The road to vagabond living: “The spectre of a predictable retirement”

What will my retirement years look like?

1-big-yard4

My home in Georgia

Around the year 2002 – 2003 (can’t remember exactly when) I’m in my early fifties when suddenly the reality of retirement appears like a huge whale breaking through the surface.   Oh my gosh, I’m almost retirement age! 

What the heck am I gonna’ do?

At this point I’m about three years into my teaching career.  I can draw a small pension, based upon years of service, after ten years actively in the profession.  Social Security sends me letters estimating how much I can expect for retirement checks. In short, not a whole lot.  My savings, although remarkable in light of my modest income and the responsibilities I’ve carried over the years, aren’t much in terms of providing for retirement.

I take a hard look at my situation.

Hmm . . . I have a house.  I have a large garden and a large lawn.   The house needs painting, both inside and out.  The roof needs to be replaced within the next year or two.  The driveway could use more gravel.  The heat pump and hot water heater could quit any day now.   The dishwasher isn’t working.  The flooring needs to be replaced.  The car is dependable but it’s not going to last forever. 

I don’t have the money for these things with my present, working income.  How am I going to manage on a reduced retirement income?  Oh yeah, and there’s the lawn . . . 

The lawn is huge.

 That dang lawn can suck cash like there’s no tomorrow.  No tomorrow.  That pretty much sums it up.  The property taxes keep going up.  The mortgage won’t be paid off until I’m 70 years old.   

Retirement looks dismal.

If I let life roll along without making major changes I’ll end up an old lady in a dilapidated house struggling to pay her bills and buy food with nothing left over to enjoy.

Day after day, year after year, I’ll stare out the window at the frozen lawn in winters and at the blanket of grass constantly growing in sweltering Georgia summers.  I’ll sit under the redbud tree and wait for a car to go by.  I’ll drive the same road to the same grocery store and I’ll drive the same road home.  I’ll never go anywhere new, never do anything more exciting than pruning tomato plants or hugging my dogs. 

The awful predictability of the years ahead . . .

No one’s going to bail me out, that’s for sure.  No inheritance is going to fall into my lap.  It’s up to me to chart a different course.  

I don’t want to work for the rest of my life.  I can’t!  I’m already tired of working and I have seven years to go before I can collect pension money or Social Security.

Well, the first step in fixing anything is realizing it’s broken. 

What I need is a new vision for retirement! 

(Now that I’ve set the scene, in upcoming posts I’ll write about finding that vision and what I did to make it real.)

Monday, March 17

Another beautiful day in the desert near Bouse, Arizona!

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Photo taken shortly after we arrived, before I put up the antenna

Blue sky and sunshine, although the wind is picking up as I write this.  Yesterday I decided to move us to another camp today.  Now that it’s a new day, I’ve changed my mind.

Our only timetable is the weather.

I’m anxious to move northward out of Arizona to find some more splendid, springtime camps like last year’s.

Remember this?  Heaven!

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Bridget and Spike in a meadow of flowers next to our “Camp Bluebell” on Badger Mountain near Ephraim, Utah

March and April snowstorms, however, are a real possibility in northern Arizona.  (If you don’t believe me, look at my April 14, 2012 post entitled, “Caught in a snowstorm in Ash Fork, Arizona!”

Really.  Click that link.  You gotta’ see those photos.  That snowstorm occurred between the towns of Ash Fork and Chino Valley, not much further north than where the crew and I are presently camped, and it happened during the month of April.

Our high for today, the 17th of March, is predicted in the high 80s.

I wanted to end this post with a photo of the crew.  Bridget and Spike, however, are lying around like slugs and I can’t get a decent photo out of them.   Actually they have the right idea.  I’m going to crawl into my lounge chair like the mother of all slugs . .   and relax in the shade with a drink and my kindle . . .  and enjoy our present view.

rvsue

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220 Responses to The road to vagabond living: “The spectre of a predictable retirement”

  1. Teri in SoCal says:

    I love that last photo.

    Your home was really cute, and that lawn was gorgeous. But I can only imagine watering and mowing all of it!! Now you get to see gorgeous places all of the time.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Teri,

      I bought that property for the land, not caring much for the house. I made my big garden and all that green grass was pleasant enough, but in the end it all was too much work. I stopped mowing it myself (the ride-on mower was forever breaking down) and I saw it as a bottomless money pit.

  2. Elizabeth aka E2/etwo in S.E. NM says:

    What a lovely introduction to your FT RV Life! Enjoy your “sluggish”
    afternoon…..

    I know those days of hot weather are on the way to S.E. NM too!
    Hugz from Elizabeth…

  3. Ron in TX says:

    Ahhhhhhhhhhh the tale begins
    Ron

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ron… I’ve trained myself to leave the past behind and live fully in the moment which makes it hard for me to write on the topic of how I found this way of life. My solution is to write it, bit by bit, whenever I feel “up” to looking back.

  4. klbexplores says:

    Glad you are writing down the background of how you made your decision. In fact I think it is so important I shall look at the subject for myself. After all it is all part of the ‘story’. The day before…. the day to day…. and the day after. I do treasure the writers who share the whole story…. not just the fluffy stuff. That’s for your brand of sharing!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, klbexplores,

      Fluffy stuff has its place… I do “fluffy” at times. I hope my story of how I changed my life is entertaining and helpful for my readers.

  5. weather says:

    Looking back this way must make you grateful that the house did need repairs and future prospects did appear dismal barring great changes,otherwise you wouldn’t have been pointed in the one direction that would take you to the only real happiness you’ve ever known.Wow,it’s easy to see the hand of providence in your life! Great post,am I ever smiling now.These are exactly the ways my life has served to offer me the mental pictures I’ve risked everything to go for.It’s always brought me to astonishingly satisfying situations.So-o-o happy it did for you too

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, weather,

      You make a good point . . . out of my dreary perspective I was able to see a bright light — life on the road! Your comment helps me understand why it is hard for some folks to let go of their home and possessions — or, in fact, why they decide not to let go at all. If you’re happy and content with your home and situation, why change it? I wasn’t happy.

      I’ve always sought change… moved residences and jobs several times in my life when I didn’t have to. Predictability depresses me. For others, that’s a source of comfort and security, as well as happiness. Different strokes, different folks.

      And yes, it all starts with that important “mental picture” you mentioned.

      • I can relate to your statement about moving and changing jobs when you didn’t need to. Before I married, I spent ten years working in radio and television. Every year or two, I would change jobs, moving to a new state and essentially starting over. I always saw it a clean slate, a chance to avoid the “mistakes” I’d made in the previous location. Not being the most sociable person around, I’ve always had trouble making friends and felt that next location might be the place where it changed. It never was.

        For the last ten years, my wife, son, and I have lived in one place. The house is in pretty good condition, and we are lucky enough to be able to afford to make any repairs that might be needed. However, the predictability you mention is the thing I dread as well. I’ve been mentally ready to retire since I turned 50 in 2006 and have been dreaming about full-timing for probably five years now. In another five years, I plan to retire. Then I hope to hit the road for some extended trips until my wife can retire and join me. (She’s three years younger.) Staying in that house any longer than I have to will likely drive me insane. 🙂

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi, Walt,

          You nailed it with your last sentence. When I drove down my driveway for the last time and turned onto the main road, I didn’t look back. I was so ready to be out of there! I still can remember every square inch of that property…. I looked at it enough!

          • John K - Mobile, AL says:

            I know what you mean. We bought our current house in 1996 and while it has been “interesting” living in an urban setting, the ever increasing traffic is making it unbearable. The noise is just too much, not to mention that we are on the main street going to 3 hospitals and the ambulances run their sirens 24/7.

            I can’t wait to see the SOLD sign go up and us driving away for the last time.

          • rich says:

            I really like your last sentence….” I can remember every square inch of that property…I looked at it enough” very telling!

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Yeah, Rich, why look at it any longer! Haha!

            • Dorisan says:

              Wow. The words describing your homeplace; the burden it became instead of a joy; is so apt.

              Spouse and I, being major introvert/hermit -types, need space and quiet. In the first few decades of marriage, that meant a big spread. We had 5 acres that bordered a 1900 acre protected forest. We eventually downsized to a smaller house on one acre, still surrounded by trees and farmland.

              In the last few years, the price of that peace has become burdensome. Mowing the yard, keeping the fence around the dog’s area free of weeds, trying to nurse the lawn and landscape through drought and Japanese Beetle attacks, not to mention the upkeep of a house that has become not much more than a place to store “stuff.” Yuck.

              We’re ready to cut loose of all that, as well as leave a work life behind that has always seemed to involve stress and responsibility that benefited others and pulled us down.

              What I’ve seen in your blog, in contrast to so many others, is that you seem to be able to find spots with *space* around you. And you feel safe there. My reserve about taking up the RV life is the possibility of being stuck, day-after-day, in crowded spaces among other travelers. That would not be a ‘life’ to us.

              Your blog has been an encouragement to Spouse and I that we’ll still be able to have space around us with the bonus of an ever changing horizon.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Hi, Dorisan,

              Welcome to my blog! I think you can see from our camps that it is possible to travel without being crammed in with other people. I couldn’t bear that and it sounds like you and Spouse wouldn’t like it either.

              It’s not hard to learn how to find splendid camps that come with lots and lots of unpopulated space!

  6. Larry M from the PacNW says:

    I’m looking forward to reading about your getting your Shingles Vaccine! 🙂 I always enjoy your blog!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Larry,

      I almost got a shingles vaccination! The day I passed through the east side of Yuma on my way back to Kofa, I asked at the Wal-Mart pharmacy if they could give me the shot.

