Updated: Nov 20, 2021
RV life is an incredible way to live. When you look at it from a distance, people at first glance think it amazing. However, when you start to dig deeper, reality sets in. You start to think of all the things most of us would have to give up. Giving up the house and most of our possessions in exchange for a cramped living space and handling your own sewer lines does not sound as exciting anymore.
The RV life is not about the sacrifices, which is what everyone focuses on the most. This lifestyle is about what you get in return for those sacrifices. By giving up space, you have more time and freedom. For me it is not about the space I once had, but the experiences I have gained from this opportunity.
Living this lifestyle does not take your desire away for the finer things in life. If you set out on this journey and focus on the “benefits” of this lifestyle whenever those feelings of doubt creep in, you can squash them with happy thoughts and memories. It’s not that when you live the RV lifestyle you never want material things again. Honestly, it is an ongoing struggle that takes place in your mind often. You see a nice fancy, roomy, home and you look at it and think I would never want that again! WRONG!
Maybe for some that is the case, but from my experience the desire is still there. The difference is I look at that big beautiful home and I immediately tell myself, “Am I willing to give up my TIME to pay for that?” Am I willing to leave my family daily to exchange my time for a higher paycheck to pay for a nicer home. The ironic thing is I will not get to spend much time in that home, because I am at work to pay for it.
Time is money in a sense. We are exchanging our time to someone and they compensate us in monetary value. The more time I give them, the more money I receive is usually how it works. Yes we all need money to survive, but we realized in the end we didn’t NEED as much as we thought we did. If we own less, we have less to pay for. The difference is now we have more TIME and that is the most precious gift of all.
When I see that house now and I start to questions things, I slow down and look at the big picture. I kind of do a “Would You Rather” game in my mind. Would you rather have more space and less time? My answer is NO! Would you rather have a life of travel and adventure or a big house that requires more hours away from family. Easy, I take adventure! Would you rather clean 200 square feet or 2,000 square feet? No brainer for me, I will take the 200! Playing these questions in my head always brings me back to reality. The world tells us we need more, bigger, better, but the world is not our guide. Do what makes YOU happy in life.
My happy world I described may not be your dream world. Your happiness may be that house to call home and everyone has different views on what they experience to be happiness. There is no right or wrong, just different as we say in our family. I am only suggesting don’t let the world tell you what makes you happy. We get one shot at this thing called life and it is too short to spend it trying to impress others or live a life that others claim will make us happy.
If you let the world dictate your happiness, you will never be satisfied. There will always be something else to add to the ongoing list. Escaping to the RV world is not an end-all in the comparison trap. RV’s are homes on wheels, so it is only natural to see what others are traveling in and have rig envy.
If you follow other likeminded travelers on social media you even get travel envy as well. You see all the great places they are experiencing and even though you have a great view out your window, you are still focusing on what they see. Don’t let comparison steal your joy in life. Being thankful has been the antidote for my envy. I am thankful for this time with family. I am thankful for the beauty we witness everyday. I am thankful for the people and relationships we make along the way. I am thankful to be thankful!
There is no escape to envy or comparison, but we can choose to be thankful in our circumstances. Life is not perfect. I am far from perfect. But perfect is boring. Whether you are on the road, want to be on the road, or not sure if this is the lifestyle for you, just know happiness is for the taking!