Monday, January 15, 2018

Six Months Down the Road

Our home closed escrow on July 17th. Which means we're about at the 6-month mile marker. It's review time...

First, I can report that without a doubt, I still do NOT miss being a homeowner.

Secondly, I can report that what I do miss about California is the hugs and face-to-face interactions with friends, family and clients, our favorite restaurants, and consistent access to fresh salads.

Thirdly, I don't miss the stuff.  Mostly. Well, I really miss our boat and there will be another one someday.  Other than that we are still shedding stuff we don't need off the bus. It's so much easier to move through life with less stuff. That's a change I should have made years ago.

The camper's dock at Coe Landing, just West of Tallahassee
Mostly our new life is what we expected it to be and what we make of it.  One thing that did come as a surprise is the strategy exhaustion caused sometimes by the little everyday things we used to do on autopilot such as groceries, doctor visits, post office visits, minor car maintenance such as oil changes and knowing immediately where to go for the best ___ (insert whatever food you're craving today).  This everyday research compounds quickly when sudden changes are introduced (such as those forced by weather or breakdowns) and saps energy at an alarming rate. Coming up with a Plan B and Plan C can be a tiring proposition; such was the case when we were offered a spot on the Florida Keys ahead of schedule and suddenly found ourselves mapping out a plan of attack to cover 1400+miles in less than a week during my busy work season.  RVers have coined a phrase for this: "decision fatigue" and if left unchecked it can be a source of arguments, or at the very least the throwing up of hands and loud exclamations of "fine, you figure it out then!"  Some experienced full-timers book locations for a month at a time to mitigate the effects of decision fatigue but it came as a surprise to us, so new RVers beware, it's a real thing.

Otherwise, we are getting better about coming up with guidelines that work for us.  Here's what we have so far:

Guidelines for Happy Campers

Schedule regular workdays and don't move on those days.  If we absolutely must move on a workday, get up early and get the urgent work done first, and then make it a short hop so there's energy left to do the rest of the work after settling in.

Plan a 200-mile day.  And a stretch goal of 300-350 miles if the miles are likely to be easy.  While planning all that take notice of potential repair and emergency overnight sites in case of disaster.

Always dump the RV before we go (Lance covered this in detail his last post - the handling of the blackwater tank is a consistent subject around the RV campground and everybody has opinions about it).  And load some fresh water.  Load some groceries too, we prefer things that can be thrown together as a grazing-type meal such as jerky, nuts, cheese, crackers, fruit.  You'll be grateful you did this in advance if you break down or suffer other delays, or decide to forego all stops and reach for the stretch goal.

Enjoy life like a local. Don't try to do all the tourist stuff, it's expensive and fattening.

Enjoy the location for what it is; if you're in Texas, enjoy the steak or TexMex, don't lament the lack of sushi joints to choose from. It's a waste of energy and you are missing the point.

Some sites are more social than others. Still, that doesn't mean I need to hang around every day and night chatting, eating and (most importantly) drinking cocktails. In fact, if the dog and I take off alone for a long walk or if I wander through a local shop while Lance chats with the dudes at the bar, the toolshed or the fishing pier, that means we both get our own take on the local life, and we have something to talk about together later.

Do the dishes. Now. There's no room for them to stack up.

Expect people to be nice and they will mostly be nice. In six months we've only had a few human incidents; one where we were overcharged for a small repair, one where we were overcharged for a night spot and one where the gal in charge of hospitality was not friendly - she clearly chose the wrong profession. Everyone else we've encountered has been interesting, helpful, friendly, and willing to share their wealth of wisdom. We've never felt unsafe.

Book difficult destinations early.
Wing the rest. 
Over-committing causes stress.

All in all, we are still loving our life on the road.  Folks who aren't RVers always ask us "when and where are you going to settle down" as if it's a foregone conclusion that we will become homeowners again.  Our reply thus far is "when it stops being fun", who knows how long that will take. RVers, on the other hand, ask us where we have been so far and then readily supply a list of places we need to see next.  So our To See/Do List keeps getting longer, despite the miles we've already put on.

America is beautiful and there's still so much to see. Six months in, and my only regret so far is that we didn't start sooner.

Shawna driving on 7 Mile Bridge between the FL Keys


  1. Glad its all a great adventure for you. Life is short, do enjoy yourself and your hubby. Love the places you go, love the one you are with and all other things will go by the wayside.

  2. Internet Speed Comparison @ Coe Landing Park, Tallahassee FL
    Sampled 1/8/18, 9pm
    AT&T – 23.6 down, 0 up
    Calyx (Sprint) – 0 down, 0 up
    Jetpack (Verizon) – 17.9 down, 5.16 up