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What do YOU do?

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I notice that many of you are retired or work the seasons at campgrounds and parks. But I am curious what does everyone do?

 

I personally am a Virtual Assistant (Secretary that does everything via internet). After working for 22 years in the corporate world and making it to the top in my field I decided I absolutely hated it and hated the 9-5 rat race even more. Now I do the exact same job (minus getting someone's coffee and fighting with copying machines) from the comfort of my own home and from any destination I want. I make my own schedule, I take on as much work as I want or limit it if I don't want it.

 

What do you do and why do you love or hate it?

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These days, I specialize in having fun 24/7/365. Its a tough job, but someone has to do it. Every morning I'm forced to make tough executive decisions. If its summer, do I want to go for an ATV ride, a Harley ride, catch a trout with a fly, kayak down the Rio Grande, or hike through the mountains. If its winter time, I'm likely on my sailboat cruising the Sea of Cortez or up & down the west coast of Mexico to San Diego. On the boat I have to choose between scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing for tuna or mahi-mahi, sailing on to the next port, boat maintenance or drinking cervezas; some days we manage a little of each. The spring & fall seasons are when I now do most of my RV travels.

As for work, I stopped answering the phone when I see my previous employers number pop up. They thought retirement meant, I would come back and bail them out every time a project ran into trouble.

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For the last 18 months, we have 'Work Camped' - but not in the traditional sense of receiving a "free" campsite as all / part of our compensation. Instead, we travel the country inspecting Natural Gas Pipelines as contractors - assisting Natural gas Companies with meeting their Federal / State mandated inspection deadlines. As a result of our employee arrangement, we receive a per diem (to cover campground costs), Mileage Pay One (for our motor-home as we travel the country), Mileage Pay Two (for use of our vehicle during daily travel within our destination area) and Internet Pay (to ensure a reliable connection via mobile networks) - in addition to an hourly wage. Since we function as full-time employees, our position includes Health Insurance and 401K (However, we choose not to contribute to the 401K). Over the last 14 months, we have ONLY spent that which we have earned - allowing our 'retirement income' to remain untouched (as it grows). We have visited 25 states in this time - often staying at Moose Lodges or Elks Lodges (with full hookups), rather than campgrounds or RV Parks, in an effort to reduce costs. We work 40 hours each week delineated any way we choose (five "eights", four "tens" or 40 hours in three days - the choice is ours). While, our arrangement might not suite everyone, for us, it provides a more than livable wage supporting a very active lifestyle.

 

Many similar opportunities to ours exist. One simply needs to think 'outside the box' when searching for these things.

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We took early retirement which left us with a limited income so needed to supplement things. We discovered that we loved the RV volunteer lifestyle and it turned out to be our favorite lifestyle. We would spend 2 or 3 days per week working in a park or wildlife refuge and in return get our site and utilities free and very often other amenities as well.

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Prior to owning our coach, I worked as a network analyst in the financial services industry. The company I work has embraced telecommuting for people working in positions where a physical presence in the office isn't a requirement. The nature of my work is a good fit for telecommuting. Roughly 5 years ago - I began "working from home" 3-4 days each week. It quickly became clear that I was as effective working from home as I was during my weekly trek into the office.

 

Shortly after purchasing our coach (roughly 18 months ago) - we outfitted it with what I consider to be a solid mobile internet solution. Over the course of the first year of ownership - I worked with my management to demonstrate that I can effectively work from my coach while traveling. After this winter's two month trip to Florida - throughout which I worked a "normal" 40 hour work week (minus a few pre-arranged days that I took as PTO (personal time off) - I made a request to be officially granted permission to telecommute on a "full time" basis. I recently received notice that my request has been approved. I now work remotely virtually 100% of the time - and only go into the office when we happen to be in town. We've been summering in Michigan's northern lower peninsula. We'll be leaving in late August for 3 month trip to Arizona to spend some time with our son before returning "home" to the metro Detroit area for the holidays. We'll be leaving again in early January for a 4+ month long trip to Florida.

 

Under my arrangement with my employer - I work a normal 40 hour "Monday - Friday" work week - and schedule any PTO (aka "vacation") time just like I would if I was working in the office. I'm required to maintain core business hours (which I've established to be from 8 am thru 2 pm daily). During my "core business hours" - I'm expected to be at online and working - responding to phone calls, messages via the company instant message system, available for conference calls / Webex meetings, etc. I'm free to "flex" the other two hours of my business day as I see fit (either working them between 6 am - 8 am ... or later in the evening instead of watching TV) - and use this time to perform the "heads down" data analysis work that is a large part of my job requirements. Several members of my team are essentially full time telecommuters who make 1x / 2x per month appearances in the office as well. My only "unique" obligation is that I'm expected to provide my manager with a calendar that shows my planned location and work status for each day.

