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Full-timing as a single...


GoodOlDan

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My wife and I had talked about becoming full-timers when we retired... but the good Lord apparently had a better program planned for her when he took her home last April (on her 62nd birthday) after a two-year fight with brain cancer.

 

I'm 62 as well, but I'm on SSDI and have Medicare, and have the resources to make the full-time thing work. I especially like that I could maintain my current FL domicile (by "moving into a mailbox") and spend as much time with my adult kids and the grandkids out in Reno as I like, and then wander the rest of the time.

 

I'm mostly wondering how folks in a situation like mine (a widower) find the single full-timing life to be working out for them. Not really talking in terms of meeting someone new on the road (although I suppose I'm open to that)... but what is day-to-day life like? So often in the "sticks and bricks" world I find that a widower is a "fifth wheel".. and not the kind many of you think is a good thing. ;)

 

Dan

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Hi Dan,

Sorry to hear about your loss.

I belong to a very active singles RV group called WIN. An acronym for Wandering Individuals Network. It is nice to have comrades to travel with and the club plans different circuits, trips, around the country. There is one WIN group in SC right now headed your way. You can see their schedule here and drop buy and meet them. You would be very welcome.

Garth

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I am in a somewhat similar situation. I lost my wife in March. She was 62. Where the difference comes is that we had fulltimed for 14 years. I am trying to continue, because I love the lifestyle and I know that is what she would want me to do. Seeing and meeting new people all the time is therapeutic. Where I have a slight advantage is that we had developed many good friends to offer support along the way.

I would suggest you give it a try. RV'ers are a great bunch. Good luck with what ever you decide.

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I'm not a single and as yet still have my life partner so can't speak of personal experience but do have some thoughts for you even so. Whether you go on the road RVing or stay in a stick house, the key to bringing enjoyment back into your life is to stay busy. You will need to get out into the community, whether RV or fixed and it is very helpful if you are an outward going, extrovert type individual. It is easy to make friends as an RV person but you must get outside to do so as we also try to respect the privacy of those who choose not to mix.

 

I also believe that it would be helpful to you to join one of the singles groups as it is very helpful to have friends with things in common as well as the fact that being with couples too much could make the hurt worse. But most of us who are couples are happy to have a single RV person join the group so do not hesitate to join in, even when most people around you are still couples. It is a time that all of us will have to face at some point. I suspect that the feeling of fifth wheel is often more in your own mind than it is the minds of the couples, but our perception for us is reality. I like to believe that RV folks are more friendly and really think that we are. You might not want to be too quick to sell the house, but I do think it a good idea to give this a shot. A change of scenery and even lifestyle could be a good step toward healing. :)

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Thanks all for the responses so far. WIN sounds interesting, and adds a nice element of community and safety. I suppose my thoughts were more along the lines of (what I assume to be) generally couples traveling as full-timers, an how well a single traveler fits in.

 

My experience is that in the "stick and bricks" world, some of the "meet-up" groups (especially focused on widows/widowers work pretty well without the pressure to pair off and date. Otherwise, even getting involved in church and other groups, it's amazing how "invisible" I've become at times.

 

All in all, I still like the prospect of full-timing... and maybe the WIN caravans are one thing I'm looking for.

 

Dan

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I'm single from divorce rather than widowed; and I spent several yrs living single in my sticks & bricks before moving into an RV. I don't find single life as an RV'er any different than I did in my S&B life. Its really what you want to make it and a lot just depends on your personality. Some are very social and always want companions, some enjoy the alone time and don't mind doing things solo. Some groups of couples may unintentionally make you feel like the odd one out, but RV'ers on average are very open & welcoming folks, and there are several single RV'er groups/clubs who make you feel at home. Just take it a step at a time and follow the path that makes you feel most comfortable, not everyone follows the same path, and in the RV life its easy to change your path.

I'm getting ready to spend the next few winters sailing around the tropics and I can tell you that being alone on a sailboat in the middle of the ocean hits me much harder than living alone in a house or RV ever did.

 

 

....

I'm mostly wondering how folks in a situation like mine (a widower) find the single full-timing life to be working out for them. Not really talking in terms of meeting someone new on the road (although I suppose I'm open to that)... but what is day-to-day life like? So often in the "sticks and bricks" world I find that a widower is a "fifth wheel".. and not the kind many of you think is a good thing. ;)

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  • 3 weeks later...

I agree with this advice... "

Just take it a step at a time and follow the path that makes you feel most comfortable, not everyone follows the same path, and in the RV life its easy to change your path."

