My focus of the last three years has been so squarely on becoming a full time RVer that I’ve spent little time on anything not in the realm of achieving my goal. But my time in the life I have lived for so many years is winding down and has moved me to reflection. Today, I reflect on the things I think I’ll miss most about living in a “real” house. Some are probably pretty obvious. Others maybe not so much.
Space. This is one of the obvious ones. But really for me I am not referring to all space, not referring to the drastic difference between a 1,700 square foot home and a 200 square foot trailer. I am talking about space on my dining room table. My dining room table hosts approximately one meal per year (yes, I mean year) when it’s my turn to host Book Club. Otherwise the table is my office. I cannot seem to write or work in a small space. I love having my calendar, sticky notes, lined paper, graph paper, blank paper, journals, pens, pencils, paperclips, rulers, highlighters and my coffee mug all within arms’ length as I work. Downsized living will change this greatly.
- I absolutely know I will learn about what it takes to be a fulltime RVer. Experience is my teacher. Even if I’m filled with fear and unease at the start. I knew nothing about blogging or WordPress or social media before six months ago. And though I still struggle with basic functions of all three, I have taught myself enough to post an entry once a week and to promote it on social media. I’m not even close to where I want to be when it comes to my skill level, but at least I’m no longer afraid of it. Now, the same unsettled topsy-turvy stomach fluttering happens with thoughts of moving into a rig. I don’t know anything about propane having never owned a grill. I know nothing about water conservation having lived in a state without water problems. Tires, a composting toilet, emptying tanks, hooking up a tow vehicle to a trailer are more things I know nothing about. Basically what I know about being a fulltime RVer: nothing. So that preamble is my way of saying, at least initially, I’m going to miss knowing how my house works.
- Some larger RVs have either a stackable washer/dryer or one machine that is both the washer and the dryer. On my list of “wants” for a rig, this was never included. For the rig size that’s been my target, there simply isn’t enough room. As I move from being able to throw in a load whenever I want, to having to plan a trip to the closest town’s laundromat, I’m pretty sure there will be days I’ll be missing this creature comfort.
- A really comfortable cozy bed. One that fits a dog, a cat and me. A bed that’s easy to change the bedding. I’ll miss that.
- I have great expectations for breathtaking sunsets and awe-inspired sunrises. Vast landscapes of color and big sky. I look forward to black nights and glitter stars. To full bright moons and mountain silhouettes. I look most forward to how much time I will spend in nature. Still, early mornings and late evenings in the long light of an Alaska summer from my perch is hard to leave. Nothing beats sitting on my little balcony, a cup of coffee or a glass of wine in hand and a book in my lap with my pets nearby as I look out over my front yard in a neighborhood I’ve resided for a decade. Though, as much as I adore my balcony time, it’s possible with the eye candy and adventure of my new life, I may never give my balcony, my house, my neighborhood another thought.
- Shower with head and elbow room. A bathtub.
I found my cat 12 years ago. Or, rather, she found me. At the time, I lived in a 700 square foot condo. And until then, I never knew I was allergic to cats. I ended up on prescription allergy pills to manage the crazy itchy eyes and sneezing. But it must be a mild allergy because a couple years later when I moved into my 1,700 square foot house, I didn’t need the pills any longer. I assume the bigger space disbursed the allergy-causing particles enough to no longer cause a reaction. I further have assumed I will go back on the pills when my space shrinks to a third of my small house. Not looking forward to that. But she is mine and I am hers until the end. And sometimes you do things you don’t want to do for the ones you love.
- It’s hard enough to find service people who provide a high-quality service for a reasonable price. Established relationships with professionals like doctors, dentists, the vet clinic and my mechanic are hard to walk away from. Even when I need a new service, I rely on the referrals of friends who have those long established relationships. On the road I will never be in one place long enough to establish relationships. It’s unlikely I’ll know someone in a particular area to get a reliable referral. It means relying heavily on the reviews others write online. On the list, this is the only one that actually scares me a little.
- Plumbing that doesn’t require thought or hoses. Obviously!
Despite this list and every other thing I’ll miss or fear I have, I am overwhelmingly excited about what this change is making possible. The trade-off will be so much bigger than a few inconveniences. And that, I don’t doubt a second.