      They said they could, it would take about 20 minutes to “process” it, and that Medicare only brought the price down a few dollars to $192 (or something close to that, don’t remember exactly). It was a hot day, I still had check-out to go through, the crew was in the PTV… I didn’t dare get involved in the “process,” so I passed up that opportunity.

      I haven’t forgotten… I will get that shot! 🙂

      • AZ Jim says:

        Got my Singles shot. Detta got hers some months ago but I didn’t. I am glad I did. Safeway gave me my shot and at the time a 10% of groceries coupon. They still give the shot but the coupon deal is expired. I don’t pay for part D on my Medicare so I paid full price around $220. They say if it prevents shingles, it’s worth 10 times that.

        • Cinandjules says:

          Does it prevent it…or you don’t get it as bad?

          • Cathie Laurent says:

            I got the shingles shot. Dr. said if you do get a case of the shingles, it will make it a milder case. Well worth the money. Thank goodness our insurance covered it.

          • Larry M from the PacNW says:

            From what I’ve read, it reduces you chance of getting Shingles by 50%, and if you do get it, it will be a milder case. I got my shot 2+ years ago at my local Safeway. Well worth the cost! 🙂

        • Dorisan says:

          The cost is worth the protection (or at least knowing that an outbreak won’t be as severe).

          I had an outbreak, starting as a back ache that I first attributed to a possible kidney infection then recognized as shingles when the rash broke out around my waist. **PAAAIIN** I couldn’t decide if shingles pain was worse than a bout of sciatica I had suffered several years before, then said “doesn’t matter, this crap *hurts*” It didn’t help that the doctor who attended me looked at the rash from a safe distance, said “yep, you have shingles,” then added laconically “yanno, I’ve heard of suicides in older people; the pain was so unbearable.”

          Luckily, that was just a ‘Doc in a Box’ fellow; when I was finally able to see my regular doctor, she was much more sympathetic and certainly not a gore crow.

          Sue, considering your recent Volcanic Intestinal Event, dealt with in a solitary situation, I’d recommend a shingles shot as soon as it is feasible. That’s not a malady that would be easy to deal with alone. My pupsters (all 5) were wonderful consolation; they spread out on the bed around me and squabbled about who would get to snuggle closest; but I needed another person to help me get around.

      • Elizabeth aka E2/etwo in S.E. NM says:

        In New Mexico the Flu Shot is free….. when it is offered in
        the fall…..

        You have wheels…..go where it is free!

        • Connie & Mugsy (MN/AZ) says:

          Medicare covers the flu shots everywhere, so she doesn’t have to travel anywhere to get a free flu shot. But she’s talking about the shingles shot… which is very expensive.

  7. Tawanda says:

    Look forward to more about how you progressed on “The road to vagabond living”
    Oh yes on the unpredictable spring weather, her in Salt Lake county it’s been nice in the 60’s for days, now the wind is gusting to 50 mph temp dropped to 38* and it’s cloudy and snow is forecast-ed.. Glad I didn’t get the garden planted, it was temping!!!
    T~

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Tawanda,

      Our move northward is like planting your garden… Don’t want to do it too soon!

      Sorry your weather has taken a nasty turn . . .

  8. Jean/Southaven, MS says:

    I have had that same epiphame in the last few years as you had. I love my house, it is not very old and is in great shape, but I do not want to spend my entire retirement mowing grass and cleaning house. I will never be on the road full time, but I will be on the road some. I was looking for information on people who live full time on the road when I found you. I am so grateful I did.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jean,

      You are fortunate to be able to keep your house and also travel, and to be happy with that arrangement.

      I’m glad you found us, too!

  9. Ed says:

    I was late to the fun that everyone was having with ‘pasty’ in the prior blog posting. The suggestion was made to get a pasty which closed with RVSue wanting two. This is what was being suggested:
    A pasty (/ˈpæsti/, Cornish: Hogen; Pasti), (sometimes known in the United States as a pastie or British pasty)[1] is a baked pastry, a traditional variety of which is particularly associated with Cornwall, the westernmost county in England. It is made by placing uncooked filling typically of meat and vegetables, without meat in vegetarian versions, on a flat pastry circle and folding it to wrap the filling, crimping the edge to form a seal. After baking, the result is a raised semicircular food item.

    Not nearly as much fun as the ‘pasty’ that everyone was having so much fun with but far better to eat.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ed,

      Always enjoy learning from your comments . . . The Cornish pasty sounds similar to the empanada. Very tasty indeed!

      The American version (prepare for a big YUCK) is the Hot Pocket, loved by teenagers from Maine to Hawaii. 🙁

      • DeAnne in TN says:

        My grandmother cooked and taught me how to make Cornish pasties. None of that pre-made pie crust–all from scratch.

      • John W Abert says:

        Northern Michigan seems to be the pasty capital of the US. We tried them while we were there, and they were very good. Some places even ship them to you, but I don’t remember any of the restaurant names. It was over twenty years ago.

        • Louise says:

          Lots of Cornish miners immigrated to work in the copper mines in the UP, and their delicious pasties were widely copied. I make a point of eating lots of them when I head up that way! Sooooo good (and Hot Pockets are just plain nasty in comparison).

  10. Cinandjules says:

    Here we go!

    Wow that is a lot of grass! Cute little house…… Can’t wait to read the rest!

    Can’t hardly tell Bridget is in the photo…Cept for her ears! Does it seem like the crew prefers grass over sand? Or it doesn’t matter as long as they are with you! I know SA missed her grass…hated pine pitch.

    Relax and enjoy desert woman!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cinandjules,

      It’s hard to say what the crew prefers, grass or sand. I know the Bridge likes to wriggle on her back, feet in the air, on grass. They both enjoy lying on hot sand for short periods. Of course, with Spike, it’s water he cares about.

  11. Marilu, Northern Ca. says:

    Hi Sue,
    This will be inspiring to so many. I just hope your Blogorinos remember that only RV Sue can live her life. Search your own heart carefully before selling your house and buying a Casita. There are many versions of an RV retirement and RVSue,’s style is not for everyone. You certainly found YOUR perfect retirement.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re absolutely correct, Marilu. This is my story and what works for me. It’s not the only way to enjoy retirement. Thanks for making that very clear!

  12. Rob says:

    It’s still March for another 2 weeks & spring comes later to the north…

    I liked your story & I’ll be looking forward to more of it when you get to it.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Exactly, Rob… I can’t go rushing northward for a while yet. Glad you like the story so far…

  13. I really like your story. I feel that’s where we are in life. My husband is 63 and still working full time because there is no other way to afford our house. ( and life) I can’t work due to medical condition except very part time. Our house is old and funky, a lot of work, small( which I’m very ok with), but it will never be paid off. We are under water still by $100,000 at least. ( this is California )
    I’m thinking WTF, we need to have a plan. So, I’m really looking forward to your process to help me think about it all differently .
    Thanks RVsue.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Christina,

      You’re welcome, and thank you for sharing your situation. I groaned at the “under water” part. If sharing my story is helpful for you and your husband (and no one else), it will be worth the effort.

    • Rob says:

      63 and working full time to support the house … a house you owe more on than it’s worth?
      If you really enjoy your work then it’s not like your really working is it?

      We were faced with a problem/decision/(opportunity?) a couple of years back and to continue working simply to support a house (the kids did not want to take it over) seemed like a poor use of our remaining time and a poor business decision.
      There are other ways to have a roof over your head, food on your plate and things to do during the day. Well there was for us, but we all have different priorities.
      Good luck!

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Christina didn’t say anything about either her husband or herself enjoying their work, and, that $100,000 still has to be paid. Maybe I’m not reading your comment correctly, but obtaining those “other ways” is a difficulty they face, and it’s not a problem with priorities.

        • Cinandjules says:

          Christina,

          Best wishes to you and your hero husband who has been at your side throughout these difficult times. The housing market in CA is crazy off the chain and too many find themselves underwater at no fault of their own.

          Material things don’t compare to what you both have together.

          Tahoe girl? Live in Tahoe or love Tahoe?

          • Cinandjules says:

            Loves Tahoe.

            • Thanks for the comments. We live near Tahoe@ 1 hour away in the Sierra foothills. I think we are closing the gap with the housing in the next few years. We also have 2 adult children who live at home and go to junior college, and one who’s working on a masters degree on line and both work. We have 4 small tent trailer trips planned already this summer. We have wanted to upgrade to a hard body but still don’t have a truck to pull.
              Yes, my husband is very healthy and has a great job as a territory manager for a large natural foods company. His area is Reno, Tahoe, Chico, and around.
              Because of my health, I need to be somewhere near a cancer center, so we are a little limited. But all the same, I love RV Sues story of creating the new life. Very inspiring.

            • Cinandjules says:

              I too love Tahoe…that was my first choice but for what we have here..the same would have cost $3 million there. Auburn, Placerville Truckee or Donner might be in the cards.

              Your plans for the summer sound fun and relaxing. Whatever up you do….enjoy!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Christina… I replied to your comment before reading your blog. Cindy’s sensitive reply spurred me to check it. Gee, you have been climbing over some tough obstacles. You keep on keeping on! YOU are an inspiration . . . .

