With the new year upon us, we’ve been thinking a lot about the year ahead. And while others might be planning epic destinations and routes, looking forward for us is a lot more of a deep emotional exercise. Since moving into our RV last March, we keep going back to the same question: “Are we making the most of this amazing lifestyle?” While the answer is “no” more often than we’d like to admit, we’ve realized a few important habits we can work on to be able to have a more positive experience (mainly from looking at what other happy RVers are doing).
1. Focus on the good.
My Omi (grandma) gave me this important advice when I was a little girl and her words always come to mind when I’m struggling to be positive. Although this sounds simple, I know this is easier said than done. Whether you are going on a short, long, or unending RV trip, it is unlikely that you will miss every bump in the road. And even if no mechanical issues occur, you don’t have any dump station disasters, and your campsite is out of a dream, you will still likely have some kind of unexpected challenge during your trip.
But it really is true that what you set your mind on becomes your reality. If you let your thoughts settle on all the negative parts of your trip, you will remember it as a bad experience. But, even if things aren’t going as you hoped, looking toward the positive things can completely change your perspective.
There are entire rows of books about this at your local bookstore, if you want more in-depth tips for being a positive person. But, taking time every hour or so to look around and pick out all the good things about your situation, is a good place to start.
A gorgeous spot we found after one of our worst weeks. A great reminder that there is more good than bad.
2. Let go of the desire to control things.
If God really does laugh at our plans, there is a comedy sitcom running all day in heaven about the life of RVers. There is nothing wrong with wanting to plan ahead – especially if you are taking some sacred vacation time to go RVing. But, being able to adapt when your plans are forced to change is a great skill to master.
Since Buddy and I are full-time RVers, we have tested out what it looks like to plan every day of our travels and just completely wing it. There is something freeing about not being locked into plans. But, having a special trip or activity to look forward to is also really exciting. So, we’ve decided to do a mix of both.
You’ll have to find out what works best for you. Just remember that flexibility is key. If your plans fall through, take a breath and reroute. And make sure to practice habit #1 on this list, as your GPS recalculates!
3. Do your research.
Even if you decide to be completely spontaneous on your travels, a quick Google search can go a long way. Reading reviews on a campground you plan to visit to make sure it will suit your needs can help prevent issues – which makes focusing on the good way easier!
Having the necessary knowledge of your RV is also critical for a successful trip. Knowing how to work all the basic components and what not to do can save you from many headaches. This is especially important when it comes to maintenance. Don’t neglect your rolling home!
Having a plan for emergencies is also a good idea. Do you know what number to call if you have a question or problem with your RV? What about roadside assistance specific to RVs, in case you need to get towed somewhere? Hopefully, you will never need it. But, knowing what to do just in case is always a good plan.
How unlevel is too unlevel? Make sure you know, especially before boondocking or you can really mess things up.
4. Stop comparing yourself to others.
This one is probably one of the best habits to start cultivating and one we struggle with daily due to our ever-connected world. For example, Instagram can be a great place to get inspiration for places to visit, connect with other travelers, and share your favorite photos. But, it is all too easy to fall into the trap of comparing your life or vacation to others as you scroll through your feed.
If you find yourself thinking things like, “I wish this park was that pretty”, “Why doesn’t my family look that happy?”, or “My photos never get THAT many likes!”, stop looking at it immediately! It is unfair and unhelpful to compare your life, vacation, family and photos to a well-edited, unrealistic view of what someone else carefully chose to share.
Live your best life, focus on all the good around you (I promise there is a ton) and don’t let social media tell you whether your trip was awesome or not. Share your photos with pride because they represent amazing memories that are 100% unique to you and your family. And, if social media becomes a negative thing for you, consider limiting your time on it. We have really enjoyed cutting it out of our life as much as possible!
So, will you join us in making 2018 your best year of RVing yet? Please share any other tips you have to make life on the road roll along smoothly!