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You might be wondering why a full-time RVer would be searching for the feeling of a “typical day.” After all, when discussing RV life, typical is a bit of an oxymoron. Isn’t part of the point of the RV lifestyle to escape the norm?
This also begs the next question, does RV life even need structure at all? Well, I believe full-time RV life does, at least a little bit. Especially during those times when we’re out in the middle of nowhere, and it can be hard to remember what it’s even like to be a functioning member of society.
Establishing these two tiny bits of order at the core of a very non-routine lifestyle has helped me and my husband get a bit closer to that elusive work/life balance while out on the road:
1) Have a Morning Routine:
No matter what type of day lay ahead, I try my hardest to wake up and do these three things for myself:
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes.
- Brew some decaf coffee.
- Spend at least 60 minutes working on something that fuels me either personally or professionally. This can range from a blog post, a screenplay, editing pictures, or researching prospective business ventures. Ultimately, it’s whatever I’m feeling inspired to work on for me, not clients.
These three actions have become essential toward giving me a sense of joy and purpose in my day.
2) Have a Clear Sense of What Type of Day It Is and a Balance of the Four Types of Days:
For me, an RV life day generally falls into one of these four buckets. It’s either a Work Day, Adventure Day, Moving Day, or a Chill Day. I’ve found that establishing ahead of time what type of day I’m in for, while also maintaining a healthy balance of all four types of days, is the best way to keep me from feeling behind or lost in the shuffle.
Moving Days actually start off early in the morning masked as Cleaning Days. We first make sure everything is picked up, and the floors are vacuumed so that nothing will mess with our slides. Next, we make sure everything is securely tucked away. Moving Days are long and entail a never-ending list chocked full of small tasks to accomplish. If any of these tasks are forgotten, there are serious consequences that could occur on the road. Traveling from one location to the next can be a stressful time for both the driver and the navigator/cat juggler. And then once we finally get to our new spot, our head still has to be in the game to make sure we get the rig set up correctly.
These are ultimately draining days. No matter how hard we try to do something productive at the end of a moving day, it rarely happens.
I’ve tried the “work for a half-day and then go adventure for half a day” approach to RV life. It just hasn’t worked for me. When my head is in the game, it’s there, and I’m going to want to continue to crush jobs all day long. At a certain point, one long workday starts to feel like a life hack because having a full day of work focus with few distractions often feels like I just smushed two or even three Work Days into one.
Adventure Days really need no explanation. These days are why we relocate our home, truck, cats, and everything we own to whatever spot we’re currently in. These are the days we wake up, get out, and explore! These are the days RV life is all about! (Just typing up this paragraph is getting me excited because this is clearly a Work Day, and I’m longing for an Adventure Day.)
I actually find Chill Days the easiest to forget, which is a problem. I frequently find myself trying to find a way to turn these into Adventure Days. But the truth is, they are necessary for a few reasons. Practicality-wise, these are usually the days we accomplish grocery shopping, laundry, and fixing things on the RV. But also self-care-wise, everyone needs days to relax, crack open a book or turn on Netflix and reboot our human batteries. (I should note, this is written from the perspective of a career-ages RVer. RVers I’ve met who are past this phase of life obviously have a lot more Adventure and Chill Days in lives!)
In my opinion, the perfect balance of RV life days would be 5% Moving Days, 30% Work Days, 35% Adventure Days, and 30% Chill Days. However, those percentages are impossible to maintain because, well, life happens. Lug nuts disappear, work emergencies pop up, and from week to week, what looks like a healthy balance often changes. When you sign up for RV life, you also sign up for a lot of surprises. Patience and flexibility are a must.
Having a healthy balance of the above mentioned days, along with a morning routine, is vital for us. While the adventure and spontaneity of RV life are, of course, fun, a bit of structure is also always super helpful with keeping us full of life, purpose, joy, productivity, and most notably, sanity. At the end of the day, this is what works for my husband and me. But what works for us could seem entirely screwy to you!
Do you live in an RV? I’d love to hear whether you think RV life needs a bit of structure or not? And as always, please feel free to email me with any RV life questions you may have! And to see more about our RV journey, head on over to cinderstravels.com.