    • John W Abert says:

      In reading excerpts below of Sterling Hayden’s book, I think he hit the nail on the head when he posed whether bankruptcy of finances is worse than bankruptcy of your soul. After all, credit rating means a whole lot less to retirees than it does to younger people. I have maintained good credit all my life, but it have to say that faced with your situation, I would sacrifice the credit, and put myself into a situation where I could live on less and put money away to pay cash for everything. A home is not always the investment that people claim that it is. I’ve dabbled in real estate for over thirty years…as a multi-family rental manager (384 units plus 47 condos) and as a contractor flipping houses, and I have to say that I made far more money doing quick flips than I ever did on anything I lived in. When you hang onto real estate too long, the expenses of it (interest, taxes, insurance, maintenance) eat up most of the appreciation you gain on it. In doing research on past places I have owned, the best I have ever done is about 1-1/2% return. I could have done better than that by putting that much money into safe investments, and not had all the maintenance to oversee on the properties! Sometimes you have to know when to cut your losses, get out of bad situations and move on to something better.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Hi, John,

        I thought of you the other day and wondered if you were still with us (meaning me and the crew and the blogorinos). Great to hear from you again!

        Very interesting information and advice. You apparently know what you’re talking about.

        • John W Abert says:

          Hi Sue,

          Yes, Sharon and I read every post. They are all inspirations to us in our own quest of getting out of here by June of next year. The number of tasks to be done yet before we can leave is overwhelming at times, and having to do a complete septic system replacement on this place late last fall didn’t help any. Now our front yard looks like a plowed field of red clay, and we have to keep an eye on Angel every time he goes out, or we have to give him a foot bath! Loads of fun. Can hardly wait for other types of fun!

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Hello to Sharon, too! Sounds like Angel has something in common with Spike .. . 🙂

  14. Pauline from Mississippi says:

    I am so glad we know the rest of the story ….that you are now happy and living a life you dreamed about. I am so proud of you.
    Love to you and the crew

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pauline,

      Great to see you here again. I know you’ve been busy, judging by your last email. Nothing worse than an Excel spreadsheet, except one that crashes and loses data!

      Love to you and your crew . . .

  15. Miss Leslie says:

    This is the start for your book! (Don’t give it all away, save some for the book. : < ) )
    The Chickens in the Road blogger ( http://chickensintheroad.com/) has recently published a book based on her blogging and, apparently, (I haven't read it) enhanced what she'd already published in her blog with deeper, wider info. I mention it because perhaps that publisher (whoever it may be) would be interested in a book proposal from you. If you have the remotest interest. I know you have the skill and I feel sure there would be a market.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Miss Leslie. If I ever do write a book, I’d publish an ebook through Amazon’s publishing software and support. I won’t tackle that project until I’m sure I can do a good job of it and produce something worth reading.

      Blogging and being an Amazon Associate is enough for me at this point in my life. I appreciate the encouragement and belief in my writing skill.

  16. Andrea says:

    Boy, do you help us out (i mean girl!). A year ago I found myself in a serious medical situation. Coming out the other side of this I went through a thought process that had me condensing big time..once I had made the decision to part with my material baggage and more it felt so good.. I knew i was on the right path for my life and you have confirmed this for me many times over. Traveling is not in my future right now, but life is much more simple and enjoyable! Thanks for sharing with us.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Andrea,

      I love where you wrote “I knew I was on the right path for my life.” That’s a wonderful feeling, to know you are living the way you are meant to live.

      And, yes, simplicity is liberating! I’m happy you have discovered its rewards.

  17. Cheryle B. says:

    I’m taking notes….

  18. Terri From Texas says:

    I went from reading “The Tightwad Gazette” to ” Your Money or Your Life” to Dave Ramsey and his philosophy on getting out of debt. It all worked for us and has helped us not only get out of debt but to enjoy a simple lifestyle without having to have everything! Sacrifices are usually required though but are worth it. I applaud Sue for her total grasp of simple living and ultimately having everything that really matters!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Terri,

      Cash n’ carry…. remember that old phrase? And the flip side… No cash, no carry! You have found how good it is to live without debt, and, I agree, the sacrifices are worth it.

    • Angie2B says:

      Terri,
      That is wild because we have gone through the same books/ programs in that order too. I still have all the TWGs books. We haven’t gotten debtfree yet, but our frugal ways allowed me to go through chemo without declaring bankruptcy. Hopefully, will be debtfree soon. 🙂

  19. Colleen in Tehachapi says:

    You set the scene beautifully! Interesting how everyone finds their own path in life which of course follows into retirement. We have had a few hiccups along the road but it is still a great life! I love the last photo of the crew in the bluebell meadow, just beautiful.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Colleen,

      “Camp Bluebell” was an enchanting camp. A creek ran alongside us and the green slopes were lovely. What I remember best is the profusion of flowers… first dandelions, then columbine and lupine and bluebells. *sigh*

      Most lives — interesting ones, anyway — have “hiccups.” 🙂

  20. Heda says:

    I can’t wait for the next instalment!

  21. AZ Jim says:

    This seems a fitting day to put forth this. Sterling Hayden was a actor but more. He wrote a book of his adventures, Wanderer in 1963. He only lived to be 70 and passed from Cancer but his philosophy on life is so apropos for this blog that I thought I’d pass along some of his quotes.

    Sterling Hayden quotes
    “To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea… “cruising” it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about.

    “I’ve always wanted to sail to the south seas, but I can’t afford it.” What these men can’t afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of “security.” And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine – and before we know it our lives are gone.

    What does a man need – really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in – and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That’s all – in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade.

    The years thunder by, The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed.

    Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life? ”
    ― Sterling Hayden, Wanderer

    “In the worship of security we fling ourselves beneath the wheels of routine-and before we know it our lives are gone.”
    ― Sterling Hayden, Wanderer

    “The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked with dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed.”
    ― Sterling Hayden, Wanderer
    tags: life-and-living

    “To be truly challenging, a voyage,like a life,must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise you are doomed to a routine traverse.”
    ― Sterling Hayden

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Jim, for posting these wise words. I enjoyed it!

    • Thanks for sharing that AZ Jim!

    • Robin in Central Coast California says:

      Thank you so much! I’m going to search out more Sterling Hayden read right now.

    • Kim says:

      Thanks for this. You just reminded me I’ve been wanting to read that book.

      • AZ Jim says:

        Anyone who hasn’t read this, should. It is a wonderful book and makes you think about your own life. As an old guy and looking back I see where I may well have missed a lot in my choosing security over adventure. I don’t mean both aren’t important but one needs a liberal dose of both. BTW The last movie roll Sterling played was that of the cop in Godfather. You know, the one that Michael shot at the cafe table. He never took his acting seriously, it just staked him. I am now almost 8 years older than this “philosopher” was when he died at 70.

    • Jane Onken says:

      Jim, the last quote was really comforting to me! Though I think I have enough money to fulltime and intend to workcamp, “…financial unrest” has been a source of worry for me. This opposite perspective is an inspiration. Thank you!
      Illinois Jane

    • weather says:

      wonderful entry! this book can be found by clicking on the amazon link above,just type in the title and author,then you get to read it and the crew get more treats heh heh

  22. Dedra says:

    I like how you wrote predictability depresses me. That is the same way that I feel and at this present moment that is my life. The questions that you presented, house repair and a huge lawn to mow is the same thing that I’ve been questioning. I really do not want to do that especially mowing my huge lawn.
    Life is too short, to live each day the same.
    Thank you Sue for your blog.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dedra,

      It’s gratifying for me to present my lifestyle as one option. Reading your comment I sense a similar restlessness that I experienced. You want to shake up your life and are seeking the best way to do that. I hope you find what is right for you.

      Like I wrote in this post, “The first step in fixing anything is realizing it’s broken.” (Or worn out)

  23. Alan Rabe says:

    Hi Sue. This will be the best story yet I believe. I have always been interested in thought processes, I guess that is why I like programming. What you said pretty much sums up my situation. It is funny, I am a Pisces and I don’t give a rats a__ for the ocean or beaches for that matter. I did find out when I lived in Phoenix that I did love the desert and the canyons of the Colorado plateau. I just couldn’t see myself sitting around with only enough money to do nothing but exist. So I made my decision to be a Full Timer, good or bad, it is mine. I want to enjoy my last years in life, not just exist. Looking forward to the next chapter.
    As always ENJOY!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Alan,

      That was my thinking… I didn’t want to find myself “sitting around with only enough money to do nothing but exist.”

      You know what you like and where to find it. You took the leap into full-timing, “good or bad,” and I’m pretty darn sure you won’t regret that leap. 🙂

  24. Shirlene says:

    Yep Alan, that about sums it up for me….When it is my time, they are going to have to come and get me and chase me all across this country…I am not waiting around….I will be fulltime in less than 2 years, counting down.

  25. Steve says:

    When I found your blog a couple of years ago, I went back to your very first post and read forward until I caught your current post. The past year or longer I have read your blog daily. I too have a small house, with a smaller yard, 1/2 acre of land but it’s paid for. Last summer the For Sale was planted then pulled up numerous times. I will be 62 May 2014 and plan to retire May 30.

    I too have thought just like you did with your house. I have even listed future repairs and estimated costs for those repairs just as preventive maintenance…like a new roof, possibly an upgrade windows, more gravel on the drive etc. Just normal house upkeep so the house does not fall apart. I have gone back and forth on my thought process about the house, listened to my blog followers, thought some more and I still don’t know if I want to do what it takes to maintain a house. At times I’d rather sell it, travel in my Class C and the settle out west possibly renting from there on out and not be a home owner.

    Hard to travel with 3 hounds with one of them being quite large, but still possible.

    I found your post today to be quite interesting and I really look forward to a more detailed description of you making the move from home owner to full-time traveler.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Steve,

      It is a monumental decision, whether to sell or keep the house. I hope the next installment of this series helps you toward the right decision.

      As time goes by, the decision may be made for you. Life has a way of doing that.

