Shortly after purchasing our brand new motorhome all of our plans for touring the Oregon and California coast on our way to Arizona quickly fell apart. For 21 days we were in limbo as five different technicians worked to diagnose and fix the problem, namely that our motorhome wouldn’t start. Not even a click when we turned the key in the ignition.
Never mind that it was the middle of winter in the Pacific Northwest, including ice and snow storms and relentless rain. All of our plans to start our snowbird adventure were suddenly canceled.
What I learned during this time is that in retirement, flexibility is key. Keeping a positive attitude, choosing to view challenges as an opportunity to learn and grow, and sticking together as a couple when the situation is tough helps you endure some hard days.
I also learned that it is possible to live very simply without the many creature comforts we’ve come to enjoy. While we were living in a beautiful motorhome, we were essentially “boondocking.” We had no power, water, or sewer hook-ups for seven days. We were in survival mode and resorted to getting through this time by taking it one minute, one hour, one day at a time. Focusing on how to get through the day and keep smiling was often a challenge. Meals, showers, and sleeping took more effort than we expected.
We both decided to take the high road and not take out our frustration on the people who were trying to help us. We discovered that having patience, encouraging each other when we were discouraged and feeling a little hopeless, and even laughing about our situation helped make the time go by faster.
When the problem was finally diagnosed we still had to endure. Due to weather, supply chain issues, and delivery challenges we waited five more days for our parts to arrive. During these days we looked for chances to make the best of the situation. It was fantastic that in spite of not being able to head south as planned, we were able to unhook our Jeep and went out on two local hikes when the rain stopped and the sun finally came out. A big highlight was when we decided to take two days and a quick overnight to see the Redwoods in Oregon and Northern California.
We were truly grateful that we were able to make the best of our situation and check off one of our bucket list National Parks. Before we knew it we were finally on the road again, heading to the sun. While we will never forget this time, we are proud that instead of turning on each other, or worse, turning on the people whose job it was to get things fixed we endured and chose forgiveness and grace. Now when we sit around the campfire at various RV resorts and share our story with other RVers we are able to laugh about it.
What makes it even better is that we have now learned that “everyone” has an RV story to share. When a house is built on top of a truck chassis and then you roll it over potholes and bumps down the Interstate and highways, things break, appliances vibrate and nuts and bolts come loose. It is just all part of the adventure. Now that we are on the road again and our first round of warranty work has been completed we are loving every minute of our retirement journey in a motorhome!