Saturday, May 19, 2018

19 days out....

So we left Los Angeles 19 days ago heading to Montana, along the way we boondocked along the most beautiful rivers, lakes and reservoirs . Boondocking is the best. To my surprise we were able to get enough solar to live comfortably.  We only used the 360 watts that we have on the roof of the 5er. We have another 100w for the ground but never needed it.

The one thing that was very clear was how often I felt we needed to move. I have heard for years about new full timers moving at the speed of light trying to see everything and now I understand why. Though I did need to be in Montana by May 20th I still felt the urge to hurry. 

We arrived in Montana early for me to start work at the campground but I hurt my back on the first day we left the house so I was not able to do maintenance work and was transferred to the onsite hotel at the campground. I will be checking in guests at the hotel for the rest of the summer. I don't think I will really want to work full time after this job. 6 months is along time to work when you really don't want to.

I will continue to check in, talk soon.

Friday, March 30, 2018

From Stationary to Mobile...

Cait and I have been Stationary at 2 locations for about a years and a half and have enjoyed it but the "camping" ended. We will be leaving for my workamping gig in West Yellowstone soon and that means lots of changes.

When stationary everything is unpacked and where ever we want it and when traveling we will have to find a place for everything. Whew, packing up every few days will be a major change. We also installed 460 watts of solar and are in the processing of testing to see how we will get along while boondocking. Water will also be something we need to test soon.

Making sure you have all the tools to fix things on your own is also something you have to address. I got most of my tools from harbor freight but cause I am not a mechanic and only expect to use them infrequently. I use the same tools for my RV inspection business.

Travel weight in the RV is also an issue. We will need to go to a weight station when we hit the road to make sure we are not over weight. We can get the coach weighed at a CAT scale.

We plan to boondock to save money the entire way to Montana. So the water, Solar and the coach need to be up to par. So far we are testing well and expect no issues and will have a great time.

Both of us are so excited to leave California and start our next adventure.

Stay tuned!

Monday, March 26, 2018

A Word From the Wife - March 24, 2018

Hello!  It's been a long time since my last post.  We've been living in our RV for over a year now, but we are still staying here in Southern California and I'm still working at my office job full time.

I had thought it would be hard to give up enough possessions to fit into the RV.  And it was a lot of work, going through everything, but it hasn't been hard.  I don't miss any of the things we got rid of, and we still have more than enough of everything.  I don't even really feel like a minimalist yet.

But going forward, I think my next big challenge will be finding a new way to think about money.  Living on less, my habits are going to have to change and that's a little scary.  I'm afraid of the thought of not having enough.  But the truth is, I'm just going to be making different choices.  For example, if I see a dress in a store window, it won't be a question of "Do I want it?" but rather "Am I willing to work the number of hours it takes to buy it?"  And the truth is, I would rather spend those hours enjoying nature, walking the dog, and baking fresh bread than working to buy that dress.  I would rather have more freedom than stuff.  No matter how fabulous it would look on me.

I'm so used to having to work full time.  It's just been a given.  And as long as I had to work all the time, I felt like I deserved to spend some of my money in ways that seemed like they would ease the stress and escape the misery of that work, that life that felt beyond my control.

Changing that pattern is going to take some effort.  I'll really be changing the way I think.  I won't need to think of things as being solace or stress relief.  They're just things.  I'm betting that consciously making decisions about how I want to spend my time, and being willing to do without some things to make that happen, will be worth it.

I have a feeling that the fear of change will likely be much worse than the change itself.  I'll keep you apprised.

Cait

Friday, March 16, 2018

Something to think about...

I have been thinking a lot recently about happiness. I used to think I was happy, but after I started full time RVing and stopped working for the man, all that changed. What I thought was happiness was only a mirage, just a veiled thin layer. Don't get me wrong - I did have days and even weeks of happiness but mostly just dreary days and dreary days. I worked hard and received for my efforts just two weeks a year for myself and family. During those few weeks I went on vacations and truly enjoyed myself, free from distractions or my real life.

After about the first year off work and after starting my RV Inspection business I started to relax some and the worries started to fade. Now approaching a year and a half of my post work life, I started to realize what I thought was happiness was a myth. I looked back at my life and noticed I had 3 phases in my life. First was my life before marriage, second was my married life and now my post work life.