      Good luck!

      BTW… I want very much to be a part of this discussion! Unfortunately for me, my computer is being very slow and it takes an awfully long time to post a comment. Darn! I find your comments on this topic very interesting, among other things.

    • Mary (MN) says:

      Steve, Congratulations on your upcoming retirement. 🙂 I am in the same situation, dogs and a house, oh and 2 cats. While I think I could travel with 4 critters I think it would be difficult. I did get the Petego pet tubes (available on Amazon) so they can ride in the back seat of the pickup. The larger size would accommodate your bigger dogs but they may not be able to stand up. Hubby and I are taking the dogs for practice runs, longer and longer trips to see how they handle traveling in the tubes and so far so good. We have discussed renting out the house for a few years and postpone the decision to sell. It is so much harder, I think, when we have critter families. Sue was lucky and found a good home for her third dog, but I don’t want to break these critters up and I don’t think I could find someone to take all 4. And truthfully, I don’t want to give them up either, they are part of the family. Like Sue said, tough decisions, and if you can afford it those decisions can wait. You don’t need all the answers on your first day of retirement. Good luck to you.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        I didn’t know what a “pet tube” looked like so I searched on Amazon. Here’s a link:

        Motor Trend by Petego Pet Tube Car Kennel for Pets, Large

      • Darci says:

        Mary, I think it is so cool that you are training all 4 to go with you. I have met people with large groups of furkids in my travels and I think it is great. When I first started full-time RVing I had people often ask me about how I dealt with my two dogs and I just told them “I do what I have to do” to make it happen because they are my family. Then I had to go work overseas at times and just took them along too because I don’t have a plan B person. Anyway they have had an interesting life as a result and so have I. Can’t imagine it any different. So I just love it when I see others not let their fur families become an issue in following their dreams. A couple years from now you will probably look back at this time and can’t believe you were concerned about it at all. 🙂

  26. Diann in MT says:

    When one compares “Home in Georgia” and “Camp Bluebell”, one can only agree that you ultimately made the right call on that risk!

    Congratulations, every day, Sue!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      No question about it, Diann. I made the right choice. Even if disaster should strike tomorrow and it all goes “down the tubes,” I would still say “I made the right choice.”

      And you know what? This blog doesn’t begin to convey the experiences I’ve had on the road with my crew . . .

      • Gayle says:

        “Even if disaster should strike tomorrow and it all goes down the tubes …” eh? We had an earthquake this morning in So Cal, 4.4. Not strong enough to knock anything off the shelves, but it is possible to be at home, comfy, and so-called risk-free and STILL have everything go down the tubes! I lost my wonderful apt. by the beach 20 years and two months ago today. Sh*t happens everywhere!

  27. Elizabeth says:

    I think you made just about the only real choice you had, Sue…of course, you could plan to live in apts someplace I suppose…but it is not so joyful as what you are doing. And for the most part, no one to bother you, the way you go. You ARE brave however…I would never be that brave, alone especially.
    Two of our newer friends, who are in the process of moving to Israel…we saw them a couple weeks ago and I asked her (as they are quite a bit older than are we), “If he is gone, would you still go?” She said, “YES!! I would be far safer THERE than here, in that case.” I thought that very interesting. They have lived there off and on over the last 10 years…for months at a time…so they do have some experience. They have VERY little money too. But where there is a will, there is a way. They told us they live presently in a studio apt, with a bed, a couple chairs, a table, and a computer table…and their personal effects. THAT is all.
    We are living very simply ourselves…except we still have 2/3rds of a storage unit in NC yet to decide what to do about. Most of the furniture is gone. IF we only knew how long we needed to be out west helping our daughter…but still if we CAN find it and we are looking…we are trying to find something very simple and cheap to “make do” for this year anyway…and then see what happens next. At least I was able to get some precious keepsakes from one side of my family, sent off to some cousins the last few months when we were there downsizing. I felt so strongly about doing that.
    I do look forward to your next “installment”…so much we can learn from others. Thanks for the transparency. We all only have this one tiny space of time to live this life…it is so important to not spend it in ways that are bad for us!! (Been there, done that…so glad hubby is retired and we can put on our jogging shoes and get otta Dodge any time we feel like it!!)

    Elizabeth now in WA

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Interesting comment, as always, Elizabeth. Your friends have a lot of “gumption.” Reading about them and their way of life I had to go back to figure out how old they are. I was surprised to read “they are quite a bit older than we are,” because they sound very youthful.

      It’s characteristic of many young people to seek change and “adventure.” As we get older, we tend to follow the comfortable way, not necessarily getting into a rut, but not taking the risks that can lead to exhilarating experiences. Your friends are living well.

      • Elizabeth says:

        They are YOUTHFUL people…you are right…I do not want to tell more of their life story online here, but it is very amazing…brave is not the word for the life they have lived. But they too had the same desire we have had, to be able to read the Old Testament for ourselves, so thus she anyway has learned the language. We are in the process. It is already amazing what has come from that one decision for ourselves. We only spent 16 days there in 2010…but you never want to leave, if you go…believe me. I have never in my life been where I felt such a blanket of peace and safety (have struggled often in my life with fear issues). THERE? walked the streets at times with hubby at midnight (NOT in some quarters you understand, we are not stupid)…but there is something about being where GOD has put HIS name forever. By the way, in taking a bus ride around the perimeter of the area…still lots more room for more people. Lots of empty building and unused land. I did not expect that.

  28. MK says:

    I hear yah, since I live in the same area and face 10+ acres to maintain plus house. We don’t mow lawns out here we bush-hog! I’ve got about 2 1/2 acres in pasture and the rest in hardwoods, sadly I was just a bit too late to sell and the real estate market is deader than a door nail where I’m at. Sooo I’ll have to live through your blog for a while longer, but I’m making my list and checking twice! I can’t wait for the next installment!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m happy to be here for you, MK!

      I chuckled at your comment about having to bush-hog. Dang, stuff grows fast in that part of the world. When I first moved into the Georgia house the backyard was a jungle. I got some goats to help me clear it out! It grew right back. Eventually I gave up.

  29. Ms. Minimal says:

    I look forward to this “series”… although I’m not retirement age and not a traditional vagabond, I love to hear other’s stories as well. Love the spring photo of the pups romping through the flowers…. what a beautiful life. Hope you are feeling better. 🙂

    Ms. Minimal

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Ms. Minimal, for the kind words.

      I have a bunch of photos of Bridget and Spike in that field of flowers. So cute! (Of course I’d think that!)

  30. Betty -Shea says:

    “Happy St.Patricks Day!”
    Looking forward to reading more of your story!

  31. Betty -Shea says:

    Oops …comment #2…I want to leave this world with a heart full of joyfull memories….never having to say ” I wish I would have…!”

  32. Hi Sue! You’re in another gorgeous camp, lucky you! I totally get what you mean about living in the now, I try very hard to live that way myself. I really appreciate your willingness to think back and share your journey to the amazing life that you have today. I bet many of your readers will find some benefit from it. Thank you Sue!

  33. Bea says:

    I do so agree. Less is more and you have only one life to live. No second chances.
    But not everyone is shaped to burn up all the bridges. As you pointed out: everyone has to find hers/his own way.
    We have the motor/anchor setting.
    Peter is managing the accelerator and I am at the brakes. :))
    Some times we go places and sometimes we stay put. We just have to keep the balance so that everyone stays happy. So far so good.
    Looking forward to YOUR story.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Bea,

      Well, marriage is about compromises… give and take and all that. Glad you’ve worked out a system that makes you both happy!

  34. riley in nc says:

    I have a great book called MY TIME–Making the Most of the Rest of Your Life
    You can buy it used at Amazon (a plug for you Sue).

    It’s about the jolts in our life that signal to us that a new era is beginning. Life changing gains and losses that cause us to re-exam our lives. The dangers of remaining stagnant, or stuck in a rut, waiting to long to make a break.

    Because the boomers are living longer the author calls the years after age 55 the bonus years, like a second adolescence. She calls a lack of new purpose/pleasure in the bonus years a biological purgatory.

    Check it out.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Riley,

      Purgatory…. hmm…. For me, staying in that house would have been closer to hell. 🙂

      I can see where new life chapters have begun with an event, not always positive but eventually becoming so.

      Thanks for sharing this resource with us.

  35. Karen SC says:

    What wonderful story of your transition to retirement. I can’t wait to read more of it. I think of my life as chapters of a book. You are now in a new chapter of your life and the story is wonderful. I hope you can keep at it for as long as possible. My chapter of retirement is in a small house with my DH and down the street from my wonderful granddaughters. I enjoy taking my once a month camping trips and look forward to a summer road trip with another gal who loves to camp. We are in the planning stages of going to Canada. If my situation ever changes then it will be a new chapter. Our lives are a book waiting to be written. Enjoy your book Sue and crew.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Karen,

      You enjoy your book, too! A trip to Canada from SC with a friend… sounds wonderful. Your granddaughters are very fortunate to have the grands nearby! I think you like that arrangement, also. 🙂

  36. DeAnne in TN says:

    Sue, your thoughts were my thoughts about three years or so ago. Your words made me cry, because I was thinking and saying the same thing. My divorce was finally settled. My children had chosen sides. It started scaring me that I would be in the same rental house, paying the same bills, and the highlight of my day would be watching “The Price is Right.” I would also be sitting under that shade tree, waiting for the mailman and living off a pitiful income. I’m not joking–I had been pondering this for a bit, becoming depressed, and for some reason, living in an rv made sense. Then I found your blog.

