A Year In, what we’ve learned and what we miss.

 

On June 1st 2018, we celebrated our one year “Nomadiversary”.  We have been living full-time in our camper for a year now and it surprisingly just feels normal, even in just those first few weeks in.  The camper has always felt like home.  Don’t get me wrong, there have been many things we have missed about our sticks and bricks home but the adjustment period was so much quicker than I originally thought it’d be. We’ve learned a lot in a year, tricks and hacks for rubbertramp life, as well as life lessons.  It’s been a great first year and we’re super pumped about the many more to come.

So I’d thought I’d take the time to list out the things I miss most about our old “traditional” life.

  • Of course….family. There have been birthdays, holidays and milestones we’ve missed out on that we can never relive with those that mean the most to us.  Facebook and Facetime help ease those aches and pains, but nothing is like only being a hour’s drive away from a Sisters’ Night Out.
  • It’s hard to find a sense of community on the road.  We’re luckier than most in this lifestyle because we host at the campgrounds where we’re staying, so we create relationships with the other hosts and that really helps.  But you miss your crew getting together to watch the Dawgs play or just the random get-togethers at the local watering hole.  The people you have history and “remember when”s with.
  • Bathtubs! I’ve always been a soaker.  I love to plop in the tub every couple of weeks to relax and have my super girly nights.  I cover my face in a cucumber mask, rub my hair with a leave in coconut condition, pour a glass of wine and soak.  Not a luxury I have on the road and I miss it!
  • We eat in more times than not, so we dirty up a ton of dishes.  We use paper plates, but that’s about it for disposable ware.  I’m a sink full of dirty dishes away from living off of sandwiches and frozen dinners.
  • Being able to let my dogs out to run in the back yard. Back in the old way of doing things, I’d wake up, throw on my robe, let the dogs out to handle their business and get some energy out, while I leisurely got ready for the day.  Now, I’ve got to put on a bra, get dressed, brush my teeth , and check the mirror and take the dogs on a legitimate walk, all BEFORE my first cup of coffee.

Those are definitely my top 5.  I’m sure if you asked BJ, he said the luxury of traditional plumbing.  But fortunately for me I don’t have to tend to any of the dumping and tank situations.  I’m one lucky lady!

Obviously, we knew there’d be a bit of a learning curve in our first year.  Especially being that before we hit the road full-time we had never even been camping and had never owned a camper.  But even more than learning how to be campers, this first year was more about learning this lifestyle and what full-timing meant to us and what we really wanted from it (and we’re still figuring that out).

The major things we’ve learned.

  • We no longer want to commit to staying in any one park or area for more than a month. We’ve got these gypsy souls and after a month we start to get the wheels-rollin’ itch.
  • We don’t necessarily love the outdoors and we don’t have to. Like I mentioned we had never even camped before we bought our home on wheels.  We weren’t those gotta get out and hike and bike or be one with nature folks.  Yeah, we like being outdoors and getting fresh air, but it isn’t a love for all things camping and outdoors that prompted this decision (have I mentioned how much I hate bugs and I don’t care what the ad says, there isn’t a bug spray that works).  It was the love of travel and seeing new places and experiencing new things that drew us in.
  • Something we just learned, that had we known about earlier would have really been a game changer, Thousand Trails. This is a yearly, regional membership where you can stay in over 100+ parks for year, at no charge, after paying only $500 (there are other fees for different types of memberships, but this is the jist, definitely do your research).  We heard about it through another host couple, took a few days to research it ourselves and ask questions and then decided which membership was best for us.  Had we known about it earlier, we may not have hosted for periods as long as we did.  Disclaimer, we have yet to stay in our first RV park through Thousand Trails, we’ve signed up and have them booked,  but haven’t actually experienced it yet.  But on paper the value is amazing and based on reviews I think we’re going to be VERY happy with this decision.
  • Fill up the truck the night before you hook up and hit the road in the morning. We made the mistake of leaving a campground on a half tank and just barely made it in to a teeny tiny gas station; that luckily had diesel, when we were running on fumes.  Not all gas stations are setup for big rigs, and the ones with all the easy pull through pumps in the back for the semis won’t always take a personal credit or debit card.  We have stopped at many where they only allow commercial accounts to use those pumps.  Finding a spot to pull in with our 37ft trailer has proven to be difficult at times.  So just take the truck out the night before and fill up!
  • The purging process never ends. I’ve done at least 3 major purges in the past year.  Space is scarce and new things are bought, so going through and getting rid of stuff is a never ending task.  I don’t mind it, actually during the last purge I found what I thought was a long-last bracelet that I love.

I’m sure there are things I’m forgetting, probably some major ah-ha moments that I’m leaving out.  We’ve had quite an eventful first year, with some major pits, our camper catching on fire and the loss of our beloved Charlie girl, but wonderful peaks too, making life-long friends that we would have never met otherwise, once in a life-time experiences and the pure joy of doing life in our own way.