The best made plans sometimes just don’t happen. Gerri and I began our full-timing with the intentions of traveling and seeing so many of the awesome places in this country. We waited for what seemed like an eternity to sell our house and “hit the road” and one day there we were. We had figured our budget many many times and had it all figured out. That is when LIFE happened. Maybe I should say the ECONOMY and LIFE happened.
Full-timing is no different than any other lifestyle…..things happen. The economy attacks full-timers, health attacks full-timers and you get the picture. This past year I have had several health opportunities to work through and we are doing just that….. but those opportunities have cost us some extra money. We pulled the “extra” expenses from our savings which was set up for such emergencies. About the same time our health insurance went up a bit….well actually it didn’t go up but the deductible changed and Gerri’s medications went up. Time to tweak the budget again. Did I mention that fuel went up? Clothing, food etc. went up? Oh, did I mention that our pension income didn’t go up quite as much as the economy?? Yes, time to tweak the budget. No matter how I tweaked I could not make the numbers stretch over the added expenses and keep the diesel, campground monies the same. With the decreased diesel and campground money which were added to other expense categories, we were not going to be traveling much. Our original goal was to travel…..not sit. I was frustrated!!
Then enters family! We always wanted to be able to share special times with Stephen and then my family in Tennessee suddenly developed health issues. My brother’s grandson, six years old, was diagnosed with leukemia in August. This put a big stress on the family in Tennessee. My brother could no longer do as much for my mother because his attention was directed toward his grandson. We would have to be nearby for them. For us, family is so very important and they always come first.
During our year and half full-timing we found that we really missed the church connection. We weren’t as honest with this as we should have been….so we didn’t attend as we could have. But more than just attending we missed the belonging to a fellowship of people. For Gerri and I our spiritual life is THE most important thing and we had let it slip badly.
So armed with all these opportunities Gerri and I took a long look at what our goals were and what we wanted for our lives. We still want to travel and experience many of the wonderful places in this country. We didn’t want to continually subtract from our savings….especially since we are retired and not putting as much into it as we once were. We didn’t want to workamp ALL the time. We didn’t want to just sit and live in our MH.
We did want to be a part of Stephen’s life and help out with the needs of the family in Tennessee. If you subtract the time spent “sitting” and volunteering, that leaves the amount of time we would be actually traveling that might equal more of a part-time traveler. So while we still had our equity and savings we decided to purchase a small house, downsize and do the part-time thing. We have found the perfect house, the perfect size and, in one of the best neighborhoods in LaGrange, old historic area. We have a wonderful sunroom looking out to our wooded backyard…..yes, yes, we have birds!! Lots of them and hope that once we get out feeders going we will have many more. It is a perfect yard for birding with lots of hardwoods, azaleas and more. Just beautiful!!
The best part of full-timing or maybe I should say Rving is the wonderful people you meet. We have met the very best folks ever in this experience and hope that we will continue to meet up with you guys “down the road” as we travel. When we are not traveling we will be enjoying our new to us home, getting re-connected to our church and working on getting my health back like it should be. We are happy…life is still good and we hope to still see you guys “down the road.”