10 Things I’ve Learned Living In An RV

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“Ten things I’ve learned in ten days on the road.

We have been on the road for ten days now. It’s been wonderful, but there has been a learning curve. Here are ten things I’ve quickly learned on our first ten days together traveling and living full time in our RV:

Photo of a large RV next to a blue Toyota Tundra a family of three is living and traveling in
Courtesy of Jessica Garmon-Ingle

1. Rest and sleep are used as currency.

Sara and I are working on a system where we both are able to get some much-needed rest while the other one cares for Zeke. If she falls asleep early and I stay awake with Zeke, then I am able to sleep in and she cares for Zeke in the morning. Sometimes we are even able to catch an individual nap if it was a rough night. We’ve used naps and rest as bribery to the other. For example, if you do the dishes, you can nap later on and I’ll watch Zeke.

2. I didn’t know my little boy as well as I thought I did.

It breaks my heart to admit this, but I also believe in transparency. Yes, I was with him anytime I was not at work. Yes, I was at every single miracle league game, school meeting, and major doctor’s appointment. Yes, I laid with him every single night until he fell asleep. However, I didn’t really know him in the way I am beginning to. I am learning his favorite colors. I am learning how and why he picks certain rocks to throw and others to treasure. I am learning that, even though he protests school work some days, it’s only a show. When I tell him he can have 5 minutes of screen time once he’s finished his work, he is all smiles and participates happily.

3. My wife and I are working on our communication skills more than ever before.

We are together 24/7. While it’s everything we’ve wanted for so long, it does have its challenges. We are both working on finding root causes of anger, sadness, and other emotions within ourselves and with one another. We are learning it rarely has anything to do with the small inconvenience that triggered the feelings. For the first time in a long time, we are talking through things and compromising.

4. Black tanks are disgusting.

We had one mishap and I hope it’s the last one. It’s all I’m going to say about it.

5. The floor is never clean and there are always dishes to wash.

I sweep, vacuum and mop at least once a day and the floors are still dirty. Also, I’m not sure how three people can use so many dishes. I do a sink full twice a day most days.

6. You can hear everything in the RV.

The pitter-patter of Zeke’s feet as he runs from his bed to our bed in the middle of the night makes my momma heart explode with gratitude. I can even hear/feel when he turns over in his bed. It gives me peace of mind with safety as well.

7. Short showers are a must.

You will run out of hot water if you don’t get in and get out quickly.

8. The living space really isn’t as small as it seems.

We all have plenty of room to move about and be in the RV together on days the weather doesn’t cooperate for us to get outside.

9. Living on the road is expensive.

There is no buying in bulk to save money because our storage space is so limited. Zeke is also extremely restrictive in his food. We have to make sure we always have safe foods on hand for him. If his food is twice as expensive as another food, we still have to purchase his safe food. Zeke will not eat some days unless it is one of his safe foods. Gas is expensive as well when we are pulling the RV behind us. We’re slowly learning ways to cut our spending and to make our weekly budget.

10. I’m happier than I have ever been.

I am truly grateful for this opportunity to have with my little family. I know I am fortunate and it isn’t lost on me a single day we’re out here. This is truly a dream come true for us. It was so scary for Sara and I to take this leap of faith and leave our careers. We will be beginning to apply to positions at the end of April for us to work on the road. We want to spend some time together as a family for a couple of months before we essentially go back to work.

I am hopeful we can continue to live this life for the entire year. I am also hopeful we love it as much as we have the past ten days on the road. Thank you for following along with us on this journey. We’re thankful you’re here.”

lesbian moms hugging their autistic son with a clown statue in the back
Courtesy of Jessica Garmon-Ingle

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jessica Garmon-Ingle and originally appeared here. You can follow her journey on Facebook. Submit your own story  here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

Read more from Jessica here:

‘The doctor entered the room and revealed what I already knew. My beautiful boy had level three autism, the most severe.’: Special needs mom shares diagnosis journey, urges ‘don’t ever set limits on your child’

‘This afternoon, we sold our home. This house has seen every high and low in our lives.’: Special needs mom recalls nostalgic memories of ‘safe haven’ in wake of move

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