Living in an RV and Traveling (with 5 kids) is Freaking Awesome
I realize living in an RV and traveling with kids is not on most people’s bucket list and for good reason. It’s challenging and requires a great deal of perspective. Most days I do have to stop and remind myself why this is a conscious choice made with intention. There are many reasons I love this lifestyle, but here five of the reasons I wake up excited to be living in an RV and traveling the world with my kids.
I love that everything that is important to me is always with me and it can be packed up and ready to move in less than an hour. When I’m ready for a change of scenery or a new adventure it takes very little work to grab it and go. Besides the obvious freedom to move, the cost of living is so much smaller that it allows freedom to spend my time doing things that are valuable to me and bring me a lot of happiness. If you are considering living in an RV and traveling, think about where you’d like to see yourself spending most of your time. We live in an RV because we like an ever changing backyard, which means we pack light in order to move easily. Many people downsize to an RV to save money, but are looking to stay put in RV parks and can hang onto a lot more stuff. It’s very important to know what your intention is when you decide to live in an RV and travel.
I traded couches for hammocks and couldn’t be happier. There’s a reason why pictures of hammocks are associated with vacation and relaxation. I dare you to try lying in a hammock and not feel absolutely in heaven while you are there. We have a free standing hammock and one you can hang from trees so wherever we are we can lie back and watch the sky. The benefits of getting horizontal on your adrenal health is incredible. If we ever move back into a house, I’m hanging a hammock inside.
I have three windows and a small shelf around my bed. I spend a lot of time curled up on my bed reading and writing or staring out the window at the amazing scenery I’m surrounded by. My kids all cuddle up together on the couch to watch a movie. My friends tell me how each of their kids goes to their own rooms and watch their own show on their own iPad and I can’t relate. The closeness our family gets from living in such tight quarters is wonderful.
How many times a day do you get to look at the sky? It’s really amazing. Watching it change from darkness to sunrise as the sky moves through the colors, pink, purple, blue, and finally, a bright yellow gives you a feeling of invincibility as you start the day full of potential to do and be anything you want. Then, to follow the sun as it traces it’s arc across the wide open sky and observe the constantly moving clouds, reminds me of the impermanence of life and that the only constant is change. The beautiful colors of the sunset and the feeling of a day well spent reminds me to be grateful for all I have. Then finally the night sky, an endless mystery of something so immense, puts on a magic show right before my eyes.
For most of the time, we are camping in national parks, rural areas, or small cities, which means there is always something active to do literally right outside our door. We have hiked to the most spectacular destinations (Grinnell Glacier), surfed in some amazing breaks (Pavones, Costa Rica), biked around beautiful cities (Vancouver, Canada), and rock climbed in complete solitude (Puoux, Glenwood Springs).
We have eliminated the nonessentials and have only kept what is of value to us. I use to spend hours cleaning my house, picking up after my kids, organizing and reorganizing all the stuff we had accumulated, now I don’t. There’s an efficiency to this way of living that makes life simpler and in doing so you feel lighter and can breathe a little slower and deeper.
Living in an RV and traveling is not for everyone, but there are a lot of great lessons it does teach you. I know living like this is a bit weird, but I love that my kids are learning the difference between wants and needs, value nature over having stuff, and enjoy that there is always someone around ready to listen to them.
Need a little inspiration to hit the road and take a trip in an RV? Read my book, 1000 Miles of Memories. It is sure to inspire you to give RV travel a try!
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