On August 11, 2016 Jon and I had hardly seen the inside of an RV, let alone camped in one before. Even so, on August 12, 2016 we were taking possession of our (never-before-seen) brand new RV, as full-time RVers, at a Walmart parking lot.

Jon glancing nervously in my direction as he’s told we don’t have the right equipment to tow our new RV out of Walmart. I’m sitting with two dogs and a cat on a grassy curb, totally unaware.

Since then, we’ve learned how to camp and RV, traveled across the US and swaths of Canada, and switched up our careers.

Understandably, not everyone will want to sell everything, pack their belongings, plus 2 dogs (and a cat!) in a pickup truck, and learn to RV in the humid, buggy darkness of a Southern summer night to change their life.

But almost everyone has something they want to change. And the changes we made are, at their core, changes that anyone can make. The following are 5 ways we remodeled our life and ways you can start to make changes in those areas too.

This article is filled with inspiration to change your life for the better especially if you're planning on taking on the full-time RVing lifestyle. What an adventure! | www.TheVirtualCampground.com #RVliving #RVremodel #change #changeyourlife

 

Reduced Cost of Living

 

Old house

 

What We Did

We realized we were working very long hours. Were those long hours funding amazing vacations to the Greek Islands? Nope, those very long hours of work were largely going toward our mortgage. That got us thinking… Is there a way to live at half the cost?

After some googling, profuse amounts of YouTubing, and just as much wine, we came up with a plan.

We decided the cost of living in Northern Georgia was a good bit lower, so we’d move there. Then, inspired by the Tiny House movement we planned to build a small 800 sq. ft. “tiny cottage” and live happily ever after.

All this would be made possible by selling our once ugly, but now remodeled, house once we hit the two-year mark there. Once finished with our “live-in flip” we’d simply live in an RV for 3 months while our “tiny cottage” was being built.

We may have deviated a little from the original plan. Either way, we did cut our cost of living in half.

New house

What You Can Do

There are many ways to reduce your cost of living besides becoming a full-time RVer (we’re just partial to that method). Write down your monthly expenses. What numbers do you wish were lower? Start attacking those. You might have to get creative, but take solace in the fact that every day, people are finding a way.

As an example, many of us live in big cities with rising housing costs. We don’t have to. There are jobs, pretty houses, things to do, friends to be made, and all the same stores just about everywhere. If you want to stay put, think about what it would take to have 1 car instead of 2, a smaller home, a home closer to work, etc.

 

 

Changed Our Location

 

Northern Georgia had seemed like the perfect place to resettle at the time. We spent a lot of time in campgrounds there, like this one.

What We Did

Closely tied to reducing our cost of living was a change in location. But, for us money wasn’t the only reason we wanted a change of location. Your location can affect your happiness too.

We wanted to be in a location where you didn’t have to drive 12 hours to get to mountains. We wanted to leave rush hour traffic behind. We also wanted to live near coffee shops, bookstores, and locally owned eateries.

All of these things weren’t available to us (within our budget) in Miami. For us, they would be in Northern Georgia. Plans changed a little once we figured out how fun it was to move around in our RV rather than leave it stationary. We realized what we actually wanted was to be location independent, and ultimately, we went that route.

 

What You Can Do

Have you ever heard the saying: “You don’t know, what you don’t know”? It’s so true. If you’ve rarely left your hometown, you have no idea what’s out there. You might be a beach person or a desert person and you never knew! Maybe you feel like the only person with your passion or hobby where you live. A hub for that passion or hobby might exist elsewhere.

Start exploring online and in person. Plan some trips to places you’d be interested in living in. If you’re wanting to move into an RV, take your next vacation in one and test-drive your idea.

Most of all, try to resist the urge to take the advice from friends and family that have never left your hometown. Your friends and family may mean well, but much of what one knows of a place they’ve never been to is based on misconceptions. They may unknowingly paint a picture of banjos and cow pastures, or axe murderers. We’ve found there’s a whole spectrum between skyscrapers and cow pastures. We’ve also found the concentration of axe murderers doesn’t rise as soon as you leave your hometown.  

Northern Georgia had seemed like the perfect place to resettle at the time. We spent a lot of time in campgrounds there, like this one.

