EMBRACING CHANGE AND DECIDING TO RETURN TO FULL-TIME RV LIVING

May 24, 2020

The last two months have brought to light the non-essential nature of our careers.  In March, as COVID began to tighten it’s grip on the US, the need for what we do (Mark, a flight instructor and me, a wedding photographer) came to a screeching halt.  Most of April turned in to an unsettling game of “wait and see”.  We stayed home, going out only for groceries and walks.  At any given time in April I fell somewhere on the spectrum between consuming too much media and feeling utterly hopeless about the situation, to sticking my head in the sand, not consuming any media at all and feeling like it was possible that everything would, in time, return to “normal”.  Come May, any chance of Mark returning to work had been delayed another month and the weddings I had on the calendar for the summer were slowly but steadily being postponed to 2021.  Continuing to wait around in hopes that our income would resume was starting to feel like a risky game. 

The first two weeks of May consisted of a lot of brainstorming and soul searching.  With our home and Mark’s job being in Idaho, and all my work still in Colorado, there was a lot to consider.  We came up with our best case and worst case scenarios and everything in between.  We asked ourselves and each other countless questions.  We weighed a plethora of pros and cons for each possible scenario.  We weighed the financial risks as well as the risks to our mental and physical health that came with each scenario.  We were intent on being proactive and making decisions that would keep us in a safe financial position while offering us the best possible chance to thrive through this pandemic rather than just survive. 

Here’s what we decided…

We’re selling our house and our plane and returning to life as full-time RVers.  We’d already been talking for months about selling our plane so that decision was fairly easy.  That topic however deserves an entirely separate post of it’s own.  As for the house, it’s been a wonderful haven while living in Idaho.  We’ve loved this house for the short time that we’ve been here but Idaho has never truly felt like home.  But we’re beyond grateful for the opportunity to come here and for the many experiences it’s offered us.  Living here allowed Mark to become an incredible flight instructor.  The knowledge and experience he acquired here is priceless.  While we never would have predicted that a pandemic would be what brought this chapter to a close, we never saw ourselves staying here forever. 

For years we’ve always made light-hearted jokes about “if shit hits the fan we can always just live in the camper”.  We joked about it because we’ve always been happiest when we’re on the road.  Less stuff, less expenses, less stress.  It’s always suited us so well. 

The only caveat with this plan has been all the campground closures that RVers have been faced with during the last two months.  We ultimately decided that living on the road this time around would look a little different than the last time.  We’re planning on moving around less by setting up at RV parks for a month or two at a time as well as taking advantage of the properties of friends and family that have been offered to us.  At least that’s the plan, but we’ll be ready to pivot when needed.  If you learn anything as a full-time RVer, it’s the ability to adapt to ever-changing circumstances.

All our decisions have boiled down to the fact that we have no clue what the next year looks like and we want to set ourselves up in a way that keeps our options open while minimizing our expenses. 

April was hard. But ever since making these decisions, I’m finding hope again. And I’m feeling really proud of our ability to give up what 2020 was supposed to be and start embracing what we’re going to make of it with what we’ve been given.