First Time Returning To The Rally That Started It All

Two years ago I can vividly recall us driving our truck and brand new camper away from our first ever rally.  I turned to Lee and said, “I want to come back when we are full timers and give back.”  I can picture myself so clearly, shining with optimism, emboldened  by the things we had learned and the people we had met, and actually feeling like we could do this.  That in itself was a huge step for me.  As Linda says, I was a tough sell, but once convinced I completely threw myself into it.  I know many couples become full-timers without that experience.  I met a great couple just last night who have been full-timing as long as we have and never went to a rally, but for me I can’t even imagine that would be possible.  I needed outside verification that I wasn’t crazy, I needed to see with my own eyes that it can work, and most of all I needed to feel as if I was not alone.  The RV-Dreams rally gave me all that and more and I am really happy that we are able to come back and hopefully share some of that with the future full timers.

As we were driving to the rally yesterday, these thoughts were running through my head, and in anticipation of the people we would be talking to I started to think about what I would tell myself two years ago if I could go backwards.  The thoughts came so fast that I started taking notes in the car and this post is a direct result.  Since arriving we have been busy helping Howard and Linda, sitting at campfires, and  having a wonderful time getting caught up with them and meeting new people, but before we get to far into the rally I want to make sure I write this down.  So here is what I would say to myself.  I am pretty sure I wouldn’t have listened to most of it, but maybe someone else reading this will be smarter than I was!

  • Try not to sweat the small stuff (I definitely would not have listened to that!)
  • Everyone in your life is not going to get it, and they certainly won’t all approve.  Make your peace with that now.
  • You will sell your house.  It may take time, but it will eventually happen.  Have faith.
  • You won’t miss your stuff.  You may occasionally miss the idea of things, but the stuff itself you won’t miss.
  • Get your tires upgraded before you leave. (We put this off and then two stressful flat tires later finally had it done.  No way was it worth the delay and our peace of mind with G rated tires is much higher)
  • That being, said stuff breaks. Deal with it.
  • The claustrophobia will lessen with time.  You and Lee will find a way to coexist in a 400 foot space.
  • It’s not a competition.  There is no winning full-timing because there is no right and wrong way to do it, so find your own way.
  • Give yourself a break.  It’s OK if you aren’t good at this at first.
  • Trust yourself and trust your husband.  The transition is not always easy, but you will be fine.
  • That being said, you still won’t have it all figured out in two years and that’s OK.  It truly is about the journey and not the destination.
  • You will be happy.

The last one really resonated with me.  I am not a person who has had a lot of joy in her life. I have been successful, I have been productive, I have been satisfied, and I have certainly been content.  But pure unadulterated joy…not so much of that.  I have experienced more pure joy in the last two years than I have in my entire life…truly.  So whatever happens, however this plays out long term, I am OK with it.  The joy was worth it.   That’s really what I should say to myself.  Dive right in, the joy is worth it.

Thanks for listening, and thanks to Howard and Linda.  I have said it often and I truly mean it.  They changed my life by helping me to find my joy.


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22 thoughts on “First Time Returning To The Rally That Started It All

  1. I loved reading this post Trace! You certainly have come a long way baby and it shows in your smile! Have a great time at the rally. It must be neat to see all those newbies that we all were 2 years ago!

  2. WOW. Joy, thank you for sharing.
    We plan to attend next year s RV dreams spring rally and go full time in 2018

  3. I feel that JOY, JOY, JOY, JOY… down in my heart…Where? Down in my heart…Where? Yep you’ve got me singing!!! Actually, I just have this great big old smile across my face:o))
    It really is about the JOY you feel as you experience this Journey!!! All the stuff that interferes or seems like a terrible problem is just a temporary thing until the next Joyful experience. Your Journey has just begun:o))

  4. Great post. We can’t wait to come to a rally and yes I feel that we need it. WE are looking at going full time between 2019 to 2020 but just not sure when to go to the rally. I would love to go now but that may be a bit to early. Maybe 2018 or 2019 for sure. I am so looking forward to that. I always love to read your blogs and what you have to say. This was a great one and I look forward to hearing more about your week. Have a great time.

  5. Just pulled into the Mountain aire Inn next to the Rally Campground and decided to take a quick look at my mail, and I am so glad I did! Feel like this is being written especially for us, although I know there are many others out there with all sorts of feelings and questions about full timing. But this post certainly helps me in so many ways……Especially for me to find Joy and Happiness by diving right in! Thanks Tracy for sharing your heartfelt feelings about your journey, looking forward to meeting you……very soon!!

  6. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Tracy. I wish there was a way we could count the number of people that changed the path of life after meeting Howard and Linda. Our life will surely never be the same!

  7. “Joy”… Thanks for pointing out what I too have been feeling, but just could not put my finger on it. I would also have to add “peace and contentment”. Feelings that two years ago, we’re not as evident in my everyday life. Hugs to you my sweet friend.

  8. Had a little time this morning before the next round of seminars and read this post. Beautiful! I’m a bit choked up and a few tears might have escaped. Having you both here to share in our joy of doing a Rally has meant so much, and we can feel the happiness exuding from you as you give back to this wonderful group. And a bonus for us is our hugs don’t have to be “virtual”. 🙂

  9. Pingback: Second Year – The Emotional Arc – Camper Chronicles

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