“I want to be a Fulltimer, how do we do it?”
“I am going to sell everything, buy an RV and be a Fulltimer”
These are two statements Terry and I hear all of the time from folks interested in our lifestyle. Fulltiming is seen by many to be romantic, carefree and adventurous. Many try the lifestyle and fail…why? I will try to give some insight as to why the failures may occur.
Fulltiming is not to be taken lightly. At the very least it is giving up all you have known, most of what you accumulated and jerking yourselves up by the roots…in many instances destroying those roots.
Most fulltimers we know do not own a home to return to. Some have a “homebase” such as a home park in a campground membership, a deeded lot somewhere they can return to when they want or need to or just a favorite area they like to stay in. These folks have found that maintaining a home somewhere takes away the pleasure of being on the road. There is always the worry about the physical problems back at the sticks and bricks. Most have sold the homestead to be free of those worries.
In our case we knew that when we retired we would not stay in the area we had lived in for 22 years, raised the kids and had a terrific but hard life. We needed a complete change of pace, location and lifestyle. We had no real ties…no family or land that have been passed down for generations. It was time to leave. but here would we go? We only knew that we did not want the desert again, we needed green and water. We would not have animals or pets again.
So…what to do? Our farm had been paid off for several years, we had no bills other than living expenses and all the extra dollars were being invested. Our truck and fiver were paid for…we owed nothing. We dispersed all of the farm stock, the household pets (two English budgies) sold the farm, the businesses, sold or gave the huge bulk of our possessions away. We had no dogs or cats to bring with us. All proceeds were invested. We only had what we put in the rig.
How to start getting rid of stuff? We had some very devastating fires in the area and I thought about that…what if we had a fire and lost everything? What would I want to keep? Really an easy answer…not much. Papers such as tax returns, the trust, etc. Some pictures and a very few momentos. That would come with us. Everything else was disposed of. My Mom, Dad and the kids took what they wanted, most everything stayed with the farm and what did not was donated or thrown away. We had not realized how much we had accumulated over 34 years and it was daunting! It took a bit of time which is another story…but it was done!
So…the farm and businesses were sold, the stuff gone and we were ready to hit the road. Not quite! During that period we had to make sure that arrangements were made for things like mail, getting bills paid, etc. We moved into the fiver two months before leaving the farm. Terry had not yet retired and we were going to San Diego to spend his last two months of working. We found an RV park about a mile from the office which would work and made reservations for a couple of months. Those four months gave us the chance to get used to living in the small space, decide what we really wanted to keep with us and adjust to our new lives.
Now we were ready to explore! We would hit the road and put lots of miles on, see tons of new places, meet so many folks and travel, travel, travel…that is what is is all about, right? No…but we will get to that!