I’m totally in love with a new, one-of-a-kind book about RVing. It’s called “A Wanderful Life,” and it’s the first “how to go full-time RVing” guide that looks at the mental and emotional aspects of becoming a nomad.
A Wanderful Life Goes Where Others Do Not
I love it when the Universe conspires on our behalf. And when you’re part of the Escapees RV Club, that tends to happen a lot!
About a year ago our Be More Dog editor Sandra Haven mentioned that one of her other clients, Barbara Jaquith, was working on a full-time RVing guide. Like Sandra, Jim and myself, Barbara is also an Escapees member. Sandra mentioned how the book would discuss another side to full-timing that never gets talked about, and I couldn’t wait for publication day. Finally, it arrived and I was lucky enough to get a review copy from Barbara.
What’s the Emotional and Mental Cost of the Nomadic Life?
When Jim and I started planning to ditch the default life, our days were filled with excitement and exhaustion. It didn’t help that we were also trying to sell our business and home, while trying to accept that our dog’s cancer was a ticking time bomb. It was overwhelming and one of the only times we have both used SSRIs to stay mentally afloat during the transition. If only this book had been around!
Anyone who has made the switch knows the agony of trying to wrap your head around getting rid of the objects you once loved, of saying goodbye to friends who made your life so much fun, and coping with an uncertain future. The process can turn anyone into a temporary train wreck.
That’s why it was so much fun to jump into Barbara’s book. She is astute enough to know that the mental and emotional side of life is too important to ignore when you’re making the move of a lifetime. I asked her why she decided to write a book with such an unusual take on the lifestyle. Here’s what she said:
I was interested in helping readers think about the transition itself as it relates to their own unique circumstances. I wanted to write a practical but inspirational book to help readers plan for this major life change before they just find themselves in the middle of it with regrets.
More than that, I wanted to give them specific tools to make the transition with the least amount of stress possible so that they can embark on a journey that is meaningful. I was also intent on laying out an honest but inspirational picture of the RV lifestyle that has meant so much to me.
What You’ll Learn in This Book
As I mentioned in my RV Life review, here’s what you can learn from Barbara’s unique approach to jumping into the nomadic life:
- The importance of embracing your wanderlust
- How to give up our attachments and reap the rewards of letting go
- Managing the frustrations of giving up reliable services, like Internet and cellular connectivity
- Ideas for making friends on the road and building your sense of community
- Nurturing your nomad instinct in a world filled with settlers
- Why pets are great role models for wandering mindfully
For me, one of the book’s biggest highlights arrived in the pets chapter. After all, anyone who travels with pets is my kinda traveler. In one really sweet passage, Barbara discusses how her once feral cat Leo imprinted lessons that helped while full-timing with her husband Arnie:
Leo moved past his history and right into the present moment, adapting quickly to his new normal. He taught the lesson that baggage from the past doesn’t need to define our lives going forward. Staying grounded in the present is something to strive for as we leave behind our material baggage and conventional norms to embark on a new mobile life.
The book is more than just a first-person, touchy-feely account of one couple’s life on the road. One of the most impressive aspects of the book is how Barbara backs up her insight and suggestions with tons of scholarly articles and research, as well as numerous interviews with full-time RVers from all walks of life. “I cherish the connections that I’ve made from talking with so many diverse RV folks,” she says. “A campfire is a precious opportunity to sit in conversation with people and listen to their story.”
When asked if all of her hard work resulted in reward, here’s what Barbara told me:
For four years of interviews, I gathered people’s wisdom and experiences for the book and each encounter deepened my own. These connections have given me a deep and personal sense of mobile community that stretches across the country. That is a huge reward!
Whether you’re an experienced wanderer or a road-tripping newbie, A Wanderful Life is a fun and interesting dive into the heart of this unusual life.
Win a Copy of A Wanderful Life!
Want to read it for yourself? You can get a copy of A Wanderful Life on Amazon to support this blog, BUT in the spirit of our “one in – one out” rule of RV life, I will gift this book to the first person who shares their very best tip for life on the road in the comments below.