A&A Setting Routines During Long-Term Stays | RV Living
End of Week #49
Gualala River Redwood Park, Gualala CA
Miles traveled since last week's post = 0
Total miles traveled to date = 7,955 with trailer
And just like that we have already been in Gualala for going on 2 weeks! The time is going by both really fast and really slowly at the same time, and it's hard to believe we are already into May. Quite honestly, we haven't done a whole heck of a lot since last week's update, but we did go on a road trip north one day to a town called Ukiah to go to Costco. The drive there was the most twisty-turny experience we have ever had and I even got really nauseous and dizzy from it. It was such a crazy experience we have vowed to drive to a different town next time to avoid that route. Later that same night we also had our first bonfire and the neighbors came over to enjoy it with us. Other than that we have been going for some walks, we went 'slug hunting' the other day after it rained, I have been going to the beach area a lot to soak up sun and Adam has been putzing around the maintenance yard here to help with various things.
Fingers crossed, but we are hoping this is our last full week of complete nothingness before things start to ramp up here. And now that we are fully settled in it is a perfect time to start to focus on new routines and daily habits to prepare us for a more comfortable long term stay.
Setting Routines During Long-Term Stays
When we are on the go-go-go all the time we do things a lot differently than when we are stationed somewhere for a long term stay. From what we set out and set up inside and outside the RV, to our routines and habits each day - it all varies depending on how long we are planning to stay in one spot. We like to make things as easy and comfortable as we can but when we are only going to be in a location for a matter of a few nights it just doesn't make sense to put certain things out or get into certain routines.
Having now done a few full month stays in Texas, a 2 month stay in Arizona and preparing for a 4+ month stay in California, we are getting pretty well versed in what it takes to prepare for a long-term stay. We understand that certain routines are necessary to maintain a sense of structure and productiveness in the day, and certain individual hobbies and joint adventures are crucial to keep the excitement going strong.
When we are setting up to stay somewhere for longer than a week's time we will do a lot of things differently in setting up the RV. In relation to the outdoors, we will set out our rug, pull out the lawn chairs, sometimes stretch out the awning, and even open up the grey tank so we can take endless showers without filling up the reserves. Indoors we will take things out of the cupboards, such as all my office supplies and books, all of our kitchen supplies for comfortable living such as the coffee, the knives set, the supplements and our hot sauces. I will untie the kitchen chairs from the table and take out all the extra cat toys. We will also pull the TV out (although we have absolutely zero TV channels here in Gualala), plug in the dehumidifier, setup the xbox, and use some actual dishes instead of just paper plates every day.
We also do our best to implement habits of going to bed earlier at night and get up earlier in the morning with the rising light (when we can see it), do a full haul of laundry every 2 weeks, and clean out the van from the last run of travels.
Duties & chores
Simple things like who makes the coffee in the morning, who cooks breakfast and dinner, who cleans the cat litter box, and who cleans the human poop tank are all divided chores and ultimately are always done by the same person. We like to get into a routine of who does what, and how often they do it, so we can form "normal life" structures in our mobile life on the road. For example, we set a day of the week for emptying the tanks, certain nights of the week that a lot of effort isn't put into cooking, days of the week to clean, and so forth. About once a week Adam will still check into all of the RV related components in checking the tire pressures, checking our levelness to see if we have shifted at all, checking the roof, and looking for anything else abnormal or out of place.
It's not always easy in every location because of different environments, but we also try to get into habits to take the cats for walks a few times a week to get them outside and moving, and we switch off on things like dishes and emptying the garbages.
Meals & exercise
Since we have always eaten a large majority of all our meals at the RV (and now especially), we try to get into routines of what meals we are having and set them up on rotation so we don't get sick of any one thing. I like to plan out a weeks dinners mentally in my head and toss around ideas with Adam, and we try to switch up breakfasts from home cooked spreads to just a bowl of cereal some days too. We try to keep things like pasta more to once every week or two and we get creative with different ways to eat chicken to make it more exciting. It really helps that we have an air fryer and can cook a lot of food in so many different ways!
During "normal times" (whatever normal is anymore) we try to break up the week with 2-3 different hikes, both to explore a new area and also for some cardio exercise in the mountains. Since a majority of all places are closed where we are now, we try to go for walks outside in the RV park and I try to also get in a habit of doing my own workout outside at least 5 days a week. Now that we are somewhere safe for a longer stay, without a threat of bears, wind, or mosquitos (they sprayed last week, woohoo!), I also want to start to get back into running a few times a month or even once a week. Running used to be a huge part of my life and while on this RV journey I have never consistently gotten back into it either because of weather, animals nearby, or due to not staying somewhere for a long enough period of time to scope out a route and get going with it.
I recently shared a post about what it's like to live full-time with your spouse (especially during quarantine) so as you may already understand and realize - it's important for us to have space and boundaries alone, and together! We each like to set up habits and routines that we can do individually and then have some things to do together as well.
Typically I like to get up earlier than Adam, I work on my blog and my online business and participate in team calls and what have you. Adam likes to connect online with friends and play video games and does outdoor work wherever we are - specifically here he is helping with things in the park and spent some time working on our RV. I like to read books and write, and he likes to watch videos and podcasts on his phone. I do workouts outside and we each will go for walks alone (and sometimes together) too. At night we often will spread separate ways and I will watch something in the bedroom and he will watch something out in the living room.
We like to ensure we do something together at least once a week, in terms of like going for walks together or watching a show together one night (when we have service).
Just as it's important to get into individual routines, it's still important to go on adventures together during long term stays as well. We like to try to do some sort of outdoor adventure together a few times a week, although in moving to Gualala we are more so shooting for once a week now. Adventures we go on together include canoeing, hiking, exploring new cities and towns, previously we would go to happy hours, or even events and social hours at the various campgrounds we stay at. When we can we also like to have a bonfire and mingle with our neighbors (and coworkers).
Nowadays adventures can even mean venturing out to the post office or the grocery store too, and we are okay with that as it still gets us out of the "house", breaks up a long day, and gives us some sort of new experience. During all that is going on in the world we are challenged to be more creative in our adventure ideas, but we aren't giving up on it - there is still always something out there to do or see.
Being set up in one place for a longer amount of time gives us a sense of "normalism" again in our lives. It makes us feel again like we are the same as our friends and family, even if we are living life in much more unconventional way. It makes us feel more connected to others and like we have something in common and that we can relate to them with. This will be even more so true now since we will be doing a job with our workamping positions and having the work schedule routine will help to allow all of the other routines in our life fall into place too.
It's hard to really say what I like better - routine, or constant adventure, as I often crave them both from time to time. But the best part about it all is none of it is permanent in our way of living. We can do routines and jobs for awhile and we can do constant adventure and travel from place to place for awhile, and neither of them have to hold us down, tie us up, or constituite how we spend the rest of our lives. We have the freedom to choose, the freedom to recommit and redecide at any given time, and we have the freedom to change our minds about what we like best!
Next week's post will be a life updates for the end of week number 50, to include status updates on our summer workamping job, what we have been up to, and anything else going on in our lives right now!
*Currently under construction and paused at this time.*