So, what led us to be full-time RVers? Well… I would have to say that it actually started when we moved from Plano, Texas (after living there for 27 years) to San Jose, California. We always thought we would live in Texas indefinitely. Then, in 2014, Jim got a call from a former colleague. He said, “come out to the coast – we’ll have a few laughs…” (No, that’s not really what he said, that was Bruce Willis in “Die Hard”!) He actually told Jim that there was a job that he was perfect for and asked if he would be interested. Here is where I have to insert another little tidbit of information.
Back to the Future
In April 2012 we were on vacation in the Sonoma County area. We were sitting on the patio at Ridge Winery at the end of a fabulous day of wine tasting. We said, “we should live here…”. Be careful what you wish for; Jim always says that he thinks this is what set the ball in motion.
Fast forward to that fateful call in 2014. We discussed it and came to the conclusion that if we were to move somewhere for a job, California would be the place to go. So he flew out there for an interview, accepted the job offer, and was set to start working on July 7th. I flew out shortly afterwards to look for a house and we found one fairly quickly. Jim and I sold our house in Plano and left there on August 6th.
we should live here…
Our time in San Jose lasted two and a half years. We enjoyed the scenery, the close proximity to wine country, and most of all – the weather! But, alas, those things couldn’t ease the stress level that was mounting inside Jim. Frustration with the job was getting to him and before long, it was affecting his sleep. We were visiting with friends in the early part of 2016 and someone said (not sure if it was our friend or Jim – it’s been remembered both ways), “you/we should sell everything and buy an RV and travel around the country!”
It seemed like a pretty funny joke…at first. But the idea took hold of Jim and he started doing some research.
He found that living full time in an RV is a real thing. And it’s feasible. I have to say that it is something I NEVER was interested in, and something I NEVER thought I would ever do. But, I was worried about Jim’s mental and physical health, so I watched the RV videos with him and listened to the things he was learning about the RV lifestyle. Before I knew it, we were looking at RVs.
Jim thought the Class A motor coaches were the way to go. I found them to be kind of bowing alley-like. Everything is just right down the middle. We just didn’t see a layout we liked. Then we looked at the fifth wheels, and I started thinking, “hey, this might be a possibility”. They have a more house-like feel. During a visit to Texas, Jim came across a fifth wheel for sale in RV Trader that had all of the features he was interested in, even a built in pull-out tray with a piano keyboard for me! As soon as we got back to San Jose, we traveled to Visalia to take a look at it. They were selling the truck with it, and it was the exact model Jim wanted. Kind of meant to be, right? So we made the purchase and began the down-sizing process again.
The Next Size Down
Of course when we moved from Plano to San Jose, we down-sized quite a bit since we were moving to a house that was half the size (and twice the price). We had to be even more brutal with our choices this time so that we could fit the necessities into the RV. We gave several things to the kids, sold some things, donated some things, and kept a few things that we ended up putting into a small storage unit.
Jim and I sold our house fairly quickly and officially moved into the RV full-time on January 13, 2017. We haven’t regretted it at all! Our first thought was to just travel for one year; but we have enjoyed it so much that we want to keep going. Plus, it is hard to see the whole country in one year. You have to plan your travel around the weather (and family events).
I’ll conclude this story by saying that if we hadn’t moved from Texas after living there for so long, we probably wouldn’t be doing this full-time thing now. I feel certain that taking that first uncomfortable leap and moving away from what had essentially been our whole life, ultimately led us here. People say to us all the time that we are “living the dream”. The funny thing is that traveling full-time in an RV was never a dream of ours. But it definitely was the right thing for us – especially for Jim. It took a while once we got started, but he is finally learning to relax, and he is sleeping well again! It’s been a great adventure so far, and we are looking forward to what is to come.