Believing in Your Cause

It is easier to disprove than to believe.
    Anthony Edward’s character Hank Galliston on Zero Hour.

I was finishing up the last three episodes of Zero Hour yesterday (we watch all our TV on the web whenever we want to) and during an otherwise matter-of-fact conversation, I caught that very profound statement. Although they were talking about religion, that statement could also apply to many other things, including full-time RV’ing.

For those who haven’t watched it, the show is very similar to Nicolas Cage’s “National Treasure” series, except this is one quest, to one end. It is a great show with a different twist other than treasure hunting. This one will make you think and even question whether the Book of Revelations may have had it right… or not. It’s still open to interpretation.

But back to RV’ing. Think about it. How many times have we all heard the “nay-sayers” and dream-stealers of the world try to shoot down our plans by pointing out all the negatives to us, simply because they can’t find it in their hearts to believe that we can do it and actually fluorish while doing it?

Sometimes even spouses do it to each other, when one wants to full-time and the other doesn’t. Some people lack the courage to go out there into unknown territory and face the world and all its beauty, even though the freedom of doing so will actually make our lives better in the process. They may need facts and figures to prove the point. If you have downloaded and tried out my spreadsheet from the last post, it will most likely prove to the skeptics that you can save a great deal of money by full-timing… if done right.

By doing it right, that doesn’t mean to hit the road and pay exorbitant campground fees for every night you are out. That is totally foolish, even if you have the extra money to do so. Why waste it when it can be put to much better use in going more places? I read many blogs where the people have paid next to nothing in campground fees after having been full-timing for two and three years or more, so I know that it can be done. Living in a campground or RV resort is NOT getting out there and living life with nature. Its more like getting caught up in all the organized activities and campground “politics” with the rest of the non-adventurers, and having annoying neighbors that bother you when you don’t want to be bothered. Some may consider it safe, but in reality, there is more that can happen in that kind of environment than happens on a typical day out in the most remote wilderness!

Campgrounds and resorts are OK for that once a week stopover to do laundry and refresh all the tanks, but its not “real” RV’ing! In my opinion, rigs over a certain size should no longer be called RV’s. They should be called something like “rolling homes”, because they are so big, they can’t go off paved roads, and most of them sit at a campground or resort most of the time. A “recreational vehicle” is designed for recreation… not living in it in one spot for six months out of the year. The word “recreation” brings to mind “fun”. What’s fun about sitting in the same spot all the time?

Only by educating yourself on what the lifestyle is about and what opportunities are out there, will a skeptic ever begin to overcome their fears of that “great unknown” called open country. Reading blogs about the lifestyle, particularly by those who have a similar unit to what we plan to use, is the best way to see what their lives and travels are like, so we can learn from their experiences and emulate what they are already doing.

Those who refuse to use computers, or take the time to read and educate themselves are the first ones to always tell others that they are foolish, and what they are attempting can’t be done, when if they would only read, they would discover hundreds, if not thousands, of people are already out there doing it successfully! They would rather try to disprove the feasibility of the lifestyle and destroy other people’s dreams by their sheer ignorance of the subject.

Fears can also be overcome by surrounding yourself with the very people whom you want to be like or learn from.  If you’re sitting in an apartment in the middle of the city and have nothing but other city dwellers around you that never go anywhere or do anything outside their city block, then you can’t possibly learn about RV’ing from them. You have to get out and get the experience  yourself, and hang around with the kinds of people you want to be like.

I have told new RV’ers many times over… don’t worry about finding the perfect rig or doing everything right the first time, because it’s not going to happen. The main thing is to get out there with “something”, even if it’s only a tent in the trunk of the car (or if you hate sleeping in tents) maybe a small towable RV, or a van. Your ideal vehicle may be setting in a lot at the other end of the country, and if you don’t get out there and travel, you will never find it! Once you get out and on the go, you will pass many thousands of RV lots in your travels, and probably as many RV’s for sale by private owners. They will come in all shapes and sizes. If you don’t like what you have, then keep looking while you are traveling. Sooner or later, the perfect unit will come along and it will be in a place that is close enough for you to deal with.

