How to prepare for remote living

Before hitting the road in our 1987 Toyota motorhome, I read dozens of articles to prepare myself for the road. What problems can I expect to run into? How to live in a 100 square-ft space with my partner? How much money should I save up beforehand? The list goes on. I am a quintessential type-A person and must know all of the risks presented to me in order to feel comfortable diving into something like this. No matter how many articles I read, nothing could really prepare me for life on the road. Today I’ll be sharing the information I wish I knew before full-time remote life.

Creating a routine is hard

I had this idea that now that I have the freedom to roam wherever I please, I will spend my mornings waking up with 10-minutes of journaling, a 30-minute vinyasa flow, and an acai bowl. I thought that because I no longer had my usual responsibilities like my corporate job and tending to a house, I would have more time for other, slower-paced habits. Boy, was I wrong. I learned pretty quickly that because I didn’t have these habits when I started the journey, it was much more difficult to develop them when my lifestyle was no longer stationary. Let me explain. Some mornings we would wake up with the sun and I did have the opportunity to journal and stretch. While other mornings we’d remember that our composting toilet was out of peat moss so we couldn’t go number two in the RV. So instead of having an easy morning full of reflection and wellness, we’d have to pack up everything, get dressed, and find the nearest gas station.

What I didn’t think about before leaving was that any habits I have now will carry over to my new, less structured life. Because I didn’t journal every morning prior to starting van life, I didn’t develop that habit easily on the road.

Now, if you already are in the habit of going for runs most mornings, it is totally possible to incorporate this into your everyday life while living remotely. If you wake up most mornings and meditate for 20 minutes, you can find the time and space to continue this habit. But, it is difficult to develop these habits when there are outside factors you’re not used to dealing with when living in a home with all of your necessities.

Communication is key

This one goes out to all of my fellow people who travel with their partner(s). I love my husband, more than pretty much everyone on this planet. However, traveling in a small, not-so-reliable 30-year old RV does not come without hardships. Any sort of miscommunication or argument could quickly get out of hand because we’re both exhausted from a shitty night’s sleep at the truck stop, or grumpy that our plans changed because the RV needs something fixed. We learned quickly that small arguments should be squashed immediately. We’ve been together for a very long time and are well-seasoned with moving on. If something bigger is brewing beneath the surface, it’s important for us to make the time and discuss it.

Don’t forget to budget

Most people who plan on uprooting their lives and traveling full-time understand how important it is to budget. One thing I wish I knew prior to transitioning to full-time remote living is that life on the road is more expensive than you may assume. While it’s nice to not have a rent or mortgage, a typical expense for your RV/van, gas, and lodging can be comparable. If you plan on traveling sans a car, airplane tickets, hotels/Airbnbs, ubers, etc. can also add up.

My biggest piece of advice is to cut out the things you no longer need. Do you go to bars/breweries regularly? Swap these outings out for grabbing a $10 bottle of wine and watching the sunset. Do you order takeout frequently? Try to cook at home more than you’re used to. These daily changes and sacrifices add up and can make this lifestyle more affordable.

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