• sparkfireswan

A&A Navigating Relationships While Full-Time RVing

Updated: Jan 13

End of Week #21


Pikes Peak RV Park, Manitou Springs CO > Summerlan RV Park, Raton NM


Miles traveled since last week’s post = 169


Total miles traveled to date = 3,934 with trailer


Surprise! We are in New Mexico, ha! We did not originally plan to enter New Mexico at all until into the new year 2020, but last minute we decided to switch up our travel plans for our route to head south. [We are constantly adjusting and making decisions we feel are best for us overall.] After a lot of research into southeastern Colorado, we just could not justify going that route and camping out in over expensive RV parks for a handful of days without anything really nearby to “do”. So here we are! It took us 3 tries to find a place to stay the past few days, as the first spot we went to had ZERO cell service, and the second spot was … a bit sketchy!


Tomorrow we will head a little further south, near the New Mexico and Texas border, before making our way into Texas officially next Sunday. It’s insanely windy here and has been getting down to the low 20’s at night, and we are hoping Texas offers relief in a lot of ways! [Aside from the terribly severe weather and tornadoes that struck there last night!]

Every single thing that we do, and every decision we make, has some overall effect on our relationship together – whether it teaches us how to compromise, teaches us how to open up to new information we didn’t know before, or teaches us a new perspective about what the best decisions even are. This week’s topic is all about navigating our relationship with one another, but also with our close family and friends that we had to “leave behind” to “see them later” in Minnesota.


A&A Navigating Relationships While Full-Time RVing


Relationships are no walk in the park, (and I’m sorry but if you think that then you are in for a rude awakening in life). You have to put in the work, both in your romantic relationships and with those you love in your circle of family and friends. Even with your coworkers or people you meet along the way in life – there is always a give and a take involved and nothing should ever be expected to be one sided.


Oftentimes in my “old life” I used to find myself on one side of a relationship, always giving, giving, giving and ending up left empty inside as I’ve given all I can give. I’ve learned a LOT over the past 10 years of my adult life of how to better navigate that energy, how to set personal boundaries and practice more self care and self love to help ensure I’m never left depleted again. But it can be HARD to do – especially when it comes to toxicity in life that you’re conditioned to tolerate – such as that with family or with a job. Taking major strides to set up boundaries in otherwise uncomfortable situations is life changing, but it takes a lot of self worth to make that leap into a better life.


I’ve left toxic jobs because I did not want to tolerate that type of frequency in my life anymore. I’ve left toxic friendships, relationships – you name it. Not everyone will agree with you when you make these choices or when you put up boundaries in your life, but usually those who don’t were either the ones overstepping your boundaries in the first place, or they are also dealing with their own issues of toxicity in their life and they are projecting their unhappiness onto you because you decided to make a change.


Regardless of any of our own personal journeys through relationships in our life, it’s hard to say that any one thing can prepare you for what it is like to uproot your entire life into a small mobile space, and spend every waking second with someone you’re in a relationship with! Absolutely, without a doubt, it will change you. It will also change your relationship. But the key is to make sure that those changes are for the BETTER, and for the overall growth of both of you, TOGETHER.


A&A relationship(s) in our “old life”


Adam and I have been navigating our relationship together for almost 10 years (next June 2020!) We have lived together for almost 9 of those 10 years, over the course of 4 different townhomes and now a travel trailer. After spending almost your entire 20’s with someone, arguably the most transformational years of your young adult life, it goes without question that you have grown together in some way. I feel like in many ways, we have been through it all – the good, the bad, the ugly, and the ultimate. We were in a quite perfect stage of our “old life” together, and had a lot of routines in place, were well established in our lifestyle, our household and our hobbies. Without sounding like a weirdo, in a lot of ways I always viewed us as a power couple. We had a tight knit group of friends that we spent time with, we were close to our family, and we made it a priority to travel and do the things that mattered most to us.


We were very happy. 


BUT, in our “old life” we also worked mostly opposite schedules, had a lot of time to ourselves to recharge or do things separately, and overall that has been one of the biggest changes to our new life in an RV.


Spending time together 24/7


NOW, we are spending every waking second together – including Saturdays (which Adam worked damn near every single one of for almost our entire relationship!) We are eating every meal together, doing every activity together, and dealing with every household issue together. It was a huge change!


