Currently in Aurora CO (Low 46 Currently Cloudy 52)
Heading to Cheyenne WY (Currently 47 An Afternoon Thunderstorm High 63)
The '5 Stages of Fulltiming', in our humble opinion are; Anticipation, Dread, Motivated, Home Town, Hang Up The Keys. We are currently in the 'Home Town' stage. What do we mean by the different stages you ask. We will use ourselves as examples where possible.
Anticipation - you've made the decision to go fulltiming and you are blown away by the potential freedom and fun that you will have. You attend RV shows, talk to friends that have an RV, join RV clubs like Escapees and Good Sam, subscribe to RV magazines and dream about life on the road.
Dread - You've started the downsizing process and realize you have a lot of "stuff". Eventually you will realize it is just "stuff" but now you begin to have doubts. You sell your house and move what belongings you can into your RV and go on your first trip. The 'Dread' stage carries over into your fulltiming life as you adjust to 300 or so sq. ft. and you also adjust to living fulltime and traveling with an occasional mechanical issue to deal with. You also begin to realize that fulltiming is not all vacations. Home is where you hookup means that you have to do regular household tasks like paying bills, laundry, taxes, cleaning, dishes, etc., although no lawn mowing, gutter cleaning or snow shoveling.
Motivated - Once the 'Dread' stage is over and you have adjusted you enter probably the best stage, 'Motivated'. But no matter what stage you are in there will always be something to fix or improve upon in your RV. You now take the longest trips you will ever take as a fulltimer. You have places from your bucket list and other sources that you visit, sometimes 2 or 3 of them in one day. You stay a few days at each stop and then move on. You quickly begin to realize that there is so much to see and that you will never to able to see it all.
Home Town - as the miles and years accumulate and the realization that you cannot see it all you start to slow down. The trips become shorter, we are now at 100-120 miles instead of 250-300 that we started with, and the stays become longer. You begin to 'save things for the next time' instead of cramming them all into one visit. We always manage to find good things to see and good food no matter where we are but just like your 'Home Town' there will always be some sightseeing that you never visit.
Hang Up The Keys - as the miles and years further accumulate it becomes a little tougher to be on the road fulltime. During this stage your trips become even shorter and your stays even longer. There can be many phases within this stage as you establish a home base and become part-timers. We think that is what we will do before we hang up the keys for good. Pick a home base in the Kansas City area, or Kerrville Texas or Arizona and then only travel a few months a year. Basically 6 months traveling 6 months at the home base. Eventually there will come a day when we will have to 'Hang Up The Keys' for good.
The length you spend in each stage is unique to each situation but we think this covers the stages of fulltiming. When we do hang up the keys for good we know we will look back fondly on all the fun we had and the new friends we made on the road. Here are some of the great photos we have taken.
We depart today for Cheyenne Wyoming.
Till next time,
Bob and Jo