BONUS POST!

SIX MONTHS FULL TIME TRAVEL — EXCEEDING MY EXPECTATIONS

I have been a full-time RV dweller and traveler for six months. Wow! Six months. Some days it feels like just yesterday when I retired from my job as a corporate paralegal, bid my friends good-bye, and drove away from Los Angeles, California. Other days it feels like I’ve always lived this nomadic lifestyle.

When a friend asked how I felt about living in an RV and traveling full-time, it didn’t take me long to reply: It is exceeding my expectations.

I didn’t start this journey in the dark. I prepared for a few years. I researched everything about this lifestyle from types of RVs, how to handle healthcare and mail, mechanical issues, and even itineraries. I sold or gave away almost everything I owned.

On December 31, 2018, I left Los Angeles, California in my 2016 Winnebago 59K Travato, a Class B RV that I have named Novella. I was full of hope, excitement, and a healthy amount of terror. The first half of January was filled with challenges, but none that couldn’t be overcome. By mid January I was comfortable and felt in control of my journey.

In the past 6 months, I have:

  • Been to eleven states. I’ve spent the most time in Washington and Oregon, and almost a month in Texas. The furthest east I have traveled so far has been Alabama.
  • Checked several items off my bucket list. One of the most spectacular was a visit to Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico.
  • Driven in snow, extreme wind storms, hail, and pounding rain.
  • Slept in the parking lots of Walmart, truck stops, Cracker Barrel, casinos, and rest stops, and numerous friends’ driveways.
  • Become a Texas resident.
  • Learned that my favorite places to spend time are national parks. I also like state parks.
  • Through Harvest Hosts I’ve stayed overnight at two museums, a dairy farm, an alpaca farm, an organic farm, and a cheese company.
  • Learned to become comfortable getting off main highways and striking out on smaller roads that go through small towns.
  • Learned that I’m much more capable than I thought.
  • Written six articles and two novels, re-released three other novels, and began work on a travel book.
  • Donated a week of my time to a camp for challenged children.
  • Met dozens of friends, including long-time readers, Facebook friends, high school and college classmates, fellow writers.
  • Met many new friends, including other travelers.
  • Attended three meet-ups with other Travato owners.
  • Given dozens and dozens of tours of my Travato.
  • Spent about three weeks dog/house sitting in Idaho and Utah.
  • Caught a cold, tweaked my bad knee three times, and lost fifty pounds.
  • Got a new tattoo.
  • Been called brave, crazy and weird.

I could not have done any of this had I not made the decision to become a full-time nomadic writer. Or maybe I could have done it, but it would have taken a lot more than six months.

In a few days I’m striking out toward the Grand Tetons, Mount Rushmore and Custer State Park, and the Badlands, all on my bucket list. By the time I hit a year as a nomadic writer, I will have circled the US, and seen and experienced so much more.

When I get asked how long I anticipate living this nomadic life, my answer is always: Until it’s not fun anymore, or until I am physically unable to do it.

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