I couldn’t ever have imagined in all our years of dating that we would ever get to this magical point to get to spend so much quality time together. It was such a fantastic change. But also just like anything, I think now we are at a point where we try to also include more self time for each of us, to recharge, and do our own activities that make us happy, and that the other person necessarily wouldn’t want to partake in.


Now of course we have limited space to “get away”, but we have already made perfect use of the space we do have. Adam has his spot in the living room where he will use his headphones and listen to his videos or play his games. I have my spot in the office where I will write and do my own entrepreneurial work. We also have the luxury of the bedroom space, somewhere where someone can camp out to be in another room. And when we are in nice climates with happy weather, we have the added luxury of the entire great outdoors to hang out in, and it always makes me happy to go outside and do my workouts.


What are our strengths separately & together?


Amanda | The planner, the organizer, the travel guide. The writer, the digital nomad & entrepreneur, the ‘clean freak’. The financial planner and budget tracker. The list maker, milestone tracker, and social media poster. The adventurer, cat babysitter & litter box cleaner, and reminder of important dates and everyone’s birthdays (you’re welcome). Dishwasher (but Adam helps too).  Professional water boiler for coffee and popcorn maker. Handler of all things inside the RV on moving days. Route navigator.


Adam | The realist, the weatherman, the handyman. The ‘get down and dirty’ man with the RV, the one who understands how everything works and why it works that way. The problem solver, the COOK, the social butterfly who handles talking to everyone in person at every RV site we go to (ha!) The one who always says, “you can go first”. The jokester, the car guy, the technical guy. Professional fire starter. Professional backpack carrier while hiking. The one who goes out in the cold to flip propane tanks for us when we run out. Handler of all things outside the RV on moving days. Driver. Gas filler-upper.


Together | The ability to compromise, to equally distribute the ‘workload’ and RV duties. Together we typically agree on most ideas by the other person, and always entertain what the person has to say. We each do things to help the other person out, and our RV family as a whole. When one person is not in it to win it for the day, the other person always steps up to help make things happen. We give and we take, and we do our best to help each other thrive along the way. And we each put away our own laundry and help make the bed every day! #Winning


What do we fight about?


In more ways than not, we are thriving at this new lifestyle, but I also don’t want to sugarcoat it as it IS a big change for anyone and for any relationship. We may have found ways this works best for us, but that unfortunately is not just going to be the case for every relationship out there. Life on the road can get lonely, and crammed, and triggering for anyone!

When I tell you the things you fight about most, you might laugh or chuckle at how silly they seem. But that is also my point! In the grand scheme of things, everything is great! However, considering both of our headstrong, feisty personalities – there will also always be something that comes up too. It’s how you learn and grow!


  1. What to have for dinner – Honestly it’s a daunting task to figure out, ha! I’ve wrote about this before. Adam likes heavier, more filling meals filled with meat, carbs and cheese. And I like more lighter meals filled with vegetables (and the occasional sweets at night). Dinner can be difficult to navigate, but we always work out a plan that suits both of us in some way.

  2. Hiking – What do I mean? Well, sometimes my head will be a little too far in the clouds, quite literally wanting to climb to the top of EVERY single mountain peak we find, every day we have time to do it. And Adam is more grounded on the center of earth and realistic to the terms of what kind of gravel roads are we driving to get to these hikes and what are we putting our Frank the Tank lifeline through to get to these hikes. He also understands that rest is important and hiking 10 miles every day isn’t reasonable for everyone. I on the other hand, would aspire to hike 10 miles every single day, at least until I do the first few and realize how tired I am…

  3. Where to stay next – On occasion, we will disagree on the next best place to camp, whether that is because of the “vibe” from the website, reviews we have read, or the surrounding area. We try to be as safe as possible, but also as thrifty as possible, and once in awhile this can cause disagreements on what is best. Usually to resolve this someone either compromises once hearing the other person out, or we pick somewhere new entirely.


  1. Routes to take to get to the next destination – Typically, again to my head in the clouds nature, places I would desire to go to (as I have primarily been in charge of picking locations) would involve crazy steep mountainous roads to get there. This can cause stress in our relationship as we have to decide to either go somewhere different all together or we have to find a different longer route to get there.

