Since I was a child, I’d often fantasized about living in an RV and traveling the country. I think many people have that idea at some point in their life. It’s not something I thought about every day and I never thought I’d actually do it. In fact, I’m sure there are many people out there that have been dreaming of full-time travel for years and are still in a sticks and bricks house dreaming about it. Perhaps you are one of them. Today, a million Americans live full-time in RVs, according to the RV Industry Association. Some people start planning many years in advance and eventually turn their dream into reality. That’s not how I ended up where I am today.
It was April 2018 when my landlord gave me notice to move out of my house. I lived in this house for about 3 years and dreaded the day when I’d have to move again. It’s a lot of work for anyone to move, but it’s even more difficult for someone that has a physical disability. I’ve been fortunate to have great friends that have assisted me throughout my life, but it is not easy for me to ask for help. The owner of the home I was living in is a friend and I was sad to learn that her and her husband would be getting a divorce. She would be moving out of state and he would be moving into the house I was currently occupying. I had to start looking for another place to live.
The housing market in the Oakhurst area was (and still is) very challenging for long-term renters, like myself. Many rental properties have been converted into short-term vacation rentals, leaving very few options for residents that do not own their own home. Purchasing a home is also difficult since recent wildfires have driven up the price of home fire insurance, if you can get it at all. If you are lucky enough to find a home listed for monthly rental or annual lease, it’s likely to be extremely overpriced, not the most suitable floor plan and very unlikely to accept pets. I joked that I’d have an easier time trying to make moves to repair my friends broken marriage. Someone suggested I start sending roses from him to her or send them on a romantic getaway. My landlord, knowing that I’d have a challenge ahead of me, gave me 3 months to find something that would work. I think she had her mind set and was ready to leave him and California behind.
I began looking at all options I’d come across and quickly became discouraged. One evening, I was sitting on my living room chair, watching Youtube, when I came across a video of a family that was traveling full-time in their RV. It was as if a big load had been lifted off my chest when I realized I had another option. I immediately stopped searching for a home to rent and began looking at RV’s.
I became extremely excited at the idea of traveling with the warm weather. We were just coming out of a cold Winter and I loved the thought of it being the last one I’d have to deal with. The cold and damp weather affects those living with arthritis as climate can create increased pain to joints whilst changes also occur to exercise routines. Many arthritis sufferers claim they can predict rainfall due to the level of pain in their joints. I’ve found that to be very true.
There are many different types of RV’s to consider and a lot of people will take years to make a decision on what would work best for them. I didn’t have years to visit RV shows and explore all of the options out there. After weighing my options, I learned that I could get more for my money if I opted for a travel trailer. I soon began my search for a new home on wheels and it didn’t take me long to find it. I bought a new truck in May, just a few weeks after I was told I had to move. I picked up the trailer at the beginning of June.
While some take years to get their ducks in a row, I did it in just a few months. Obviously it was a lot of work to make this all happen so quickly. I was making life decisions very quickly and then turning it into reality. I had so many conflicting feelings and emotions running through my mind at the same time. I was nervous and excited every single day. I experienced the greatest discomfort from my ambivalence when it was time to make the biggest decisions. It was all worth it and my friend often tells me, “You’re welcome for evicting you”, because she sees how happy I am today. In just 8 weeks, I made my dreams come true.