Do you miss anything about “home” now that you’ve been on the road for so long?
I don’t mean your house specifically. The town you call “home” and that likely serves as your base for Doctors, Family, or Holiday with your family. I’m not sure what I expected when we returned to the Phoenix, AZ area however it wasn’t what we found.
Being on the road full-time changes your interactions with folks especially your family. We were accustomed to big family dinners, being included in and providing council on big decisions with our adult children, and spending as much time as we could with all of them as their lives became increasingly busy building their own lives. What we returned to was not the fanfare of “Mom & Dad are back” that we were hoping for. Silly parents!
We are incredibly proud of all of our children who are doing really cool things in the world. I just didn’t think we would go nearly a week without seeing any of them upon our return. They were already busy. I get it. It was a great lesson on why so many empty-nester women go “crazy” after devoting a whole lifetime of doing what is best for all of the children. They grow up, and if you’re lucky enough; they grown into responsible, contributing members of society. At the same time, that’s a really hard realization to adjust to as someone who has spent their entire adult life raising children up until 2022.
Going full-time in the RV is probably the first decision that Russ and I have made solely for ourselves that did not accommodate the needs of our children. The FIRST! We’re loving this RV life and traveling to see our family and friends that we hadn’t seen for years. We came back to Phoenix this winter expecting it to be the same as it was when we left. Honestly, it probably is however, WE have grown and changed.
The primary purpose of this trip back to AZ was to spend the winter in a warm climate, to see the 5 of our 7 children who still live in the Phoenix area and to see all of our doctors to make sure we’re clear to spend another year on the road.
Here’s what I’ve learned so far in this full-time RV life journey when returning “home” for Doctors visits and Holidays.
1. Schedule your annuals first!
Well Man/Woman, Dentist for X-rays, Eye Doctor, Mammogram, etc. They may lead to additional appointments with specialists, blood draws, or pharmacies. If you can schedule far enough in advance for this to be your first day in the area, you’ll have the most flexibility.
We found ourselves waiting on new prescription glasses, Invisaligns, and planning to snag some maintenance meds in Mexico to ensure we have what we need for the year ahead.
2. Give yourself grace!
Nothing (so far) for me has made me feel older than going to see all of my doctors! I needed bifocals. My teeth have shifted so I now need invisalign braces to fix my teeth. Ongoing Dental care will keep us close to and/or returning to Arizona for months. It has to be done so rather than hang my head in the sorrow of growing old, I’m remembering that’s why we live this life! To come and go as we please or is necessary.
Also, our Universe has changed around us. These Holidays will look different if it is the first time your family has undergone a huge change like your moving into your RV. It wouldn’t be any different than if you chose to move into a new house in a new city or state. We have moved on from our sticks and bricks family home where the Holidays were steeped with tradition. Now, not so much. Our lives are meant to be evolutionary. This is just one of those leveling up moments!
3. Make new traditions and priorities!
Yes, the Holidays will look different from this point forward. Every single person we love continues to grow and create their own lives whether we live “close” to them or not. What’s important to us is the time we get to spend together. Overall, our ability to spend quality time with our children individually or together has increased exponentially because we are more present in the enjoyment of those moments. Scarcity can really alter your perception of time.
Now we’re working towards new traditions including celebrating Christmas in the summer when everyone is less stressed about carving up their time between parents, their significant other’s families, and their own boundaries for creating a holiday experience that they enjoy. We will keep some traditions, like our Christmas jammies and stockings within a new celebration timeline. It’s going to be a blast! If you have any suggestions for a “Christmas in July” type celebration that you’ve developed with your family, we would love to hear them!