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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Comments

Bravo, my friend. Marilyn and I both cried reading your journal this morning. It brought back so much of the pain of losing our precious Kelly. But, we too are dancing, and loving every moment of it. I,ve said it before but I don't mind saying it again. Thank you Howard & Linda, for the inspiration to join the dance. Hugs, Ed & Marilyn

Amen, keep up the great work.

My friends,

I've been following your travels for a few months but have never posted anything.

I have always dreamed of full-time RVing, but, with two kids still in school who are reluctant to give up their social life's for the sake of Dad's adventure, my wife and I are putting it off until after they are in college (and then I think I'm going to have a hard time talking the wife into actually going through with it).

I just wanted to give you a heartfelt Thank You!!! for all that you provide not only to the RVing community but also to us wannabe's out here that dream of joining you someday.

It's so refreshing to read 'real' tips and advice from someone who is actually doing what they dream. Sure, you make mistakes along the way. Of course you may do something different than somebody else. But at least you're honest and not afraid to let us know what you're doing and how you're doing it.

So, once again, mucho gracias!

And amen again. When we first decided to RV (not full time yet), it never worked out on paper. According to our predictions etc., we could not afford it. I finally said to my DH, "let's just try it. We did - and it worked!! So, now we are contemplating full time, but my DH (again) is overly concerned about what we will do when we can no longer RV. So, being cautious, we will have that $$$ in the bank and not touch it under any circumstances. That unknown will be covered. Everything else is pretty much emotional. When asked by people what we would do differently, we say "start sooner".

Well said my friend, and may you two dance until your legs grow so tired they won't move. Some day I hope to join you on the dance floor.

Bob C.

Some of us are risk takers, some not. I have found that I am. Quitting a secure job I hated for one I knew wasn't "right" while a single mom and supporting two daughters, one in college. I jsut had to make a change. I feel the same way - sometimes you just have to dance.

Phyllis

Howard and Linda,

I was just catching up on your journal this morning and wanted to share this with you.

Nothing in life is certain. Things in life can happen at any moment, good or bad as we are learning. Even if life has different plans for us, we are still willing to try to make our fulltime-traveling dream a reality.

We are thankful that we have made it as far as we have. Our dream of fulltime travel may have to wait longer than the few years we had planed originally, but that is ok. Our faith in our dream is still strong and will continue to be strong. We would rather look back and know that we had tried, than not at all.

We have talked and met some amazing people like the two of you during our fulltime journey that we would have not met if we had not started the journey at all. That alone makes it worth it to us.

Memories may not pay the bills later, but those memories will defiantly make our short time on this earth mean more to us. Plus, following the dream may also lead to even better times as we get older. We won’t know for sure until we get there.

What we do know for sure is, we don’t want to sit around worrying about the "what ifs" and realize that it is too late.

So, we will keep the faith and continue to follow our fulltime RV dream and hope that we succeed as the two of you have. We will just have to pursue it at a little slower pace.

Howard and Linda keep doing what you do so well and that is “Dance”. Continue to teach others how to dance, also. We hope to be dancing right along with you in the near future using what you have taught us.

Never stop dancing!

Billie and Johnny
The Novice RVers

Full-timing is not for everyone, Howard, and you have said that on more than one occasion. If you are nervous about it and will worry too much about the "what ifs" then you need to seriously consider whether living life on "wheels" is for you. We are not all alike.

Your details about costs and reserves and what you would and wouldn't do really help those who need to know these things in order to make up their own minds. But again they have to make up their OWN minds, nobody can tell them what is right for them. And you have also said that on numerous occasions too.

I really doubt that anyone lies on their death bed wishing they had worked longer at their 9-5 job, or spent less time with the ones they loved, or saw less of this beautiful country they were so blessed to have as their "back yard". And whether they do it from a stick home or a home that has wheels for a foundation, it's all OK.

Those phrases from the songs are beautiful, notice they are all "country" songs? Another poignant one is by Reba McEntire, written shortly after her road manager and six members of her band were killed in a plane crash, "If I Had Only Known". It's a tear jerker that reminds you to cherish every minute you have.

Or as my unsentimental husband likes to say, "If you have one foot in yesterday and one foot in tomorrow, you are pissing on today!"

I can understand not wanting to overplan your future, but how about adjusting your figures for the inflation and depreciation that have ALREADY occurred over the last two years?

Howard, you are so right about taking risks. Everyone has to decide how much risk they are willing to take.

No matter what happens to us in the future, the last 6+ years have been so great that it will be worth it. We have never felt so free, and never dreamed that our lifestyle could be like this.

We know that everything could come to a halt one of these days, but then we'll start a new chapter, and look back on full-timing as one of the greatest things we ever did.

Nothing is certain in life.

Dan, Dan, Dan,

I'm just sitting here shaking my head. :)

Okay, I'll play along - again. :)

As inflation occurs, we adjust the budget. The budget CAN remain the same overall each year (at least for awhile) by changing how much is spent in various line items to account for inflation in other line items. So our numbers HAVE been adjusted for inflation the last two years.

Health insurance went up so we changed plans to keep premiums lower. Other insurance went up so we accounted for that and lowered the budget in other areas. Many expenses have gone up and we reduced expenses in other areas to offset them.

Inflation is trending at about 3% a year. Certainly, on a $30,000 budget we can make $900 worth of adjustments in our lifestyle each year - not forever, but for a good while. Also, not everything goes up. Some expenses come down, so there is room for give and take.

It's just simply not the case that you HAVE to take your budget and increase it every year for inflation. That's another societal myth. We have the freedom and the power to make adjustments in spending and lifestyle. If you are not willing to make those adjustments, then "yes" plan for inflation until you die. :)

As for depreciation, who cares? So our truck and RV are depreciating - there's a shocker. :) It's not like we are doing a net worth statement where we include all asset values. Nor are we counting on the value of non-cash assets to help pay expenses in the future.

Now, if you, like so many others, are concerned about depreciation in the sense that the value of depreciation for our truck and rig needs to be placed in an account so we have savings to replace them down the road, that has a little more relevance, but not much - not to us anyway.

As I have said often, WE don't see the need to put money aside for a new truck or rig. It would be nice to have enough income to do that, but it's not that important FOR US.

If we need a new rig or truck down the road, we'll figure it out. Who knows? We may have the income by then or we may stop full-timing by then.

Over and over and over I say it - full-timers are a resilient, resourceful bunch and they just figure things out. :)

Whew! Okay, with this comment on the comment and the Journal entry, maybe, just maybe, I won't have to address the inflation/depreciation questions anymore. But I doubt it. :)

Aloha, my friend. :)

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