A&A Challenges Of Mobile Living (720 Days)
End of Week #103
Moose Hillock Camping Resort, Fort Ann, NY
Miles traveled since last week's post = 0
Total miles traveled to date = 14,491 with trailer
Another 2 months have gone by since our last Challenges of Mobile Living post, and we find ourselves in the opposite corner of the US than the last one. With each new journey, and each new destination, new things always come up that we have to learn how to adapt to, adjust to, and work through them!
While I'm happy to report there is nothing major taking place with us at this time, it doesn't mean there are not still things we are being challenged by. It just means we are doing well, staying healthy, staying safe, and learning more and more about life on the road as we go!
CHALLENGES OF MOBILE LIVING - 720 DAYS
I used to preface a lot before making these challenges posts, that by no means is this an opportunity for me to speak negatively about the life choices we have made to go nomadic. I am absolutely not implying that we are unhappy in our situations or that we wish for things to be any other way. I like to continue to write these posts every 2 months to keep it real with you - to shed light on the ups and the downs of full-time travel, living in a smaller space, and navigating life on the road. (Especially over the past year of this pandemic.) When it comes down to it, I do not have any complaints at all. I simply have before me, new opportunities to learn and grow in new places, while continuing to fine tune the lifestyle of my dreams.
With that being said, let's dive into the 720 day marker!
Starting a new workamping job
Just like starting any new job in life, workamping jobs are no different, and always come with their own set of challenges. Some of the things you have to deal with are obvious - you have probably never been to this location before, you don't know any of the people, you don't know how they run the business or what your specific job duties will be like, etc. But some of the challenges you are presented with are a bit more unpredictable, like what if I am not getting along with everyone the way I wanted to, what if I disagree with how they run their business, what if I don't like the area or the job as much as I had thought I would, etc...
For us, we have already changed our summer workamping commitments once, and have highly anticipated the summer in New York, so it's been even more challenging when we are here and are finding ourselves having a really hard time adjusting to things. Going into our second campground job, it's also been difficult not to sit here and compare this experience to the one we had last summer, as they are very different in a lot of ways! We find ourselves thinking about how the people were last summer, how we all got together a lot and felt like a family in the woods, about all the great amenities we had, about the beautiful rural northern California setting, and it's hard not to already have a biased opinion towards New York. Don't get me wrong, we absolutely LOVE this location in Upstate New York, and it is a place I could see myself exploring and returning to many times, but that doesn't always make it any easier when you don't exactly feel like you have the workamping "family" vibe you were looking for.
The great thing about this lifestyle is that a lot of what we do is temporary/seasonal, so there is always an end date, and if not we always have the power to make adjustments that we see fit - adjustments that we feel are best for us. We chose to live this way so we could make the most out of life, see the country, and do things that we love - not things that we don't, so we have to also keep that in mind with any experience we have. There is always something else we can do, somewhere else we can go, and another great opportunity to be had.
I am a firm believer that things always work out the way they are meant to, so I have no doubt it will be the same case with this situation too!
Anticipated van & trailer maintenance
Well it's just about that time again, time for us to do some much needed work on both the van AND the trailer. It sucks to have to focus on them both at the same time, but that is just the way the cards fall in this world. In terms of the van, we will need to prioritize an oil change first. Prior to hitting the road again in the fall, it would be a good idea to do another transmission flush, like we did back in 2019 before RVing, and we will also need to replace our brake pads/brakes as Adam says they are "warped". I have no idea what this means (LOL), but you can feel us shake when we are going down a hill or have to brake suddenly. We may also have to start looking into replacing the tires on the van, which will be a whole other expense to deal with...
In terms of the trailer, we will likely have to also prioritize another set of new wheels - even though it feels like we just did. While we did replace all 4 tires last fall, we have already put another 7K miles on these new ones, and previously we did have our first tire blow out at 7K miles. That is something I definitely don't want to happen again, so we will have to continue to monitor them and decide what the best course of action is. We also have some smaller repairs I'd like to do, such as replacing trim that is falling off, doing some paint updating on things that are fading/scratching, checking our roof sealant, and making sure our wheel bearings are still in good condition. A lot of the maintenance there is to do on the trailer becomes a yearly priority when you are living in it full-time and traveling as much as we do!
