5 Ways To Save Your Sanity While RVing
We’ve all heard the stories. A couple or a family hears about the RV lifestyle, gets excited, runs out and buys an RV, travels for a bit, and then says “Who in their right mind would do this? This is nuts! We can’t do this anymore, sell the RV!” Granted, RVing isn’t for everyone, however many of these such failures can be prevented with some forethought and some steps to preserve their sanity. RVing CAN be stressful, it can be too quick, it can make you want to pull your hair out, or secretly plot to kill the people you are traveling with. But, it can also be relaxing, it can make it so that you can see things you wouldn’t otherwise have ever had the opportunity to see. RVing can open up new worlds of adventure and make it so that you meet great people from all walks of life. Living the lifestyle can open new doors for you and make you appreciate the little things in life while teaching you the value of relationships and experiences. However, you do have to keep some things in mind, to prevent you from burning out and giving up.
1. Have Some Part of Your Day on a Routine or Schedule
So, this seems like it doesn’t fit with the RVing lifestyle. I mean, it’s all about flexibility and waking up each day to try something new, right? It is, to some extent, however it is important for your sanity, and the sanity of those traveling with you, to have something that is on a routine. It will vary from person to person how much needs to be on a routine, and what it is. For me personally, I have to have time to get up in the morning, go thru the process of making coffee, and have some time to myself to work on my computer before everyone gets up. Having those moments of quiet all to myself are what keeps me sane. It’s a routine now, and something that I have an almost religious attachment to. Having that time to center myself and collect my thoughts while following a mindless routine such as coffee can make all the difference in my day. There seems to be a recurring theme to this with other full-time RVers as well. Everyone has something that they follow as part of a routine. For some, it is early in the morning, for others it is before bed, or after parking for the day. Whenever the best timeframe and routine is for you is what will work and help keep you centered and sane. If you have children as well, having a bedtime routine that follows the same pattern every day regardless of where you are parked will make a huge difference in their ability to adapt to each new location with the minimum of stress.
2. Find Your Journey Pace
It seems strange, right? There’s a pace? I thought we just went and saw everything? Well, you can, but the reality is that moving every day can really get most people down. And, let’s face it, packing all the RV accouterment and moving daily can get old quick. Some people are ok with moving every day, others move every day for a while, then stay in one place for a week or two and move on. Still, more RVers are seasonal, and only move when the weather changes. There is no dictation for how fast or slow you have to move. The best thing to do is start somewhere around the 5-7 day move range and then flex it to fit what makes you happy and non-stressed. There are zero reasons to jump up every day and make yourself stressed out trying to get moved unless that is what works for you. Don’t push yourself faster than what makes you happy, and don’t let what anyone else tells you dictate your travel speed. There are no rules for how many miles in a day you do or don’t have to cover, and your location is only dictated by its own rules. Obviously, if it is a “one night only” parking spot, you will have to move on. But otherwise, find what works for you.
3. Have Your Own Space
The biggest thing that will get on people’s nerves living in a small space (other than not having enough time with another person not in their face) is to have their stuff moved and messed with all the time. It’s important in a space that travels all the time, and that has to be packed and unpacked periodically that each person has a space that is all their own. It might be a bulletin style board where she can keep her inspirational ideas, or a small area for him to keep all his electronic mess, or a flexible basket for the kiddos toys. It doesn’t matter what or where it is really, as long as it works for the person that it belongs to and that no one else messes with it. Period. Unless there’s a lava flow coming and you have to leave within the next 30 seconds, don’t touch each individual’s space. Having that bit of privacy and individualized space allows the brain to have an area of ownership and steadiness. They are like zen gardens for junk, really.
4. Keep It Clean
In a tiny home on wheels, everything is exaggerated. Dirtiness is no exception, and it can really drag down your mental state as even a small area being dirty can cause problems quickly. It’s important to clean as you go, and to tidy up frequently. In a sticks and bricks home, some clutter on the counter isn’t too bad, but in a home on wheels, that clutter looks overwhelming quickly and can really affect your mood and how quickly you snap at the others traveling with you. At least once a day, it is important to do a thorough cleaning (stop groaning, it’s like 100 square feet, it’ll take 5 minutes). Sweep, spot mop the floor, put trash in its place, declutter the counters, and make the bed. Your day will go so much better, and should it be a moving day, there will be that much less to take care of before you change locations. Having a clean space will also make you calmer and more able to experience what adventures the area around you has to offer.
5. Discover An Adventure
You started this journey for a reason. Likely, it was so that you could explore, see what’s out there, and put your own eyes on the things of wonder all over the world. So, it goes without saying, that in order to stay sane, you have to get out of your RV! Go for a hike, ask a local about the best places to eat, wander down side streets and people watch, take pictures together at sunset. The list of things to see and do is endless. There’s no possible way to do or see them all, so get out there and visit as many as possible. You won’t see much from the windows of your rig, and there’s no telling what is in store for you once you go out and Discover An Adventure. It can be something as small as grabbing ice cream at a local creamery, or as epic as winning the lottery to visit the Wave. The world outside of your RV is calling to you, will you heed it?
Be Flexible, and Discover Yourself
RVing and travel are often hyped up way more than the intricacies of actually living it. It’s not that the lifestyle isn’t amazing, because it really is. It’s just that the common thought is that it is easy or effortless and that is far from the truth. Just like living anywhere, it takes daily tasks, and thinking about to-do lists, and pondering over the what next. There’s no time like the present, and this lifestyle has been cracked open and opportunities presented like never before. Take your daily grain of salt, preserve your sanity, and go Discover An Adventure!