A reprint from 2005
I recently have gotten many private messages from those who are wanting to or considering full-timing. Some say it’s their dream. I thought I’d offer my take on it for those interested. Keep in mind it’s just my humble opinion and I honor everyone’s needs and opinion on the matter. This is just mine………………………….
The ‘ol Firedude is a simpleton I reckon. I worked my whole 33 year career as a firefighter, paying the mortgage, taxes, fighting with my mower and weed-eater and looking out my backyard window. I always had this dream over the years of selling out and full-timing in my RV. Of course these were just dreams of a man who ran 100 mph every day chasing sirens and red lights and beat himself up over his career narrowly escaping death on a few occasions and in the end winding up with a disabling injury. One that’s not obvious to an onlooker but nevertheless there and painful at times to say the least.
Towards the end of my career I began to have those “dreams” more often of full-timing. For several reasons I couldn’t keep the house AND live my dream. That wasn’t what really bothered me though. What really bothered me is I realized I would probably never live my dream at all. It was just a “picture” out my backyard window. I retired at 50 with all my health benefits paid for for life and had my health. Not rich money wise by anyone’s standards. I was looking out my backyard window one day and it hit me. I just worked most of my life and now it was time to retire from a career I loved more than anything in the world. Now it’s time to sit here and keep looking out my window and maintain this house because I might need it someday. I’ll just keep sitting here looking out my window and having my dream.
Nope I sold the house, bought my RV and began living my dream. I wasn’t about to sit there the rest of my life worrying about what might happen down the road or even when for that matter. I have met so many people who sat and looked out that window at their dreams and never did anything about it because what ifs. Those folks passed on and never lived their dream. Not for me.
When I get too old or due to health reasons I can’t travel anymore I’ll simply put the RV I have at that time in a park somewhere or sell it and rent or if the opportunity and means arise buy a small place. Pretty simply. I don’t want a house to maintain or even worry about having to sell to pay for medical expenses or a retirement facility. I don’t want the maintenance of such either.. If I can’t live in my RV any longer due to age or health I figure I’ll have to go into a care home anyway! Surely if I couldn’t live in my RV what would make me think I could handle a large home and everything to go with it??
My dad always told me, son when your dead you are gone a long time so do what you want and live your dreams the best you can. He’s right. I am living my dream and enjoying every minute of it and refuse to sit around worrying about tomorrow. It may never come. I hope the guy who bought my house looks out that rear window and sees his dream. I’m glad I’m not still there looking out that window dreaming. I’m living it now.
I know my outlook is not for everyone, it’s just the view of a old retired fire captain who had a dream and decided to live it. Everyone has their own needs and opinions on such. I just couldn’t sit there and look out that window at my dreams anymore and do nothing but leave a butt imprint in a recliner because I couldn’t afford to go anywhere or do anything. That’s not me..
If you have the means to keep your home or bank the money to buy one later and it works for you then great! My RV is my home. I love my home and enjoy my home. In my eyes it hasn’t depreciated. It’s MY home. In the meantime home is where I park it. Pretty simple stuff.
Money and material things used to come into play. Not anymore. A simple life and happiness are my priorities. Not worrying about tomorrow. If I spent all my time worrying about depreciation and appreciation I wouldn’t have time to live my dream!
I’m not sitting there looking out my backyard window dreaming. I’m on the outside looking back in and glad I decided to do what I did.
Whatever you do just don’t fail to live your dreams!! There isn’t a next time. There’s a million reasons and excuses not too. I almost got hung up in that scenario. If I did I’d still be sitting there looking out that window as time passed me by. I’ve never regretted it and haven’t looked back.
Living my dream I found a pot of gold.and an Adventure to boot. Incidentally my RV is not a toy as some may say, It’s my home and a comfortable one at that.
© 2008 Tony Cornett originally written 2-11-05
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Oh sorry I forgot to mention we have a website http://www.horsequestusa.org if anyone wants to take a look.
My wife and I are a couple of Brits who came over to the USA in 2007 to “ride our dream”. We had a big LQ horse trailer and travelled around the US trail riding in as many States as we could. We were on the road for about 9 months and in that time we visited 40 States and rode in 35.
It was a bit of a mid-life crisis thing I guess, but looking back at the photos and the memories (we gave our first talk on our travels to a group of Trail riders yesterday!) it was really worthwhile. The current economic situation has put paid to what we had back in the UK, but we fell in love with America and Virginia in particular where we are now based, and to be honest we would do it all over again if we could (with a few changes!).
