Erica Mills writing on RVing…
For 51-year-old Pat Williams, traveling around North America is something she had been dreaming of since 2006. Now in her first few months of full-time RVing, she is still earning on the road with her online marketing business—and loves every minute of her new life.
“I get to move my office whenever I want and go see what I’ve never seen…while visiting friends and family spread out all over the U.S. and Canada,” she says. “What could be better than that?”
A native of Toronto, Ontario, Pat loved to camp and be close to nature as a kid. As she got older, the idea of camping appealed less and less, but the desire to be close to nature stayed with her. However, her dreams were on hold while she raised her family.
Now, she gets to travel and spend time in nature.
“Hotels just don’t offer that proximity,” she says. “My campsite is a three-minute walk to the beach, so I can take a break from work and walk along the Gulf of Mexico. There is nothing better or more relaxing than that.”
And in her new easy-going lifestyle, one thing that’s surprised Pat is how much better she sleeps.
“I used to have trouble sleeping, but now, I sleep like a rock,” she says. “My kids (she has two adult children) joined me over Christmas and complained I’ve started snoring.”
Pat took a little time to prepare for living in a small space. After downsizing from a 3,000-plus-square-foot home to a 1,000-square-foot apartment, she started to realize she could live without a lot of “stuff.”
When she left that apartment, she then moved to Virginia with three or four pieces of furniture, her office equipment, camping gear, and a closet full of personal belongings.
“It was strange to have so little, but I began to love the simplicity of life,” she says.
From there, the transition to RV living – where space requires that you choose minimal personal belongings – was a surprisingly simple one for Pat. In her 33-foot RV, she only has the things she absolutely needs.
“I did store five boxes of family heirlooms at a family member’s home,” she says. “But it’s become so easy to give belongings away now. I’ve only kept things that have meaning to me.”
For Pat, her RV is the office from which she runs her own online marketing management company. One of the challenges, she says, is ensuring she has adequate internet service. Beyond that, she can work from where she is.
“Professionally, figuring out where to domicile and how to get mail took a lot of research and comparisons between states,” she says. “So much is affected by where you live; taxes, insurance, healthcare, and mail accessibility.”
Many RVers work seasonal jobs for a few weeks to make some extra cash, including places like Amazon, Home Depot, or other big-box stores during the holiday season. Others take odd jobs from websites that match RVers with occasional work.
But she’s enjoying the challenge. She says that educating yourself to ensure you enjoy the life is essential. Informing yourself as much as possible about the realities of life on the road is key – Pat herself took professional driving lessons to improve her confidence.
“If you decide you’d love to live this way, don’t allow fear to stop you,” Pat says. “We are raised on fear – especially women – so don’t let what ‘might’ happen interfere with what ‘can’ happen. What you get out of this lifestyle is way more than the challenges you are faced with.”
P.S. Discover how you can enjoy a more laidback, authentic, independent way of life in Truth & Plenty. Sign up below to have it delivered – free of charge – to your email inbox.
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