Pete and I have been on the road for almost two weeks now. For those of you who don’t know, we decided to start off our marriage by living and working full-time in an RV.
Some people think we’re crazy, we happen to think it’s the greatest idea we’ve had 🙂
Before I dive in, a disclaimer: we’re big believers in creating purpose-driven lives (and businesses).
What a purposeful life looks like for us may be totally different than what it looks like for you.
For us, we cherish moments and experiences.
We love our Lord.
We love each other and actually want to spend as much time together as possible.
We love being creative and pursuing new endeavors that push us out of our comfort zones.
We love to travel.
We love serving others and helping people create a life full of joy + purpose.
And at this point in our lives, all of this culminated in the decision to live full-time in an RV.
Becoming Full-Time RVers
To put it simply: it’s been one heck of an adventure already.
We knew it would be a big adjustment going full-time when neither of us had ever RV’d before (again, we’re crazy folks), but this experience has already been more than we ever could have imagined – and it’s only been two weeks.
And while we transitioned a lot of our blog to be more business-focused, we thought it would be fun to share some insights on what diving in the deep-end of RV-life looks like.
Side note – we’d love to know what you want to read more about. Share a comment below with what posts you love reading the most!
So here goes nothing: here are the 5 things we’ve learned in just two-weeks on the road.
1. Full-Time RVing requires a boat-load of patience
Oh boy is this a big one. Patience and trust go hand-in-hand in our lives, but these past two weeks have required an exorbitant amount of patience.
There have been quite a few times already that things haven’t gone as planned. Thus is life, right?
Totally. This happens to everyone.
But when you squeeze that into 200-something square feet and high tensions and having no idea what in the world you are doing with hoses + levers + towing… let’s just say it can escalate quickly 🙂
There have been so many moments that we just wanted to know the answer: from how to dump our hoses correctly to how to best find directions that fit our height clearance to finding the best campgrounds with strong wifi.
And for a lot of these moments… we didn’t get our answers right away.
RVing has been a lot of trial and error, and a ton of patience.
2. Learning to slow down
This one goes hand-in-hand with patience. RVing full-time has forced us to slooooooow down.
Physically removing ourselves from the craziness and distractions of our old life – especially the time when we lived in New York City – has allowed us to be way more present in our every day life.
Something as simple as driving across Nevada for 6 hours has taught us to just appreciate the moment we’re in and soak it all in.
Everything seems to require much more patience and time – from backing our RV in (we still fail miserably at this…) to figuring out how to level our jacks to getting the hang of a new town.
3. You need to plan ahead
There are so many things about “normal” life that require a lot more consideration when RVing full-time.
Laundry – for example.
You can’t just throw a load in your washer and head out for a few hours. You need to find a laundromat or an RV park that has laundry. You need to check on it and move it to the dryer when it’s ready. You need to set time aside for laundry day.
Something as simple as doing your laundry requires thinking ahead and planning.
It sounds kind of crazy writing it out in this way, but these past few weeks of RVing have introduced us to a simpler way of live – in a good way.
There are more things you need to consider in your daily life – like where you’re going to get groceries, if there is good wifi to work, and where you can fill up your diesel. All of these somewhat simple things add up and it’s been surprising how much this extra little bit of forethought in our days has challenged our norm.
A few weeks ago, we had everything we needed within a few minute drive. It was easy to go with the flow.
Now, as much as we love to keep our plans open, there’s much more thought that needs to go into our days and plans.
Considering that we move our house around every few days, we need to have somewhat of an idea of where we want to travel. We need to book campgrounds, serve our clients well, love on each other and our pup, stay connected to family, and still manage to find time for awesome hikes.
Without our normal “routine,” the need to plan ahead becomes much more important.
4. Things definitely won’t go as planned
This may be one of the hardest things we’ve had to learn so far (I personally struggle with this every day).
Okay let me be honest about something: I’m a recovering perfectionist.
