There's no question that the purchase of our coach was one step on the road to fulfillment of MY dream. But that's not to say that my wife has opposed the purchase.
We were "car/tent camping" at a state park in Northern Michigan 20+ years ago on one of our many camping vacations with our then very young sons when a guy pulled in across the road from us with a gorgeous DP Motor home. He and I got to talked as he described how he and his wife travel across the country 8-10 months out of the year in their coach. He gave me a tour of his rig. I knew right then and there that someday
I was going to have one and do that when I retired! It was the day that my
I never lost sight of it - and have spent the last 20 years dreaming and scheming about how to make it a reality for me/us. A good bit of the scheming has been around how to sell
it to my DW. The idea of "camping" was never the issue as far as my wife was concerned - we've camped extensively including numerous backpacking trips. The idea of "hitting the road" for extended periods of time has been the tough part of the sale. Personally, I suspect that the "mom" in her struggles with the reality that she, I and our now young adult children won't be living under the same roof again ... ever.
10 or so years ago - we both agreed that an RV was in our future. The real question was when
would that happen. She wanted to buy something
then - but that was at a time that the kids were heavily involved in school and sports and both her and I were working full time plus+ in our day jobs. I resisted a purchase at the time - I saw little sense in spending money on something that we'd likely use just a few days/nights each year. Then she wanted to try renting ... so all four of us could go for a "family" vacation in it. Again, BIG resistance from me on that idea! Our 2,500 sq ft home was barely big enough for an alpha male (me!
) and two alpha male wannabes (our two teenage sons)! Jamming all that testosterone into a rental unit for week ... well, no good could come from that
. It would have likely killed the whole thing.
Finally, in the fall of 2014 we decided to rent a Class A for a weeklong trip with just the two of us - and did roughly 800 miles around Michigan's Lower Peninsula. We had terrible weather ... cold and rainy for a week. But the rental unit did good and we had a ball hanging out. On drive home on the last day - she said "I think I'd really like to do more of this!". In December of 2014 - we decided we were officially "in the market" - and in February of 2016 came across the coach we now own.
We took possession of our coach in March 2015 - and since that time have spent more than 160 nights in it. To date most of our travels have been short trips (4-5 days in length) relatively close to home. Our longest trip was a hair over 6 weeks this past January/February down to Florida.
We're slowly but steadily transitioning into the RV lifestyle. Our trips to date have gotten us comfortable with the mechanics of living out of the coach. We're both getting used to the ebb and flow of what coach life is like in a "day to day living" sense (as opposed to the "weekend away" sort of thing. We got a good taste of it being "just the two of us" during our Florida trip and both enjoyed it.
She retired at the beginning of January and now has time to travel. I continue to work my day gig on a full-time basis ... but have my employer's blessing to work remote from the coach pretty much anytime I please. Our current plan is form me to work remotely from the coach for another 2 years as we continue our slow transition into the lifestyle. We're planning on heading out to AZ in September for 3 months to visit my oldest son who's relocating there for his job ... we'll be back in Michigan for the holidays and then leaving for Florida a few days after the first of the year.
Were it solely my decision - I'd sell the house tomorrow and full-time for a yet to be determined stretch of time. However, she's not ready to sell our "sticks and bricks" just yet. She still not 100% comfortable with the idea of not having "house" to come back to ... but she's making progress on that front.
DW has come to realize that even though we may be on the road - she's able to stay in touch with friends and family (one of her biggest worries!). Better still, we got the opportunity to visit with 4 couples we haven't seen in ages because they had retired to Florida on our recent trip. Many of our long weekends have been trips with her sister and her family - which both of the girls have loved. She's done a couple of "girls trips" with the coach at nearby campgrounds (I drive it out and set it up - then drive home in the toad) leaving her and her girlfriends to enjoy a few days away. She's at that point that the coach is starting to feel as much as "home" as our S&B house does. The fact that all of her girlfriends regularly tell her they wish they
had such an opportunity - is certainly helping make my job of selling
the plan much easier!
We're fortunate that we're in a position to be able to make the transition into the RV lifestyle slowly. Regular "returns" to our S&B house is lessening the stress of an immediate jump into fulltiming. I've now got her talking about the fact that we need to start getting rid of stuff around the house ... and making plans for a couple of garage sales this summer. In another year ... I won't be the least bit surprised if she suggests we sell the house as if the idea just dawned on her! ;-)
To quote John "Hannibal" Smith of "A Team" fame - "I love it when a plan comes together!