 

In practical terms - we're able to travel more or less at will. I tend to be an early riser - so I usually start my work day at 6 am and am done by 2 pm. Being done that early each afternoon - I've got a pretty good slice of time each day to do stuff with my DW. Combine this with weekends, bank holidays and 200+ hours of PTO per year - and I'm able to string together enough free time to be able to do the "touristy" stuff we want to do as part of our travels as well. The only real restriction I have to concern myself with is the need to be somewhere with a functional Verizon cell signal during working hours - and so far, that hasn't been much of a restriction at all!

 

I avoid burning PTO time for "travel days" to the extent possible. We're finding that if we start a day's travel as soon my day ends at 2 pm as possible allows us to cover 200...ish miles and still arrive at our destination for the day at a reasonable hour.

 

If the sun, the moon and the stars line up right - I'll continue to work like this for a little more than two years before I retire outright. Truth be told - I'm feeling pretty darn lucky to have been able to position myself for this arrangement.

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Haven't worked since Mid -July 2012, the heart decided it had, had enough! I still live in a fifth wheel but stationary. Found a good place that has shopping and HD and Lowes, plenty of eateries and is peaceful for the most part!

I used to work seasonal at Adventureland Amusement Park in Iowa, Games Attendant, Amazon and Mammoth Cave Yogi Park in Ky., Golf cart and Grounds equipment mechanic, kept me busy for about 10 months of the year!

Retired disabled now, so life goes on!

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We have been fulltime for 10 years. My DH is a retired grocery manager. His previous employer, Kroger, has stores all over the country. The first 8 years we volunteered as park hosts in state parks, I did most of the park hosting and he worked at a Kroger (Ralph's and Smith's) store for 4 to 6 months a year. Last year we "fell" into a job at a COE park in NW AR. It's a lot easier on his body and we earn about the same $$. We signed up for 7 months a year for 3 years. We work as fee booth attendants. In the winter months we go to Tucson and enjoy ourselves

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Will be retiring July 29th at age 66, the wife will be 2 yrs younger :D . I've been in manufacturing for 42 yrs...(USAF 4 years before that and some college before that)...I have an Engineering degree and have been in design and R & D..Last 23 years I've been a Maint. Sup, a machining Supv and an Assembly Supervisor, the wife has managed apartment complexes for the last 26 yrs...Will see what we can do to pick up extra money when we need it...I'm sure there would be something out there...then again, maybe not.

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I teach half-time online as a college professor. I taught part-time in a classroom for 13 years, but then started teaching online in 2002 at this same college. When I retired from my regular job, it was easy to transition to teaching online when I started full-time motor-homing in 2012. I have always liked teaching, but teaching online is especially nice since I can plan when I want to work and when I don't. The one difficult thing is expecting a place to have good Verizon service and then finding out that it doesn't. It provides a nice retirement income so I don't have to dig into my savings. I travel solo, and my teaching also gives me something to do and some social contact with students and other instructors. It also, hopefully, will keep my brain alive a while longer.

 

In my travels, I have met a couple running a marketing consulting company out of their motorhome and another lady who wrote romance novels. Also, met a man who made a living taking and selling stock photos. There are also a few people out there with very successful blogs that make a considerable amount of money on the road doing that.

Edited by Solo18

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In the past we volunteered at state parks. Last year we took the winter off. Kinda like that!! I am a Ranger in Yellowstone during the summer.

Edited by Kevin H

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WOW! Life can be so good, but you just have to hunt for the right fit. Like it has been since the beginning of this wonderful country, in the USA the American Dream is spelled WORK!

 

Safe Travels!

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In our 11 years of f/t ing we enjoyed roaming at first - then diesel jumped from $1.50 to $3.00+ in '05. So..we started working seasonal jobs.

Four summers & one fall at Dollywood, 2 summers at a cg in Pigeon Forge, 2 six- month "winters" at Disneyworld, two holiday seasons for Sees Candy at a couple of malls, one volunteer summer in Alaska (free h/u's) and 3 late winter/early spring stints as gate guards in south Texas.

The fun ended as a result of a lung disease so we sold out & now live in Cary, NC.

Ron

 

Just re-read the original post & want to add that the main thing we liked about all of these encounters was people! I'd say that about 99% of the people we dealt with were wonderful, happy & friendly and the other 1% should not have been released in public areas.

