It’s been 100 days since we started living in an RV after selling our home and quitting our jobs; here’s what we’ve learned.
First off, it’s not as easy and glamorous as we wanted it to be. Shit breaks, you get lost, the weather sucks, your plans change, you get frustrated, etc. I particularly had this big idea that we would be seeing all these amazing places every day and cruising these scenic byways routinely but that’s not exactly what we’ve been doing.
Now don’t get me wrong, we have definitely been to some cool places so far, but I must admit that the first month or so was much more challenging than I expected. Figuring out how to actually live is harder than the two-month vacation we took last year in our RV. Fortunately, things have gotten much better and much less stressful. Which leads me to the first lesson.
Lesson #1: Managing Expectations. For me this is big one. I started off with this preconceived idea of how things were going to be, and they turned out much different, not necessarily bad, just different. It stressed me out that the universe didn’t do what I wanted (big revelation right??). I had to learn that my expectations weren’t in line with reality and I had to adapt to external changes instead of fight against them. In our previous lifestyle, everything was fairly predictable and controllable. Now that it’s not, I have to reprogram my brain. Despite this, there have been significant benefits, including lesson #2.
Lesson #2: Finding Fulfillment. We both used to dread Sunday evenings because we had to start thinking about the upcoming work week. I would be gone for 13+ hours a day only to return home with little to no energy for conversation with Amalia. I now have the time and the energy to be in the moment with her, brainstorm about our business plan and map out of future on a regular basis. I do want to point out that by no means was I unhappy with the life we used to have; I just found it hard to focus and find fulfilment in the little things when my job and our house were consuming so much of my energy.
By no longer being confined to a 9-to-5 job I have gained an immeasurable feeling of freedom. Even now as I dictate these words to my phone, I am walking through the woods with our dog at mid-day on a Wednesday appreciating the sights and sounds of mother nature.
Admittedly, as a consequence, the freedom I feel comes at the expense of not being surrounded by our friends, which is the third lesson.
Lesson #3: Life is About Community. You are the average of the people you surround yourself with and now that it’s basically just us there is some adjusting to do. It’s been a challenge not having the daily interactions with the people we call our friends. Fortunately, social media allows us to stay connected in some form. In other ways we have been able to reconnect with people we have lost contact with because of what we are doing. We have to focus on the road ahead and not worry about what we left behind. This brings me to the last lesson.
Lesson #4: Don’t Look Back. I have no regrets about the decision we’ve made. It’s been challenging, exhilarating, stressful, exciting and educational. I’ve had to learn to accept the things you cannot change and focus on the things that you can change. Living this way has made that more apparent than ever. You cannot alter the events of the past and dwelling on it won’t solve anything. Instead, plan with the end in mind and focus on the tasks needed to get there.