March 25, 2019
People we’ve met have asked how we live as we do. How did we make the leap and give up everything that was familiar, comfortable, routine? Many have thought about doing it but the fear of the unknown has stopped them.
For me it was easy. I needed the change and felt restricted in my old life. I wanted out! It was much harder on John and I know he did it for me. This life isn’t for everyone but those that are interested, take heed; don’t let fear of the unknown control your life.
When I first met John (many years back), he was living a very neat, orderly, and planned out life. He wasn’t overly rigid in his plans but he also wasn’t comfortable with last minute changes. He liked to know what was happening days in advance. We are very different but that’s OK. People are who they are.
Dating me was hard on him. I disrupted that calm, peaceful lifestyle. If a Saturday dawned with beautiful weather, I’d toss any random plans we had and suggest we run off for a day at the zoo or a hike in a park. This would throw John off to no end. Our conversations would go something like:
Holly: It’s a beautiful day, let’s go to the zoo.
John: What? I was going to mow the lawn. We were going to hang out at the house and grill burgers. We can’t just run off somewhere. We didn’t plan. We have to check schedules. What about lunch? What time would we be back?
Holly: I don’t know. Grab the daypack, well pick up subs and chips and picnic when we’re hungry. We’ll just hop the subway and head out. The lawn and burgers can wait for tomorrow.
John: But… But!!
Sometimes we rolled out, sometimes it was too much for John to handle. I tried not to fry his brain too much but I know dealing with my personality was stressful to him. Nothing neat and organized in my brain. (Why did that sweet, quiet man ever ask the crazy lady out in the first place?)
Jump to about 30 years ago. I was a Boy Scout leader… Outside, camping, hiking, canoeing, checking out critters, doing basic first aid and survival stuff. All things that were pretty foreign to him. He was a rocket scientist, a computer guy, an enginurd. He liked things neat and orderly, not crazy with mud and leaves and bugs and snakes. But he rolled out with me and learned all that stuff he missed as a kid and his confidence grew. The woods were no longer part of the greater “unknown”. He accepted the outdoors and he lost his fear.
Jump again to our life on the road as it is today. We are sitting in our motor home in Arizona sipping coffee. I’m typing and John is reading the newspaper online. The sun is rising over the mountains. The birds are singing and calling from the trees around us. A cute little ground squirrel is frolicking outside my window. Life is peaceful. Life is good.
We have plans for today and a site for tonight. After that, we don’t know. We are aiming for the Sedona area tomorrow but we may divert. We aren’t stressing over it. We’ll find a spot to camp and something cool to see or learn.
More importantly, John isn’t stressing over it. It’s not a scary “unknown”. He drives the rig with confidence (this man can pull off a U-turn on a 28 foot motor home towing a car… in traffic!) He has learned how to check and maintain all the basic systems in the rig. He isn’t a fix-it guy but we accept that and hire someone as needed (just like we did in the house in the suburbs). He can set up camp and be chilling in a chair enjoying life 15 minutes after he backs into the site. He is a happy, contented man.
All this was scary at first but not anymore. We still have unknowns but we don’t fear them. My advice to those that are considering a life on the road, just do it. You’ll be confused. You’ll make mistakes. You’ll find your way.
John originally agreed to one year on the road then he wanted his old life back. Two months into the journey, he let go of the tether to the house and the old life. The fear of the unknown was gone. He was ready for the adventure. We tossed the one year limit.
It took a bit longer to reach the the level of comfort we enjoy today. At first he needed to know we had booked sites for at least two weeks out. He wasn’t comfortable totally winging it. Eventually be became comfortable with that and we seldom know where we’ll be more than a few nights out. We embrace the unknown… And we roll!