Alright friends. It has been over a year since Sam and I decided to sell our house, most of our belongings, and hit the road in an RV. We made the decision to do so at the end of May in 2020. I did a podcast episode on that decision here.
Since then, a lot has happened. Like a LOT. And even more that I'll get to at some point. However, from the perspective and experience I have now, I thought it would be fun to review what I loved and loathed about our 10 month RV adventure. And, if you've been here before, you know I will hold very little back...
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Hi, I am Jaclyn Steele and welcome to self discovery. Howard Thurman so beautifully wrote, don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive, coming alive. That my friends is what self discovery is all where that man Hello, and happy day to you today as a solo episode. I, like I've mentioned in many other solo episodes love doing these episodes because they just feel so intimate. Like, you and I are having a conversation. And that's what I want this podcast to feel like. Like it's so accessible. Like we're sitting with a cup of tea across the table from one another and just sharing life stories and life wisdom. Hmm, that is the stuff of life for me. So today's episode is a life update. And it's a reflection post really, about 10 things I loved and loathed about RV living. And before I get into that, which this is, I think will be a fun episode. I want to say a couple business things. Please subscribe to the podcast if you haven't already. And leave a review. Those reviews are so important. I read every single one, they delight my heart. If you have been listening to this podcast for a while you've derived any kind of encouragement, empowerment, uplifting wisdom from it, please leave a review it makes such a big difference. And then also text me at 480-531-6858 I'm doing sacred rebel affirmations where I send out a couple times a week not not very often, but just enough, hopefully, these sacred rebel affirmations they are meant to uplift you, make you think make you question the status quo and really dive into the depths and the power of who you are. So I love this. I've been having so much fun texting people and receiving replies and being able to have more individualized relationships with you guys outside of social media. So please text me at 480-531-6858 and after you do that type in the word sacred s a CRED and you will automatically be added to my sacred rebel affirmations list. It is a free service at some point it will be a paid service. But for early adopters, this is free to you. Okay, so life update 10 things I loved and loathed about RV living friends. It has been over a year since Sam and I decided to sell our house, most of our belongings, my car and hit the road in an RV. We made the decision to do so at the end of May in 2020. And I did a podcast episode on that. I will link that podcast episode in the show notes because I forget what number it was. But I did actually a series of podcast episodes on that decision and some of the adventures we had. Since then, since May of 2020. A lot has happened, like a lot. And even more that I'll get to at some point. However, from the perspective and experience I have now, I thought it would be fun to review what I loved and loathed about our 10 month RV adventure. And if you have been listening to this podcast for a while, you know I hold very little back. I'm very honest. That's why I'm not sugarcoating this. So, number one, I'm going to start out with something I loved. Something I loved about RV living was the sense of adventure, selling our house, whittling down our belongings hitting the road. It felt like the freshest a fresh starts and during COVID I was craving that sense of freedom. And if I'm honest, I was craving that sense of freedom. Well before COVID two, I've come to understand that I have a gypsy heart. Can you relate to me on this? I'm sure some of you can. I naturally lean toward the question What's next? erring on the side of travel and adventure versus growing roots in one place. I still have minor panic attacks when I think of committing to living in one place for the rest of my life. Unless it's an island in Greece but that's for another podcast episode. So the idea of RV living really suited my Gypsy soul. The idea of new places and spaces on the regular lit me up and we started out in September of two 2020 with hope in our hearts and expectations as wide as the roads in front of us. Okay, so that was number one. Number two, this is something I loathed. The reality of traveling in an RV was not nearly as much fun as the idea of it. It's slow, it's cumbersome. It's really effing inconvenient. Hello semi truck friendly gas stations only. No more Starbucks drive throughs. We had a fifth wheel and a Ford F 350 dually. So we pulled our house behind us. And because we were living in the RV full time, with only our most needed and precious belongings. Every time we hit a bump, bad weather a pothole, it felt like our whole world was being rattled and might literally come crashing off the walls of the inside of our house. We also traveled with three dogs, and they were such troopers. But that was also extra responsibility and extra rest stop time. The conclusion I came to after 10 months was that I thought traveling in an RV would feel like freedom. But my reality was it felt very slow and heavy. packing a suitcase and catching a flight is a much easier and generally less expensive option. In addition, breaking down and setting up camp is a lengthy process, it could easily take a couple of hours on each end to do it properly. So to hook up the sewage to hook up the