Just a couple years ago we were living “normal” lives.
Until last year we had normal jobs, a normal house, and normal routines. Honestly, we didn’t think anything was wrong or needed to change in our lives. Yes, our jobs were tough and required 60+ hours a week. Yes, we had a huge home that required a lot of maintenance. Yes, we had daily routines, went to the gym, took vacations, had friends over for dinner, etc. And, we loved our lives (for the most part!).
Then, we discovered our retirement community.
We first discovered our retirement community when we hauled our travel trailer to Phoenix for a few weeks to escape an especially cruel Rocky Mountain winter. We had only been “camping” for a couple days when Carter asked whether I’d ever live there. I pretty much said “hell no.” I loved our home and our lives in Colorado. Well, 3 days later, we were the proud owners of a park model. We paid a whopping $27,000 for our new place, which we thought would be little winter getaway for a few weeks each year.
It didn’t take long for us to realize we wanted to spend more than a few weeks a year in Arizona. We fell in love with the residents, activities, weather, and simple lifestyle.
We ended up selling our big home in the mountains outside of Denver and moving to our retirement community full-time. And, we love it!
Then, we re-discovered the RV community.
After we retired in 2018, we decided to try spending winters in our Arizona park model and summers in our travel trailer. I was fairly new to RV life, but Carter had been vacationing in some form of an RV for 20+ years. I’d say we were 50% confident we could actually pull off RV living for an entire summer before we hit the road.
We started watching every video we could about boondocking, black tanks (ick!), storage, RV parks, internet, cell phone reception, etc. We also joined a gazillion Facebook groups, Instagram pages, and YouTube channels.
We learned so much from other RVers that we had the confidence to hit the road for the summer. Any problems we’ve had along the way, we’ve found others to provide advice, alternatives and encouragement.
We’re learning we need more than just a virtual community year round.
For a lot of us our communities come from family, co-workers, sports, classmates, and friends we’ve met along the way. We have a huge community, but we sure miss everyone when we’re on the road. And, honestly, we didn’t expect to miss everyone so much. Yes, we love spending time with each other and with new acquaintances…but, we miss having a diverse community.
We’ve been on the road for 3 months. We’ve visited 19 states, seen countless historical sites, encountered hundreds of deer, gone swimming dozens of times, put 200 miles on our bikes, and eaten more than a few ice cream cones. But, we miss still our friends and family. Nothing can replace face-to-face conversations, belly laughs, and family dinners.
Thank you to our retirement community for showing us a simple way of living, how to stay active, and what it means to live the fullest life you can. Thank you for welcoming us into the retirement community even though we’re still considered “the kids”. You’ve inspired us, challenged us, and embraced our adventurous sides. Thank you!
Thank you to our RV community for giving us the confidence to live life on the road. Thank you for all of the suggestions and advice you’ve provided. And, thank you for keeping it real! We’ll likely never meet most of you in person, but it still feels great to be part of a virtual community. We know we’re not the only ones dealing with poop pyramids, patching roof leaks, and trying to figure out what else we can cram into the tiny storage space under the bed. Thank you!
And, of course, thank you to our families for joining us for parts of our journey, calling us (sometimes daily), following us on social media, and checking in to make sure we’re okay. We know some of you think we’re crazy, but you’re still supportive and inquisitive. Thank you!