While working at Amazon this holiday season, I’m running a weekly “Ask A Question” post since I’m not sightseeing much and have limited time to write. Have a question you’d like answered? Read more about AAQ here.
Jim asks the first question for today, which I’m summarizing a bit for the sake of brevity: As a solo full-timer, is it necessary to work/volunteer/blog/have a social media presence to keep from going crazy? As in, to feel connected to the outside world and stay occupied.
Well, for starters Jim, I’ve met plenty of RVers who don’t work and don’t have an online presence – but those in the planning stages like you haven’t heard of them because you’re not on the road yourself yet, and that’s the only way you meet them – in person at campgrounds and the like, so I’d say no. But this is actually a very complex question to tackle because everyone’s needs are different.
This question can be broken down into two parts: does full-timing get boring, and does full-timing get lonely.
As you’ve probably already guessed from reading my blog, I personally don’t have a problem with either issue right now and haven’t for years – although my first six months on the road I did have a problem with loneliness before I learned what I, specifically, needed. There is no blanket solution.
To address the first part, some people (whether they go RVing or not) don’t need to stay busy at all to be content, and are happy to just lounge around reading or watching TV. Some people need to stay busy, which can involve anything from housework, hobbies, (sightseeing or hiking if you’re RVing are in this category too) etc. And some people need to stay what I would call productively busy, which includes things like working or volunteering, volunteering, learning new skills, creating something, etc.
As a full-timer, it can at times be harder to stay busy or productively busy depending on what location you’re camping in and what your budget looks like, but it’s not impossible – you’ll just need to learn to factor it into your plans as you travel. Most new full-timers have the opposite problem of trying to treat full-timing like a vacation and they try to stay too busy, and either run out of energy or money to keep up that pace. If you’re on the road long enough, eventually you’ll find out what pace works best for you through trial and error.
As for the loneliness side of things, I wrote a very detailed two-part blog post about this a couple years ago, and it’s still one of my most popular articles to date. It talks about how RVing communities differ from stationary ones, how different people require not only different amounts of human contact, but different types of contact, and of course, how to keep from getting lonely. http://www.interstellarorchard.com/2013/06/14/how-to-avoid-loneliness-as-a-solo-full-time-rver-pt-1/
Sue asks the second question of the day: Becky, I would like to know how/why you named your blog Interstellar Orchard.
When I was a teenager, I drew a picture to use as a backdrop for a chat room I had. The picture featured glowing green trees against a night sky full of planets. Interstellar Orchard came to me as the name of the piece as I was finishing it, and it stuck around as the name of the chat room too – which only existed for a year or so.
Much later, I deliberated long about what I should call this blog. It seemed like all the catch-words that could be related to RVing (road, driving, wheels, adventure, travel, etc.) had already been used by one blog or another, so I decided to go a completely different direction and pick a name that had nothing to do with RVing but which would be odd and unique enough that it would stand out. Once I decided on that route, reviving the Interstellar Orchard name was the obvious choice.
The artwork that inspired the name Interstellar Orchard is lost to time, but here’s the last digital drawing I ever made, I called it “On Dragon Wings”. For the signature in the corner, RMS stands for Rebecca “Mejina” Schade. I use RS instead of BS for my initials for obvious reasons, and Mejina was my online pseudonym for many years. Fun fact: I got Photoshop in 2001 as a gift not to edit photos, but to make stuff like this. It wasn’t until I started blogging many years later that I put the program to it’s original use.
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