Are you thinking of full-timing? Maybe you are but there are things that are holding you back....things like leaving your friends and family, downsizing overwhelm or cracking the income nut.
As you start to think about creating a full-time RV life for yourself, things crop up. Emotional things, economical things, and really overwhelming things.
In this article we are going to dive deeper into the hurdle of leaving your friends and family and give some tips to help overcome this hurdle so you can create a life you desire and deserve.
How to Maintain Relationships with Family & Friends While RVing
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Set Up Connections
To overcome the leaving friends & family obstacle to transition to full-time, you must first start with a plan.
Leaving your friends and family is a very emotional thing to do. That is why it rears its ugly head as a transition hurdle. You love your family. You love your friends. You have built connections to fit how you live currently.
So in order to feel good about transitioning, you have to overcome this hurdle. Start with building new connection points with your friends and family now before you transition. These connection points will be new for your new RV lifestyle.
Be ready to talk to the people who will be affected by your transition and get their input on problem solving this. Relationships are two way streets. They must have something to add to help make this easier. It can't be all on you.
You may encounter resistance in these relationships as you share your dream of full-timing with them. You may even encounter anger or disappointment. Be prepared if this is what you experience. If they truly care about you, they will make their way to seeing the importance of this for you in your life. Don't despair, they will come around.
Ask them to help brainstorm how you can stay connected with them. Do they like to video chat? Would they like to follow your travels on a private Facebook group just for your friends and family? Would they think it would be cool to get a postcard from your cool destinations? Or the ultimate connection would be a planned meet up once or twice a year to get together and reconnect.
Solicit their help in setting up connections with them.
Where the Streets wander
“Leaving friends & family can be insurmountable
or this can become a challenge that is overcome with making connections, being intentional and changing your perspective.”
With some ideas of connection points to do with your friends and family, start by making the list of things you feel you could do on a regular basis to stay connected.
To keep up with new things in our lives, you have to become intentional.
Create that private Facebook page and start inviting friends and family to join. You can even post about your transition things in there - like buying your RV and downsizing your house. Get your relationships involved.
If you haven't used a video chat before, learn how to use it before you hit the road and practice with it so both you and your friends & family know which app or software to use and how to use it.
We love Zoom because people can show up from different places and chat live. You can turn a Zoom call into a cocktail hour monthly with your friends. If you are leaving a book club or Bible study behind, see if they will include you by Zoom so you can stay involved. During COVID-19, this was often the only way to do these types of things.
If a meet up is something your relationships would like to do, start making plans or at least at list of places you might want to do that. But don't forget to get it on the calendar. This is an important part about being intentional.
If you need ideas for children and grandchildren read our other article that includes specific ideas for staying connected to them. Our favorite idea for kids is postcards and travel maps!
Making a plan and having ideas is important, but things don't get done unless you are INTENTIONAL.
Where the Streets wander
"Making a plan & having ideas is important, but
things don't get done unless you are INTENTIONAL!"
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Change Your Perspective
While all the things we have shared above are good ideas, to make this work you have to change your perspective.
Your relationships may not feel the same at first when you transition. You may have to accept, that with time, things will improve. You will miss your friends and family. But making time and being intentional in staying connected with them will change into a new kind of normal.
We want to challenge you to think differently about this part of your transition. You are not leaving. We thought we were leaving. We had goodbye parties and cried when we pulled away. But what we didn't know was how often we would come back and make time for the people we love. We actually found that when we returned, we made time for a more quality experience than when we lived in the same town and only saw our them every couple of weekends. This is where the perspective change comes in.
You may travel farther one year and stay closer another time. That is the beauty of your RV lifestyle freedom.
We also discovered some other things. While we lived closely near two of our children and grandchildren, another child's family was 750 miles away. Becoming a full-time RVer actually helped us be able to travel to be close them to create a better bond than we had in our old life. This actually was a benefit which would not have happened unless we full-timed.
Our travels have created topics of conversation and connection with our relationships. Once we stopped viewing our full-time RV lifestyle as taking us away from our friends and family, it created a mind shift on enriching our relationships, as well as ourselves.
Your perspective is up to you to manage. This can be hard and insurmountable or this can become a challenge that is overcome by making connections, being intentional and changing your perspective.
Leaving your friends and family can be a hurdle to the full-time transition. You are not leaving them behind. You are creating a life you have always dreamed about and with that comes compromises. The decision is ultimately up to you.
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