PLANS - What's Next?
About a month ago, we celebrated our 2nd NOMADiversary! AKA - celebrating two years of being full-time RVers. We decided as we looked down memory lane, we wanted to share our favorite products & places and talk about a few of our problems & plans. Today is the fourth and final of the four P's - PLANS.
PLANS - Such a funny word. If you ask some full-time RV’ers about their plans they would quickly say things like; “Our plans are written in jello.”; “We don’t make plans. We just drive until we get tired.”; “Planning? Nah, we don’t need them.” Well, I’m here to tell you that Betsy and I definitely plan. We talk about our plans. We think about our plans. Some are short term. Some are long term. But we are both definitely familiar with the concept of plans.
Now, just because we spend time thinking and talking about our plans doesn’t necessarily mean that we have this grand plan laid out in great detail. This is still life, right? But what I can share with you is some of our short term plans, some longer term plans that we have bantered about, and kind of our process for “planning”.
So for purposes of this discussion let’s define short term plans as for the next six months. Well, for us right now that’s kinda easy. When we started our jobs here are Texas Lakeside RV Resort in mid-November 2017, we agreed to commit to working here for one year. One year obviously would take us to mid-November 2018, which is about five months away. Since we take our work commitments very seriously, we will be residing and working at Texas Lakeside for the next five months. Heading into the Winter months in late November dictates that our destination options will be limited. We’ve determined that we’ll either head east to Florida or west to Arizona, with the intention of starting work around the first of the year (2019).
Yes, there is a gap from mid-November to January 1. We decided that one of the reasons for living this type of lifestyle is to be able to spend time with family, especially around the Holidays. So we are tentatively heading to the Philadelphia, PA area for Thanksgiving to be with my family, including my dad, who will be getting together there. We’re not sure yet if it will be a drive or a flight, or where we might fly from, but we can work out the details later. We are heading to the Columbus, OH for a Christmas visit with Betsy’s family. Same as Thanksgiving, no travel plans yet, but we’ll definitely work out the details in due time.
So for purposes of this discussion let’s define long term plans as five, or even ten, years down the road. Some people consider this long range planning as more of a direction than plans, but work with me here! Sometimes we get asked, “So when are you going to give up the RV and buy a house again?”. Betsy and I always look at each other and say at the same time, “Probably never!”. Neither one of us can honestly say that we miss living in a house. In fact, what comes up more in conversation is that we could be comfortable in a smaller RV. We love our home, and it is very comfortable, but we definitely have more space than we need to enjoy life together. No, we have no plans to sell “Charlie”, but we would get smaller before we ever buy another house and get bigger.
There is so much to see in the United States, we could not see it all in the next ten years. We know other full-time RV’ers who have traveled for 10+ years and still are seeing and experiencing places that are new to them. So obviously we could just continue what we’re currently doing and be more than happy with our lives.
What about having an RV lot somewhere that you could always go to? Maybe a winter lot in Florida or Arizona? Although this is not in our immediate plans, Betsy and I both agree that someday we will come across a state, a city, an area, an RV park, where we will both be like, “Hmmm, it would be nice to have a lot here!” Maybe that lot becomes our destination every winter. Or every summer. Yep, we’ll give that thought a definite maybe!
Isn’t living in an RV kinda like living on a boat, but on the water? Why yes, yes it is. The transition from RV to boat would be fairly simple with regards to living space, but different in so many ways. We both love the water and enjoy being around boats, but living on one is a whole different animal. Do we talk about it when we watch videos from people like Gone with the Wynns and Technomadia? Yes, definitely. Right now I would put this one as “not likely”, but you never say never.
You seem to know a lot about RV’s. Why don’t you open a campground or RV park? I think we would enjoy owning and operating a campground, but that would definitely change our ability to travel and see things. We keep a list of things that we like and don’t like about campgrounds, and what we would do if we had our own place, but have you checked out the price of those babies. Yea, I know, campgrounds come in all shapes, sizes and price ranges, but right now buying one is not in the budget. This is definitely in the never say never category. We don’t normally buy lottery tickets, but someday I may buy one and turn out to be a winner. In the meantime we’ll continue to review the RV parks we visit and keep searching for that perfect place.
Just like real life, we both understand that people get thrown curve balls all of the time that turn the course of their lives. There’s unexpected health budens, unexpected financial concerns, family emergencies, etc. We’ll remain flexible, open to challenges, and adjust to curveballs as they are thrown at us.
The planning process is really no different for us than it would be for any couple in a house, working on their career, living life. We may be a little unique in that we have lots of opportunity to talk with each other since we spend almost all day, every day with each other! Yea, we know, it’s odd to some people, but we really do enjoy spending time together, talking about stuff. It’s not always planning stuff, but it happens a lot.
Short term planning is mostly based on selecting a region, state or area that we would like to spend a season, then looking for a workamping job that puts us in that place. For the summer of 2017, Maine was our target. A workamping job in Bar Harbor, ME was the solution. For the winter of 2017-18, Texas was the choice. An RV resort in Port Lavaca, TX put us within reach of several major Texas cities like, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Corpus Christi, etc. Since we currently need to work to maintain our travels, we anticipate this being the model for the immediate future.
Long term planning usually starts with me asking Betsy some obscure question like, “Where would you go every winter if you could?”, or “Could we survive on a boat together?, or “If you owned a campground would you have a coffee bar in the office?”. These questions usually lead to a discussion that, who knows, may one day shape our future. If not, hey, I still get to have a discussion with one cool chick! Plan on!