Full Time RV Life – It’s Time to Unprogram

Note: The following was submitted by Jennifer Leigh at PeaceOfThePath.com

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>Over the past few years I’ve written thousands of stories. I’m a journalist who has been tear gassed during riots in Ferguson and I’ve listened to bombs drop just miles away on the border of Syria. I’ve seen a lot. And </span><i><span style=”font-weight: 400;”>I’ve written a lot more</span></i><span style=”font-weight: 400;”>.</span>

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<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>This is, however, the first story to hit my new website here at </span><i><span style=”font-weight: 400;”>Peace of the Path</span></i><span style=”font-weight: 400;”>. And I have to say… it’s an extraordinary challenge trying to figure out where to begin.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>I suppose I’ll start with the obvious. Yes, I’m in the process of selling off everything I own to close out life as I know it and hit the road for a new life of full time RV’ing. It’s a process that is both terrifying and profoundly enlightening.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>I’m a </span><i><span style=”font-weight: 400;”>just-entering-my-thirties</span></i><span style=”font-weight: 400;”> woman with a beautiful and absolutely perfect Belgian Malinois named Ruger. He and I have been through thick and thin. We’ve had our adventures, our ups-and-downs and we both connect with each other in magical ways.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>But while we have our adventures (both for business and pleasure) I just can’t shake a vibe that has plagued me for the better part of a year now.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”><em>I’m programmed</em>.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>To understand what I’m about to say let’s first look at the actual definition of the word program.</span>

<li style=”font-weight: 400;”><span style=”font-weight: 400;”>provide coded instructions for the automatic performance of a particular task.</span></li>
<li style=”font-weight: 400;”><span style=”font-weight: 400;”>arrange according to a plan or schedule.</span></li>
<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>I’ve traveled around the world. I’ve seen the best and the worst of humanity. I’ve seen ancient ruins and climbed the heights of some of the newest, most modern buildings in the world.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>One way to look at this is that a lot of the people I know may never get the chance to see what I’ve seen, do what I’ve done and experience those kinds of experiences. When I look at it that way I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunities I’ve had. I don’t want to come off as someone who gets to do things a lot of people don’t and I don’t  appreciate it. That’s certainly not the case. But the truth is each of my adventures comes with a reality that I can’t ever shake.</span>

<i><span style=”font-weight: 400;”>They end</span></i><span style=”font-weight: 400;”>.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>And because they end, they’re programmed while they occur. My trips are always scheduled. I have an arrival time and a departure time. I must fit what I want to accomplish between the two. I must pick and choose what experiences I can go through and which I must cast aside due to time constraints.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>This creates a mental environment where I can’t actually relax, slow down and soak up the experiences themselves. I’m constantly looking at schedules, calendars, reservations, events and my watch. And I have that nagging feeling in my mind that keeps reminding me that in a finite number of days or hours I have to board a plane and head back home.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>It makes the entire concept of a vacation feel very programmed. Which, considering that a vacation is supposed to be a time of no programmed life, defeats the purpose.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>Speaking of programmed life… that’s a bigger part of this subject. I recently realized that I go to the same restaurants, the same movie theaters, the same grocery stores, the same gas station, the same coffee shop, the same car wash and the same park every week. While it may temporarily feel like I’m living an active and enjoyable life, the reality is it’s all very, very routine. It’s a cycle that doesn’t change.</span>

<i><span style=”font-weight: 400;”>It’s all programmed</span></i><span style=”font-weight: 400;”>.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>I’ve always heard people refer to others as cogs in the wheel, but until this year I never felt as though I was actually one of the many cogs. Now, however, I very much feel like a cog. My routine, my program if you will, exists almost entirely for the simple task of keeping someone else’s wheel turning.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>I work to pay for a nice townhouse downtown that I cannot fully enjoy because of my </span><i><span style=”font-weight: 400;”>schedule</span></i><span style=”font-weight: 400;”>. I have paid for </span><i><span style=”font-weight: 400;”>things</span></i><span style=”font-weight: 400;”> such as furniture that I don’t really use because there are spaces that needed </span><i><span style=”font-weight: 400;”>something</span></i><span style=”font-weight: 400;”> to keep them from being empty. I have bills I pay that only exist to support a home I don’t utilize because of a demanding schedule.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>What is the point of the daily grind if its only true purpose is to create infrastructure that supports the daily grind?</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>Something has to give. Something drastic has to happen.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>I’m young. My dog is young. I make decent money and I can work from anywhere. </span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>I love, LOVE seeing new places, breathing in mountain air, watching the sun set and sitting by campfires at night. Why settle for a grind that might let me enjoy all of that two weeks a year? Why not just do that EVERY day? Why not make THAT my life?</span>

<i><span style=”font-weight: 400;”>WHY NOT?</span></i>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>Once I let this all sink in for a bit an overwhelming sensation spread across my core being. It was so obvious. It was so pure.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>I can live anywhere I want, any time I want. I can see whatever I want for as long as I want.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>I can live in an RV full time.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>And that’s exactly what I’m going to do.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>I hope anyone who reads this will consider following along as move forward on this journey. I’m just getting started (very early stages of selling things/working on timelines) and there is a ton to do between now and go time. But I plan on documenting all of it. The ups, the downs, the why on earth did I do this moments… All of it. I plan on soaking up as much as I can from others who have been doing this for years and those just starting out. I plan on sharing my experiences with anyone interested in breaking away for the path commonly travelled and I long for the day I get out there and hopefully meet others doing the same.</span>

<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>This is a HUGE step for me. It’s a big decision for anyone! But I’m ready.</span>

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<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>Stay tuned for more and thanks for reading!</span>

OH! And if you have thoughts or comments please, PLEASE add them below. I need all the help I can get and any advice out there would be greatly appreciated.

Check out Jennifer’s blog at PeaceOfThePath.com.