The changes in our lives the last year and nine months have been huge, and as I reflect upon them today, in some ways it seems like it has been a much longer time. The 5th Wheel is so much home now that it is hard to believe we haven’t been living in it longer than we actually have been.
Three years ago this month, my husband and I listed our house for sale; it sold to the second family to view it. Within a few weeks, and much faster than expected, we downsized from an almost 2,700 sq. ft. home with a two-car garage to a 1,150 sq. ft. two-bedroom apartment in Metro – Nashville. We enjoyed our time in the Nashville area, but we kept looking for “what’s next.” My husband unexpectedly getting laid-off from the company for which he had worked 10 years was the push we needed. Jim had been thinking for years about going out on his own in the consulting field, and this was the push he needed for that. While he was working a contract (thankfully) in Nashville and looking for the next “gig,” we hit upon an idea: We could buy and RV and travel together from job site to job site. (You see, that one contract was the only one in 14 years as a traveling consultant that he’d had a job in the state of Tennessee, and it was well-timed for him to have a job locally, so we could shop and plan for our next adventure.)
The last day of September 2014, we signed the papers to purchase our 5th Wheel Trailer, and about two weeks later, we had our tow vehicle. The time between the end of September and the middle of November, we continued to downsize, putting items with which we were not yet ready to part into a 10 x 10 climate-controlled storage unit. The temperatures dropped rapidly, and early for Middle Tennessee, so to keep from having to winterize the camper for three days, we began moving into the RV on the 13th of November; Jim would finish his contract the next day. The next five days, we wrapped up our move out from the apartment and got situated as best we could in the camper, which was parked at an RV park near the dealership from which we purchased the RV. We were then living in a camper with 321 sq. ft. when slides were out.
Then, we headed out to try our hand and RVing by going to Lake Guntersville, Alabama, for a three-day stay. Then, we moved to a campground just off I-65 near some of my family; we stayed there five weeks, really just shy of five weeks since we left for five days to take the camper to Paducah the week of Christmas 2014 to visit Jim’s side of the family.
It was so cold the winter of 2014, and Jim had no contract yet, so he suggested we go toward the Gulf Coast; we did, and I was so glad. We stayed in southern, Alabama slightly over two months. Then we moved to the Mississippi coast for another month. While in these two locations, Jim worked a 5-week contract – mostly remotely – for a hospital in Colorado; he then worked a 3-week contract with a hospital in Massachusetts while I hung out in Mississippi. Jim flew back and forth, so we got to get play in the warmth of the Mississippi coast together over the weekend.
His next contract, and the one he is still working, was in Corinth, Mississippi, which is in the most northern part of the state where it borders Tennessee. The nicest RV park within a 50-mile radius of Corinth is located in Tennessee between the city of Savannah and Pickwick Dam, so this is where we’ve stayed for a year. He will wrap up this job this summer, so we are excited to know that we will be traveling again in July as we’re going to make our way to Vermont to attend the Escapade at Essex Junction where we’ll get to visit with other RVers, many of whom will be full time and working on the road like us.
This is not the road of traditional Americans; it is the road less traveled, but I’m so glad we took this path. Jim and I look forward to many years and adventures living in our camper and traveling to wherever the jobs take us. We are living and loving life after 50 and feel like kids again living the traveling lifestyle.
Be true to yourself and have a blessed day!