 

With this addendum: I'm readjusting to the single lifestyle on the road full time after the failure (?!?) of a 44 year marriage. My guess is that the first 12-24 months will be the hardest period for you. Consider volunteering where you are in a friendly community and can contribute to the general welfare in some way. I like these 2 christian ministries to volunteer at: sowers http://www.sowerministry.org/ and MBI associates http://missionbuilders.org/mbi-rva/ In both cases, your parking and hookups are provided along with some meals. You are meeting people and contributing in ways that are really appreciated.

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  • 9 months later...

Great to hear about this single organization.

I just got off a 3 month road trip. While I had a great time, I found that most RV travelers are with partners and really don't mingle with a single gal.

I am grateful for the information and must say overall that without the company of others, I really enjoyed my time on the road. I am not a full timer but want to spend more time traveling.

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I just posted in the class of 2016. I work kamp and volunteer and enjoyed my last job where there were 4 of us single gals that got together on days off exploring the local area and relaxing after work. Some are couple but the work kamp jobs on coolworks offer opportunities to keep busy, enjoy exploring a new area and making new friends that you may meet up with at another location.

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I was happy to meet a gal that worked at the campground in Oregon. We spent a couple evenings by the camp fire, sipping a glass of wine.

I look forward to meeting more solo travelers.

I know there are many like me, not willing to not go because solo and no partner to share with. It is a great big world out there and life is not meant to be lived in one place.

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I am a single full time rv'er. I volunteer at state parks to keep bz. You get a free full hook up site in exchange for you time. It's a great way to stay on the road for low cost and you get the enjoyment of giving back. Most evenings I sit around the campfire with other volunteers who are couples, singles, and many widowers as well. We have a great time.

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Hi Dan, thought I'd chime in with my thoughts.

 

I'm divorced, almost sixty one, and have been on the road alone for two months. I can say for myself, that I believe life is what you make it, where every you are.

 

Whatever interests or talents you have, living this lifestyle I believe opens up more possibilities to meet people of the same interests. I'm not much of a joiner, I think I'm too independent, but I realize many like to belong to groups with similar interests. The most frequent comment I have been hearing is "you're all alone? Aren't you afraid?"

 

To me, that's a sad state of mind to live in. Every day is a new adventure, and sure some of them have been trying since I hardly still know what I'm doing, but I'm

 

figuring it out, and so will you. Things have a way of coming together when you put yourself out there and go after what you want. When I left my house in New Hampshire, I looked at it as turning a page in my life, starting a new chapter, or a new book.

 

Right now I'm almost all alone in a beautiful place in Arkansas, right on a lake. The night crickets are out, my two dogs are asleep, and tomorrow I plan to work on my book, maybe take out my kayak, maybe take a nap, maybe go for a hike. I may meet someone, I may not. I love that way of life.

 

Being a lady alone, I have noticed something kind of funny. Just this morning, a very nice man about my age came by and we started talking. Not more then five minutes later, his wife or significant other, showed up and took his hand, looked at him and said, "gee, we really need to get going"

 

We kept talking a few more minutes, but I could tell she wasn't pleased. I think single men or ladies get there anywhere you go, and it's based on their own insecurity.

 

And that will happen where every you go.

 

When I lived in my house, I pretty much always knew what I'd be doing day to day, but living this way, it's incredible. Anything can happen, and anywhere.

 

I think it's amazing

 

Barbara

Thank you for this post, well said. I am 61 (female) starting out from Maine on 10/30 accompanied by my dog and birds and I am beyond excited, so glad to finally not endure another NE winter. Happy healthy trails to us all!

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I am often amused by discussions of travel alone or as couples and if it can be done. Living in an RV is not that different from living in a fixed home of some sort, other than the scenery changing. If we want friends and company, we must go where that is but if we prefer to be alone, we go where that can be found. Your life preferences are not going to change just because you travel and neither are life's problems going to go away. You might leave your problems behind in an RV if you take a short trip but if you make one your home, all of that baggage will travel with you. The many active singles groups in RVs or in society seems to indicate that many singles do want company and it is available, just as a couple can choose to go where there is very little company of other people.

 

Life is whatever you make of it, regardless of the sort of structure you choose to live in. It is up to you to make yours enjoyable and satisfying. Only you can make you happy!

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I beg to differ, Kirk. Living on the road is vastly different from living in a house. In a permanent structure, you have an established neighborhood with a support system should the need arise. You have nearby friends or aquaintances you come across in the grocery store, and your medical needs are most likely local and established as well. Not sure why you are amused, but it's not at all the same in regards to many things.

 

Of course, over time, someone can establish similar support systems on the road, but it's not the same as being surrounded in a static environment.

