Hanging Up The Keys

 Posted by at 12:30 am  Nick's Blog
Jun 242018

A blog reader contacted me yesterday asking when Miss Terry and I knew it was time to hang up the keys. He and his wife have been fulltiming for close to 10 years and enjoyed it much of that time. But he said lately they are beginning to dread it every time they leave a campground headed somewhere else.

Their truck is 15 years old and their fifth wheel is 14 years old, and both are starting to show their age and having a lot of mechanical problems. They are currently in Elkhart, Indiana, getting new axles put on, and this is not the first time they’ve had to do that. He said that they are reaching the point where they either have to buy a newer RV and tow vehicle or think about getting off the road.

He said they knew eventually they would hang up the keys, and even knew where they planned to do it. And at their age, he said the most they expected to fulltime was another 3 – 5 years. They are not sure if the investment in another rig and tow vehicle is worth it at this stage in their lives, or if they should stop traveling now.

When is it time to hang up the keys? For some fulltimers it’s when their own health or family medical issues get in the way of traveling. For others, it’s when their financial situation changes, either for the good or the bad. And for others, it’s when it’s no longer fun.

That’s what happened with Terry and me. We loved fulltiming, and at one time we were sure we would do it as long as we were physically able to and then settle down in an RV park somewhere to live out our days in our motorhome. But just like our travel plans were always set in Jell-O, so is the rest of life.

We had some great adventures, we made some wonderful friends along the way that we will cherish forever, and we don’t regret a minute of it. But one day we looked at each other and both said, “I’m not having fun anymore, are you?” That’s when we knew.

At the same time, we also both acknowledged that there were other things we wanted to do that did not fit with the RV lifestyle. Terry wanted to get more into weaving and have a larger loom. I wanted to live on or very close to the water, have a boat, and do more fishing. And we wanted to do those things while we were still physically capable.

And just as we never had a minute of regret when we began our fulltime lifestyle and all through our days on the road, we have not had a minute of regret since we began this new phase in our lives.

So when is it your time to hang up the keys? I don’t know. But if you are honest with each other (if there are two of you) and with yourself, you’ll know. You may not want to admit it to yourself at first. I think Terry and I both experienced that. But when the time is right, you’ll figure it out.

Today is your last chance to enter our Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Koinobi, the first book in author Reid Minnich’s Koinobi science fiction trilogy. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn this evening.

Thought For The Day – I just want to be rich enough to throw leftovers away after dinner, instead of putting them in Tupperware and throwing them away a week later

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  7 Responses to “Hanging Up The Keys”

  1. We have discussed this subject many times with friends we’ve met on the road. Some started fulltiming just to find a place they wanted to stay forever, others felt it was time to get off the road. Our toughest subject is WHERE we want to be. You and Miss Terry were lucky to find a place you wanted to settle. We haven’t found it yet. We’ve been fulltime for 12 years and at ages 67 and 60 we are hoping we have many more years to travel but we know sometime we will have to stop. Plans are set in jello until then!

  2. Most of us who lived on the road for a number of years gradually formed a “plan B” for transitioning into part-time or even settling down altogether. A very dear friend of ours gave us the BEST advice EVER when he said,”Do things before you HAVE to. That way, you are not at the mercy of urgent circumstances.” We knew it was getting to be more and more difficult, we had settled on what we knew we wanted in a permanent or semi-permanent location (good climate, good medical care, airport, reasonable cost of living, single floor home with easy maintenance, etc). When we came across what we wanted, we just looked at each other and signed on the dotted line. We [art timed for 2 years and then, the medical issues that had been minor became major. But … we were already prepared because we had done our homework and planned for the day we knew would come. Haven’t looked back since.

  3. I’ve heard that the definition of success is knowing when to quit. Pete and I came to the same decision after five years on the road. It was great fun and I’ve enjoyed seeing all the different places, but now I find myself very content with a simple lifestyle and being able to cultivate deeper friendships where we life.

  4. Although my partner and I seriously considered selling out and going full-time, seeing the issues full-timers are forced to deal with changed our minds. We believe part-timing may be a better fit for us. I always appreciate input from others and have learned much from your stories!

  5. Bill. And I have landed in a very small downtown city in the North GA mountains. We purchased a newer 2013 v-lite 1 And 1/2 baths 2 years ago and other than 6 months in FL LAST YEAR HAVE BEEN OVERWHELMED with moving in and rebuying every-
    thing we had rid ourselves of back in 2002..
    We are 20 minutes from NEGA medical center and the VA in Gainesville. We are halfway between all the kids so it works for us. Bill misses salt water and wishes we were in St Mary’s, GA again but could not afford anything in town now. Glad to hear you are happily settled as are we. But even though we are 79 and 84 we are still going North and South this year. Keep your fingers crossed for us. Cia

  6. Hope I actually get on the road before I’m so old I have to hang up the keys before I start.

  7. We were 14 years full-time looking for the perfect place to settle, whether in a home on wheels or a stick and brick. It turns out, the perfect place for us is a mile from where we sold our house in 2003.
    We downsized to a Roadtrek last year so we could take advantage of a townhouse opportunity back in Fort Lauderdale.
    Now we can travel more internationally and still do the RV Geeks On Tour.

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