And in the meantime, look at all the traveling and learning from experience that you will have behind you. That “hand’s on” experience is much more valuable than all the book-reading you will ever do, and will be much more enjoyable than sitting in a house or apartment reading about someone else’s travels.

To overcome any fear takes learning about it. Education reduces fear… period… and the best education is first-hand knowledge. In these days of internet access and information, anything you would possibly want to know about is probably already out there. All you have to do is read, and then follow it up by doing it. Reading alone won’t overcome fear. And doing something without knowing what you are going to get into is not going to do it either. It takes both to accomplish the task.

So before you destroy anyone else’s dreams, or maybe even your own, educate yourself on the subject at hand so you won’t sound like a total fool when you discuss it with someone who really does know what they are talking about. If the task still isn’t something for you, then fine… but you will both come away from the conversation with a better understanding of each other, and neither one will feel as though they have been “talking down” to one another.

We all have our own ways of doing what we do, and although some ways can be improved, it’s no one job to judge or criticize the way we do it just because it’s different. Just believe in your own cause and let the other person believe in theirs.

Some people think they have to drive around a huge gas-guzzling motorhome or pull a huge fifth wheel because they haven’t learned to downsize beyond that point. If they have the money to do that, then that is their choice. Others may choose to travel the world in a small SUV or van, get into remote places that few others ever see, and occasionally sleep in a tent. That may not be quite enough creature comforts for most of us, but that is what THEY like, and it is their right to do it any way they wish. Others may choose to forego a huge cash outlay for an RV and still would like to have some space that they can arrange however they want, and be able to stand upright in it, so starting with an empty cargo trailer (think of it as a large solid tent), might be better suited, and then they can build it up as far as they want in their own time. They can make it as plush on the inside as the best of RV’s and still remain somewhat “stealth” to be able to park in places that larger, more obvious RV’s would not be allowed. To 90% of the world, if it doesn’t “look” like something to live in, then obviously, no one is living in it… and they won’t give it a second thought.

There is no shame in any form of RV or camping setup. I have seen photographers that make six-figure (and more) incomes, roughing it in the wild with nothing more than backpacks, so they can get to where the really good pictures can be taken. I’ve also seen people traveling in large luxurious motorhomes that spend everything they have to make the payments, and then drive it south and park it for the winter and then drive it north again in the spring. Many of them can’t afford the gas to go anywhere else, but if playing shuffleboard with a bunch of octogenarians in some winter haven is the outer limits of their comfort zone, then that’s their right to do it.

I just don’t think  that they should be in the same list with, or be called RV’ers, because they don’t use an RV to it’s full advantage. Just because they live in one for part of, or even a full year doesn’t make them RV’ers. An RV’er has the urge to travel and explore the country and even the world, and I don’t mean to fly there by jet, and then sit the rest of the winter! A true RV’er is adventurous and on the move at least every two weeks (on the average). They travel with the weather and stay out of areas that storms are due to hit. They visit a new place every day, and get bored with looking at the same scenery for more than two weeks at a time. They get out and experience life!

But as I said, there’s a place in this world for everyone, no matter what they do with their lives, and although the full-time lifestyle may be only a growing trend, it seems to be growing very fast, now that people are able to see that other people are getting out there and doing it successfully, and the most important thing… with no regrets or fears. Soon, those of us who want to do it won’t have to listen to so many who find it easier to disprove than to believe, and we will find more who say they want to get out there and do it themselves.

Whatever you do, believe in your cause and stick with it. Don’t let uninformed and unadventurous people steal your dreams! Life is short, and getting shorter every day. Live life to its fullest while you still can!

Tell us your stories. Has anyone tried to steal your dreams, and what did you do about it?