 

Career Switch

 

 

What We Did

In the past we’ve switched careers for better pay. But most recently we switched careers to allow us to travel and create more. We both transitioned out of sales and marketing and into content creation. Being content creators gives us the freedom to be anywhere.

We didn’t exactly ease into the RVing thing, but we did ease into the career switch. Jon left his job first, and spent time exploring interests. Then he focused in on what he wanted to become good at, working on it every single day. Once he knew he had found his passion, I left my job.

 

What You Can Do

Think about your career now. Are you excited to go off to work when you wake up in the morning, or does mowing the lawn with safety scissors sound better? If you’re not excited, think about what you would be excited to do. If you don’t know how to do that thing, you can probably learn at the university of YouTube.

Then start somewhere. Do whatever it is for anyone that will let you. Before you know it, you can build up a side hustle that you can transition into full-time.

Believe it or not, your biggest obstacle will be you. You’ll consider quitting if you don’t have overnight success (just keep going). It’s tempting to think the benefits at your current job are too good to give up. You might feel there’s no way to break in. But you’ll be surprised at the marketable skills you’ll pick up in the process of learning something new.

Taking Control of Our Time

 

 

 

What We Did

We used to work opposite schedules on a regular basis. Our vacation time never quite lined up. Much time was spent sitting in traffic and working at our jobs. But, once we cut our cost of living, we didn’t have to work demanding, life consuming jobs. We gained the flexibility to explore interests and different career paths. We also get to spend all of our time together, which for us, works.

 

What You Can Do

We started to try to take small steps to take control of our time before our RV adventure. First, I cut out rush-hour drive time and made time to exercise by switching to a remote job. Jon left an incredibly time-intensive job for one that paid a bit less, but had a much better schedule.

Likewise, you can look to see what small changes you can make. Is there a way to cut down on your commute time? Are you answering emails from home in the evenings? If it’s not required of you, try something as simple as deleting your work email account from your personal cell phone. If it’s required, try starting a search for a job with a better work life balance.

It’s never easy, but change won’t happen unless you make it happen.

 

Down-Sized for Epic Experiences

 

Downsizing has led to Epic experiences. Here we are working (really) with friends Follow Your Detour and Pete and Jordan in the most beautiful place we’ve been to yet.

What We Did

We had a 1,500 sq ft. house, 2 cars, and closets bursting with stuff. We now live in 180ish sq. ft. Our motorhome is our 1 “car”. We don’t have as many pairs of shoes, as much clothing, or enough mugs to invite a small army over for coffee anymore.

But, after 2 years, we can say we miss none of it (especially the mugs). We also prefer cleaning 180ish sq ft. to cleaning 1,500 sq. ft. Our weekends were always partially taken up on home maintenance.

Downsizing has allowed us to see more places in 2 years than we did the entire 8 years prior (like 3 states vs 30). For us the thrill of experiencing new places together far outlasts the thrill of a new pair of shoes, or a house.

Downsizing has led to Epic experiences. Here we are working (really) with friends Follow Your Detour and Pete and Jordan in the most beautiful place we’ve been to yet.

 

What You Can Do

It’s liberating to have less stuff. Anything that can be done to cut down on the responsibilities of maintaining stuff will save you time and money. The saved time and money can be spent on experiences. Said experience can be as simple as time to go to breakfast with your spouse rather than cleaning the house.

Using something as simple as the Konmari method to declutter can get you in the mindset to downsize. You can ask the question, “Does it spark joy?” of anything in your life really.

So, if you’re in a 2 or 3 thousand square foot home, could you try a small bungalow or condo? If you’re thinking about something as extreme as an RV or a tiny house, try taking a vacation and staying at a Tiny House resort or Airstream resort.

You always think you need more space than you do. Try doing a few of the activities that downsizing would make possible for you to motivate you to downsize.

Overall, we’ve remodeled our life by deciding where it was we wanted to go and then taking action that would steer us in that direction. If you know what you want, you can start taking steps in that direction. Small steps count, and often, they end up being the most pivotal.

 

How did you remodel your life to RV?

Jon and Nadia are full-time RVers and food lovers on a journey to design a lifestyle of adventure, discovery, and learning. Committed to pursuing their passions and dreams, they now travel full-time creating written, photo, and video content. Follow along at www.roamingremodelers.com.

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