    Your life is not for everyone, and everyone must choose their own way. However, for a few of us, who secretly dreaded what came next, and thought about an option, you have given us a viable dream. Things happen for reasons, whether it be fate, God, or karma. What I do know is that someone else had the same vision at the same time I did, and it has given me hope and inspiration. As I’ve told you before, you never know what one little blog can mean or do for someone. So from me, a huge heartfelt thank you for everything that inspires me and others.

  37. Ron in TX says:

    It is funny how circumstances dictate our mood and mind set.
    I had a couple year of hits that completely changed me on how I wanted to live.
    No1 D I V O R C E
    No 2 a light stroke
    No 3 My mom passing away
    No 4 Aunt that I was in charge of her care passing away

    The first reason for living smaller is to spare the kids all the problem of dealing with my stuff. I am still going through that with my aunt and mom.
    A house owns you ,you don’t own the house , taxes upkeep, aggravation, they are a money pit.
    Light stroke with no apparent damage after a time made me realize I wasn’t immortal
    Divorce hurt mentally and financially.
    and my last pet peeve grass , I know it is pretty but how much sense does it make to plant ,fertilize, and then cut it or pay someone to do it. And it aint cheap.
    My one stumbling block is my tool, I am a builder . In my life I have designed and built hover craft , airboats , strip kayaks, and canoes , made custom knives , you get the ideal. That is the only hangup I have about going full time. For me a little acreage and a small workshop may be what I need . Just use it as a place to camp and a home base.
    Ron

    • Gayle says:

      When at a primitive campsite (vault toilets, no water, but not boondocking) in CA beside a dam, we saw a couple arrive in a pick-up truck & 24 ft trailer. He unloaded lots of stuff from his pick-up, and next thing we knew, he had a workbench and lots and lots of tools and assorted projects set up under the trailer awning. The camp host came by every day in his golf cart, and it was never a problem. Anything is possible! If you love it, you should have it!

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Excellent point, Gayle. Maybe a cargo trailer for a shop-on-wheels … could be a little side business for fun!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ron,

      You make a good point about sparing the kids the emotionally difficult job of sorting your stuff after you’re gone. I’ve been through that and it’s painful.

      You’ve had your share of “jolts” in life. Me, too. Looking back, they helped put me where I found happiness. I wish the same for you.

    • riley in nc says:

      Ron
      Even though I’m a female I love building things. Been that way since i was a little girl building doghouses, chicken coops, sawhorses, a playhouse.

      Back in 1998 when my father was at the end of his life, and my precious dogs at the end of their lives too, i resigned from my teaching job took out my retirement money, and moved back home to be with daddy, the dogs, and my mom.

      I fixed up an old shed in the back of my parent’s property and lived there with my dogs.
      It had electricity but no water. It did not matter because all i wanted was more time with all of them. To this day it was one of the best decisions of my life.

      If you love to build you will miss that fulltiming. I thought of the same thing.
      A small cabin in the woods, or even a treehouse–as long as i have my dogs.
      I love camping but not quite ready for full time.

    • Candace says:

      Ron – you would be amazed at how much garage space for a tool shop is in the back end of a Toy hauler. With a drop-down ramp on the back end you can have a complete woodworking shop in there! Or not, it’s up to you. But, it IS possible and many a FT RVer have crafts they make & sell as they travel. I would prefer to purchase a hand-made widget from a FT RVer than a molded plastic whats-it that shipped over from China. If it is to be, it is up to me- errr rather, you 🙂 Happy Trails !

    • John W Abert says:

      Having grown up on a farm, and being a builder of many things all my life, I, too, thought that I wanted to retire with a nice shop for puttering. But having traveled extensively throughout many “55 and up” parks, I realized that many of them have their own wood shops and other shops, for everything from jewelry making, to carving, to furniture making. You don’t have to live there permanently to make use of them, and most RV/campground guides will tell you what amenities a park has. Or, if you are more of a loner, an alternative would be to pull an enclosed cargo trailer with your RV, or get a toy-hauler with a “garage”, and you can take your shop with you. Where there’s a will to do something, and a little knowledge and imagination, anything is possible.

      • Jane Onken says:

        John, do you remember what park you saw jewelry making equipment? Was it for silversmithing or stringing bead-type jewelry? I want to workcamp and could teach traditional jewelry making so that info could be valuable. Please and thank you!
        Illinois Jane

  38. Diane, Blue Ridge Mts., VA says:

    Well I wondered when you would write of your major decesion on retirement. I am saying the same things myself as I fill the good will, and yard sale boxes. With each bag of trash I take out I feel a little lighter. I have cleaned out my mom’s home after her passing along with doing the same for my friends. Either way, I have to get my house fixed up. No one will be paying my way either. Have been wanting to ask you for so long how you did it.
    What about family, what about all the sentimental belongings (like pictures of parents, family etc.)
    Looking forward to your upcoming writings on this subject.Thank you Sue for sharing this very personal subject so honestly. Take Care.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Diane.

      I won’t answer your questions about family and sentimental belongings in this response. Thank you for reminding me to put that in a future installment of the road to vagabonding story!

  39. TMMN says:

    Sue

    I really enjoy your blog. Your blog of RV travelers is the only blog I follow.

    I have the retirement bug at 48 yrs old. The plan is to retire at 62 yrs old or sooner no matter what we have in the bank.

    Take care and enjoy your retirement

    TMMN

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, TMMN, and welcome to my blog! Also thank you for the honor of being the only blog you follow.

      I like the determination expressed in your phrase, “no matter what we have in the bank.” You will find your way. I’m sure of that. Best wishes to you!

  40. Goinmobile says:

    Hi Sue! I believe I spoke with you in Tioga George’s old forum when we were both in the planning stages of fulltiming. Chuck and Geri steered me to your site when I met them here in Florida.
    I’m happy to see you have made your dream a reality and have read most of your archives—–great stuff.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Goinmobile,

      Don’t recall our conversations, but that doesn’t mean much. I forget what was said yesterday! Did I know you by the moniker of Goinmobile?

      You are lucky to meet Chuck and Geri. They are two of the kindest people I know.

      Hope you are enjoying life! Nice to hear from you . . .

  41. Jane Onken says:

    Sue, while the details of our sticks and bricks lifestyle vary, the inherent problems are the same. I have an enormous 100+ year old side-by-side duplex and looming projects could eat up much of the money I have by summer’s end even! I’ve kept it up, doing much of the work myself, but I don’t want to anymore and hardly want to use what money I have on it. Tenant’s rent has pretty much paid the mortgage allowing me a roof over my head, and the current ones are wonderful, but that’s not been the rule and I’m real tired to dealing with all that by myself. Even though a fear of leaving neighbors and everything in my comfort zone (a few posts back we had a little therapy session–I whined, you empathized and encouraged) has been gnawing at me, reading your experience helps confirm my feelings. Staying here, living the same life without anything extra to do fun stuff is not acceptable. It’s broken. If I would stay, my future would look as predictable and forlorn as yours had. I’d best gather my strength and c-ourage, ready my Casita and put my plans in action. Thank you for the inspiration your experience provide, Sue. It’s truly helpful.
    Illinois Jane (I’ll consistently identify myself this way to make it easier.)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Illinois Jane… Like that name!

      I see where you wouldn’t want all that maintenance and responsibility of a big property, as well as being a landlord, as the years go by.

      One important thing to consider is this… Am I going to full-time simply to get away from the way I’ve been living….. or…. Am I going to full-time because I really want to full-time? If it’s the former, you may try living in your Casita on a trial basis…

      I do believe, however, that commitment to the lifestyle and a determination to make it work are important elements in transitioning to a life on wheels.

      As always, I send you best wishes in finding what’s right for you!

  42. DesertGinger says:

    I, too, love hearing how you made your decision. My story is only a little different. My life here in NY is quite interesting and challenging…I have a lot of friends and am involved in a lot of activities and studies, but the winters are just too bad for me. And in many ways I have a lot of failure here. I have put on at least 40 pounds since I lived here, in part because I don’t get out in winter…and winter lasts 6 months. I started smoking again…mainly due to stress. And I also worry about how to maintain this big house and yard. In summer it’s the grass, in winter it’s the snow. I decided I had to do something financially about the house, and decided to rent it out. Then I considered getting a small apartment here, but the winters….that was the capper. I am so excited about moving to my little park model, being warm, and having more free time, which I will use to work on my health. Getting healthier is my highest priority right now. More walking, now that my knee is ‘fixed’, swimming in the community pool, quitting smoking again, dieting. All things I am excited about. I’m dieting now, but not exercising. Still too cold and knee still recovering. Start 3 weeks of physical therapy Thursday, then I’m out if here. Can’t wait to get to Arizona. Oh…and really happy to get rid of lots of ‘stuff’.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You know what made me smile reading your comment? The way you have taken charge of your life. You know what needs fixin’ and you have a good plan to fix it.

      Exercise and diet aren’t the only things that will improve your health… The warm, dry climate of Arizona will help, too!

      I’ve always been a believer in getting a fresh start. People, along the road of my life, have said… “Changing locations isn’t going to help — Your problems will go with you.” That’s true, but a “clean slate” location is inspirational for other changes, in your case, the improvement of your health.

      I say, “THREE CHEERS FOR YOU!”

