I can’t believe I never finished our last series (click here) about our first automobile road trip after we stopped RVing. For some reason, it’s harder to blog now that we live back in a sticks and bricks home….I have a draft blog started on the end of that road trip which stopped with us traveling through Indiana. I just have to select the pictures and finalize it. And as usual, I have an abundance of photos. Hopefully, I’ll finish it one day as it includes a stop with a tour of the State Capitol. In the meantime I am compelled to write an update.
So how is life after full-timing? Hummm that’s the million dollar question. We just spent three weeks on our second automobile trip this year – so things are fresh in my mind. The main thing is that it is hard to really travel now with just the things we can remember to pack. We always forget something. It’s definitely an adjustment. Hopefully, I’ll be able to write more about how we are now doing it. We are planning a vacation back in the Smokey Mountains during the fall color changes….
The PROS of our new lifestyle:
We really like our new hometown, Myrtle Beach! Everything about it: We found a great church, really like our house, we have GREAT neighbors, our neighborhood is perfect for us, we’re only three miles from Myrtle Beach State Park with what we think is the best beach on the Carolina’s coast, shopping is convenient, and good weather – we’ve now hit the year around weather mark! Except for the periodic hurricanes and we are used to that from our 10 years in Florida. (As I finished writing this today, we were in the midst of Hurricane Dorian. Thankfully, we were only subject to some high winds and rain.)
The bonus is how much our daughter, son-in-law and grandsons like it here. We all do wish it was just a bit closer for long weekend trips. They were able to spend Easter week here as it was the Spring break for our oldest grandson’s school. And then they came back for a four day weekend over Memorial Day. It helped that they left the boys here for two months….
Bill is especially happy having meaningful projects around the house and yard. These seem more of an “investment” as they help maintain or improve the value of our home. And he has the projects even though our house is brand new. Go figure….Here is a slide show to highlight a few of his projects. Double click to enlarge and read the captions, otherwise you can just scan through them:
We’re just now starting to establish our new “lifestyle.” We closed on our house on February 1 – after only deciding mid December to sell the RV and buy a home. Our lives then became consumed with furniture shopping and all the paraphernalia that goes with a house. We had sold everything, thinking we would travel for about 10 years….Oh well. The house we bought was brand-new, but customized for someone else. They didn’t take the house to closing for undisclosed reasons. Bill has put all his own touches on it as he personalizes our house. That became a number of time consuming projects. And of course, we wanted the house to be as livable as possible by Easter – when we needed our two guest bedrooms ready!
- After Easter, we had about a month before their return, so we had to finish a few more projects to really make our grandsons enjoy our home. Actually, Bill finished them. I was his go-fer and occasionally a third arm.
- We did take them on a short trip to their home the end of June – for us to attend Bill’s mom’s funeral service. So we had this sad event since we stopped RVing. We really loved all our travels to and from Illinois to spend time with his mom and other family there.
- Then we drove our grandsons back home on July 31, 2019. We had them just over two months. So while here, I became a volunteer in the 3 year old Sunday School class at our church. It was the only way I could get Bryce in there! And I loved it. So guess what I’m now going to be doing? Yep, a volunteer in the 3 year old Sunday School class. I miss those hugs from our grandsons….
Our adjustment so far has been pretty good. But once the boys left, I did feel a real hole in my life. Bill, not so much as he really ramped up his yard work projects. So far, it’s really been just maintenance. One good thing about our neighborhood is that we all have lawn service so there is a uniformity to our yards. All appear to be well-maintained. BUT for Bill’s standards, they don’t do enough or often enough. The last tool he just bought was a 20″ Worx electric mulching lawn mower! He’s admired a few yards that are really thick and green – and guess what? The owners mow the yards themselves. Bill has always had one of the best yards on the block….somethings never change as he now competes to get his yard up to his standard!
The Cons to our new lifestyle:
Here is the hard part – we absolutely loved living in an RV full time with our travels dedicated to hiking while we traveled between our family in Virginia, Florida and Illinois. It just suited us. We are VERY compatible so living in 400 square feet with one automobile suits us. We are continuing to live with only one car. So far so good.
Living in a house is more complicated. There is so much more to maintain. Neither of us enjoy shopping – and you have to shop a lot for a new home and new lifestyle. That’s been the worst part about this year. We still need so many more things. So our place is pretty plain jane, except for Bill’s creative and attractive additions he’s made! Especially, the art work in our home which now reflects our lifestyle here in Myrtle Beach. Here is a slide show with a few pics to somewhat show the inside of our house, with and without our grandsons! So you can see some of Bill’s touches!
So our biggest con to moving to the beach, was it is so flat! What to do without the hiking? Well, the first good news is that we learned to take five mile long beach walks here! We started those five years ago. Every time we came, while it wasn’t on a mountain, we would get in those long walks, hitting 25 – 30 miles a week. That was good fuel burning exercise. BUT realistically, we knew we needed something more – we really needed to do some weight bearing exercises – while using hiking poles and going up and down mountains did some of that, we’re not sure we really could tell the benefit to our bodies.
This community has a fabulous clubhouse with a world class and state of the art exercise facility and a huge swimming pool. We really enjoy working out – although it’s still a learning process in a gym environment. I was known as a gym rat in my past life – I thrive there! And then, with the boys arrival, we bought bikes so now we’ve added bike riding to our exercise regimen. Bike riding by itself isn’t really a good fuel burner unless you put in the miles – more than a three mile leisurely ride around the neighborhood for example. We make sure we go at least seven miles (Bill actually took Colin on the same long bike route) and to not go slow, but at a good pace. After the boys left, we finally started doing what we had initially imagined – ride our bikes to and from the beach (the route could be as long as 9 miles or as short as 6 1/3 miles – depending on the route. Recently we added taking a walk on the beach once we get there. That is really our ideal. And now, our ideal week is three days of a long bike ride coupled with a beach walk of at least three miles and then three days in the fitness center.
We never thought a con to a lifestyle in a sticks and bricks home would be the challenges of socializing in groups. I’m not sure at what point we became very fussy about what restaurants we would eat in. But after Bill’s heart scare, we were even worse. Guess what you do when you live in a social neighborhood and when you are back to being an active member of a local church? So much is centered around eating. We didn’t see this one coming! In our RV lifestyle we pretty much just ate alone! Occasionally we’d have friends or family over and they knew to expect to eating off our dietary menu! No one has complained. But now we are challenged a few times a week with gatherings around food….We’re still trying to figure this one out.
Finally, I can only imagine the biggest question is the cost. Which lifestyle is cheaper? Believe it or not, they are about the same! We have heard this from other full time bloggers as well. We’ve now lived it enough to see that. You can definitely live cheaper either way. You just have to choose where to cut corners.
I will say that we did make a major mistake when we went full time. We had planned to go for 10 years. Had we done that, it would have been worth it not paying for the storage of our household goods. But we sold everything. So we virtually had to buy everything! That has been a much bigger expense than we imagined. But we do like the quality of everything we are buying. And we are going slow – as you can see, very little decor except the pictures.
We are still adapting. One thing Bill did say when we were deciding to sell our motorhome, “we have to continue to travel.” At least two to four weeks a year. So far, we’ve really had one two week road trip, with two short trips back up to Bill’s hometown. We have an 8 day trip upcoming. So this year is covered. I plan to cover more how we are now adapting to traveling in a car. Our issue is how to eat properly on the road. We think we have it figured out. At least for now, it’s worked out!
What questions might you have that we didn’t address?