As a society we attempt to regulate our lives by imposing the notion of time. We have a general idea how long we will live if we’re lucky. We chop our time up into years, months , weeks, days, hours and minutes. We get 15 minutes for coffee, an hour for lunch, we work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 2 days off, we get 2 weeks for holidays, every 3 months is a new season, every year we set new goals.
We have tried our hardest to regulate how long everything should take. Yet time remains intangible and highly flexible. It swirls and takes new shapes like an ever evolving mass of mystery.
I wonder why we try so hard to harness it?
9 months ago my husband and I changed our lives by closing our businesses, selling our home, and hitting the road in an RV to experience a nomadic life. It seems like such a short time ago that we started off on our adventure. People following along on our blogs say they cannot believe it’s been 9 months already. It seems so short.
But when I think of all the things we have done in the past 9 months, how many new things we have experienced, all the new people we have met, the beautiful places we have seen, there are enough memories to fill a decade.
People say time flies when you’re having fun, but I’m not so sure. It seems like such a short time ago we left Vancouver Island in our RV. But it seems like such a long time ago since we lived in the house and worked every day. But in reality, there were only 2 weeks in between those two things.
Now that my life is so full there is no turning back. It would be like time folding in on itself if I found myself once again wondering where the weeks and months went. With this life, I know where they went. They went into memories.
One thing that initiated this change was when I came to the end of a year and, reflecting as we do on New Year’s day, I could only think of a handful of memorable moments. A vacation, Christmas with the family, camping on a lake, going out boating, the time I saw the dolphins. That’s it. Everything else was just a blur of day in day out same stuff every day.
Look at these images. I made every one of these and many more all within one month and I remember every one of these special moments.
Of course there is a monetary cost to having this adventure and it cannot go on forever this way. Eventually we would run out of money. We are lucky to have been able to take one year to carelessly travel about. But we have met so many people that have made travelling into a lifestyle that we are certain we can too. This summer we will be back in BC to spend time with our families and work on starting up new businesses that we can run on a location independent basis.
For those of you who may be considering doing something like we have done, I have gathered up some hard numbers for you. If you haven’t already read the background, you might want to check out my 3 month and 6 month budget reports to see how I made the budget and the style in which we are travelling. The budget could be more or less depending on how you want to travel.
Here’s how it breaks down:
The “planned” column is the total budget allowance for ongoing expenses (not pre-trip expenses including buying the RV) for the full year and the “9 month” column represents 75% of the full amount since we are 75% of the way through the trip. The next column is what we have actually spent so far. A positive number in the difference column means we are under budget and a negative number means we are over budget.
Earlier in the trip we were over budget on the fuel since we travelled across the continent pretty quickly to get to the eastern provinces for the summer and we burned through a fair bit of the budget. Since mid-fall we have been moving much more slowly – shorter drives and longer visits in each place, so we are burning less fuel.
We’re a little over budget in camping. It cost more than expected for camping in the maritime provinces in Canada (everything was more expensive there – $7 for a gallon of milk!!). And we spend a week in the Florida keys at Christmas time which was $400 for one week. But it will all work itself out because camping is going to be super cheap in the Arizona and Utah desert on the way home.
We’re way under budget on food – food costs so much less in the USA.
We’re a little over in internet and cell mostly because we bought an awesome wifi antenna. I tell you the hardest part about all this travelling is internet access. I’m seriously considering buying a total satellite system if we are going to keep doing this.
We are way under budget in activities even though I put my lens rentals and new bicycles in this category. But we spend all of our time in parks and the national park passes cost us a whopping $80.
“Miscellaneous” – that’s a great category isn’t it? What happened there? My dog. He’s old. He ate carpet. Then he got geriatric vestibular disease (fortunately he fully recovered from that in a few weeks). Then he started coughing – I thought it was related to his heart disease and we saw a couple of vets and got some really expensive medication that made him vomit. Actually I’m kind of glad it made him vomit now because in the past few days he seems to be getting better and I would have thought it was the medication otherwise. I don’t know what to think now. Looking back it was the whole time we were in Texas. Is it possible he could have been allergic to Texas?
The other factor in the miscellaneous column is that I totally forgot to put anything in the budget for laundry. It costs us about $10 a week for laundry since we have our clothes, sheets, towels and dog blankets.
Then we get to ferry trips. Uh oh, not quite enough money left to get the RV back to Vancouver Island!
We’re over budget in truck and RV maintenance as I mentioned in the last budget report because we had to get the transmission rebuilt on Big Baby Blue – but that one I chalk up to bad planning. I should have put more money in the budget for that since we bought an older truck.
Finally, in the grand scheme of things, we are under budget by $3200!!! Yaayy!! That should almost pay for camping fees while we are in BC for the summer.
I find it interesting that when you look at a per person per day figure it works out to about $70 per day each. That is about the same amount backpackers spend travelling and staying in youth hostels. The difference, I think, is that they have to eat out and we are eating in most of the time. Not that one is better than the other, I loved my backpacking days too. But travelling in an RV can be just as cheap. We could probably do it for a lot less if we tried.
All I know is that it has been worth every penny and I would never regret spending the money for all the experiences we have had – not to mention the new perspective on life.