 

 

What is the same, is our frame of mind, or frame of reference to life itself. As individuals, we are free to judge or not, and to live our life as we hear our own calling, and to have the courage to follow it. My post was pretty much focused on that,

 

I realize that there is a comfort level for some people by living in the same place, often for many years. The fear of the unknown lurks, and it's a challenge to ignore it. For someone especially who has lost a significant other, I can't imagine the additional uncertainty this can cause.

 

But courage is defined (someone said and I liked it) by facing our fears and doing it anyway. That to me, is the ultimate cool way to live.

 

 

Hey Peg, have fun!

 

You mentioned bringing a bird. I gave away my African Gray Michael before I left, and I miss him something awful. If I had a nice fancy motorhome, I think

 

he would have enjoyed coming along, but all I have is a little cheapo twenty foot trailer, and I don't think he would have done well. Out of love, I gave him up.

 

I bet it's starting to get chilly up there. I bet your heading south!!

 

I was going to write about all the things I did wrong in the first two months, but then I decided it might have little to no value to others.

 

Who knows what I'll learn in the next two!!

 

 

Barbara

 

I have just a 16' TT but it has bunks and they (pionus, cockatiel, and budgie who flock together without problems for years) have the top bunk with a window, plus I have a 4x4x6 portable aviary so they can go outside, which when broken down fits between the wheel wells of my truck. The TT was built with them in mind, has a 'foyer' type curtain at the door to prevent escape, and so far for week long trips it has worked out OK. The pionus wears an aviator harness so she can get some flying in as well. My littles are the easiest.

 

Today it's in the 70s, and I'm hoping not to have to winterize the TT before I leave. Ultimate destination is the Tucson area, but will be taking my time exploring along the way, so far Mammoth Cave and the TX coast on the agenda.

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I beg to differ, Kirk. Living on the road is vastly different from living in a house. In a permanent structure, you have an established neighborhood with a support system should the need arise. You have nearby friends or aquaintances you come across in the grocery store, and your medical needs are most likely local and established as well. Not sure why you are amused, but it's not at all the same in regards to many things.

Differ if you wish. As I said, whether a single or a couple, you can adapt, make friends as much as you wish, and all of the other things with very little difference in challenges for a single or a couple. My point is that what changes is not that different based upon single or couple. Life is still what you make of it. The problems related to RV living are not that different either way.

 

Of course there are things that are different, which is the main reason people go on the road but single or couple, they seek and experience pretty much the same things. If everything were the same, why would anyone go on the road?

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I know a gentleman that lost his wife.

He winters in Mexico.

He did not think he needed a support group and found he was wrong.

Now he is starting a grief support group in Mexico

In the winter.

There is a great group of widows, divorced and married folks there. It is a real social area.

You can find social environment if you look.

Sometimes I need it and sometimes I don't. Sometimes I read with a glass of wine and other times I go to the clubhouse.

 

I changed my mode of travel to RV parks that had people and social functions after a few months not to say that I don't enjoy BLM land next to a river.

I cannot imagine sitting in the same house that I raised my children in. Life is not meant to be lived in one place.

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Kirk,

 

I have noticed that you prefer members on here not to disagree with you. I also notice how you find fault with different opinions than your own.

 

 

 

Bingo.

 

For what it's worth, Barbara, I agree with most of what you wrote. Going on the road, living in an RV, getting out of your comfort zone that you spent many years establishing, etc. is indeed a totally different experience. With me, however, I was more afraid of not doing it than actually going full time. My fear stems from not wanting to get old, regretting that I didn't venture out and have new experiences when I was able.

 

The last thing that I would ever want to do is spend my senior years sitting around a comfortable house, watching re-runs of MASH, and waiting to die. I've seen lot's of people doing it and that's what scares me.

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Barb, what you still seem to miss is that what I'm saying is that whether in a stick house or an RV, or any other type of home, you need to get out and make your life what you want it to be. We really aren't disagreeing so much as not communicating. Yes, many things are very different, but others remain the same. We still must deal with our personal issues, whatever they were or are. Much like moving to a new location or part of the country, going on the road is an opportunity to find new ways. We still have to initiate the things that we do need. We loved our life on the road and I still miss many things about it. You seem to be heading the right direction for your needs as well. It has been fun to watch your progress.

 

Sorry to have offended you. It was never intended that way. Best wishes as you experience the adventure!

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I am not afraid of living. More afraid of being the Living Dead. Almost did not make it! Was very afraid I would never get the chance, planning for sever years but something always takes priority, no more!

 

There are many that will never go. Cannot shop at different store. The fear of unknown is too great.

 

Go now and keep it simple!

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