How to navigate your first RV trip
Research is key when making a huge life change. The day I decided, I got started.
I used the first rule I know when starting anything big: reach out to the people who love you. The amount of advice, questions and positive feedback I received was tremendous. I discovered that so many people in my life had RV experience. My neighbor's parents spend 5 months a year RVing, some of my best friends shared memories of traveling with their folks over the summer and everyone knew what to get me for the holidays this year (thanks again Joel & Sue for the LED ball cap!).
I also got started by following some amazing people living similar journeys. One of my favorite finds was Gone With The Wynns, a married couple living full time on the road sharing their expertise and knowledge about how to best tackle the nomadic lifestyle. I digested every page. Every video. Every word. Simply put, they alleviated the fear.
Next step... where do I go?
One of my oldest friends (and client) was suppose to spend New Years in Cuba with me. Our contact there had a scheduling error, so we punted and decided to take my inaugural trip to Florida instead. Lots of birds, one stone.
We would work out the kinks, create content for both of our businesses and have a great time doing it. I went into the situation with the attitude "what don't I know?".
I found a rental RV through Nashville RV and settled on a 36ft Diesel Winnebago. It was way more than I needed and diesel gas is ridiculously priced. But those were lessons. All of it was. And if I was going to do this for the remainder of my 30's, I wasn't done learning them. I knocked out my parents telephone line the second I arrived to showoff the RV. Instead of setting the tone, I was more cautious about low hanging objects in front of me. They hadn't used the landline for years anyways.
When I pulled into each RV resort, I made sure to meet my neighbors, explain what I was trying to do and learn from them as much as I could. I also had The Goog's for any questions going unanswered and an online community of RV veterans. For the first time in a long time, I was the rookie, not the expert.
I remember smiling almost the entire trip. Remember laughing at things that would usually just garner a nod. Yes, it was new and we know those things shine, but it was a seed that flourished when I returned home. Even when I saw how much more needed to get done on my renovation project. When I fell behind on client work. When my daughter got sick. It was all still on the surface reminding me that this was right for me. That the fear of the unknown wasn't nearly as strong as the joy I felt sleeping parked by the ocean, or spending time with friends I usually wouldn't see or visit regularly. The feeling of actually living.
As much as it's about navigating the technical and financial issues, it's also about preparing yourself for joy. Navigating the feelings of freedom, adventure and being alive. I resisted it at first, almost like I didn't deserve it. A static and reptilian cycle of routine that was weightier than I imagined.
That's what I didn't plan for. That permission to myself. To my dream. But I've had plenty of support along the way and I have to remember that I do deserve it. And so do you.