      • I used to think that changing locations would help, but it didn’t – at that time. Now I think it will for the simple reason that I now believe that a new outlook can come when you have a new lookout. 🙂

      • AZ Jim says:

        Arizona with it’s “warm” dry weather is great but comes summer you are as trapped here as I was in winter in South Dakota. When it’s summer here the temps run from high 90’s to 117 or more depending on where you and nights in the 80’s ans lower 90’s often. When that’s the case, it’s inside with the A/C running. That is where the lack of exercise and weight gain comes from here. If you live in the mountains of Arizona, it’s much cooler in summer but cold and snow in winter. That is the reason for our HUGE snowbird population both in mobile accommodations (like RV livers) and those who own two homes. No one place is perfect that I can afford. Southern California (I am a native there, 55 years) is perfect but the cost of housing, taxes, virtually everything is far too high for me on my retirement income. “Ya picks and ya chooses”.

        • DesertGinger says:

          I lived in Las Vegas for 5 years. It has to be over 110 before the heat really bothers me. I have a pool at my community, and a gym. And if I walk I will do it early morning or after dark. But you never slip on the ice, and you never find yourself unable to breathe like I do in the cold. I do hope to travel in the summers, however. All depends on money. I don’t have a lot. My social security is a good chunk, but I have to be careful.

    • Cari in North Texas says:

      DesertGinger, it sounds like you have made the right decision for you. I can feel your excitement (and peace) about starting your new life, and I look forward to hearing more about it. Maybe you should start your own blog!

  43. Madeline says:

    You are an inspiration! It’s not the details–YOUR personal journey is YOURS. But the ATTITUDE is what we need to take away.. the message that THINKING OUTSIDE OF THE BOX can lead to incredible satisfaction.. the details are all up to the individual….

    But doing the SAME OLD THING for decades=deadening…

    Thanks for sharing!!

    • Mary (MN) says:

      I agree, attitude is the key. A positive attitude combined with a spirit of adventure and ongoing learning can make even seemingly routine things fun.

      I am a firm believer in the theory that fun is an attitude and not an activity.

    • MB says:

      Well said!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yes, Madeline!

      Call it “thinking outside the box” while analyzing yourself … Having the attitude that you will live life to the fullest in the manner which suits you best . . . That’s the key!

  44. Trip and Lisa says:

    I was reading about your place in Georgia and remembering how beautiful the fall was in those north Georgia mountains when the rain and temps were just right,and traveling down to my Father in Laws on the north side of Atlanta and picking fresh figs from his tree.Thanks for shaking my memory Sue.
    We’re coming down there the first week of April,so looks like we might miss you,maybe next time.Have a wonderful week Sue.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Trip and Lisa,

      Georgia, in my opinion, is lovely for a few weeks in the spring and in the fall . . . and I did pick some figs! It’s beautiful north of Atlanta.

      Happy and safe travels!

  45. Karen says:

    Sue – love your blog! Faithful reader… Whenever I discover a new blog, I always go the first few posts to see how they started their journey. Thank you for sharing your beginnings. Look forward to hearing more.

    We dream of the day (not soon enough) when we can live FT in a house on wheels. Meantime we must be content with weekend and vacation adventures in our van camper and reading your blog (and others) for inspiration, enjoyment and enlightenment on this amazing lifestyle. Peace

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Karen,

      Thank you for being a faithful reader. I’m glad you are with us!

      I took a look at your blog and Humphrey, your personally designed van camper… great job! Looks like you are enjoying the places Humph takes you. 🙂

      Nice to hear from you . . .

  46. Patty says:

    Hi Sue,

    Me again… The Lurker…

    Love your first installment of how you got to where you are today, but dang… your thoughts at that time are like looking inside my own head at this point in my life. I can absolutely relate.

    Looking forward to your next installment on your road to finding your vision and making it a reality!

    Thank you for sharing your life and your adventures!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Patty . . . Thanks for stopping by!

      I hope the story I tell of my road to vagabonding will be helpful and entertaining. I’m surprised by the number of responses from people who “can relate” to my thinking at the time.

  47. stan watkins says:

    My older brother has been wintering in AZ. and told me of a spot just North of Laughlin Nevada on Lake Mojave. It’s called Nevada Telephone Cove. Head West on Hwy 68 for a couple miles and turn North on Nevada Telephone Cove road. It’s dirt but very nice. You can stay 14 days. Vault toilets and even a few trees. Spike would love to soak in the crystal clear water. A few more miles West from the Telephone Cove turn off is Christmas tree road so named for the many bushes that are adorned with xmass decorations. The prize at the end of the road is a short hike to petroglyphs. A lot of them. My bro said the water is so clear you can see 25 feet down. Not at all like the muddy lakes down by Yuma.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Stan,

      It sounds delightful! Spike would love it! Thanks for telling us about it and including detailed directions.

  48. Candace says:

    I am totally intrigued – again – by your words RV Sue. I have shared your blog with so many Dreamers – online and those I meet in person. Not just because you made such a huge difference in Rusty’s life, not just because you take nice pictures and have a wonderful way of writing, and not just because you spend most of your time exploring and discovering the west. Mainly because you are a solo female, boondocking with 2 canines and doing it “your way”.
    Now I will be so intrigued and really looking forward to “the next chapter” of your journey to this life that has thousands inspired, committed and moving forward in their lives.
    My hubby and I still work full-time, although manifested RV friendly jobs, so we are also full-time RVers. The process of how that develops is a fascinating one, that starts in our minds.
    Being a busy worker & traveller, there are only a handlfull of blogs I take the time to read faithfully … yours is (and has been since discovering it) at the TOP of that list.

    Blog on dear muse, blog on ….
    Candace – RVingFT

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Candace,

      Thank you for sharing my blog with others and for putting it at the top of your list. I appreciate the compliment!

      Best wishes to you and your husband as you work your way toward retirement. You show it’s possible to full-time while still working . . . another option in life. Great hearing from you… Best wishes to you both!

  49. MB says:

    WOW! I’ve got to go back and read all these comments later. I’ll bet they are very interesting! But, for now…I wanted to add my own. Thank you for taking the time to share this story. I am now where you were then. I am happy here but know that I am coming to a fork in the road. I’ve had a couple of those already. So, I know what they feel like. And I also know I will be OK. I left a 20+ year teaching career to manage a horse farm. I had always told my students to follow their dreams. Working with horses fulltime had been one of mine. So, I took my own advice. I have never been sorry. But now, I feel another change coming. And travel is another thing that I have always dreamed of. I’m not sure how my path will unfold. Hopefully, it’ll run across yours one day. Till then….thank you for sharing. I can’t wait to read how yours progressed. Take care Sue! You and the crew have a wonderful day! I’ll be feeding horses in the sleet! MB from VA

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, MB,

      Twenty years is enough time to devote to a career. Good for you for going after your dream, even if it does include “feeding horses in the sleet!” 🙂 You took your life in another direction and you’re not sorry….

      I wish you much happiness as you take to the road!

  50. Krystina McMorrow says:

    Love the pics of the Crew playing in the field at Camp Bluebell. As many others have said, I can totally relate to the beginning of “your story”. As I lost my job I could no longer afford my home. As I always wanted to RV full-time, the process began putting the house up for sale and getting rid of everything. I had 10 yard sales last summer and when the house sold I had an ongoing estate sale. What an unbelievable job that was as the house was 3,200 sq. ft and had a 3 car garage and a tiny barn. When the house sold I only had 1 month before the closing. The weather here in Vermont has been horrible. The first day of my estate sale it was -25 degrees! REALLY? And the weather hasn’t stopped. It has been -18 below zero for the past 3 nights. Last week we got 18″ of snow. All in a days work. My 25′ class C Four Winds is in the driveway of my friends house and I play RV everyday getting my “stuff” into it. YEAH!! Well worth every minute it took to make it all happen. Plan ahead everyone and hope you don’t sell your house in the winter! Looking forward to “the rest of the story”.

    • riley in nc says:

      Krystina
      One of the best things about having an rv is that it almost forces you to get rid of stuff that you don’t really need. Clutter that literally weighs you (and the rv)
      down.
      It can be painful to let go of part of your past but necessary to move on.
      Sounds like an exciting start to a new life–congratulations.

  51. Lacy says:

    I find your story FASCINATING….and ‘knowing you’, you might think that a smidge surprising.

    You and I are close in age so we grew up around the same time. The idea of no longer having a sticks & bricks home, picking up roots and going here and there isn’t exactly the mindset we were raised with – so I’m thoroughly intrigued with your thought process through this journey you’re now on. And it’s so interesting to see so many other people here considering the same things or having made the leap and are on a similar path.

    And if I might weigh in on the thought of your future as an author: you’re a page turning writer who knows how to lure the reader and at just the right spot, you keep us in suspense until the next installment and always wanting more. Oh yeah, from blog to book? It CAN happen!

    As always, thanks for choosing to share your stories with us!
    Lacy

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lacy,

      Yeah, when we grew up, the only people who lived the vagabond life were . . . well. . . vagabonds! Gypsies, transients, rolling stones, no-account drifters . . .

      Thank you for the compliment. I like to think my blog is a “page-turner.” 🙂

  52. Tara says:

    Sue, once again your writing has really touched me. My husband and I also bucked the trend for the expected period of our life.
    In our early thirties (2007 height of the real estate bubble) we bought as much house as we possibly could for 350k. We were both working for corporate America, stressed and working long hrs, no good for our children. We decided that there has to be another way.
    Now, 7 yrs later, we are close to moving into our 85k house that we bought and have been renovating, which we paid cash and a 401k loan for. My husband was able to work on this house because he was thankfully laid off from his stressful job and works for himself doing a nonprofit to help incarcerated youth.
    Once we move in and pay off the 401k loan, I’ll be able to look for something more enjoyable and meaningful.
    I imagine when we get to the stage of looking into retirement, we may buck the trend again and find something different.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Tara,

      Life has taught you important lessons and you learned them early in life. You’ve made some smart moves. I bet a simpler, more gratifying lifestyle will extend your life span. Best wishes to you both and thanks for sharing a bit about your journey through life so far!

