You and I

As I begin writing, I’m having trouble coming up with a title for this blog post. So I’ll just wait until it’s written and see what falls out.

We all have so much in common this I know.  I’ve been spending time watching YouTube video and reading blogs in search of content where the author is at the same junction in life – one year from a major change. I’m sure you can relate. It’s fun to have already passed the earlier stages of planning where one learns basic things such as STOP BUYING STUFF you cannot later sell or take in an RV.  Or there is no perfect RV or floor plan or truck or whatever.  Most of our choices are just that – our choices.  Some of us have to over-think it all and prove it to ourselves.

You, Me & the RV is a YouTube channel of some newbies.  I’m thinking it is going to be a good one if you want to check it out. I’m trying to learn from folks like them so I know what to anticipate and try to avoid or duplicate.

Karen and especially me started planning September of 2014 for an anticipated take off date in 2023.  No surprise that date moved up to 2019. Everyone told me it would.  I’ve been using a series of critical dates to help me get past wanting to leave now.  Most of those dates had to do with savings, paying off debt and such. Here is a good one.. I turned 55 years old on August 13th. Another critical date because I decided in my early 30’s that 55 would be the dream age where I’d do whatever I wanted in life. Rather than following a typical trajectory of work till 65, retire, have a few years of health to fix my house and have the best yard in the neighborhood, travel a week or so at a time uncomfortably, move into assisted care and then a six foot by thirty inch condo in the ground. No thank you…  I’ve got a couple more critical dates in mind that will help get me to the finish line. Next spring is going to be a wonderful time around this household.

Not to get off topic, but do any of you other bloggers have a problem with the “I” word or is that just me?  This person (I) am always trying to find a way to replace the letter because it seems self serving, braggadocios and self centered.  After more thought, so what..  It often is the perfect letter for the job so bear with me now and forever when I use it.

A couple emotions have come up in the past few weeks I’d like to share. Not sure why but seems like the right thing to do. You full time RVer’s have been through them and I’m figuring at the same point in the plan I’m in.  First is a little bit of anxiety that I can feel in my chest if I give it much thought. This anxiety is not related to the process but anxiousness to get it all done. I’m so glad we started years ago. Second, I know there are some critical dates that are approaching where this is about to get real. Such as putting the house on the market.

I went to the doctor some time ago for a checkup. I call it my “fit to retire” checkup. Just making sure all systems are a go before I loose paid sick leave and better health insurance.  So far so good. Although I’ve got the final check-up planned for this coming Wednesday which is a cardiac stress test.  Been through it before so no big deal.  Doctor says my symptoms are stress related but just wants to make sure.  I’m sure the discomfort will go away once I’m off the job and on to something real.  Better get the test anyway says the doctor. If I start thinking about all there is to be done and all the crap at work the feelings become uncomfortable so I try to occupy my mind elsewhere. Update on the chest discomfort: Dr. had me get a CT scan called at calcium scan. Cheap at only $60. The scan also checks for masses in the area as well as clogs. 100% zero issues there.  Talked to a guy at work about it and he reminded me I stopped chewing tobacco last April. He had the same issues when he stopped. Go figure he’d know more than the Dr. on this one, but worth the tests anyway. I went to Walmart and bought some 2 mg nicotine gum for the very stressful times. It worked to a large degree and now I focus on recognizing the stress coming on and finding a better way to cope with it rather than focusing on my concern there is something medically wrong.

Okay so I’ll get past the anxiety of the present, this I know. It’s all mental and there are critical dates in the future that will come and go along with the stress of them. But what about the unknown and for the first time shifting to a more carefree and unscripted lifestyle? With the first really big step being placing our home on the market early next year. We have that to look forward to as well as the “what the heck have we done” once it sells.  I know there is and will be a phycological component to all of this. Each of us is able to handle it a little differently but with similar results. I know my ability to cope with it is based on past experience, the current environment and mental health. We just seem to get past it after a few very stressful emotions.

I continue to enjoy the blogs I started reading years ago. Many of you are in your fourth year on the road and have put miles upon miles on their rigs. I even continue to follow blogs where you have come off the road and are living in your exit plan.  Some bloggers have just disappeared. I assume they were having to much fun and are in a Mexican prison.

Human nature really is predictable isn’t it?  Karen and I have met a few of you personally and it takes all of about five minutes to get comfortable enough to talk about anything. Some we have met more than once and consider our new friends for the foreseeable future. Hope you are seeing some similarities in my emotions at this stage in the process as it was for you.  I also hope you are thinking to yourself about what Karen and I have coming in the process in terms of emotion. Because if we are thinking alike then I know this is all part of it and it shall pass.

I was planning to write about more downsizing stuff. We can actually hear echoes in some of the rooms in our house as stuff disappears. But I now have a title for this blog in mind so I’ll just end it.

