Less Really Is More Now

At least it is for my husband Bill, and I. If you follow my blog you know that Bill and I just recently retired, sold everything we owned including our home, bought a 39 foot 2013 motorhome with only 11 thousand miles on it, and are now full-time RVers and we are loving every minute of our new lifestyle.

Since we made the decision to become full-time RVers, we have been asked over and over again what prompted us to go full-time RV instead of keeping our home and buying a travel trailer and just travel at will… I will try to answer that question now. Bill and I met at work 28 years ago. We became friends, and over time, that friendship bloomed into a love affair unlike anything I had ever known, and it wasn’t long until we knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. We married on September 6th 1988 and very quickly found that when we were not working, we loved spending our days off taking trips around Arizona. We spent a lot of time exploring Sedona, Prescott, Payson and Jerome. When we had a long weekend, we would take advantage of South West Airlines deals to San Diego. We could hop on a plane and be there in 45 minutes. We began to think of San Diego, and especially Coronado Island, as our personal playground.We were so in love and happy and one way we expressed our happiness was slow dancing around our room.

Fast forward five years and we adopted our daughter, Shantel, and our lives revolved around her and her needs. When Shantel lost her sight to cancer at the age of two, our lives changed again as we educated ourselves on how we would raise her and give her the best foundation on which she could eventually grow up and create a life of her own, independent of us…. Of course, if you follow my blog, you know the long complicated story of what we faced during the years Shantel was in school and the toll that took on all of us. So much so that when Bill came home from work exhausted from the physical labor of his day, and I came home exhausted from the mental stress of my workday and dealing with the school systems to help Shantel have what she needed to be successful throughout her school years…we no longer had the energy to dance…, and that always made me sad… We never lost our love for each other, and our underlying friendship was always there…., but it was just so hard to make the time we wanted when we were always so exhausted… But through it all, we always agreed that we were doing the right thing and we would do it all over again if needed.

As the years passed, eventually Shantel graduated college with two degrees and made the decision to move out and into her own apartment. Bill and I were so very proud of her but fearful for her safety as well. To be honest, I never really thought Shantel would want to stay in her own apartment, living alone, long-term… But after the first year, she signed another year lease and I came to terms with the fact that this is really what she wants and I started turning my thoughts to what now? What do Bill and I do with the rest of our lives… ? Bill and I found ourselves alone again in our home after 20 years of raising a second family… and we began to reconnect on a much deeper level again. We started doing the type of things we love to do again, and I started thinking about the possibility of retiring and traveling around the United States and Canada, something I’ve always wanted to do but kept that as my personal secret because I also had responsibility for seeing after my mother who lives in a Care Center. I remember thinking that there just never seemed to be the right opportunity for Bill and I when we had no one to be responsible for but ourselves. But, I soon found out that I was wrong.

Over the Christmas holidays, I began thinking of reconnecting with my daughter, Katie. I reached out to her and she responded, and we reconnected and began working on rebuilding our relationship… Then, slowly, Shantel reconnected with Katie and I knew then that if Bill and I were to retire and travel, Shantel would have someone, other than our dear friends Holly and Chuck, and her best friend, Jaz, to depend on if she ever needed help.

My mother’s health was in real decline and as I watched that progress over time, I knew there was nothing more that I could do to help my mother, and I knew that she was in good hands at the Care Center. Over the past six years, I visited my mother 2-3 times a week and I really got to know the staff. They are all very kind and work hard to support the needs of all the residents.

So, with the knowledge that Shantel would be fine without us there, and my mother in good hands, I started talking to Bill about selling everything and buying a motorhome and traveling. At first Bill didn’t think I was serious… he didn’t think I would really sell all of our possessions and live in a motorhome. We had a beautiful home and lovely things, but I knew we could not afford to keep the house up and do the kind of traveling I wanted to do… I want to be able to go where ever we want and stay as long as we want… and with our home being paid off, I knew we could take the money from the sale of the house and pay cash for our motorhome. I also did my research and knew that there are lots of opportunities throughout the country to “work camp” where you work a few hours a week in exchange for your park fees and you get full electric, water, sewer etc. for your motorhome. So basically when you work camp, you live free except for your food and gas in the car we drive to get around town… And with our pensions, and social security, we would have more than enough to really enjoy our traveling years.

Once I had all my research completed and knew the facts about full-time RV life, I knew that was what I wanted to do. I just had to decide if I wanted it bad enough to give up everything we owned and the life we lived to obtain it… When Bill and I sat down and really discussed the details of the full-time RV plan he said he loves to travel and knew he could live anywhere with me as long as I was happy… I told him I never wanted anything so bad in my life and I was willing to do whatever it took to accomplish this dream.

The next week we had a huge estate sale and sold everything…. and the following week we put the house on the market and it sold for full asking price in 24 hours. Three weeks later we bought our motorhome and we are now parked in Quail Creek State Park in Utah where we secured a camp host position until October when we will go back to Phoenix for the winter.

Bill and I are living our retirement dream and loving every minute of our new full-time RV lifestyle… And, for the first time, in a long time, …. we dance!

Stay Tuned!

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ellen Kaufman
    Jun 18, 2015 @ 23:32:41

    Sounds like a fairytale come true! Harvey and I loved to travel before and after we retired and also enjoyed seeing and visiting all parts of this beautiful country, but now we have come to the time in our lives when it is so nice to be with our kids and grandchildren when we want to be and be in our Beach Home other times. Love to smell the salt air and hear the waves and see our kids enjoy their visits with our grandchildren . I would say retirement is a gift to all of us any way you wish to enjoy it . Like you say as long as your with your soulmate, the one you love and can dance even in the rain! Have fun and enjoy every minute with your partner and dance❤️💋🍷

    Reply

  2. gotham girl
    Jun 19, 2015 @ 12:21:32

    Wonderful compilation of your life! Whew! Dance away young things, dance away! xoxoxo

    Reply

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