Saturday, April 24, 2021

Full-time Life on the Road, for Most, Is Temporary

image from The Wayward Home

I've been writing this blog long enough now--about three years--to see a particular trend--most full-time RVers are only "full-time" for a period of time, many for less than the three years I've been blogging about little trailers and camping, in fact.

I haven't kept track of other campers who blog--either via written blogs or via video blogging--but I have seen a number of writing, traveling campers who have stopped traveling. 

One full-timer recently posted about how she is now living in a house . . . and really enjoying having an oven. Her full-time status, I suppose, can be attributed to the fact that she is currently living in a home but has no permanent domicile. I've also seen a comment by her online that one day she'd like to own some land with a cabin. 

A couple that enjoyed the vanlife for several years now live in a house. They still keep up their posting, yet their articles are now more researched topics rather than their personal experiences. Another couple kept up a blog, mostly the wife writing, and I was really looking forward to reading about their travels. One day soon after linking up, though, came a post that they had bought some high desert property and were settling down. Finally, a tiny trailer owner that I enjoyed following hasn't posted in over a year, just dropped off the social scene.

I imagine some of this settling down is connected to the covid pandemic. I don't think that's the sole motivation, though. Living on the road and making it work isn't all that easy. Money is an issue, although quite a bit of creativity has poured into part-time jobs acquisition and online work. It is possible to live in a mobile style, in an RV, van, or little or tiny trailer, and still make a go of it financially. People are doing it. 

Even the great nomadic cultures were really migratory, having summer and winter territories. It's a lot of work and effort traveling all the time. One camping blogger I follow, Wynn Worlds, recently said her goal for the year was to drive less and to stay longer. I get it. Right now, I'm really enjoying planting my spring garden, and having a garden means hanging around in one place for a longer period of time. I suppose that's the difference between being a hunter and gatherer and a farmer. Luckily, there's a county campground four miles from my house, so I'll be camping a couple of days from now, and commuting to my garden every day by bicycle.

Part of the charm of travel is that it provides a new perspective. Ralph Waldo Emerson debunked that, though, when he said the problem with that idea is that we tend to take our world view along with us when we travel--and then we plunk it down right on top of whatever vista we're trying to experience afresh. What we truly need to change is not our location but our consciousness. 

Don't get me wrong. I'm not dissing the nomadic lifestyle. I'm just saying that for most travelers, the nomadic lifestyle rolls on for a matter or weeks or months, and for a few . . . a few years. Real long-terming is a rarity, and I admire and commiserate and wonder about those few who travel for a long time on the long road.

What does it say about our modern lifestyle that most of us cherish the dream of getting away? What does it say about our modern living environment that most of us stare longingly on Instagram at beautiful photographs of nature? 

I think that for many of us, we cannot change our mode of living, so we get away from it for a while. A change of view can provide us with a boost, even if it won't somehow magically make us into a new and better person. I'm all for getting out and enjoying ourselves in nature. 

I'm thinking, though, that we as a culture need to change our homes and communities so that they are more people friendly. We need to make where we live more livable. Now that's a strange thought. Why haven't we already done that? 

I'm always glad when I get out in my camper, but I don't want to replace my house with a camper. I think it's important that I recognize the need to put my attention on making my house a home, that I consciously work toward living in a space that is life-supporting. Sadly, that's not always easy; gladly, I'm willing and eager to do the work.

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1 comment:

  1. Your perspective provides insight. Nowadays, in order to live full-time out in nature on land, one almost needs to be financially independent. However, there is hope that working online can perhaps provide access to small communities for folks who don't want to live next to the factory/corporate office. Thanks for commenting.