  53. John W Abert says:

    Hi Sue,

    After having read your blog from the beginning and then kept up with it, I had the impression you had “always” been a teacher. I was surprised when you said you didn’t get into it until your 50’s. I’m curious…what did you do before entering the teaching profession?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Well . . . Here goes . . .

      Waitress
      Bartender
      Mason’s Helper
      Truck Washer
      Bus Driver
      Secretary/Data Entry Clerk
      Executive Secretary
      Fundraiser
      Newsletter and Brochure Production and Design
      Administrative Assistant
      Printing (design, writing) for mega-church
      Insurance Adjustment (claims/reports)
      Teacher (grades 4-7) — reading, language arts, science, math

  54. Badger says:

    Hi Sue,
    Long time lurker first time poster, read from the beginning, dreaming……you know the drill. But todays post finally got me to post because like so many before me I am today about where you describe in today’s post. Thank you for all you do, you are making a difference in more lives than you realize.

    And I know your a Georgia gal but don’t be too afraid of moving north and seeing a bit of snow. After all if not for that camp at Ash Forks you never would have met Rusty and Timber.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello, Badger…. Happy to see you here… Now I can give you an official “Welcome to my blog!” Thanks for reading my blog from the beginning. 🙂

      Oh, believe me, I saw enough snow to last a lifetime from the 25 years or so I lived in northern NY!

  55. Cari in North Texas says:

    Thank you for sharing the beginning to your story, and I look forward to the next installment. I found your blog a few years ago and I went back and read from the beginning to catch up. (I remember reading the April snowstorm blog when it happened) I’m one of those who hates to pick up a story in the middle without knowing the beginning, but it’s been awhile, so I’m looking forward to reading more of your thoughts on your decision to go fulltime.

    I had a great meeting with my financial planner last week, and it looks like I’ll be able to quit my part-time job at the end of the year and be fully retired in 2015! My military pension and my retirement savings will cover the loss of income, and then Social Security will kick in at age 66. So the rest of 2014 will be spent dreaming, thinking, and planning for the next chapter in my life. At this point I don’t see myself full timing, but I do see taking longer trips in an RV of some sort. Whether it’s rented or owned is a decision I’ll be making this year.

    I am so grateful for your blog showing that single women CAN travel alone out in the boonies and be happy! You aren’t alone – you have all of us blogorinos with you, in spirit.

    I’m reminded of a quote I read years ago. “Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming “WOO HOO what a ride!”

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cari,

      So sorry it’s taken me so long to respond. Whenever Verizon gets cramps my internet connection slows to a crawl. Suddenly it’s going faster… hope it continues!

      Love that quote…. although the vision of the BLT and PTV skidding sideways could be left out! 🙂

  56. Kim says:

    I went through the same thing regarding home ownership and the longing for change. I finally arrived at my hybrid-approach.

    We sold our money-sucking house with a massive yard neither of us had the time or inclination to deal with. With the proceeds we bought a low-maintenance condo and my camping van. Traded in one big house for the price of two!

    Deciding to teach online was the last step in making life simple and portable. The past 2 years of extended road trips has enriched my life beyond imagination. No more worries about death-bed regrets. Life has never been better!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kim,

      I bet there was a time you thought it couldn’t possibly turn out as well as it did. I’m glad you are enjoying a good life.

  57. SSI John says:

    Wow, it is almost like you are writing my story. I too live in Georgia and have until 2020 to retire (you mentioned 7 years). Through a series of missteps I don’t own a home but rent. The prospect of owning a home, if I wanted one, has flown. So I have been carefully plodding the course that will take me to the freedom you enjoy. I look forward to the rest of your story!

  58. Wendy says:

    So inspiring…. Looking forward to the next chapter!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Wendy…. The next chapter will be called “An Epiphany.” I’ll write it after I post about our new camp.

  59. Susan says:

    There’s the other side of this conversation too. Choosing a full time life in a house can be fulfilling in retirement too. I have a very small house that’s paid for, a manageable garden for growing fresh, organic vegetables and berries, good friends and family nearby, and a great community with a huge variety of interesting events. Life is so rewarding here.

    I also own an older tiny camper that I can get away in anytime I feel the urge to explore. I also save up for once a year Bucket List trips: the Caribbean, the British Isles, Spain, Italy, France. I take these with frugal friends so we split the costs to make it affordable and fun.

    The key to ‘having it all’ is actually to have very little! LOL I have only the basic necessities in house and personal stuff; I’m vegetarian and grow a lot of my own food; I share costs with friends; I have simple pleasures like nature walks, watching birds, reading library books.

    A happy retirement is not a matter of where you are or what you do, but of your positive attitude.

    • Diann in MT says:

      !Bravo, Susan! I am kindred to your spirit. I, too, own a home in a nice little town; occupy myself with library books and a fine organic garden; and have decent family members within a few miles. I own my own newish PTV and a small BLT which my husband and I enjoy during weekends in the summer.
      On the other hand, I have brother who car camps all over the south in the winter and sails the Pacific solo during the summer. I could never imagine such independence, but then I wasn’t raised like him. I was raised a girl! HAHAHA
      So, Sue has become my beacon of how a woman can claim an independent lifestyle free from encumbrances and expectations of our general society. I enjoy hers and the crew’s adventures vicariously.
      Maybe in my next lifetime…

      • Dominick Bundy says:

        Hi Diann and Susan. I thought I’d jump in here with my 2 cents worth. Because I know exactly what both of you mean. I too am in the same situation. I have a small house paid for, a 1986 travel trailer I bought new that’s all set up in a camp ground. I have everything I need and really don’t want for anymore. Other than hating the winter season and some health issues life has been pretty good and smooth sailing so far.. My philosophy is be happy with what you have , waste not, want not, and never try to keep up with the “Jones'”

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Good philosophy, Dominick! Sounds like you’ve done well setting yourself up for a simple and happy retirement.

  60. Hannah says:

    Interesting story of how you got to where you are, Sue, but I have to ask “What’s your Plan B”? What happens if you get sick or disabled? What happens when you’re old and want to settle down in one place? Is there a fund for that change in lifestyle?

    That’s one reason that I’m holding on to my real estate investment. My modest house is paid off, in a good neighbourhood, and in good repair. If I need to change my life, I’ll have the money from that and my savings to pay for it.

    So what’s your Plan B?

    • Ed says:

      “If I need to change my life, I’ll have the money from that and my savings to pay for it.”
      “What happens if you get sick or disabled? What happens when you’re old and want to settle down in one place?” Are these the conditions under which you would feel a need to change your life? There are many people that don’t want to settle for that as their Plan B.

      Not speaking for Sue but my guess is she is now living her Plan B.

    • Hannah, what you say is prudent, but there are different arguments that could also be made. There really is no guarantee that Sue or you or me or any of us will live long enough to need “Plan B.” Does that mean we should make no preparations for that day or for “what if?” No, but it also doesn’t mean we should allow worrying about “what ifs” or about having “Plan B” keep us from living in the here and now. Today is really all any of us is promised.

      I personally feel I have been living “Plan B” for much of my married life. My wife is a very prudent and responsible person, although I’d like to think a little of my irresponsibility has rubbed off. 🙂 Otherwise, we likely would never have bought an RV. Still, she is not quite ready to pull the plug on stationary life and hit the road. Maybe full-timing in an RV is my “Plan B.”

      As for Sue, I could easily envision a Thelma and Louise scenario with the BLT and PTV zooming over a cliff and into legend. 😀

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hannah, Ed, and Walt,

      You all make valid points. I’ll try to touch on each of them.

      If I waited to prepare a plan for old age and/or disability, I’d still be in that house in Georgia, probably well on my way to old age and/or disability. Some of us don’t have the resources to tie life up in a bow. We have to grab what happiness we can and have the faith that solutions to future situations will be found at some point along the way.

      Well, Ed, I guess I am living my Plan B. My Plan A was to live in the GA house, have a garden, foster rescue dogs (which I did for a while) and engage in other activities like painting. I thought I’d live out my life there.

      So the vagabond life is Plan B. Do I have a Plan C? Not exactly. I can see one possibly evolving over time. Whether I have that time, nobody knows, right?

      My sister in Mississippi has graciously and lovingly invited me to park on the property she and her husband have, anytime I want. I don’t see me doing that, but it’s an option.

      Hi, Walt… I won’t be zooming off of any cliffs like Thelma and Louise. I don’t particularly care for heights! 🙂

      • Elizabeth aka E2/etwo in S.E. NM says:

        Great responses Sue! Very much what I would expect of you!
        Those of us who live in the “now, moment by moment” do so because we know that
        life happens while plans are being made!

      • weather says:

        and have the faith that solutions to future situations will be found-good answer!Every new thing I’ve dared to tackle has always been done with clarity of methodical planning in as much as I was able,passion making the risk of the undertaking worth it to me.I’ve always had an exit strategy ,and never ended up needing that particular one,because doors opened and circumstances presented themselves that I could never have imagined.

  61. Ed says:

    I wish I could lay claim to be the author of the quote shown below but it was penned by Spotted Dog Ranch. She has expressed my thought much better than I ever could.

    The old saying goes that you can’t run away and hide, no matter how much you’d like to, but I beg to differ, I think you can. It’s just a matter of priorities—usually when you want to run away, you choose to stay and be responsible, even though your emotions place you square on with Huck Finn on that raft. But in reality you could run away, you just choose not to.

