We are ‘Full-Timers’ twice. Full Time RVers having to work Full Time. Being a full timer before retirement brings its own challenges and we are still adjusting to our ever changing lifestyle. Our main challenge is the balance between the outdoor life and work, but not the only one.
Friday, November 12, 2010 – It has been a while since we actually went exploring nature. I think last time we did that was in early summer in UT. After that we stayed with family, and got a lot of work done. I will come back to this in a little bit, but for now, lets see where have we been.
We are staying here in this campground (Singing Hills) for a reason. It is very close to the Mammoth Cave National Park. We are here already for couple weeks but still couldn’t find the time to get out. So this morning we decided that enough is enough, and with no preparation just jumped into the car and drove to the park 10 miles down the road.
Mammoth Cave is huge!! it is the longest cave out there, 392 miles of mapped cave and still growing. If you stretched that cave to a straight line, is like going through the whole country of Israel North to South. This is a lot of cave.
We chose the New Entrance tour at 2:00pm. We had a small group of less than 30 people which gave us enough space to explore take pictures and ask our guide questions. The way down to the cave was long and deep. hundreds of stairs and narrow passes. When you walk down you think you might need to climb back up, and that is lots of up to go, but the exit was from a different point, much lower, so we did not climb up almost at all.
The first part of the cave was a combination of lime stone and sand stone that created some kind of underground river. It had great shapes and passages to it, but did not have the stalactites and stalagmites structures. Those came later towards the end of the tour, but when they finally showed up, it was with a full blast impact. Frozen falls and amazing pig ears nose and eyes together.
Saturday, November 13, 2010 – Donna and Stu from 2 Taking a 5th are staying not so far from us, in TN where they bought a piece of land and planning to park their RV there when the land would be ready. We like Donna and Stu and since we met first time last year in AZ we are following their blog looking for an opportunity to get together. So this W/E we decided to meet for lunch in a small family restaurant 45 miles away from us, just in the middle between our spots.
Woke up at 10:00am. Our lunch is at noon so that means we have to be on the way in 30 minutes (back roads all the way) got a fast coffee to go and jumped in the car.
I think it was 11:40 when we received a phone call from Donna. They were on the way when a very heavy fog got in their way to the point they could not see from an inch. Unfortunately they had to turn back They are on the wrong side I was thinking to myself – it is sunny and clear from here… Probably the mountain settings of north TN messed the clouds. Anyway – we will have to keep watching for you Donna and Stu and look for another time. Almost made it but…
We were 15 minutes away, so we decided to go there anyways. It was a small home style restaurant with lunch buffet offering local cuisine dishes like meatloaf and fried catfish. We both chose meatloaf (which was a good choice) ate, and drove back home. Back to…
Back to Life
So what was I starting to say earlier? Oh yeah – Full timing…
Thinking back – when we started our Full time life last year, we hardly had any work to do. We had a lot of time on our hands. Although we were full time employees, the slow economy made it so that we were not utilized so much. This was like living in a bubble – getting salary for having fun The economy hit everyone, and so as our company. This situation did not last too long. Four months later we found ourselves laid off. We managed to survive and continue our trip around the country with minimal expenses, and boy we had fun. We had all the time in the world to hike and bike and visit every national or state park that happen to be on our way.
But this situation could not last forever either. We had to find something to do. Jobs were not just available out there, not in our expertise. We tried to find a job and even went to few interviews (almost gave up full-timing) but could not find a job. In the meantime, smaller projects started to pop up here and there and the activities around trying to market ourselves and deal with opportunities started to gain momentum. So we find ourselves living in the outdoors in the country in the middle of parks and nature, …sitting and working.
The demand for good cellular reception and fast internet became more and more crucial to our life, and this usually doesn’t mix well in the middle of nowhere. The other thing is – what is the point of even being in the nature in an RV if we are not even going out of the door for days? We went from one extreme to another. Being so hungry for work we just could not say no to an opportunity and overloaded ourselves.
The good taste of all the fun we had is still very strong in our memory, but so is the need to work. So if we want to continue our Full-Time RVing lifestyle, we have to find some balance in life. We are not sure yet how to get everything we want work in harmony, but here is what I think: If you live in a normal house, getting outdoors requires lots of planning and expense. You need to pack for the W/E, make reservations, drive (or fly) long distance and probably dine out at restaurants. In the time and money left – you see what are there for. Be it a park or an attraction.
We do not have this hassle. We just get out the door and within an hour drive we have all we need. We can drive back home and eat and sleep at home. No packing, no shopping no reservation, and not travel. We are already there. We don’t have to do it every day. Once a week would be enough. Doesn’t even have to be on a W/E. And when we saw enough around one place , we just move on to the next.
That means that we need to stay longer at each place, and make sure that the places we stay have good Internet and Phone service. That is not too bad. During the week we can get out sometime to eat a local food or ride the bike and just look around at houses and farms.
At times where the pressure at work is high, we will go out less, and some other times – where we have some more free time – we can see more. So instead of publishing a blog every couple days, I will probably publish every week or so, depends on the events. It is not so interesting to hear about “Got up, sat down and worked…”.
It is all thought for now. Will see how it all works out. Any thoughts anyone?