Recently, I asked people to submit their questions to me in regards to living this lifestyle. No topic was off limits.
Jo Anna Pautsch asks: “How about when one parent wants the lifestyle & the other doesn’t?”
If I were put in that situation, I would start looking into a lot of resources, information, to learn everything I could about the lifestyle. When the other person says "no"...you are armed with a wealth of knowledge to defend your dream. www.familiesontheroad.com, www.gorving.com, and www.rv.net are all EXCELLENT sources of knowledge to see how everyone adapts, accomplishes and loves (or loathes) their full timing lifestyle...with or without kids.
This lifestyle isn't for everyone. A lot of people are claustrophobic and can't imagine living in such small quarters. Others need the stability of a Stick and Brick home stuck in a foundation to feel secure. My arguments would be that if you don't like small quarters GO OUTSIDE…all the time! Become one with nature. Get to know this big beautiful planet. Plus, you get the exercise...which is always an added bonus. After being outdoors all day running around, once you get home, I highly doubt you’ll even have the energy to keep your eyes open, let alone the energy to freak out about your lack of square footage. Of course, I could always be wrong.
As for the security of a S&B home...I suppose it all comes down to your definition of "secure". I am at my most "secure" when I'm with my Husband and children...it doesn't matter what dwelling we are in. I personally would find being stuck in a mortgage forever incredibly suffocating. If a house fell outta the sky on me, I would be happy and certainly wouldn’t turn it away, but I don't want to have to work my ass off every second of every day to pay for a house that I'm never home long enough to enjoy...nor would I want my Husband to do the same. For us, it isn't worth it. On the flip side, without the burden of a mortgage, we are FREE to go wherever we want to, do whatever we want to, see whatever and whoever we want to (for the most part whenever we want to). IMHO, it doesn't get much better than that.
Also, when other kids are going to school, either public or private, your kids are getting out in the REAL world experiencing life the way it should be. There’s only so many times you can read to your kid out of a book about the Civil and Revolutionary Wars. However, in Virginia, we are smack dab in the middle of where both of those wars were centered. A lot went down out here. My 7 year old has learned more from just being here than she ever learned out of a book (including the encyclopedia) or that show she used to watch on Saturday morning cartoons (Liberty Kids). When other kids are watching cheesy movie reenactments and falling asleep in class, we have the advantage of watching a re-enactment LIVE, complete with costumes, dwellings, canons and ships! You’ll never get that growing up in a S&B house.
I don’t want it to come off as “we’re better than you because we travel the country”, because that’s not it at all. My very best friend bought a beautiful house a couple years ago and I was so incredibly happy for her and her Husband! It is an amazing home and she has and will continue to make a million special memories there for her and her family. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law just bought their first house, too! We’re all very proud of them for doing so! That is a HUGE step in your life when one finally makes that commitment.
For us though, we aren’t ready to buy a house. Financially, yes, we could easily afford it, but we aren’t quite in a position yet to be able to handle the “Oh Crap! The __________ just broke!” or “We have to replace the ________ immediately!” moments. We have the ability to easily handle those moments in our RV however, which frees up a LOT of worrying and commitments. While we are able to save money, pay down debt and prepare for the inevitable S&B house, we get to see the country, learn new things, see spectacular sights and forge new bonds between us 4 that we wouldn’t have ever been able to do before.
That leaves me with the last thing I would like to say: I don’t think there is any way of telling what will happen to you or your family if you RV fulltime. I don’t think you can ever find that out BEFORE you just jump right in. I have heard that it is about 50/50. For some people, I’ve heard of marriages ending in divorce, parents destroying their relationships with their kids (especially teenagers) and families just all-together being ruined out of the desire to become closer. For other people, living in such tight quarters and seeing the country brings their family together to completely new levels that would never have been attainable in a S&B house. You either learn to respect each others’ boundaries and personal space, or you don’t. I think that is the defining factor which sets the two apart. Since doing this, we are still working on respecting each others’ personal space, but in just the 2 months that we’ve been back together, we’ve come such a long way.
I lucked out. In the end, I was willing to take that risk and my Husband was too. It’s that leap of faith where you hope for the best and plan for the worst. Our worst was, if we get to the point where we hate each other and want a divorce, it is because of the RV. We will not divorce. We will ditch it, move into a S&B home and try to rekindle our marriage. Luckily for us, our family has gone the other direction and with every passing day, our bond strengthens and our love grows to new depths. It has a been a beautiful path of self-discovery for each of us.
I would just assume though, that if you’re on board, and the other person is reluctant and hesitant and fighting you the whole way, that it most likely will not end pretty. I could be wrong. Everybody’s different. I’m pretty sure a LOT of it also comes down to the personalities of each individual. My Husband and I are very spontaneous, risk-taking, adventurous people. We are not to the point where we are impulsive about decision making, we do like to do our homework first, but altogether, we are down with trying new things. Fulltiming was no different. We took about 6 months to research this lifestyle, shop for RV’s, plan our future living in it and then commit to the lifestyle for at least a year.
It’s a HUGE decision and a HUGE adjustment. Also, it isn’t for everyone. There’s a possibility that you will never change the other person’s mind. If that is the case, I am truly sorry (they are really missin’ out), but maybe there is some kind of compromise that could be reached? Perhaps you could buy an inexpensive used one off Craigslist and just vacation in it, then go from there?
I wish all of you the best and GOOD LUCK!