Edited by RonMon

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Well, here goes my version of "full timing"...kinda sorta...we decided several years ago (10 to be exact but who's counting!!) that we would go full time when our nest was empty and our youngest was on his feet and gainfully employed. My wife and I both teach and I coach and as a coach, we have moved often for promotions and better jobs so we were already getting into the gypsy mode while we were working.

 

Three years ago we began seriously looking for our full-time ride and found it about a year and a half ago. Three years ago we also decided to move into a very small RV (old 28 or 30 foot Winny) down in south Tx to not only save on rent but also to see if we could live in a very, very small space (only the two of us now) and it went extremely well. Then we found our "new to us" 37' Discovery Diesel Pusher it felt like we were living in a penthouse...lots of room compared to the minny Winny!!!!

 

We secured a Camp Host position last year and also taught school. The rangers let us work our hours when we got home and on the weekends and it worked fantastic. We absolutely loved the Camp host set-up and will probably do it again.

This past summer we worked a gate guarding job out in far west Tx and actually lived in Carlsbad NM. Again, we loved the getting paid part of this job and loved having four days off to explore new territory. We considered doing this through the winter but my DW talked me into teaching one more year so here we are...now living on the shore of a beautiful lake about 5 miles from my teaching/coaching job and making plans for next June!!!! Can't wait for the next adventure!!!

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I'm not a full timer yet, but my wife and I are working towards that. I'll be 41 this year, my wife turns 40. I've been with the same company for 17 years and the last 5-6 pretty much working remote. I was a QA Software Analyst (software tester) for a few of those years, now I actually manage a team of 5 software testers. I wasn't officially remote for a lot of that time, but my managers were all pretty good about it and only asked that I reported to an office now and then when upper management was visiting. My assigned office was actually in AL and I lived in GA (1 hr commute). I was fine was this setup but I was getting tired of the way I had to file taxes each year. About 2 years ago, I was discussing with my manager about having my home office being changed to our Atlanta, GA office for tax purposes even though I usually went to the AL office to avoid the horrid commute when I needed to go to an office. He suggested that we just put me in as a permanent work at home employee so I couldn't be ordered back to an office if something drastic should change with management above us. I was ecstatic and it went through so for the past 2 years I've been an official work at home employee based out of GA. I go visit the Atlanta office now and then, but I have no obligation now to actually go there to work.

 

As mentioned, I manage a team of 5 and I am expected to be on line during normal business hours. I'm still doing a lot of research on how to stay connected on the road so that is my main concern right now. I like Space Norman's agreement for his core time to be 8-2 and then he can put the other hours in when he wants. That would work out nice. For me, two of my employees are based out of India, 2 out of Atl, and 1 works at home in PA. I rarely ask my Atl employees report to the office with any regularity, so we all just use chat or conference calls to collaborate each day..

 

When I first got the work at home status, my wife and I started talking about moving to CO since we could now basically live anywhere, but we both love motorcycles and didn't know about giving up so much time of not being able to ride during snowy conditions or long periods of cold. Then we started looking into the full time RV living and that seems to be something we both think we'll and enjoy and the direction we are headed. We can kind of chase the weather and go put ourselves in nice areas we want to go explore on our motorcycles. It will make it so much easier for us to continue to explore the west on the Motorcycles which right now takes a lot of PTO time and planning.

 

My wife is in the dental field, so for her she can't really take her job on the road. However, she is getting burnt out anyways in her job and has been working very hard to get her own business off the ground which is something she can do from anywhere. It's still a "hobby" at this point, but I think we'll be in a great position where my salary will be fine and she can continue to focus on her new business building it from the road.

Edited by BlueLghtning

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We have made our living on the road for over 17 years. We publish the Gypsy Journal RV newspaper, I'm an author with 24 books out (both mystery novels and nonfiction RV/travel books) and will be releasing #25 next week, I have a daily blog that earns money from advertising, I'm a compensated speaker at RV rallies and events, and I present seminars and workshops on self-publishing. I work on my own schedule anywhere I want. What's not to love? :rolleyes:

Edited by Nick Russell

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Our story. We were DINKS. (Double Income No KidS) My wife hated her job. Been working there for ten years. Great money, nothing else in the area paid better. My job. Great money, excellent benefits. I wasn't going to move. We had motorcycles. Loved to ride. Lived in Iowa. Maybe four to five months of great riding. Only two weeks vacation per year. But still put on 15,000 to 17,000 miles per year on the motorcycles.

