There are many Instagram posts and YouTube videos about the glamorous RV life. Living and traveling on the road, basking in nature, freedom to go anywhere anytime.
But what is not normally shown are the hardships and challenges that this lifestyle brings, both internally and externally.
The movie ‘Nomadland’ has recently won Best Picture of 2021. The movie is about a woman who gets laid off from her job, decides to travel and live the nomadic life with her van.
I felt deeply connected to the movie. It reflects the reality of this lifestyle, the good and the bad.
Living on the road without a base means living in the uncertainties. I was constantly looking for my next parking spot. I sometimes parked in neighborhood but prayed that nobody would knock on my door and ask me to leave in the middle of the night. Sometimes I slept in parking lots. But the majority of the time, I was boondocking in BLM land. Thank god for these public lands in America that I got to enjoy nature at its finest. Without civilization, without noise. Though at the same time, I could only stay 14 days at a time before I had to pack up and move.
All these moving around by myself contributed to me feeling uncertain, exhausted, and disconnected.
I recently wrote a guest post for a friend’s blog about how I overcame these moments.
These experiences have trained me to be strong when facing challenges, to be friends with the unknown, to be comfortable with the uncomfortable.
In the summer of 2018, my sister came to visit from Malaysia. I needed to drive my RV from California to Texas. She came on the trip with me to keep me company while also experiencing the RV life herself. Because my RV hadn’t been used and maintained for a long time and I didn’t spend enough time fixing it before I departed for the trip, we dealt with a lot of challenges on the way. The worst one was when I busted 3 tires within 24 hours! Imagine a big 23-foot RV having a flat tire. It’s not as easy as picking up a wrench and replacing the flat tire with a spare.
My most stressful moment was when my tire busted on the freeway. The whole RV was lopsided. I tried to remain as calm as possible since I had my sister with me. I didn’t want her to freak out more than she did. I pulled myself together. We figured out a plan that I would slowly back up the RV to the nearest gas station which was about 100 feet behind us. She walked behind the RV, directing the incoming traffic. I was praying to God she doesn’t get hit by a car and that my RV wouldn’t tip over.
After going through the gut-wrenching 20 minutes, we successfully pulled over to the gas station. Thankfully, a man traveling with his family in an RV saw us in trouble. He spent about 2 hours replacing the tire for us. We were so thankful that he sacrificed his precious holiday time getting his hands dirty, sweating at a gas station to get us out of our trouble.
As hard as the journey was, I had also never felt more blessed. I felt like God would never give me a challenge if He doesn’t have a rainbow waiting for me after. The more I travel, the more trust I have in life. I was shown again and again that I will always be taken care of and angels are everywhere.
I will continue to dig up my travel stories and share my life on the road with you. Thank you so much for being here and reading my stories. I hope they inspire you to have more trust in life and the courage to go for what you want.