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19 thoughts on “You and I

  1. First, Happy Belated Birthday!
    Yes, we all go through it to some degree. Just remember nothing has to be permanent. You can change your Ming as you go along! I know you’re a metic planner, so if that’s where your comfort zone is, plan away and enjoy! Just remember it’s yours and Karens plans. Do what you like to do the way that works for you two. Do try something new once in a while too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hang in there, you have a plan. You can always modify the plan. My plan is similar, I am definitely pulling for you! Thanks for all of the info, you are making a lot of other people’s lives easier (mine in particular) by working through this on line!

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    • Thanks for reading Trent. This is so going to be worth it! Today I actually had fun filling the trash barrel. I picked the basement bathroom as a target. I’ve also got several home repair project laying around waiting for me to get to them. Decided I’d buy the materials and do it when I felt like it. Karen is much better at the slow and steady pace than I am.

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  3. Hi, My husband Scott and I have been following your blog, here and on Escapees 2019. We are maybe a bit ahead of you. We are leaving January 2, 2019. I have the same feeling as you. Getting it all done. On top of it I am gone the whole month of September to make a very important visit to relatives abroad. Didn’t thing how significantly a month gone would impact things, but the visit is important to make before we are on the road. We hae $1000 down on the RV we selected finally. 2018 Vilano 320GK. And have decided on a Ford Lariat F350, but my husband is having a hard time pulling the trigger. Yesterday we sold one of our 2 cars, waiting a couple months to to sell the last one. We are renting out our house, but all the same clean out and prep applies. I have painted about half the house and have the same hollow souund in several areas of the house. Trying to let go of all the stuff is both freeing and hard. Equalling difficult is trying to not buy a bunch of new stuff for the RV, when we really don’t know what we will like and need. My husband’s biggest fear right now is hooking up the truck and 5th wheel with just the two of us for the first time. We are getting the RV the end of Sept/Oct and are doing a week long trip in Oct, Noc and Dec. Hope that helps. We went to do our “first PDI” last week and before we arrived we got a call saying there had been an “accident”. With fear we arrived at the dealer 10 minutes later to find the guy moving the RV to spot at the dealer where could hook up wate for the inspection somehow “dropped” it while using the forklift. So, we now have a 5 or so inch hole near the hitch area. Not fixed yet. We put blue tape with permanent marker notes all over the RV for things that didn’t work right and also hired a company to do an inspection. Something we are so happy we did. The guy was great and we contiune to email with other questions. He is a wealth of information. We will be dong another PDI once the dealer say they have fixed everything. We took our time at the first insepection, brought a cooler with food and drinks and told the dealer they could leave there for the day. We also took pictures of all the blue tape we put up, in case “someone decided to take so down thinking we would not notice. Over the inpection revealed very fee items that we critical. So we continue as you do to read blogs, etc and try to wrap our heads around what is to come, but kind of like having kids no one can really prepare you, you just have to do it. Nancy

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    • Hello Nancy. January 2, 2019 – wow you guys must be excited to be this far along. Fantastic selection in the 320GK. As you know we are also attracted to that length trailer. Vanleigh sure has stepped it up since they came out just a few years ago. By that I mean getting their tank capacity up as well as cargo.

      We are planning to hold on to one of our cars also after we buy the truck. But only for a little while as I’ll still be working and Karen wants something else to drive until we take off.

      I have a few links for towing that Scott my be interesting in unless he has already found them:

      https://ourfutureinanrv.wordpress.com/temporary-stuff/miscellaneous/ (just page down to links and notes)

      I’m also a bit worried so I’ve been studying up. If it goes the same as the motor home we rented, in a few hundred miles it will seem less of a deal. And after back a couple times, although we will not be good at it, the fear should start to go away. By the time we had 1,600 miles on the motor home it was no big deal at all. I was able to relax even when driving. Drove five miles an hour under the limit and folks just passed on by without staying in my blind spot.

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  4. Since we are nearly three years into the fulltiming experience, I can tell you that the stress of the transition will fade quickly as you begin to experience the freedom coming your way. No longer will the experiences you have and the paths you travel be circumscribed by the constraints of work and the obligations and confinement of maintaining a stick and brick house. Observing your penchant for analysis and planning, any decisions you make will likely not have serious consequences, even though they might not turn out as you anticipated. And if they don’t, so what? You can always put it in reverse. But the reality is that some of our best experiences have been those we hadn’t planned.

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    • Hello Mike,

      You make excellent points. Some of our best experiences are unplanned. For sure.

      No point in over planning a take off date. I actually feel that way. We know what needs to be done and once it’s done then leaving will come naturally.

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  5. Hey Brother,
    Being who you are, the planner, the voice of reason…I knew when the time came closer your stress would increase. Take it from someone who has taken more chances than normal in a lifetime…this too, shall pass. You have done Everything right to get where you are.What an amazing journey! You should find comfort in knowing that even though it may feel a little reckless sometimes, you are going to have the best, rest of your life. Its not the end..its a new beginning. I have no doubt whatsoever, that you will look back and ask why you put yourself through the emotion. Embrace Everthing…the good, the bad, the indifferent. It is ALL of those, that have made you who you are. Now, you get to sit back and reflect, without stress…without sadness and without having to “fix things”.
    You are an amazing person, brother and husband. Don’t worry…I plan to sabatog some of your trips! Lol…we can talk about “stuff” like we do. Embrace this Adventure and don’t look back.
    Love you Brother…
    Mef

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  6. Looks like 2019 is firming up for us, but later in the year.

