Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Sabbatical Intro

Welcome to The RV Sabbatical Journal. My name is Thom Hoch. I live with Dar, my wife, and we’re planning to sell our home, most of our worldly possessions, buy a big ‘ol RV and become full-timers for a couple years. It sounds like a bit of a confession, doesn’t it? It sounds crazy, doesn’t it? And, at times, I feel like we should maybe join a support group (like, oh, RV’ers Anonymous?? or Full-timers Anonymous??) to set us straight… help us see the light and the errors of our ways… to guide us back to wanting a normal suburban life.
Why would anyone choose this lifestyle? Why voluntarily give up the security and comfort of a home that doesn’t self-destruct by hitting pot-holes in the road? Doesn’t sound right, does it?
I’ll be talking a lot about these questions, and more, in subsequent posts to this blog.
Perhaps, before I get into our answers for some of these questions, I should start out by explaining that our current circumstances are such that it’s “very” possible for us to do this:
  • > We’re empty-nesters. Both of our children are out of the house, have graduated from college, have good jobs in their field of study, and are making their way through their young lives in a way that makes a parent proud.
  • > We like each other. We have similar interests and philosophies. We’re each-other’s best friend. The desire to do this was developed jointly.
  • > We’re healthy. Considering what others have going on medically, we have great health, and have good health habits. As we age further, this may not always be the case.
  • > We’ve got a little money. Neither of us are “high maintenance”. We have always lived a reasonable upper-middle-class lifestyle, had nice houses in desirable communities, and generally didn’t spend money (often, at least) on too many “toys”. Cars, clothes, and exotic vacations aren’t what we lived for. We have some financial resources as a result.
  • > We’re done with the “rat-race”. We’ve found ourselves trapped in a mind-numbing comfort-zone cycle of work= money= consume= more work — the proverbial “rat race”.
  • > We’re aging, but still able. Passing age 50 is a mile-stone. I’m 55 as I write this, Dar a year younger. It may not affect everyone as it did us, but I believe most people at least pause to consider their mortality — life will come to an end, and that end is now closer than it was before. It’s obvious too, that people slow down physically in their 60’s and 70’s, and that many of them loose their desire to travel or seek adventure.
  • > We’re seeking adventure. It’s time to do something crazy — to spice up our lives. We’ve been extremely conventional during the past 30 years. Marriage, career, transfers, homes, cars, etc. Some people do crazy things during their teens or 20’s… I think we were very adult, “grown-up”, (like George Bailey in “It’s A Wonderful Life”… who was “born older” according to his father), and transitioned from college to adult life without much craziness in between.
So, the attitude is… If we’re going to do it, we’d better get on with it.