I’ve decided to do something I’ve always wanted to do. Before we get into it, let me catch you up on the last few years of my life.
June: My family relocated from my quaint childhood town of Dunstable, MA to the bustling college town of Chapel Hill, NC.
August: I started college at the College of Charleston in SC.
I transferred out of CofC and into UNC at Chapel Hill. During a gap semester, I spent a month in Granada, Spain studying intensive Spanish.
May: I graduated from UNC at Chapel Hill with a degree in Exercise and Sport Science, and, after mine and Lee’s quinquennial trip to Costa Rica, immediately began working as a Sport Performance Coach.
September: I adopted my first dog, Sonny. I also transitioned into a corporate lifestyle when I began working in Clinical Research in Project Management.
January: My New Years’ Resolution was to explore what was around me. I started blogging and posting on Instagram about my adventures with Sonny.
April: I fulfilled a dream of mine and got my first Jeep, a 2018 Wrangler JL. I also visited my sister in her new home in Kansas.
June: I bought my first house in Carrboro!
August: I adopted my second dog, Goose, and chaos ensued. Just kidding. Kind of. 🙂 Lee and I took a trip to Los Angeles!
April: Mom and Dad sold their home in Chapel Hill and temporarily moved into mine while their new home in Carrboro was built. Kelsie and I traveled to Dallas, TX to go wedding dress shopping!
May: I took up car camping as a new hobby so I could spend my weekends hiking.
July: Took the boys to meet up with Auntie Kelsie and Kousin Kilo in Kentucky! That’s a lot of K’s! The next week, we packed up with friends Lee and DJ and their pup, Oliver, and spent a week in Asheville, NC.
August: Drove to New Jersey to visit Lee, DJ, and Oliver in their new home.
September: I started a new job as a Data Analyst for a large company.
November: Kelsie and Keith got married in Chapel Hill.
By the end of the year, the boys and I had visited 36 of the 41 North Carolina State Parks and I posted our adventures on their Instagram (@twodogsspotted).
Okay, so what did you get from that recap? If you said that I travel a lot, you’re not wrong! Also that there’s been a whole lotta change in the past 7 years of my life? Ding ding ding! Good thing, because I thrive on change. It makes me anxious, scared, and uncomfortable, but the outcome is always something to celebrate, regardless of whether it’s positive or negative.
“It’s only after you’ve stepped outside your comfort zone that you begin to change, grow, and transform.”— Roy T. Bennett
I’ve always felt like if I wasn’t changing something or exploring somewhere, I wasn’t growing. I was just another seat warmer at a desk cranking out work from 9am to 5pm. And I’m not okay with that. I love what I do for work, but work isn’t life. After an October trip to Maryland, I decided it was time for a big change. I was tired of traveling all over to see my loved ones and having to make a whole itinerary of flights and accommodations just for a weekend together. Never mind the amount of money I spent on gas, flights, and AirBnBs. I made the decision that I was going to move up north to the New Jersey area to be closer to my best friends and spread my wings from the familiarity of North Carolina.
I began researching the area and decided that Philadelphia would be the most affordable option for me, where I could zip over to Lee and DJ’s in Newark but also establish a new routine and explore a new city. I planned a trip to go check out the area. I did a ton of research on neighborhoods. I started imagining my new life in a cool city near my best friend. I talked to my boss, and he agreed that I would be able to work remotely from anywhere. Awesome. Wait – did I just say anywhere? Pump the brakes…
I’m almost 25, I have no husband, no kids, no debt. And I’m making the decision to trade in my 4 bed/3 bath house for a 1 bed/1 bath apartment for the same monthly price?? That sounds crazy on paper (okay, also out loud) but I had made my mind up months ago that the pros outweighed the cons. With doubts swirling in my head, per usual, I went along with my daily life of working, coming home and watching TLC, and taking the boys to dog parks on rainy, NC winter days. It was on one of those dog park days that I met a woman who briefly told me about her experiences traveling around the US in an RV and working along the way. Interest = piqued.
I left the park wondering, “Why can’t I live and work from an RV while traveling the country?”
My dad always says that when I get an idea in my head, I “want to do it yesterday”. I still haven’t figured out if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but in true Riley fashion, I went full-speed ahead into RV research as soon as I got home. I jotted down all of the questions that I needed to find answers to before I could decide on whether this crazy idea could work with my lifestyle. Here are some of the questions I needed to answer:
- Will I be able to afford RVing and keep my house?
- Should I sell or rent out my house?
- Will it be safe for me to travel alone?
- How will I learn all the systems and maintenance needed to operate an RV?
- How will I meet people on the road by myself?
- How much do RVs cost anyway?
- Will I get lonely?
- How do taxes work if I don’t have a brick and mortar address?
- Will I get good enough internet to work “from home” full-time?
- Will my dogs be happy?
- Will I be able to downsize and part ways with my belongings?
Once I have found all of the answers, I’ll let you know. For now, welcome to my next adventure. Without a doubt, my biggest adventure to date. For an undetermined amount of time, I will be living in an RV full-time and traveling around the United States. I’m going to try to keep up with writing as I go for a few reasons:
- Some people may think this is weird – ahem, Lee. I’m here to enlighten and educate you.
- It’s hard to find resources for someone who doesn’t even own an RV yet and is still in the early stages of going full-time. A lot of the resources I’ve found are full-timers’ hindsight, but how do I even decide if full-timing is for me!?
- On the contrary, there are soooo many resources for RVing full-time! I’ll share my favorites with you guys as I go.
- If I don’t write it down, my brain becomes cluttered and scattered. This blog is my way of organizing my thoughts. It’s also somewhat of a diary for me.
- 100% of people who have RVed have more experience than I do – please share your advice, tips, tricks, etc!
Stay tuned for updates along the way! Let’s do this.