What We Miss About Life Before Full-Time Travel

One thing we definitely want to take the time to do here on the blog is answer the questions we are most frequently asked. While at the Tampa Supershow we had the pleasure of hanging out with From Paris to Roam and we had a chance to discuss one of the questions that frequently comes up. More than a year in it’s clear you love RV Life, but what do you miss?

Despite a very interesting first night, Jon and I took very well to the full-timer RV life. Even so, there must be something we miss, right? Surely, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns...right?

While we are sure the answer to this question is different for everyone, in our case, we fell so deeply in love with our new lifestyle that the first time we were asked, it actually took us a little while to come up with an answer.

What Did We Think We Were Going to Miss?

Space

Initially it was actually easier to notice the things we thought we would miss but didn’t. We definitely thought we would miss the space we had in our house. Now, if you’ve stopped by our About page, you know that we were planning on downsizing to an 800 sq. ft. house anyway. We’ve lived in many different sized spaces from a 400 sq. ft. studio to a 1,500 sq. ft. house. Before RVing we had decided that somewhere between 700-800 sq. ft. was our happy place. So we would like to throw in the disclaimer that it’s possible we have a high tolerance for small spaces. Still, at just under 200 sq. ft., our first rig was a far cry from even our smallest home.

Space was the number one thing we thought we would miss and we did not miss it at all. To be honest though, on our first morning I did have one moment where upon noticing that I could see our entire living space from our couch and just about touch both walls from there too, I had one of those moments where it feels like your stomach just falls past your toes (we spent the first night in the dark so I didn’t really see what we had moved into until that first morning). That sunken stomach feeling only lasted less than 1 minute. The feeling was accompanied by the panicked thought, “What have we done?” But the thought only flashed in and out of my mind for 3 seconds. That was it. We have never felt like we miss the space we had.

Residential Quality Showers

There is nothing like a long, hot shower with proper water pressure. Since we knew zero about camping and RVs, I don’t think we gave this much thought. We had only been concerned with the size of the shower in the RV, and the one in the travel trailer was comparable to the one we’d had at home. After 3 showers in our camper, however, Jon decided to try out the campground shower. Not being one for showers that require flip flops, I held out a few more nights despite his rave reviews. It was only upon caving in that I realized I was missing showers with good water pressure.

 
 An example of a nicer bathroom at a campground. This is a bathroom at Jellystone Park resort. 

An example of a nicer bathroom at a campground. This is a bathroom at Jellystone Park resort. 

 

So as far as residential quality showers go, Jon “missed” them for a total of 3 days and myself for a total of 5. There are plenty of options if the campground you are in isn’t allowing for good water pressure in your RV. Sure we enjoy having a “real” bathroom during hotel stays and visits with family, but we both agree that while it’s nice, we don’t really miss these “real” bathrooms and their showers.

In-Home Washer and Dryer

Some Fifth Wheels and Class A’s have their own washer and dryer onboard. We began in a Travel Trailer and are now in a Class C, so this is not our case. A lack of in-home washer and dryer was always a deal-breaker. Due to oversight on my part, we only ever rented one apartment without a washer and dryer. Even so, I don’t remember worrying about it too much when we moved into our camper.

 
 A laundromat in Moab, Utah. I could probably wash all the clothes I own in one of these!

A laundromat in Moab, Utah. I could probably wash all the clothes I own in one of these!

 

As it turns out, going to the laundromat or using a campground laundry facility really isn’t all that bad. Shockingly, we often even prefer the laundromats because our laundry gets done so fast in the huge commercial washers and dryers. Now that we are in our Class C RV, it’s actually even easier. (Since our house is parked right outside, we no longer have to fold inside the laundromat to avoid wrinkles). Surprising as it is, we do not miss having an in-home washer and dryer.

So… Do We Miss Anything?

My Dear CrossFit Buddy & CrossFit

For the two and a half years prior to us leaving, I went to CrossFit nearly every weekday. Being somewhat intimidated by the idea of CrossFit I began by going with a friend. The experience of doing seemingly endless burpees, pull-ups, and wall balls without passing out drew us quite close.

 
 It can be done, but we found it hard to be consistent with our CrossFit workouts out in nature. 

It can be done, but we found it hard to be consistent with our CrossFit workouts out in nature. 

 

On the fitness side, I really do miss the consistency with which I worked out during that time. I miss the intensity that, for me, comes with working out with a friend and in a more group fitness setting. I stubbornly made us lug around a barbell and 6 Rogue plates (about 115 lbs) while we were in the Travel Trailer. Unfortunately, we found that most of the workouts we got with these were from moving them in and out of the camper each time we moved. In our Class C there is just no way to hold onto these items and we have opted for a regular gym membership instead. It’s not the same, but we are being a lot more consistent than we were (Did you know it’s not very fun to workout outside in the cold or in the hot, windy desert?) when trying to use our barbell and weight plates while on the road.

On the friend side, I miss talking to her about life everyday. Unfortunately, there really is no substitute for spending time in person, but we do have a great time hanging out whenever Jon and I are in Miami.

Family & Friends

We also miss family and friends. So far we have FaceTimed during birthdays and some holidays and that’s been pretty fun. We’ve had my parents travel out to us for one holiday season and for our second holiday season we traveled in. Switching over to our smaller Class C has made visiting easier too.

 
 As he travels with us, Rex here, helps us keep in touch with our nephews.

As he travels with us, Rex here, helps us keep in touch with our nephews.

 

We really, really miss my nephews. We LOVE every minute we get with them. It’s a bit trickier with them because they grow and change so fast. Because they were so young when we left (4 and 2 at the time) we came up with a kid-friendly way to keep in touch. We created an Instagram account (Rex Roams) for my older nephew’s dinosaur who travels along with us. My sister will show them the day’s post and write back what they say. We just need to do a better job of keeping up, but it has done the trick (Yes, on occasion, the dinosaur ends up amusing the adults more than the kids, but mostly it works!). They have definitely not forgotten us!

That’s It? We Don’t Miss Anything Else?

Did you think that we might miss more than what we do or do you expect you would miss about the same? Traveling full-time is life changing, but it doesn’t stop life from being life. We love the control we have over each day. This new life also gives us a sense that we are doing what we want to do with our days on this earth. That however, doesn’t mean we are immune to life’s little annoyances. If our dog has an accident and poops inside the “house” it doesn’t matter if it’s our “house on wheels” or our “sticks and bricks house” it stinks just the same. Your fridge in your house can break just as the fridge in your RV. For the most part, it’s the things we now know we were missing while living the old 9 to 5 life that makes it so that we miss very few things from pre-RV life.