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Moving away from kids/grandkids....How?

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Ok, I'll say it right from the start, the problem is me, I realize it I'm just not clear on how to fix it! It's not like this is new, Jim and I fulltimed for 12 years and though we enjoyed it and plan on doing it again, the problem with me is still there and was the whole time. My grown son's keep saying to go do what will make us happy and we have but I also feel sad or guilty for missing so much of their and their kids lives. Some live in the NW and some in Colorado and one in ND, so taking the motorhome from area to area seems like a solution....but now we have an opportunity to go to Maui where my sister is and live in her Ohana (duplex) and we love the islands, who wouldn't want to live in paradise even for a year! On top of the excitement of that comes the realization that we would be so far away from kids/grandkids for that time and that neither they or us can afford to fly them over. My parents passed on to me (much to my husbands dismay) the genes of a wanderer, I want to see and do new things, but I want all my family with me and of course that's just not realistic. Jim is fine with phone calls, etc., and Maui is fine as long as he can fish but that's the way he always feels, as long as there's fishnig he's fine. So again, it's me, all me.


I'm looking for advice from people who have struggled with similar feelings and how you came to terms with it? Guilt, or the guilt, do the kids mean what they are saying or just looking out for us but really want us closer, I've asked so many times that they will no longer talk to me about it. I know, me, I'm nuts.



Jim & Alona traveling with River, Rocky & Indy.

Our home, a 33' 1988 Southwind which we love!




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We also have children/grandchildren that we see once or twice per year ( a few weeks at a time). My son is divorced and is an on the road truck driver. Even when he was married he was home 2X per month at most. My daughter works full-time and lives over an hour from where our home was, as well as us working full time and weekends were busy with household, yard work and errands, groceries, laundry etc. Week nights did not work because of the distance and bed times for early morning departures for work, and even in the winter because of winter weather, we could go a month or so without seeing each other. I had a hard time the first couple of years, and had to remind myself that kids move away from parents, raise their families and see their parents only a few times per year. We are doing the same thing, just moving from place to place instead of moving to only 1 city. I am also not willing to "raise" my grandchildren as so many our age do, simply by being available to their families 24/7 and taking over the responsibilities of the parents. We have been full-time for 5 years.

Pat DeJong

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We full timed for about 5 yrs. and lived about an hour away from the kids 6 months of the year and were on the road the other 6. It wasn't easy when we had just our grandson but when the 2 little girls were born it made it even harder. We eventually sold the 5'r and are back in a house close to them all. We still plan on heading out a couple of months at a time but it won't be easy. Keep in mind that you will only be able to travel for so long and you owe it to yourselves to do it while you can. The kids and grandkids will always be there when you come home for good. Life is short. Enjoy it!

Gary & Penny

2015 Lance 1172

2005 Chevy 3500

2013 Bass Tracker 190 Pro Team

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I really don't see how anyone can solve your problem of not wanting to be far from the grandchildren. The fact that many of us have or do travel full-time does not mean that we either don't have grandchildren or don't miss them, only that some of us have found ways to work around that. With the advent of digital communications it is not difficult to stay in close contact and see frequents pictures, videos, or even live chat with Face-Time but one still must make choices and set priorities. When we went fulltime we had grandchildren in TX, KY, and WA so we know something about your situation. We took full advantage of the various digital media and we made sure that we visited each of them physically as often as travels would allow, usually one time per year. But we also realized that the amount of time which we have with each other is not unlimited and so the things that we wished to see and experience together were also given a priority. Never forget that one day you will come to a time that only one of you is still walking about and the one remaining will likely regret that you didn't do more together. If you put your lives on hold to be there for others, that can leave you with regrets for what might have been. Grandchildren are a real blessing, but the same is true of the relationship with our spouse and neither of us are immortal. Most of us have more future to share with our grandchildren than we do to spend together.