    But sometimes it really is better to run away. There are times our fear holds us in situations we’d be better off running from, running fast and hard. And I believe such situations aren’t that uncommon.

    Our ancestors were hunters and gatherers, and you can be sure they never experienced what it’s like to be stuck in one place. We’ve been brainwashed by our society to believe that to quest for freedom is irresponsible, although there are still a few of us who choose to ride the rails, both figuratively and literally. But I think our yearning for freedom is deep in our genetic code and haunts us when we ignore it.

  62. Ron in TX says:

    I should have included this in my earlier post, I have taken a couple of steps to get closer to the ft .
    A big one was buying a sd Casita and having it paid for,I chose the Casita for a number of reasons and one of the main once connected with ft was the fact I could use this camper for awhile and if it didnt fill my needs I could get most of my investment back.
    1 and 2 week trips give me a good ideal what I need to ft.
    My trip to fulltiming will be one step at a time and they dont have to be giant steps just as long as I am moving forward.
    Ron

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ron,

      You’re right. As long as you’re moving forward, go at the pace that’s right for you.

  63. Lee J says:

    I get the feeling that Sue didn’t ‘run away’, it is more like running ‘to’…she had a goal, worked toward it and realized it.
    Good for you Sue!

    She also mentioned once that she is saving the money from Amazon, plus if you look at her monthly posts about spending you will see she is spending way under her income…so if it is necessary to shift gears, she will have funds saved toward whatever eventuates down the road, pun intended.lol

    I have a feeling that she has a very firm grasp of the reality of planning ahead..she is our good mentor in that department..
    Sorry Sue for sounding like I am excluding you … the blogerinos do keep talking when you are not here!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, LeeJ,

      You have me all figured out! Your comment about me, my finances, and my future is “spot on!”

      I have to keep my replies short because my computer is super slow! I probably won’t be able to answer everyone today. 🙁

  64. Susan in Dallas says:

    Funny how quickly time flies by and those big decisions just plop right down in front of you and need addressing, even if you would much rather not. For me, the plan to happiness is staying in one place. I’m not a traveler and the past years have been filled with family obligations and my health issues. All of that is finished now and I have the freedom to do what I want, when I want. I’ve missed a lot by working 2 jobs for 15 years. I’m appreciating not having obligations. While I’m not a traveler, I really enjoy your blog reading about your life and adventures.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Susan,

      Some of us sacrifice a large part of our lives to the nurturing and caring for others and we do it out of love and a sense of responsibility. You’re that kind of person.

      You’ve done your part and now you’ve been liberated! Be selfish! Live your life your way! If that means being comfy and happy in your home, fantastic!

      I’m glad you enjoy my blog. Thanks for stopping by and sharing some of your story. 🙂

  65. DesertGinger says:

    I’m not really a stay in one place girl. I grew up in Oklahoma. Went to San Francisco for college and stayed 33 years, but I moved around all over the Bay Area from Marin County to Dublin. Had 1year in Toronto, 6 months in Indiana, 1 year in Texas. After SF I lived in Las Vegas for 5 years, then Tacoma, Wa for 3 years, and NY for almost 7 years. Next stop Arizona! And I have traveled all over Canada, in Mexico, Central America, and Europe. And the Caribbean. So, although I have never been FT RV….I’ve covered a lot of ground. I did live in a TT the whole time I was in Tacoma. But it was parked. I think I want both sides. I bought my little park model in AZ to be my home base, but I will be saving for a small TT and PTV so I can rv during the summer. Until I have it, I will just do car travel. I don’t want to miss anything! The idea of a small garden does sound nice though.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Wow! You certainly have been around!

      Maybe you can plant a small garden around your park model?

  66. Devon says:

    Hi Sue!!

    Love your blog, I’ve been quietly reading it for a few months now 🙂 I admire your living life to the fullest vibe 🙂
    We decided 2 years ago that the road life was the life we needed to be living so we’ve been saving up and paring down getting ready to hit the road with our handicapped dog Jacke come this winter *fingers crossed*

    Hope to see you on the open road one day. 🙂

    -Devon.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Devon,

      I welcome you and your spouse to my blog! Thanks for stopping by and letting me know a little about you and your plans. Best wishes!

  67. Edie says:

    Awesome post!!!

    Thanks Sue, and yes, you could write a book.

  68. Barb in Washington state says:

    just had to say quickly, that I read about last years Ephraim UT….and, we’re right now in Santaquin UT, close to Provo. It is 27 degrees out. We had to go home for a wedding, so we’re on our way to Washington. BIG MISTAKE not driving all the way through. it’s way too cold after being in Vegas just this morning and the day before was 84 degress. We’re freeeeezing!!! I have to sign off quickly as my Verizon Mifi is way over our usage at this point lol later!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Barb,

      What a shocker to go from 84 to 27 degrees! The crew and I camped near Santaquin at Tinney Flat Campground in the Uinta NF. I bet it’s colder than 27 degrees at the campground.

      Enjoy the wedding!

  69. Barb in Washington state says:

    ps. It’s supposed to get to 16 degrees overnight.

    argh

  70. Pauline from Mississippi says:

    WOW!!!! Look at all the comments! You are an inspiration. Love you.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Amazing, isn’t it? And I haven’t replied to all the comments because my computer is very slow . . . .

  71. Hazel says:

    Sue, this post has me thinking BIG about living small. We love our small home-built house and land and gardens but we could live even smaller. If we sold our house, subdivided a lot, and built a tiny house, we could gift some of the money to our adult son who is having financial problems due to a disability. Why should we have so much when he has so little?

    We do have a Casita but do NOT want to full time in it (too small for two to full time!) but will continue to be ‘snowbirds’ and enjoy the best of both worlds!

    Thank you for getting me thinking…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Hazel. I hope you find a path that helps your son without cutting yourselves short. You sound like a very loving and kind person.

  72. CheryLyn(Oregon) says:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and process for full-timing. I am also really enjoying all the comments as well. Much needed as I paint and work on the house. I continue to struggle my way forward. I love my home and acreage but I am tired of the upkeep. It’s safe, secure, comfortable and I know what I will be doing next week. I can’t stand it. It’s a little scary and uncertain to be without a home base. I can’t wait. I read Tioga George and thought how much fun that would be, but it was when I found your blog and read a post you had started on your costs per day that I began to dream I might be able to also rv on “little and enjoy it more.” I might have to work now and then to make ends meet but frugal living has been my life to date so nothing new. Looking forward to future installments.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, CheryLyn,

      You have trained yourself over the years to be thrifty… great preparation for a life on the road…living on less and enjoying life more!

      Not having a home base seems scary at first. Once you cut loose, I bet you’ll be exhilarated!

    • Hazel says:

      CheryLyn, I can totally relate to your issue, loving your home and acreage but tired of the constant maintenance. (Funny, painting inside and out is on my to do list this summer too!) Peace and privacy is wonderful but you could find that somewhere else. As for gardens, you can enjoy other people’s as well as Mother Nature’s without putting in the work.

      It is scary for a woman alone to make such a big lifestyle change but actually simpler than having a significant other. You can live so simply and frugally in a small space and make your own decisions.

      Life is short and we need to seize the day! Blogs like Sue’s are such inspiration. Good luck to you.

      • CheryLyn(Oregon) says:

        Hazel,
        Good words of encouragement. It’s true sometimes the list seems long but the prize gets more exciting everyday. Best wishes on your painting projects!

  73. Ann from TX says:

    Oh my gosh! Same train of thought I’m currently experiencing! I’ve been lurking for the last 10 days….just found your blog then, and have been reading voraciously since from beginning to here. I had been toying with the idea of living in an rv while working (same location, about 8 years to go), and your blog and commenters’ (commentor’s?) Community has given me a LOT of insight! Thanks so much for an enjoyable, informative blog!

    Ann

  74. Karen branson says:

    Hi sue, love your story. I have just become a widow after 40 years of marriage and realize I still want to travel. I have not sold my home yet and I’m not sure that I will but I did get myself a German Shepherd puppy and a 22′ class C rv. I love it. My retirement funds are not much so I also boondock as much as possible. I put solar panels on my rig and bought myself a really comfy folding chair along with a great new mountain bike. I joined the Wandering Individuals Network who are active and fun to be with. Maybe we’ll cross paths at some point. I love to hear about women out there doing their own thing. My next adventure will include Mexico.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      My condolences on the passing of your husband.

      Welcome to my blog, Karen . . . You are one amazing woman! Best wishes to you.

  75. Jane says:

    Your words went straight to my heart. I am 67 years old and my home has become a burden and not a joy to me. My grown daughter and my two grandchildren are staying with me until her husband returns from his duty station in Japan in about 14 months.
    She has finished two BA’s and will begin her teaching certificate classes this summer.
    I have made up my mind that the RV life is for me. I have driven cross country from South Carolin to AZ in a 17 foot U-haul pulling my PT cruiser. I have done it from SC to CA four times before that sans the U-haul. I have driven from Alaska to Southern California and from Seattle to Anchorage. I usually travel with my dog Murphy, an Irish wolfhound husky cross. and a great traveler. I know it sounds awful but I really need my freedom back. No matter what my daughters say I am going to do it. When I sell my house and most of my belongings I will have enough to buy a Class C 24′. Thank you to you and the other RV singles out there for letting me know it can be done. I am not going to sit here waiting to die. lol

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good for you, Jane! Hold on to your dream and don’t let go. Daughters will come around with time. Your “work” with them is done and the time is coming for you to live for you!

      Thank you for introducing yourself. I hope you will keep in touch!

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