Monday, December 28, 2009

2009 Retrospective

And what a year it has been! It’s really hard to believe all that has transpired over the past 12 months. If someone had told me back in January that we’d be sitting here in late December preparing to quit our jobs, sell most everything we own and planning to hit the road in just a few short months, I would have called them crazy! Even 6 months ago I don’t think I would have truly believed it. But yet here we are – owners of a super duty truck, getting ready to put our house on the market within the next couple of weeks, continually working to reduce our stuff, planning our departures from our employers, and shopping for a new home on wheels. WOW! It’s all very surreal at times.

I’ve been trying to remember back to January and wondering what resolutions we made. I’m sure they were some of the typical – lose weight, work out more, eat healthier, etc. I’m fairly certain there was nothing in there about following our dreams or feeding our souls though. And I wonder why not. Shouldn’t those always be at the top of our lists?

So what did our 2009 look like? Well, it’s really hard to remember. We’ve been so focused, or maybe that should read “obsessed”, with becoming full-timers, it kind of feels like our year started around October. But let me see if I can dig deep and go back a few more months.

Oddly enough, I think our entire year revolved around Rving. 2008 ended with our desire to upgrade from our pop-up camper. We had the pop up for a few years and really disliked it from the beginning. We went from a 30-foot Class C to the pop-up because we wanted something small for weekend camping trips. We had bought the Class C for our 3-month sabbatical several years ago and it was perfect for that use, but it was really too much for just a weekend. We had bought the pop-up in rash decision – we didn’t do our research and it was poorly thought through. It was a mistake and we were ready to right a wrong. So we were narrowing in on the Class B van conversions. We really liked the small size, thinking that it could even function as a second car (I take public transportation to work so a 2nd vehicle wasn’t a daily necessity). But they were quite expensive and just a bit too small for 2 adults and an 80-pound dog. So January and February were spent looking for something that would serve our needs. We eventually stumbled upon a used 24-foot Class C which seemed perfect. By the end of February we were owners of “Libby”, (aka The Liberator). Boy, we sure didn’t have a clue as to how liberating she would end up being!

There’s not much camping to be had in Colorado in February but we were quickly making plans for a trip to Zion National Park in early April. We had tried this trip a couple of times in the past, but were always derailed for one reason or another. This was our inaugural trip in Libby and it was great. We couldn’t wait to do more and managed to get out fairly often throughout the summer. But it never felt like it was enough and dropping Libby off in the storage yard at the end of each trip was always accompanied with a tinge of sadness.

Little did we know that reuniting with the RV life would quickly relight the spark of our full-timing dream. When we were debating the purchase, we had briefly talked about the possibility of eventually using it to begin our full-timing adventures, “5 or more years down the road”. HA! In the meantime, until we were at that point, she would make a great weekender/vacation rig. Well, Libby served her purpose well, albeit a little shorter than we anticipated!

But once that spark was relit, the flame just kept getting brighter and brighter…to the point where we couldn’t ignore it any longer. So I started reading, more just out of curiosity, figuring that whatever I learned would be helpful when we were eventually ready. What I didn’t really count on was the more I read, the more I wanted to know. And the more I knew, the more excited I became. And the more excited I got, the more I researched. And the more I researched, the more certain I became that this was a possibility now. Oh, if only we had a crystal ball to see into the future!

At one point during my research, I ran across the RV-Dreams website…and our lives were transformed. First by Howard and Linda, and then eventually by all of the great people we have come to know through the forum and the Rally. I have no doubt that we would have eventually ended up at this same point, but I think it would have taken much longer. The confidence and support we have gained through this group has given us a huge boost forward. I started by reading Howard’s journals from the beginning, when they were just making their decision, through the most current one. Howard posts almost daily and my day just doesn’t seem complete without a little touch of Howard. Shortly after starting on the journals, I began following the forum. I “lurked” anonymously for awhile and then got the courage to introduce myself. I immediately felt welcomed into the family and fairly soon after, we decided that we needed to attend the Rally and meet these folks. The rest, as they say, is history. This blog was launched just prior to the Rally in October, so I won’t rehash the last few months here.

It’s been a wild ride so far and the amazing part is that it’s just beginning. Almost daily, I have moments when I just stop and say wow! I am amazed at how much we have already accomplished. More so, I am amazed at our courage for even attempting to do this. There are moments when I wonder who we really are because this is not something I thought we had inside us!

So as 2009 comes to an end, I am proud of what we accomplished and am full of excitement and anticipation for what awaits us in 2010. Bring it on!!


  1. I feel 2009 was a turning point for us as well. Dreaming is wonderful, putting that dream into action gives you a whole new lease on life.

    May your dream come true in 2010!


  2. Our Dream will hopefully begin in 2010. Our house is on the market and we will be on the road when it sells. Hope to meet up with y'all again somewhere down the road. It doesn't look like we will make the rally in S.C. unless we sell the house.

    Stay Safe

  3. I didn't document our transition to full-timing and regret that...but I love reading how others are making the journey. I see a lot of similarities in each story I read.

    Here's to the New Year and a quick sale on your house.

  4. Here's to living large and dreams that do come true. You guys are such an inspiration. We have so enjoyed the last 4 months and can't believe that after five years we have finally seen our dream come true. Full-timing is a wonderful lifestyle.

    Hope to see you on the road very soon.
    Take care.