water to hook up the electricity to make sure everything's leveled out. So if you think about it, you drive eight to 10 hours and then add three to four hours on top of that for setting up and breaking down the RV apparatuses. So if you're staying in one place for a few weeks, not a big deal, but if you're trying to go to a lot of places in a small amount of time, it's just not restful at all. You are constantly on the move constantly doing something so that was not nearly as fun as I thought it was going to be. Right number three love. It was a really fun challenge to pare down everything I owned. I got rid of so much clothing and junk weighing me down literally and figuratively and only taking what you need. Well minor confession here I did take my whole makeup collection which is a considerable amount. But other than that only taking what you need feels refreshing and calming. So I think that whittling down process is one we should all do. At least several times throughout our life. Feels like a fresh start. Number four. This is a Lowe's living in an RV is not all that comfortable. The space is tight. The hot water supply leaves a lot to be desired I could not tell you have any times I was in the shower mid shampoo and then out of hot water and had to finish my shower freezing cold and then not to mention you get out of the shower and the air is freezing cold too. So like forget about shaving your legs, you're just always going to be in a goosebump sort of state. There is very little privacy and RV living. We had thankfully fully functioning AC and heat However, if you run out of propane, you will be waking up to whatever temperature it is outside. And that happened to us and an unprecedented ice storm in Oklahoma City on our way to Arizona. We were stuck for three or four days and rain and ice and there was a propane shortage and the power went out at the RV park. It was cold, wet and less than clean few days because we couldn't shower. In Arizona during several wind storms. Our RV rocked back and forth so hard. We were left wondering if we would be waking up to our RV tipping over? Well, those are two extremes. They have a way of tattooing themselves on the psyche. As you were keenly aware, your house is not anchored in the ground, or all that protected from any of the elements. This episode is supported by burkas nuts, these South American nuts are good for you and they're good for the planet. And additionally, their nutritional value is next level amazing. They have more than three times the antioxidant power of other popular nuts. They have more fiber than any other nut. They're super high in high quality protein. They're mineral rich, they are the highest in potassium and they contain very high amounts of calcium, magnesium, manganese, and other vital minerals. They have 25% fewer fat calories that other pop Nuts and their taste is a cross between a peanut and an almond. I'm eating one right now. And it is a cross between a peanut and almond but it's slightly sweeter. 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The bruke is nuts company offer generous compensation to the indigenous people who gather verrucas from the wild trees. This much needed income helps families stay on their land. verrucas are the nuts that have at all great taste crazy high nutrition and a positive impact on the environment and on the lives of people who gather them. So what are you waiting for? Give these delicious nuts and nut butters or try find them on verrucas.com that's BRUKS calm and use code Jaclyn j ac LYN for 15% off, all of those links and codes will be in the show notes. And now back to the episode. All right, number five. Love the small square footage doesn't require a lot of cleaning, which anybody knows me. Like, I like things to be organized. I'm a Virgo. I do not enjoy cleaning like Monica and friends. I will do it. I like things to be clean, but I really love that. Okay, so small square footage that didn't require a lot of cleaning. Number six is a love how freaking dirty everything was all the time. I don't even know how to describe this. And I don't know if it's because we were primarily in Arizona and the dust was heavy, or that the walls of the RV are thin, or that the circulation system is weak. But everything in our RV felt dirty all the time. I'll admit, I'm somewhat of a perfectionist. And this really grossed me out. At one point I was like it should I just give up cleaning because it it just everything just feels like there's a film on it. In addition, traveling bangs, everything up dishes, cups, speakers, shoes, you name it. It was scarred in our travels, even if it was secure before leaving. More than once I would pick something up and go What the heck happened to you. You were new yesterday. And now you look like you were run over by a truck. RV living is not for anything delicate, expensive, white, etc. Our RV was renovated with what white painted walls and by the end of our time living in it, the paint was cracked and bruised like an apple that fell on concrete. So if you're somebody like me, who loves neutral colors, light colors, lots of light oh my gosh, the light coming in just highlighted all the imperfections of all the things and so that was not easy on me especially because my surroundings are really important to my mood and my mindset. Number seven is love seeing new places with fresh eyes and the ability to do so much hiking and so much outdoor time spending and activities. participating. being outdoors is like medicine and when you live in an RV your relationship with nature naturally becomes more symbiotic. And I really appreciated that especially in Arizona November through April. When the weather was