When you tell someone you have this dream of living in an RV, you usually get a few of the expected responses. Some are afraid for you, because, as you already know, you’re a single person. How will you support yourself? How will you stay safe? How will you drive it? You’re a little person after all! Even last week, a friend of mine said “why can’t you just move into an apartment somewhere new? You won’t have a guy with you.” I was like “um, you’re telling ME that I won’t be with a guy, and that’s why I should be worried….” Of course this friend of mine , who I love dearly, watches a lot of true crime shows. As a single person, more specifically, a woman, I don’t need to remind myself of all the sickness in the world. All I can do is prepare myself as best as I can for whatever each day throws at me. And well, my friend must have momentarily forgotten that I can be like the Tasmanian Devil as one of my friends nicknamed me. But in a good way (of course.)
Others are very excited for you, and some are even wistful, maybe wishing that they could do the same, or at least experience some of that feeling of freedom from the drudgery of the routine of day to day life. Now, before you think I have gone off into la-la land and think it’s going to be all roses and petunias, trust me, I don’t. I know there are going to be problems along the way. I know there will be times when I worry about money (ok, I already do that….), and repairs, etc. But I also know I can’t wait forever. I guess it’s kind of like what they say about having kids – if you wait until you are ready and have enough money, it’ll never happen.
So, I keep reading RV blogs and RV forums, etc., and watching YouTube videos of people living in their RVs, trying to learn as much as I can. I’ve subscribed to the Dreamers portion of the Workampernews.com website so I can learn as much as possible about that way of life and see if it’s viable for me. I like the idea of being able to work some place seasonally, see the region and learn different skills that I won’t get by sitting in an office every day. But at the same time, the idea of not necessarily being in one place all year round is a bit scary. Will I be lonely? Will I be able to secure enough work for myself far enough in advance and even more important, will it pay enough to allow me to pay for my expenses?
I know that I would like to be able to either work outdoors or work in an area that is beautiful and has places I can escape to on my time off. I know I want to be more connected to the natural world than I am now. So, I think about going to school for something like that, but then I hear from others that it is more important, sometimes, to get on the job training rather than learning a lot from books. And a big part of me agrees with that. And what if I spend all this money on more schooling and don’t end up making any more in some job than someone who didn’t spend all those bucks?
I have been thinking of attending an outdoor school but the price tag is a bit scary at $10,350. That’s about 2/3 of the balance of the LAL loan I’ve been fighting so hard to get rid of. (Oh, and drum roll please, with my most recent payment, the balance should be BELOW $15K!!!!!!!!!!) I cannot tell you how much I want and NEED that loan to be gone by the time I go on the road. It will make such a huge difference, and be a great weight off of my shoulders. To have part of my law school education paid off, FINALLY. It’s a loan I thought I would have until I turned 54. Can you imagine? Yes, it is like a freaking mortgage, but let’s not get me started going down that lane.
I do have a concern about getting work – when I tried to get out of the legal law firm world many years ago, I faced so much hesitation on the part of employers. After all, I had this law degree….why would I ever not want to do something in that world? Wasn’t it such a glamorous life?? (Um, in a word, NOOOOOO). And not all lawyers get paid the big bucks like everyone thinks. But that fear is again creeping up – I am worried that people will think I wouldn’t possibly take a job that pays less than $15 an hour, or who knows, even less… (Many workamping positions don’t pay highly because they are something akin to entry level positions.) But can I be honest? It would be REALLY nice to leave my work at work, both mentally and physically, for a change. And if I could spend some of my time living in a gorgeous area of the country, say, the Olympic Peninsula, or the Grand Canyon, well, trust me, I can find stuff to do that’s not going to cost me anything, or very little.
So, as you can see, I feel like I am all over the place. I like the NW but wonder what kind of seasonal jobs there would be to had, if I went that route? And what happens if I start having to pay more on my federal loans? How will I afford them? What about the fact that I will be taxed at a higher bracket for 2015 than I will in 2016, but not making the same type of wage I am now making in 2014? (My thought on that is to save extra for the tax bill while I am working in my full time and part time jobs so that I don’t get stuck when filing my 2015 taxes.) So, yes…I am a planner. But from what I am reading online, that’s a trait that will help me when my home becomes an RV.
By chance, I came across an interview on youtube the other day of this blogger, at Interstellar Orchard and I’ve been reading through many of her posts, because it seems like every question I might come up with, she has had to deal with. She makes it on seasonal employment but she didn’t start out with the debt that I have. But I know she knows of others who have. I just like her very pragmatic approach to tackling problems and the type of lifestyle she is leading. And she seems very down to earth. If you are even considering this lifestyle, I suggest you head on over to her blog and check it out.
Anyway, this post has already grown much longer than I expected it to, so thanks for listening/reading if you’ve made it this far.