    Test drove both the RAM and the Chev 3500s DRW. The RAM felt better to both of us. If we decide to stay on the PU route vs a hauler bed then it will be RAM. The hauler bed puts pressure on the payload capacity of the RAM less so on the GM product. Now surfacing on the radar is the notion of getting a 2017 RAM 4500/5500 cab chassis for a good price and getting the hauler bed, total cost about the same as a new PU. So many choices. Cindi is not on board with a hauler bed. I know Bill Napier would be probably shaking his head if he happened to read that. LOL.

    Still favoring the Montana 3811MS as our top pick for RV.

    We’re working on our last outdoor project to get the house ready. This fall and winter we will be sprucing up the final details indoors. The purge still drags along. We’ve had a minor set back for “house on the market” timing as some family issues have popped up but should not interfere with the overall plan but we will have to put the final touches into overdrive once the family situation resolves itself.

    I have a feeling “You & I” will be starting this adventure at just about the same time.

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    • Hi Brian,
      As I was reading your note about the larger Ram and hauler bed I was thinking of Bill Napier. Good to know you guys are on schedule for next year and hope the family thing works out for the best.

      Good to hear from ya.

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  7. I remember as things started getting stressful with the house emptying and selling I would tell myself to keep an eye on the prize. We went to this lifestyle knowing it would be a whole new thing as we only had one summer of rv’ing under our belt. After 5 years of full timing we can honestly say for us it was the best decision. It’s a lifestyle that you can do the way that works best for you, there’s no right or wrong way. Do it the way that works for you two.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Mike, Its Stacy from You, Me and the RV. I just found your blog and I am so excited that you chose to include us. Yes we are a couple of newbies and we are making mistakes left and right! Hopefully you can learn from us and not repeat our crazy mishaps! Your blog is great and I hope to dive in a little deeper and read more of your posts. It felt like we were in the planning stage forever!! lol Enjoy the process! Hopefully we will see you on the road! 😉

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  9. Enjoyed reading your blog. Here’s my encouragement – Enjoy the process of getting ready for your launch date. It will go by quickly. Life on the road gets better each year, you have amazing adventures ahead. The last five years have been better than I could have ever imagined. I totally agree with you on early retirement. Life is good.

    Russ Ranger

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  10. Hi. I just ran into your blog and wanted to respond to this post. My husband and I have been fulltime for two years. What I would say is this: you don’t get to retire in your mid 50’s and start traveling the country in an RV without serious forethought and the ability to make good decisions. I follow so many forums and blogs where you can tell people are having issues because they didn’t really think things through, do their research, ask questions, and take advice. Some of our friends give me a hard time (jokingly) because I tend to over-plan things, but when I look at our experiences, I am glad to have done the research and I am proud that we have had few unexpected surprises along the way. Things have gone wrong, certainly, but nothing we weren’t prepared for or able to deal with. All of that research and planning has paid off. My sense from what I see here is that you are very similar.

    The nice thing about doing this fulltime thing these days is that there is SO much information out there and there are SO many people doing what you want to be doing. Half the battle is just sifting through all the info and getting answers. But the answers are there. I always think about how hard it must have been for people 10 or 15 years ago when all these resources didn’t exist. Anyway, my point is, you’ll be fine. Yes, it’s overwhelming, yes there is a lot to do, yes, it is scary, but you didn’t get to this point by accident and you are obviously very organized and thoughtful in your approach to handling this life change.

    As for the emotional stuff, yes, you will have to face all of that, but you will be so excited to get out there and start traveling and meeting all these new people, I expect you’ll adjust quickly. With regard to switching to an ‘unscripted lifestyle’, I do think it’s important to have a hobby while you travel. We’ve never been the type to sit around watching TV for 4 hours a day nor would we want to. My hobby is my blog and I suggest you keep writing yours as you travel – it’s a good motivator to get out and see what’s around you, it’s been a great way for us to meet folks along the way, and it helps me remember where we went and what we did. My husband does computer programming as a hobby and it keeps him busy and learning new stuff. I definitely think it’s important to have something that keeps you mentally engaged because just traveling for the sake of traveling will get dull after a year or two.

    Anyway, sorry this is a bit long, but I hope it helps in some way.

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    • Thank you for the comment. I really appreciated the thought you put into it.

      Another nice thing about “retiring” in ones mid-50’s is if it does not work out then you can go back to work. More or less.. Which is my plan B.

      I am keeping a part-time job while on the road that takes about 10 hours of my time. And I’ve been looking into hobbies that work while on the road. Really want to stay busy, but not to busy. Just slowing down from the hectic schedule will be nice.

      Mark

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