Phase 1 - life before marriage was difficult for me. I graduated high school and joined the marine corps. High school was a drag and I was glad to be finished with that part of my life. My time in the corps was also not all that pleasant either as you can imagine. After I was discharged I went about my life and no real happiness was found.

On to phase 2 - Married life is great when you are married to someone as perfect as my wife Caitlin. She has made me happy for over 22 years now. But that is not the happiness I am referring to in this post.  The happiness I am referring to is the complete happiness with all aspects of life.

We have been force fed the idea of working hard, getting married, buying a home, having kids and retiring. Though I have done all of those things (except retirement) and have found happiness doing them, I still wonder if all the long hours at the office away from all of that was worth it. Could I not have actually lived a great life and found happiness without all the time away from the things that made me happy. Could I not have focused on family, friends, fun, travel without the need to work all the time to afford only a few weeks a year of this. We are all taught that if we go to school and get a great job and make a lot of money and buy things we will be happy. I found that it was not true. Having less things, spending time with family and traveling and focusing on happiness is way more satisfying. I have learned how not to buy everything I think I want, thinking it will make me happy. Well it doesn't and didn't for me.  I learned that having less meant more to me then I ever thought it would.

Phase 3 - I am about to embark on an adventure of fulltiming and workamping. I am more excited to make $11 an hour than I ever was making 5 times that in the corporate world. Money doesn't equal happiness. Taking time to enjoy the world around me make more sense than ever. Have you ever thought "What would it be like if I had no money worries?". Well I have, and I'm doing it. I feel alive and free like I did as a child when my parents paid all the bills.

I started planning my fulltime adventure years ago and mostly revolved around having enough money to live the life style I thought I wanted to live. But after the last year and a half I figured out that money doesn't make you happier, it only makes life more complicated. Not to say someone should not look at finances when planning a major life change, but you can live on much less than you think. With the option of boondocking and cooking in the RV and entertaining yourself with nature instead of movie nights and dinners out, or even fancy parties.

I suggest you really look and what you want and not just what society says we should be doing. I have found that freedom means more than anything to me and having the opportunity to work at a KOA in Yellowstone means I will have the freedom to feel alive for the first time in decades. Remember when you were in college and you had almost no worries? You can have that again!!

I will be leaving Southern California May 1st and taking a 20 days journey to West Yellowstone boondocking and living my life my way. So if you are thinking about your life in the same way, I suggest you get past all the fear and do what will make you happy. You can always go back working for the man anytime you wish. Your misery will be waiting...

I suggest you take a plunge and join me.


















Thursday, March 8, 2018

Life - Phase 3

OK folks, good news to share. I have my first workamping job starting in less than 2 months. I will be at the West Yellowstone KOA. I will be an ambassador and maintenance person. I am sure excited to be able to talk to people everyday about the place I love so much.  Caitlin and I have been visiting Yellowstone for the last 15 years or so and have fallen in love. It will be awesome to be in the area for the entire summer.

Caitlin has already found a few lakes in which to kayak while I'm at work. Stella will also love being up there chasing squirrels and birds.

I will continue to post more often to help others who want to workamp. 

Bye!

KOA Campgrounds
https://koa.com/campgrounds/yellowstone-park/

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

6 month fulltime update!!!

So after 6 months a lot has happened to us. During the first few weeks our black tank started leaking and I tore the roof off and the awning. After 10 days in the shop and staying in a hotel we got our rig back and its been great ever since.

I also took an RV tech course and found it to be awesome. I also became a certified RV inspector and was hoping to start a business and a RV inspector and RV maintenance tech, as my last post stated. Everything is going well so far.

The freedom of being a fulltime is great. We are still in our home town until we save enough to go on the road. "Going on the road" is the next milestone we are looking forward to. Work camping seems to be where we will start. I am really looking forward to getting out of town. Weekend trips just don't do it anymore, but they do help.

One this i do recommend is everyone that will be going fulltime and inst rich is take the RV Maintenance tech course from NRVIA. Tell them I sent you! This will teach you how to fix most things on your RV in just a short week course.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

More news!!

So after getting laid off last August I have decided to start my own business, a RV friendly business. I am now a NRVIA Certified RV Inspector and maintenance tech. I have started Honest RV Helper.

I have just started and have already had one client. If you need or know someone that needs an RV inspection have them check out NRVIA. I would recommend all RV's either new or used be inspected before purchase. See you out there!