However reality has surfaced once again and we are now back off the road waiting for our work permits to come through and start re-building our finances, which we drained to almost nothing as a result of our trip. We lived the dream for a while and it was amazing and I am sure we will do it again someday soon!
good luck to all you free spirits out there.
I hope to have the guts one day to get an RV and see the world (well, at least North America). I tried RVing for the first time last week, and loved it. I had a Roadtrek. Wow!
Sorry John, I’ve been on the road on the move. I usually use urgent care centers while on the road. I make it back to my “home” area each year to see my regular doctor for my annual physical. I’ve even had an urgent care doc contact my primary doctor before when making a visit so my personal doc is kept up to date.
As far as mail I made it real easy. My sons take care of it for me, but there are several mail forwarding companies out there. Post a question the RV.net Full-timing forum and you’ll get as ton of replies and suggestions! I even encountered a couple major medical issues that included surgery I talk about in my eBook. The issues you bring up are easily overcome. 😉
Best of luck to you
Congratulations to you guys ! I retired as Sheriff after 32 years. Unfortunately, Missouri has zip health benefits, so we’re in a holding pattern until Medicare/Caid kicks in (IF there’s anything left after this economic mess is over ).
What do you do about doctor’s visits while on the road for an extended time ?
How do you get mail ?
We moved to our farm when I retired. After about a year, I just got plain bored. Now I work half-days/few days a week at a small rural Sheriff’s Office as an investigator. LOTS less action but a great bunch of people.
Our year-old Outback was totalled July 25 when a levee broke so we’re now in an ’09 after settlling with insurance.
Walt, congrats buddy on your career! We did in fact almost take mirror paths!. Keep it safe and watch the “5150’s”. 😉 I thought I get awy from them, but it’s never going to happen. I’ll go visit your site.
You and I took very similiar paths, 32 years as a Special Agent with Cal Dept of Justice. Retired at 53, all benefits in effect. Sold my home outside Sacramento and took to the road. Been fulltiming for almost 7 years. What a great country we have.We have hit 49 states and still loving it. I am still giving back to the community by Camp Hosting for BLM. LOve meeting people from all walks of life and finding out how good I really have it. “Keep on truckin” and keep on writing, enjoy your entries a lot.
40 ft HR Endeavor DP
Ken, Hold to your dreams buddy. They only come by once. I’ve been at it now for over 6 years and I can’t post enough here to tell about it,. but it is available in my eBook above. It chronicles the days I was still on the job as a fire captain, the transition and my years as a full-timer camp host which incidentally I am “retiring” from this Friday!! It’s time to travel more! Best of luck you you both in your own adventures.
Firedude, you hit it right on. I’m 2yrs retired and have been traveling but not fulltime as yet. We still have some responsibilities (mother-in-law and Aunt) we need to watch out for but we do our best to keep them happy and still do the traveling that we want to do. We may never full time, who knows, but we’re not gonna just sit and watch as life passes by the back window either. Hitting the road soon for a much needed trip to the mountains and some color. Can’t wait! We try and make at least 2 long (2-3 month) trips a year spiked by as many 3-7 day short trips to the beach or mountains etc. as we can get away with. Life is short, but it is OH SO Sweet too.
You have placed all the reasons to go fulltime RVing in very simple terms that everyone can relate to and that was important to all of us that are leaning in that direction.
Your statement…Money and material things used to come into play. Not anymore. A simple life and happiness are my priorities. Not worrying about tomorrow. If I spent all my time worrying about depreciation and appreciation I wouldn’t have time to live my dream!
I am in the process of scaling down in my home, selling off things! Getting ready to rent my home to someone that will appreciate it, now is not the time to sell! I feel that my location is convenient for someone that works downtown Sacramento. Keep good thoughts on finding someone that will rent our special home.
Taking the steps toward fulltime will open many doors for relationships and business opportunities for us to supplement our income. I will not let the sale of my home dictate the timing of my going on the road. So I will make due with my present circumstances.
Your article places the sense of urgency to not wait and so I keep moving toward this next spring as our launching date. I will keep you in mind when that happens.
Keep us all posted on your adventures because we need your positive advice and feedback.
Exactly what I did only I would never ever consider going back to gardening, pool cleaning, eaves gutter cleaning and roof maintenance. When I quit this full-timing around North and South America I’ll find a nice condo with a balcony and a green plant. No lawn.