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“As a single woman; don't you have fears of full time RVing?” I get asked this question a lot about being afraid to RV by myself as a single woman traveling all over North America.
I guess it's understandable that people might ask me this question as women can be perceived as not being able to handle themselves in tough situations. Maybe traveling alone as a single woman isn't the norm and one who also drives a 25 foot Class B RV.
Fears of Full Time RV Living
I'm not gonna lie. I was nervous in the beginning and had so many questions floating around in my head about diving into this foreign lifestyle.
- Protection on the road
- Learning an entirely new lifestyle that I've never done before
- Driving a 25 foot RV around the nation
- Fearful of how to take care of an RV
- Dumping the black tank for the first time and dousing myself with sewer waste
- All the unknowns of Rving
- Being by myself if I got stuck
- Staying out in the wild boondocking for the first time with nobody around
Then there's the whole aspect of wondering if I'll be lonely and am I just isolating myself more by RVing. This fear couldn't be farther from the truth. The fact is – I'm more social now than I ever was when I lived in a neighborhood.
There's a whole RVing community out there that is truly incredible and supportive.
RV Living as a Single Woman?
I unfortunately allowed fear to overcome me a year before I actually purchased the RV.
At the time I was renting a very small, 480 sq foot apartment in Seattle, Washington when my cousins and I had some conversations about RVing. At the time they were very interested in this lifestyle and possibly making the leap themselves.
We even visited RV dealers and RV shows to find out what was out there and decide on the best RV for each of us. They would have their own RV and I would have mine and then we would travel together.
That felt very comfortable to me.
But then they decided they would rather stay in their home and were not going to purchase an RV.
This is where I let fear grab a hold of me. I didn't give RVing a second thought to even do it on my own when they decided to not purchase an RV. I was too scared to do it by myself which is so unlike me. I've always been adventurous and forward thinking with independence and doing things on my own without waiting for others.
This kind of fear was new to me. RVing as a single woman?
So I purchased a home, brand new and had it built just north of Seattle. Literally the day I moved in I was thinking of RVing. It tugged at my heart and entered my thoughts daily! I couldn't stop thinking about it.
Facing my Fears of Full Time RVing
Here's the thing – I wasn't going to let fear get in the way of my dream. I've been dreaming about RVing for so many years while I'm young and not waiting until traditional retirement ages to fulfill my dream.
So fast forward a year into owning my home – I just couldn't let go of the dream. It consumed me. Yet I was nervous and still fearful of RVing on my own.
There's a saying that I've come to practice in my life:
“You're greatest success is on the other side of fear.”
Think about that. There are times that we are fearful to make a decision, to take the next step, to challenge ourselves, to fulfilling a goal – a dream.
Maybe our fear is of the unknown. Maybe the fear comes from a place of not trusting ourself or others. Maybe the fear is coming from a place of making the wrong decision.
What will people think of you if you try and fail?
But what if you try and succeed?
What if you still push through that fear and come out on the other side stronger, excited about meeting your goal, more fulfilled, more engaged in life, and enjoying your accomplishment?
I'll give you an example on how I really came to understand how pushing through the fear allows me to see so much beauty on the other side of that fear.
When I was traveling through the mountains up some pretty steep terrain, knowing there would be a descent at some point that would test my ability to keep the RV at a steady pace without using the brakes (so I didn't burn them up all the way down the mountainside), I was very nervous and fear gripped me.
There were areas in Lake Tahoe where there was literally no guard rail and some extremely winding roads around the lake and I would have loved to have turned around; however there was no place to turn around. I just had to keep going.
But guess what?
I pushed through, heart beating fast, palms sweaty, but I was rewarded with the most spectacular views I'd ever seen in my life. A beauty so raw, so exquisite that it made all those fears melt away and filled my heart with such joy and fulfillment.
I overcame those fears in the mountains.
What Does Pushing Through Fear Look Like
You can have MANY great successes, but you'll never know unless you push through that fear.
Pushing through fear can be still taking baby steps towards your dream goal. You don't always have to go big. Small consistent steps is crucial sometimes.
Pushing through fear can look like you being nervous, palms sweating, not thinking clearly, but still taking action toward your dream.
It can be having a knot in your stomach at moving forward, but knowing that knot would be worse if you didn't even try.
Deciding to push through is the hardest part. Deciding takes courage and it takes the willingness to overcome these challenges which I call opportunities for growth.
So here's what I did. I asked myself what would happen if I never RV'd.
I knew I would be regretful if I didn't take this opportunity when nobdoy would go with me.
I had to do it on my own.
I wasn't going to wait for somebody to show up and hold my hand.
So I decided instead to hold my own hand.
Life on the Other Side of Fear
I started looking for the RV. I talked to my realtor to sell my house that I'd only purchased a year ago and then think about selling all my belongings.
Literally in the same day, I purchased the RV and put the house up for sale.
Then the next two days I felt the worst stomach pain I'd ever felt in my life from the stress of what I just did.
It scared me.
I constantly challenge myself to listen to my body, listen to my gut for what the truth is so how could my stomach be in knots from stress if this was the right decision for me?
Turns out – it's normal and caused from a huge life change and the volume of work that needed to be done to move into the RV not to mention the pressure I put on myself to sell every little item and save as much money as possible from selling everything.
A fellow RVer challenged me to only sell the large items and then put everything else in a garage sale and anything left over would go to Goodwill. Once I took on that challenge and changed my thinking of all the things that needed to be done to move out of the house, I started to feel better and my stress went away.
I now had an action plan.
My house sold in four days and I had 30 days to sell everything and move out. It was a crazy 30 days, but the day I rolled out of the drive way in my RV and into my new life of full time RVing – I was happy and excited and fulfilling a dream.
I was on the other side of fear and it felt so good!
I will tell you – I've never looked back and don't regret my decision for a minute. I'm the happiest I've been in my life and so glad I pushed through that fear and came out on the other side.
It's not to say that challenges don't still happen – like traversing mountain ranges with steep descents or getting my RV stuck in a ditch.
Many have said how courageous I am to get into full time RV living as a single female, but all I know is that I feel pretty ordinary with maybe just enough strength and independence to go after my dreams no matter the circumstances.
I had a dream. I envisioned that dream. I achieved that dream. I am living that dream.
I know that if I can do this – anybody can. You can.
What is your dream? What do you want to accomplish? Leave me a comment below.
Video/Audio Equipment Used
Panasonic Lumix G85 Camera – For most still images and vlogging
Joby Gorillapod – Used for holding the cameras as a tripod or mounting to just about anything to capture a shot.