  2. Where to park the RV/parking it faster – This was more of a “problem” in the beginning, as we were still getting used to everything and our own processes for setting up. Most of my anxiety would stem around getting things set up faster because of the cats and wanting to get them out of the van ASAP. However other anxiety and stress can be caused by long hot days driving and wanting to finally just BE somewhere and set up. Personally, I think this is something we have overcome, however it was still worth mentioning!

  3. Cleaning – Now this is something that we probably also fought about in our old life, as we had a huge townhome to manage, but nowadays it’s more like – “oh you made a mess cooking that dinner” (me being a little bit feisty) and then I’m really not THAT mad and I just quickly clean it up as it only takes 5 minutes since our kitchen is so much smaller… PLUS it comes with the understanding that I might clean a lot of the indoor stuff, but Adam cleans ALL the outdoor stuff, including the poop tube EVERY single time we need to dump it…


Now, you might be shocked that this is our top “fight causing list”, or maybe you were expecting something else, but this is really all there is to it folks! What on earth can there be to fight about when you are living in a mobile home that takes you anywhere you want to go, hiking and RVing your way across the country, and seeking a lifestyle of total financial and location freedom??? If there is more to fight about then you are doing it wrong my friends! You have to ENJOY the simple pleasures in life, and this is really it!


How as this experienced allowed us to learn and grow from each other?


The better question probably is how has this NOT allowed us to learn and grow from each other??? 


We have learned SO MUCH on how to navigate difficult conversations, compromise, communicate effectively, overcome fear, doubt, and anxiety. We have dived into the unknown together and completely 100% relied on each other to get through it. We problem solve together, we fully embrace every experience together, and ultimately we grow together.


None of what we are doing would be possible without the other person. We have each brought SO MUCH to the table to help make this dream possible and to help make this lifestyle a reality. I don’t think a day goes by without some sort of lesson or opportunity to better understand each other and to learn how to live this life more effectively – thus creating more happiness for us both too!


Navigating relationships with close family & friends


This one can get tricky, as it’s just as new for us is it is for everyone in our lives. We have never had to navigate this distance before, and we really have never gone this long without seeing so many people we care so much about. Things intensify lately, as we are navigating dealing with deaths in our families, and preparing for what it will be like with the upcoming holidays.


It’s definitely not the easiest transition to adjust to, but it’s something that DOES get easier with time and we look forward to the times when we will be able to have visits from those we care about most. [We also look forward to the opportunity to check in and see everyone we love next fall when we hope to make our way back through Minnesota again!]


The key thing to note here is that we have an absolutely outstanding circle of people in our life, who love us and support us and this journey we are on. We stay connected in anyway we can, and we know that even if we are hundreds of miles apart – we still have people we can count on when we need it most.


Preparing for the future


With our future being mostly unknown to us as to how it will turn out, #DestinationUnknown, it can make it harder to know how to best navigate our relationships with family and friends. It provides more difficulty in knowing how we will best show up for them when they need it most, or how we will best maintain certain close key relationships with others.


We do know, however, that those that mean the most to us will always be in our lives to support us and guide us in some way or another, and us to them. We will always find new ways to see each other, touch base, and check in on each others lives.


Thank goodness for the technology in this day in age, allowing us to check in with everyone via text, phone calls, video calls, social media, and whatever else there is out there – daily.

Just remember, WE LOVE YOU ALL DEARLY. And miss you all the time! And we are just doing our best to pave our own paths in life and to live a life of freedom and opportunity!


NEXT WEEK:


Believe it or not, but I’m not entirely sure what I want to talk about next week yet – and I’m bouncing back and forth between a few ideas. So for basically the first time ever, next week will have to be a surprise for you all! 🙂


Do you follow along every week and have specific questions or topics you want me to discuss?? If so, please comment your ideas on this blog post or send me an email at: sparkfireswan@gmail.com. You can submit your questions or ideas anonymously if you’d like, otherwise if I choose your idea I will feature you in the blog post!


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For more reviews, content, and other adventures, be sure to follow me on Instagram at Spark Fire Swan.

xoxo






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About Me

Hi, I’m Amanda. Thanks for visiting my page!

I was born & raised in St. Paul, Minnesota. I lived there for 30 years of my life, and always dreamed of warmer winters, mountains & palm trees, and life outside of what I always knew. 

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