absolutely perfect. My husband and I would wake up we could go hiking right outside the RV park we went hiking a bunch in Sedona it was just a glorious. Okay, number eight is a love and this one might be the load of all of the loads. It is the black tank. For anyone listening who has experienced with an RV you know exactly what this is about. For those of you that don't the blank the black tank holds all the RVs waste, and you have to empty and clean it weekly or your RV will smell like straight up sewage. This process both assaulted my eyeballs and my nostrils. The tubes. This is so gross guys, but the tubes to connect the RV to the sewage tank have a clear part so you can see when your tank is empty. And my gosh, you cannot unsee some of those things. My husband was such a trooper and really took the lead on this task. But it was something that I really dreaded every week, especially after one of the first times we did it. We flooded our whole back room with you guessed it, Blackwater. We had to bleach everything, throw away the rug, and consciously decide not to be traumatized about it for the rest of our time living in the RV.Unknown:
okay. Number nine is love experience. I think running face first into life is really awesome. And I'm so thankful I had the experience of living in an RV for 10 months. Do I want to do it again? No, but am I really grateful that we took that risk and packed up our lives and landed again in the West. Yes, side note, my hypothesis is that RV living would be so much more manageable if you had a home base to return to for breaks and to store your most valuable items. I think it would be ideal to travel for a couple of months then go home, stretch your legs and recharge and then hit the road again. That is just my two cents there. Also, before I hit number 10, which is my final Lowe's. I have one more thing that I forgot to mention, which is the laundry situation. We had a washer dryer combo unit in our RV so we were very fortunate that we had the ability to do laundry. However, if you have ever used a small washer dryer combo unit, you can fit about eight things in there forget sheets or anything large like that. And the dryer component dries your clothes about 50% of the way. So doing laundry was a challenge. Especially until we got to Arizona where I then just took my laundry 30 minutes away to my mom's house and did all my laundry at her house like a college student. Otherwise, if you're lucky RV parks will have some kind of laundry station I just the germaphobe in me, and I was a germaphobe pre COVID doesn't like to share washer dryer units with strangers. So that was tough. If you want to do like normal sized loads of laundry and not kind of be married to your washer dryer all day. Alright, finally number 10 minute end on a low of but then I will get positive again in my summary notes. But my final love was the internet. Okay, you guys. We have become so reliant on the internet, not just me and my husband, the whole world. So imagine working all day. And excitedly anticipating streaming that new Apple TV plus show that is coming out this evening. You make dinner, you feed the dogs, you sit down with sweet, sweet desire and the TV says not available, please check your internet connection. I literally cannot tell you how many internet issues we had. We would restart we would call the internet company we will get a new device blah, blah blah, we will connect to our cell phone hotspots. Sam and I also worked from our out our RV and there were many days we're connecting to the internet to simply do our jobs was a nightmare. Admittedly, I don't have a ton of patience for bad internet. But this was such a frustrating experience for the both of us. Like I mentioned, we tried cell phone hotspots separate devices from our cell phone carrier that ended up being a nightmare and costing so much more money than we anticipated. And we tried connecting with whatever RV park internet streaming was available. But our experience was that none are reliable all the time. None. A lot of RV parks are in remote areas. So cell phone service is not as reliable as it would be if you were in a more densely populated area. So internet was a situation anyways in some truly, truly, truly, truly I'm so grateful for our 10 month RV adventure. What I'm even more grateful for though, are the lessons we learned from the discomfort it produced. There were so many beautiful moments to filled with joy and simplicity and freedom and love The back down where we had a porch in our toy hauler and seeing the views of wherever we were. But overall, Sam and I learned lessons that will we will be unpacking for years to come. And guys, what are we doing if we aren't growing? I understand the desire for comfort. I am a comfort seeker myself. However, as I've matured, I've come to believe with my whole heart that our souls are here to expand. Sometimes the expansion process is like the blooming of a flower. It's easy and natural and absolutely gorgeous. And then sometimes expansion is like a rebirth that requires discomfort, maybe even pain and anguish as you shed the old life and travel down the birth canal to the new either way, our soul wants to grow to experience existence beyond our comfort zones. Our RV adventure was that for me, it had its moments of bloom now. It is summer. I'm in Scottsdale, Arizona, we have sold our RV. We have sold our Ford dually truck, which I did actually enjoy driving most of the time just not parking it. And our RV adventure has come to an end. For me, it had its moments of bloom, but it was mostly discomfort. As we shed our old way of life and ushered in the new and truly friends. I wouldn't trade that for anything.