Good travelin !...............Kirk

Full-time 11+ years...... Now seasonal travelers.
Kirk & Pam's Great RV Adventure



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I think it might help you to think about why you feel a need physically to be with your grandkids in these days of ubiquitous electronic connections. Do you feel you didn't hug your kids enough so you want to be able to do that with your grandkids? Do you not trust your kids to raise their kids without your help? Or, perhaps, you feel you missed too much of your children's lives so you are trying to make up for that with grandkids? Or, you feel you made mistakes with your kids so you want to do it right with the grandkids? Were your own grandparents an integral part of your childhood so you think you SHOULD be there for yours? Or... Why is it so hard for you to let go? If you can figure that out you'll all be better off for it.


Linda Sand

Blog: http://sandcastle.sandsys.org/

Former Rigs: Liesure Travel van, Winnebago View 24H, Winnebago Journey 34Y, Sportsmobile Sprinter conversion van

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I know several full-time RVers who stay in the same two or three adjacent states year after year because they simply won't be any distance from their kids/grandkids. Inevitably they mention that their original intention was to travel the country and experience different places, but there was always a birthday, graduation, or impending birth happening that kept them rooted. For some of these folks health issues have overtaken them and they're now off the road so the opportunity is lost.


If you can't/won't be away from your family then you will miss out on other experiences. But if that is the most important thing in your life, embrace it and recognize that you won' be wandering as much.

Mark & Teri

2021 Grand Designs Imagine 2500RL, 2019 Ford F-350

Mark & Teri's Travels

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No recriminations. If your life goals for your children were to help them become capable of being fully self-sustaining, then that part of your family life has matured and needs to evolve as theirs has. The needs of a child are always present but the responsibilities of an adult must be embraced to overrule the simplicities of childhood. That means both must be willing to evolve and engage the changes that will come.


Nothing is ever completely finished but one cannot ever fish if all they will do is cut bait. In the world today, we are often being reminded that NO means NO! Likewise, we must trust that GO means GO! and not doubt the reality of our offspring nor of our own evolution. Grow with the flow and continue to learn. Work through the complications and always make contingency plans but do your due diligence and keep your focus on your future.


Helping sometimes means letting go of the bicycle seat and not trying to grab it again. Trust your efforts in raising them and allow them to evolve beyond your presence (which can't happen if you are too close.)

RVBuddys Journal Our progress into full-timing.
Budd & Merrily ===-> SKP# 088936 Other Websites:---> Hub of all my blogs
Clifford - 2000 VNL64T770 :: DakotR - 1999 C40KS King of the Road :: $PRITE - 2013 Smart Passion w/cruise

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We have encountered these questions about our lifestyle. There is no answer for anyone but ourselves. We love every second of our time with family, however if we had doubt's about not spending enough time with them those doubt's dissolved the first summer. We had not lived in the same city for several years so we did not see them all the time anyway.

When we are near our daughter during part of the summer we deal with their busy normal lifestyle. They work, the kids have friends, school, sports etc. They cannot be expected to stop and spend their every waking moment with us.

We often say we are the best thing since sliced bread for 2 weeks max with the kids. Then they are back to their lives. Our arrival to their homes is a big event to them.

After 9+ years and the children have grown, we find that our time with them is special. We enjoy adventures in the RV, we take them to dinner one on one etc ,etc

We were not near when the 2 youngest were born but we are as bonded with them as we are the oldest ones who we saw all the time.

We communicate via text, calls, Facebook etc. We see the big events via video shared by their parents.

An added bonus is that because we are not in their lives every day we are blissfully ignorant of their personal, but normal family & marital issues. In other words we stay out of their "stuff". We know what they chose to share. Believe me it makes for great relationships with the children's spouses.

And frankly we enjoy our quiet holidays away.

Ron & Linda

Class of 2007
2000 Monaco Diplomat

2005 Honda Element

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are" Theodore Roosevelt

"We can't control the wind, but we can adjust our sail"

"When man gave up his freedom to roam the earth, he gave up his soul for a conditioned ego that is bound by time and the fear of losing its attachments."

