Monthly Archives: October 2015

Giving up our Seasonal Site

So here I am at the end of our fourth and final camping season at New Lowell Conservation Area campground. When I got back from our Bar Harbor Trip at the end of Sept, I told Jane of our full-time plans and that we would be giving up our site. I had to call back a day or two later to say how much we have enjoyed our time there and are sad to go. Jane offered for me to move my trailer to an open spot not under the trees for winter storage and since Doane Road Storage rates are now $67 per month, $225 to keep Nellie here for 6.5 months is a deal too good to pass up.

Nellie hibernating overwinter at our seasonal site in New Lowell.
Nellie hibernating overwinter at our seasonal site in New Lowell.

James and I just enjoyed a fantastic Thanksgiving long weekend together at New Lowell with great weather and our friend Mel driving up for a day visit on Monday. We got out in the canoe twice, did some hiking and had a pizza from Life’s a Slice! We also enjoyed a beautiful fall colours motorcycle ride on Sunday meeting up serendipitously with friends Kerry and Jason at the Thornbury Fish Ladder – in all a great final weekend. James expressed sadness at leaving this park and I feel a bit sad as well. However, I have a much stronger feeling of excitement about all the new places we will be going to because we won’t be committed to one spot. This park has been a perfect fit for our needs while we had no tow vehicle and were tied to our house in Markham. Long term, however, it is not what we want: we want to travel, even within Ontario. There is so much we haven’t seen and so many beautiful places we want to revisit, like our fantastic winter camping/Taylor Coach Campout destination MacGregor Point Provincial Park on lake Huron.

James also mentioned that he feels our plan is a bit scary. He is definitely committed to our full-time RV plan and we have decided that we will not wait One More Year: we are go for 2016! However, as we get closer and start having to make changes and decisions to stay on track, like giving up our site at New Lowell, the reality of what we are doing closes in. Yes, it is scary and, like the sadness, I feel it a bit too. However, once again, I have a much stronger feeling of calm and confidence about our plan than feeling scared. While James is more fully engaged in our current life, working full-time and spending more time in the city this summer, I have connected with the full-time RV world through reading blogs and following RVers on Instagram. I am constantly engaging with this community of people and am keenly aware that they are out there enjoying this lifestyle while we are still in our sticks and bricks home.

In the years leading up to our go-date, I had wondered how I will feel about selling our beautiful home and leaving that comfortable, secure place behind forever. But now that we are getting close, I feel ready. Our neighbourhood is too busy now: a new building is going in across the street and a new mall just around the corner. This is great for resale but not great for me living here: the traffic and population density are more than I want, the noise, air pollution, lack of privacy are all reasons to go. Plus, I feel like I don’t want to live in the same house for 20 or 30 years. We have been here 14 years now and it feels like time for a change. It has been a great house for us: just the right size, an excellent location for James work, for getting around and extremely desirable for resale. No regrets on buying this home, but now it is time to go.

Telling Margot’s Family

To tell my sister and her family about our full-time RV plans, James and I decided to make a guessing game of it with the kids. At dinner, we announced that we were preparing for a big life change next summer and wanted to share it with them. Pausing to see if they would start asking 20 questions, we were surprised when my nephew Ben almost immediately guessed, “You are retiring to travel more!” So what could we say but, yes! While that was true, we quickly realized that there was a lot more to explain.

Their first question was about James’ job. When we said James is going to quit his job, Adrienne asked, don’t you like your job? Not really, I don’t love my job. But how can we afford to retire so early? Ben proposed a game of 2 lies, 1 truth where I make 3 statements and they have to guess which one is true. First up: how can we afford it? Options were: we won the lottery; we did well on our investments; we will live on our rental income (answer is C). But how can we live on our rental income when our rental income pays the mortgages? Answer is that we will sell our house to pay off the mortgages (didn’t quite get to 2 lies on that one).

Next is where are we going to live? Options: We will move to Mexico; we will become snowbirds in the southern US; or we will live in a Class A motorhome (answer is B). My sister thought sure we would be buying the Class A but no, we like our little trailer too much.  We had to explain to the kids what snowbirds are! Ben asked but how does that help you save money? James explained that you only have to save money until you retire. I said that it’s not cheap traveling in the USA but we can save money by living in our trailer! When Ben found out we would be living in our trailer he was surprised: “You are going to live in your trailer!?!” he asked! “Yes, we are going to live in our trailer!” I asserted. This clearly hadn’t occurred to him as a possibility. :o) Bronwyn was sad that she wouldn’t see us as often but I explained that we would only be away for the winter and would see them in the summertime. She seemed happy with this and said okay that’s good!

Next question: who will take care of our rentals while we are gone? Options: We will hire an outside property management company; we will place superman in one of our apartments and he will take care of it; we will assume nothing will go wrong and not worry about it (answer is B, we already placed a super man as our superintendent and he already dealt with a flood no problem!). Of course no one guessed Superman, they all guessed C, but this was a trick question!