
What does the future hold?
Who knows? But our faith and knowledge of being on the road for the last three years has taught us that we can do this and that we probably will be able to deal with whatever comes along. A lot has happened. And we have seen a lot. And we feel really really blessed to be doing this and look forward to what comes our way.
For now -- we are planning a couple of weeks up in Washington DC before we head for the Northeast and Maine.
So-- Yes! We still love this and doing this and hope to continue for as long as we can. We love the RV lifestyle after three years and are looking forward to the next three.
Until next time, thanks for joining us on the Roadrunner Chronicles!