 

Wife wanted to go full-time RVing. Be able to ride year round. Never had an RV before. Rented a friend's motorhome for two weeks. I hated it. But she continued to push it. Did a lot of research on the forums and looking at motorhomes, toyhaulers, and regular 5th wheel trailers once she found the HDT forum on here. Then it was looking at HDT trucks. I decided to give it a try. Bought a used HDT, modified it to carry our two motorcycles and bought a 5th wheel trailer. See signature. Been full-timing it since October 9, 2004. Enjoyed workamping. Did get burned out having the motorcycles as our main transportation, got a car sold the motorcycles. Have loved RVing. Well most of the time. The last couple years haven't enjoyed it as much as in the past. Think it's time to hang up the keys.

 

But my feelings are if you think you can afford it, just do it. There is no guarantees in life. Could be dead tomorrow.

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I have a Class "A" CDL so I never need work. The wife and I just finished the Sugar Beet Harvest in MT. You bring home about $1,000 each per week. It last three or four weeks. There is many different harvest job. I found a wheat harvest job that worked from May to Nov.

I found that Wal-Mart will hire you. If you stay 6 mo. you can move to another store.

There is nation wide services like Manpower, Kelly girl, and Molly maid that do day labor. I think you can transfer from one town to another.

Find a state you like, go to Flagger school and get a job working for road construction.

Go to the local café about 6 AM and tell the server you are looking for work. When the local contractors come in she will check to see who need help that day. This is cash $$.

If you want more details or more listing, PM me. I have changed job every three years all my working life. I have lived in five states and have never been out of work.

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10 years in to full-time. We volunteer about twice every 18 months for the USFWS at National Wildlife Refuge's

We love what we do. We have enough experience under our belt that we get to do some very interesting things.

We live being in an area for 3 months at a time to explore and really get a sense of the local community.

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nana25k, that's pretty much what we are wanting to do...we enjoy being set up more than we do traveling and that amount of time allows for a lot of exploring and by then we would be ready to move on.

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I have been an owner-operator in trucking for 40+ years. The last 15 leased to a "power only" company, which means we move someone elses semi trailers. About half the business is new trailers from manufacturer to dealer-end user, the more interesting is time sensitive show loads, rock and roll shows, golf tournements, generators to power TV vans at football games and other outdoor events. Just dropped one at Wrigley Field for the World Series.

Living full time in a 35' toyhauler was a no brainer. 3 years ago I bought a Work and Play 34FK and move it with my commercial tractor, just like any customer trailer. I park in the logical spots, AL in the winter, IN in the summer. Get parked, fool around as much as I want, then go back to work for a couple of weeks, then goof off some more. W&P stays in the spot at the RV park, secure and on a monthly rate. Literally could park anywhere in the lower 47 or anywhere in Canada if I wanted.

We have at least 6 other drivers in our 200 truck fleet that do the same. After 4 million miles, staying put is a vacation for me. I do about half as many miles as I used to when I worked full time.

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I was employed by a major multinational corporation in an upper middle management job of some sort for many years.

 

There was a time when I was in charge of the entire corporate world headquarters building. After everyone had moved out and I was the only one left.

 

For an extended period of time, I didn't know who my boss was, or what my job was, if in fact I had one. But I showed up each morning, got a cup of coffee and read the Wall Street Journal from front to back. During all of that time, I continued to get paid.

 

One day I went home and my wife said "Guess what happened today?"

 

"I dunno", I replied.

 

She smiled, and exclaimed "You got a pay raise today." She had seen the amount direct deposited into our bank.

 

No one from the company ever came to me, and told me about it. When I got the raise was during a time when the corporate payroll system was being converted to new computer software, so I felt maybe my pay raise was due to an error in the conversion. Later, the new system was audited by our external auditors, who informed me no problems were found during their review. So I wiped the sweat from my brow and carried on doing more of the same. Mostly nothing. And I never said anything but good things about my company after that happened. How could I not?

 

During the latter years of my employment there, I did have a small organization of people reporting to me. But I had had enough and decided to officially retire.

They gave me a going away party at a swanky restaurant. I got a retirement gift, and a card.

 

I opened the envelope and read the card out loud in front of the gathering.

 

The front of the card said "Why would a person want to leave a job being paid hundreds of dollars a week?"

 

Then I opened the card, and read the inside. "For doing absolutely nothing."

 

Well, they had a point there. But I retired anyway. That was nearly 17 years ago.

 

And I've been doing pretty much of the same ever since.

Edited by MT_Flyfisher

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I own a small Corporate Travel Management Company (small to mid-size companies hire me to run and manage their travel programs), my husband and I co-own a media company called Married with Motorcycles and host a weekly radio show. I can literally work from anywhere as long as I have my computer and internet, although I do have to maintain my client's hours.

 

We can't go full time yet, since my retired mother lives with us at our house, but it does mean that we can take off for a month or so with the dogs and motorcycles. We have a Toy Hauler and we're about to try our first month away from home doing the California coast.

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