Other NEW challenges:
All of these east coast tolls... We traveled for over a year and a half without dealing with pretty much any tolls at all, and then BAM the east coast came and changed everything! I swear we have at least 20 that should be coming in the mail to our address on file, like any day now. At least 16 of them will be from the state of New York alone! It's crazy that they are everywhere out here and sometimes there is just no way to avoid them without traveling an extra hour or more out of the way. What bothers me the most though is that the price for the tolls is never posted, and we are always towing when it happens so we never know what the upcharge will be for that!
Ironically with all the tolls, but REALLY bad roads... You would think that with all the tolls we are paying, that the roads out here would be in FAR better conditions, but no! Traveling through Pennsylvania on our way up to New York was the worst stretch of roads we have ever traveled through, and it was through the entire state! New York has not really been any better, and I can't help but wonder where the heck this toll money is going towards, since it clearly isn't the roads...
RVing during Covid in 2021... I wrote more about this topic in last week's blog post, so I won't go into too much detail here, but traveling from state to state in 2021 has been quite the experience with Covid. Each state has different restrictions, parameters, and cultures to get used to - something that is very unlike 2020 when pretty much every state was the same. You can read more about our experiences here: RVing during Covid, 2021 edition.
So much rain... It feels like it has rained just about every day for months now... ever since we left Florida in March. I don't have any idea if this much precipitation is normal this time of year on the east coast or not, but it is mostly one large blob of rain after another. I am ready for the rain to lighten up and the sun to shine it's magic for awhile! It's weird to think that all of last summer we didn't experience any rain at all in California, and it already is the opposite in New York...
Things we ongoingly continue to work through:
RECYCLING, missing friends and family HARDCORE, being away for celebrations-birthdays-deaths-milestones-dinners-holidays, being away from people we know and people in general, being away, etc….
Solutions to some previous 660 day challenges
Roscoe the Bengal Cat... I am EXTREMELY pleased to report that Roscoe has been cough FREE for over a month now! I guess that last ditch effort with an antibiotic in March really did the trick, as I have not reported one cough out of him since. It makes me very relieved to say this as I was already fretting about potentially having to deal with feline asthma for the rest of his kitty life. I've also been giving him daily supplements for gut health, his immune system and to prevent coughing and sneezing, just to be sure. His only medical related situation that is still on my mind at this time is to remove his lipoma on his shoulder!
Rahja the Bengal Cat... At the same time I am pleased to report that Rahja has been doing very well with her urinary crystals too! She continues to get daily supplements for urinary health and to combat crystals, however she has NOT had any litter box episodes in about a month as well. I believe the gabapentin I give her every time we travel now has really been helping her a lot too. I will still continue to give her these supplements daily for another month or so and then transition her more into a "maintenance plan" just to be sure this does not reoccur.
Previous 660 day challenges, that are STILL a challenge
Spending vs. saving... It's been a long first part of the year for us, spending, spending and spending some more! We are definitely ready to hunker down and work for the summer, fall and winter, to help rebuild our finances and set us up for the future. It can be a scary thing to see your finances dip lower than you'd like them to for this lifestyle, but it isn't anything we can't handle!
Getting back into workout/healthy eating mode... I've been saying this for months now... but I REALLY need to get back into my groove. This year has been an indulging one already, and it's time I focus more on my overall health and wellness. I'm starting to notice the effects of my indulgences and I don't like the way I feel at all! Summer mode is being activated and that means workouts, healthy eating, and taking care of myself in every way.
Things that are still NOT a challenge another 60 days into it
We have a surprise for you, and we are so excited to share it in perfect timing with our 2 YEAR Nomadiversary! Next Monday marks 2 years EXACTLY of full-time living in the RV, which feels like a great milestone for us, and the perfect opportunity to share some exciting news with you!
I have recently become affiliated with Amazon, through the set up of my own storefront page. Here I am able to list and link all of the items I have purchased through Amazon and would recommend for various needs. I have lists set up for fulltime RVing, camping in general, traveling with cats, health and wellness, and even curly hair! Plus, as an added bonus, I will make a small commission on any items purchased through my link.
If you want to check out more of my storefront page, here is the link: Spark Fire Swan's Amazon
I will continue to add items as time goes on, as we are always finding something new on there that becomes quite useful to our lifestyle or for our feline friends. As a rule of thumb, I only ever link things we have actually purchased, kept, and use on a frequent basis!