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This too has been our biggest delima as we start our transition. Ours are still elementary age with the newest addition born late Sunday evening. While Nana and Pops are still thought of as "cool" and fun to be with, we travel 3 to 4 months, then return for a couple of months for a grandkid and even adult children fix. We had plans to leave for the Blackhills in a couple of weeks, but postponed with the newest arrival. For Joan and I, we're close to all, but love the RV lifestyle. We're talking about selling the sticks and bricks with several very nice long term campgrounds nearby to return. After 30 years of corporate travel and a couple million air miles later, I just can't stay in one place long. The decision is different for everyone. Best advice, just follow your heart.

Jerry and Joan

2014 Ford F350 with 6.7 turbo, TrailerSaver

2014 40' Heartland Gateway Fifth wheel


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I think it is really all about what makes you happy. I was very happy making the world a better place for my kids and DW and focused on that. The kids grew up, had their own kids and became focused on things that make all of them happy, which don't necessarily involve me at all. That clears the table for me to go find fun things to do. Living in a big expensive house filled with 'stuff' doesn't do a thing for me. Full-timing in an RV gives me lots of flexibility and opportunity to find ways to make the world a better place. I'm having a ball and enjoying life while I can.


You should figure out what makes you happy and if it doesn't hurt anyone else, go for it.

F-250 SCREW 4X4 Gas, 5th NuWa Premier 35FKTG, Full Time, Engineer Ret.

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We have 4 kids, 10 Grand kids, and 6 g-grand kids. We used to live 45 miles from one of them, we saw her family approximately once a month. We spent 19 years raising our kids and raised one grandchild into his teens and now we have our own lives back. We advise our offspring that we will only RV where they can come and enjoy their vacations. We have the phone, Facebook, the internet, Etc. to keep in touch and when we travel we always try and route our travels with a couple of days in their area, we have offspring in Illinois, Connecticut, Texas, Oklahoma, and Missouri. Aside from that they have their lives and priorities to keep them busy and the reality is they don't have time for us and all their other commitments.

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We full-timed for 16 years and traveled constantly. We have still managed to have a very close relationship with our children and grandchildren. Our grandkids grew up with us living and traveling in our RV.


We were there for quality weeks at a time while staying in our RV (the best way). We were there for every Christmas and Thanksgiving until the parents divorce gave them every other year - and us, also.


We were there for their milestones - the first day of school, important school honors, sports games and graduation from all classes. We were there for most birthdays. They visited us for a vacation in great areas and we took them on vacations in our RV. We took care of them for a week or so when parents vacationed.


It's not easy but very doable. In the beginning we didn't have a cell phone or computer. We spent many hours in a telephone booth. We wrote letters and sent postcards from wherever we were. Even the school project 'Flat Stanley' traveled with us. The kids and their classmates got a good geography lesson of places Stanley went. The kids mailed us letters or pictures they drew. Sometimes only one of us would fly in for a special occasion but if it was important to them, we managed to get there.


Now that we've given up full-timing the grandchildren are truly disappointed. They loved hearing of our lifestyle and places we've gone. They loved visiting us and had a ball when we took them in our RV on a vacation. They had wonderful experiences and probably more than most grandchildren have had.


We wouldn't have changed anything.


On Edit... we have now settled down and it's not even in the city they live. The grandkids are starting college and rarely do they stay in the same area upon graduation. They go where the job is. I doubt that even our kids will stay where they are once the kids are on their own. It all seems to work out.

Full-timed for 16 Years
Traveled 8 yr in a 2004 Newmar Dutch Star 40' Motorhome
and 8 yr in a 33' Travel Supreme 5th Wheel

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Alona--Maui for just a year or so? The rest of your family will be more or less where you left them when you crossed the sea. But you and Jim may be leagues ahead of where you might have been had you stayed. I loved 2Gypsies response about the wonders they could share with their house-bound grandchildren while grandma and grandpa were traveling free-and-easy. What a lovely example. Don't fret. Make the most of your time, your resources, and your blessings.

Just my 2 cents. :)

Full-timing and enjoying every minute.

Blog: www.agingonwheels.com

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