Both Kate and I loved to travel and we knew that we wanted to do more of it. With the cost of vacations and the downturn of the Canadian dollar, vacationing was getting pricier. Plus, both of us worked steady jobs with a limited amount of vacation time. The desire to continually travel was there but at the moment, there was no key idea in place that would allow this to happen. Enter April 23, 2015.
April 23, 2015. Previous to this day, Kate and I had been programmers for a pair of radio stations in Fredericton, New Brunswick. That morning, however, it all changed. With 30 years of combined radio experience, Kate and I were released from our duties due to the cost cutting that had begun to overtake the entire broadcasting industry.
Obviously, the immediate shock of no longer having a job can be overwhelming at first. But, once the anger passes, you decide you have to move on. Radio, as long as it has existed, has been a volatile industry. Whether it’s cost cutting or bad ratings, most radio hosts/programmers will lose their job at least once. With our experience, Kate and I could have easily started applying to radio jobs across the country and would have received some offers. However, the interest just wasn’t there anymore. Radio can be a really fun job at times with some great perks. It also (like most jobs) has a way of sucking the life out of you, to the point where you decide you just don’t want this lifestyle anymore.
Without jobs, Kate and I didn’t really have a plan yet. We knew something would come along eventually that would be the right move and decision. In the interim, Kate and I worked for a telecommunications company doing a basic data entry job. It wasn’t thrilling but it paid the bills and didn’t leave us going home with stress at the end of the day. The job was perfect for the time being, but we knew that it wasn’t a long-term solution. That long-term solution continued to escape us for months, but then I had an idea.
For as long as I could remember, I recall wanting to live a life differently than what most consider normal. I didn’t want to work a job that left me stressed and without much money but at the same time I didn’t know of any better option. After being let go from his job, I often sat there and thought, “what can we do where we can travel, have fun and generally live a less stressful life?” The question would constantly be asked internally, but I didn’t have the answer. Then one night, sitting on the couch, watching the Blue Jays triumphant 2015 playoff run, the idea finally made itself present. Full-Time RVing.
“What if we could live in an RV, travel across the country to wherever we want to go and along the way, work jobs that would pay for our newfound lifestyle?” “Is it feasible?” “Would Kate really want to do this?” “How would the cat and dog manage in an RV?”
These are the questions that rolled through my head. I liked the idea and didn’t even know that there are millions of people already living the full-time RV lifestyle. “But would Kate really go for this or would she think this is just another crazy idea?”
One night, on the way home from work, I finally decided to ask. I was nervous. I really liked the idea but thought it to be a longshot that Kate would say yes. “Before you say no, just listen and let me explain this all in detail,” I said. I went on to describe the idea of living the full-time RV lifestyle. Everything from how great it would be to travel across the country, to how we could manage this financially. Then a pause. Long pause. I knew it was a “no.”
“Well…the thing about your idea is….” Another pause. You’d swear drama was Kate’s passion. “I love it,” she finally said.
At first, I didn’t really believe the words. Kate is very used to me throwing crazy ideas her way. Even with the craziest idea, she always seemed to be supportive. But this was different. This was a massive lifestyle change. Did she really say, “I love it”? “Are you serious?” I asked her. “Yeah, I think it’s a great idea,” she replied. I felt relieved, shocked and I really didn’t know how to proceed. Again, I have so many crazy ideas that I rarely had followed through on in the past, I was shocked that Kate had said yes to this one.
The idea was presented. Both of us loved the idea but we had no clue on how to move forward with the idea. For days and weeks, we read countless blogs about the full-time RV lifestyle and those that have been living the lifestyle we had just recently chosen to adopt ourselves. After reading for countless days, we were determined that this was possible – we could do it! It wasn’t something that a lot of people were doing in Canada (likely because of the winter) but it was definitely something a lot of people in the US were doing. Kate and I were worried that it wouldn’t be possible to live the full-time RV lifestyle solely in Canada because our winters. There was no way we could live in an RV during the harsh Canadian winters we’ve been used to our entire lives.
Finally, Kate and I realized that the best possible solution at the moment was to enjoy our first summer on the East Coast of Canada. We would full-time RV in Prince Edward Island for the summer and then make the journey to Vancouver Island in late fall and stay there throughout the winter. Vancouver Island’s winters are much different than the rest of Canada. There aren’t many feet of snow piled up in your yard and you don’t need that giant George Costanza Gortex coat to stay warm. Mild temperatures along with a late fall and early spring seem like the perfect combination for full-time RVing in Canada. Sure, it’s not the warmth of Florida or Arizona but it will more than do for us and we know we will enjoy every minute of it.
I’d be lying if I said both Kate and I weren’t a tad overwhelmed with the transition into full-time RVing. It’s a drastic change. We’ve left a home on 4 acres and have moved into our new home on wheels. There’s a lot we still have to learn about this lifestyle. Neither of us had spent any significant amount of time in an RV previous to this adventure so there will certainly be some bumps along the road but this is a challenge we are beyond excited for. Finally, both of us will venture west of Ontario for the first time in our lives. Our travels will take us through the prairies to the Rockies and finally to Vancouver Island. We will have less stress and more time to enjoy the things we love most: each other, our pets and nature. This is going to be an adventure for us. How long will this adventure be? We really don’t know yet, but we hope that you will follow our journey with your thoughts, questions and maybe even some advice.
***Update – March 2017***
Just over a year ago we purchased our RV and readied ourselves for this crazy journey. Now that we’ve been living the full-time RV lifestyle for quite a while now, we can tell you that we’re loving it. Spending last summer in Borden-Carleton while workamping at Jellystone PEI was a great time. Our 36-day cross-country journey from PEI to Tofino in the fall was incredible and full of a tonne of new experiences. When we first started the adventure we weren’t sure if it was going to stick with us. Now, almost a year later, we’re thrilled with this lifestyle and its simplicity. We’d 100% recommend this lifestyle to anyone.