3 Hard Truths Behind Living the RV Lifestyle

At 25-years-old, my wife Alyssa and I live, work, and travel out of our RV. I post a lot of cool photos on Instagram of us traveling around the country and going on adventures, but I want to get real for a moment.

Our lives aren't always this never-ending, nomadic fairytale (although from the photo below it looks like I'm trying to convince you otherwise).

Heath and Alyssa hugging while standing outside Winnebago Brave.

I know it seems ridiculous that we get to live and travel in an RV at 25 when most people work their whole lives to do what we're doing, but it's not that simple.

I wanted to share a few hard truths behind our seemingly epic and adventurous RV lifestyle:

  1. We've never leisurely traveled in our RV: At this point in time, our travel schedule has been nearly entirely dominated by our projects that pay the bills (i.e our Hourly America documentary, work with film clients, speaking gigs, etc.). The idea of roaming from place to play without a care in the world isn't something we've had the luxury of enjoying yet.
  2. 85% of our time is spent working our butts off (inside our RV). We don't spend every day outside hiking in national parks. Most of my time is spent figuring out how to increase our income, hone our craft of writing & film, and finishing our documentary
  3. We don't splurge on the lifestyle. In an ideal world, we could toss money to things like a white water rafting trip in the Grand Canyon or hot air ballooning in New Mexico, but those are luxury items for us at this point. Because we made an intentional decision to pay off my student debt (paid off over $14k in the past year), we don't get to splurge on those luxuries that would make life a little more exciting (at least not yet).

This begs the question, if we spend most of our time working and not exploring and we can't yet afford some of the higher luxury experiences, why even live in an RV?

  • First of all, I still love the freedom to move around and see different parts of the world. While we have spent a good deal of time working on the road, the places we've seen still beat a cubicle any day.
  • I believe our lifestyle has helped me cut out a lot of distractions. We completely side-stepped the typical route that most couples venture towards (9-5 job, mortgage, etc) and instead crafted lives that reflect doing what we enjoy. Sure, we're still working our butts off at this stage in our lives (what twenty something isn't?), so it only makes sense that we spend more time inside the RV working than outside exploring.
  • Living in an RV has helped me realize that I don't need to splurge to enjoy any type of lifestyle. Sure, life could be a bit more exciting if we could go on more exotic adventures in different locations. But it doesn't mean our life would be better. After living in a 21 year old, Breaking Bad lookalike RV for two years that was struck by lightning, had a leaking roof, and only occasionally provided hot water, I realize that we need much less than we ever thought to be happy.

All things aside, I wouldn't trade this lifestyle for the world. It's pushed us outside our comfort zone, given us a community of friends all over the country, and forced us to grow closer, together. But, I don't want to ever try to put up a facade of some ideal lifestyle that isn't true.

Being able to live, work, and travel in an RV at 25 years old is awesome, no kidding aside. But not every day is spent laying on a new beach somewhere or doing yoga on a mountain top.

Sure, we explore. But we only get to explore because we do the work. It's that simple.

Heath

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