I love order. I like rules. I like getting gold stars and checking things off my lists.
I like things going according to plan.
Becoming a full-time RVer has been like throwing all plans out the window. No matter how much we do plan ahead, and no matter how much thought we put into a plan, something always seems to take a turn.
It’s not necessarily a big, horrible failure of plans.. they’re more like detours.
From camping in CreativeRV’s parking lot for our first weekend as RVers to unexpected obstacles in our business plans, we’ve had to learn pretty quickly had to make adjustments. We’ve had to pivot and adjust more times than we can count.
If you’re an entrepreneur, you likely know all too well what we’re talking about.
Over the last three years of our business, we’ve become very familiar with things not going as planned. We’ve learned how to pivot, adjust, change, push, let go, and grow more than we ever could have imagined.
Our two weeks of RVing have challenged that even more.
5. Communication is essential
This is three-fold.
First, communication between Pete and me is absolutely crucial.
Let’s be real – we live in a super small space together. There’s really no way that something is going unsaid or a conflict is going to be avoided.
Most of the time, we like each other a lot. But when you live and work within a few feet of your spouse, 24-hours a day, you are bound to have a difference in opinions.
Thankfully, I married the most patient, sensitive, self-aware, and thoughtful man. I’ve got some work to do in matching his level of communication.
Still, communication has never been more important in our marriage and our business.
From learning how to work together to back our fifth-wheel into our campground spot to navigating down mountain roads towing a 35-foot trailer to establishing our work and life boundaries in a new setting, communication is at the heart of it all.
And while we had the most incredible mentors for our pre-marriage counseling who taught us so so much about communication (Aaron + Deanna, we love you guys), there was never a lesson on how to help your spouse back up your house around a tree on unlevel ground.
Needless to say – we’re learning every day how to communicate better with each other.
Second, communication with our family + friends has become a lot more challenging – and even more important.
It’s easy to take for granted your friends and family when you are surrounded by them. When someone is easily reachable, there isn’t as much pressure to stay in touch. Maybe you can call up a friend on any night and meet up for dinner. Maybe you can visit your family every few weekends. Maybe you have roommates and can catch up about life at the end of most works days while you hang on the couch.
This is no longer the case in our lives.
When we’re not fighting to find cell service (note to self: do not expect any kind of connection in or around National Parks..), we’re trying to navigating time differences and work schedules.
Keeping in touch with friends and family has taken a considerable amount of effort, as compared to life before the RV.
Not that it’s ever a chore, but Pete and I both really value community and the friendships we have. It takes a lot more planning and effort on our end now to cultivate relationships that we live in an RV and are physically removed from our communities.
Third, communication with our clients is shifting.
Although we never had a set office or work hours, the past few years we have been working pretty normal hours (if not exceedingly more than we did at our “corporate” jobs).
We were easily reachable, and keeping in contact with our clients required little to no extra thought.
Now, we are learning to set new boundaries. We’re learning how to work across different time-zones. We’re learning how to set expectations. We’re learning that it’s okay to not be “on” and “available” at all hours of the day. We’re learning that we can prioritize our lives as much as we prioritize our work.
And we’re learning that the right communication + the right clients make all the difference.
All in all, we can say without a doubt that we’ve learned more in these past two weeks of RVing than we ever could have expected.
We know there’s a lot more coming our way, and we’re equal parts excited + nervous for it all.
If you’re up for some adventure and want to follow along with our journey, we’d love for you to say hello over on Instagram. We share a ton of behind-the-scenes content and what it really looks like to live and work full-time in an RV.
If you’re also a full-time RVer, we’d love to know: what are the biggest lessons you’ve learned?
If you’re not full-time but are planning for it/would love to be in the future: what are you most excited about? worried about?
**PS: we’re hosting a Facebook Live Q&A with Creative RV this Thursday at 6:30 Pacific / 9:30 Eastern. We’d love for you to join us! Click the image to RSVP + learn more.