RV Nomad life — is it the new American Dream?

banner from RV Nomads The Movie website showing people living their version of the American Dream

If defining the American Dream seems difficult, you should try defining RV nomad life. It is a confusing concept to some people. “You just drive around?” “So, you’re basically homeless?” “But where do you actually live?” Those are questions I have heard from people when I’ve tried to explain RV nomad life.

On Nov. 15, RV Nomads The Movie will be released publicly, and I am hoping it will help explain things better than I have been. It’s a sense of being free, and yet, it can make you more grounded. It is a sense of being alone, and yet you are a member of a massive community. It’s living life on your terms, and yet — nope — that one stands alone.

“The American Dream”

Google defines the American Dream as “the ideal that every U.S. citizen should have an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination, and initiative.” For many people, that has evolved into showing you’re living the dream instead of actually doing it. How many times do you ask someone “how’s it going?” and have them respond, “Just livin’ The Dream!” Usually, that’s said with a sarcastic tone — because they aren’t living any dream.

They are stuck in a job with high stress levels and crappy bosses. They are tied to a sticks and bricks house with a mortgage that weighs like a heavy yoke across their shoulders. And how do they show how much they’re living the dream? By driving a fancy vehicle, or two. By having more toys and tools than their neighbors — often at the expense of having no room in their garage to keep their fancy vehicles.

But what’s the point? There is a growing sentiment in America that there has to be more. My thinking certainly has evolved over the years. I spent too much time away from family to “pursue my career” in the hope of someday “making it.”

Then I hit middle age, and I realized that once you cross the middle of something, you quickly are closer to the end than you are the beginning. As I looked for something more, I found it in RV nomad life.

My American Dream

sunset shining on Class B RV to symbolize dream of nomad life

I want to travel more. I want to see all the things this nation has to offer; to experience our natural wonders firsthand rather than via YouTube or a Google image search.

RV nomad life is not about abandoning society or becoming a homeless, jobless drain on the community. It’s quite the opposite. When you watch RV Nomads The Movie — and I highly recommend it — you will find folks who have created a new segment of society. People who are always home. People who have jobs they are happy to do. And people who are part of a community of travelers who, although often hundreds of miles apart, are closer than folks sitting in massive subdivisions with no real knowledge about who their neighbors are.

I don’t know yet when I’ll be able to call myself a full-timer in the RV nomad life. But I have embraced the concept and try to live it with every getaway we can muster. I’ve learned so much from people who are already living the RV nomad life. How to truly slow down and experience a place, not just visit it during a quick vacation. About how to become part of a community of people who genuinely care about each other’s well-being and happiness. And about living life on your terms to be happy rather than trying to chase what you have never made time to enjoy.

Your American Dream

Is RV nomad life the answer for everyone? Of course not, but that’s part of the point of the philosophy. When we attended NomadFEST recently — where we saw the world premiere of RV Nomads The Movie — I came away with a sense of understanding that each person needs to find their path. For some, that may mean a sticks and bricks house and a 9-5 job in an office they commute to every day. I’ve done that for decades, and I made the most of it.

But what I found was while that may be the American Dream, it wasn’t my version of it. So I’m working toward breaking out of the day-to-day routines I’ve been accustomed to and embarking on something new. It’s exciting. It’s scary. Some days it’s rather daunting. But it’s also mine — to define, to capture, and to enjoy.

And that sounds like a dream to me.

Sunset in side window of van to symbolize dream of nomad life

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