5 Worst Things About Living On-The-Road

5 Worst Things About Living On-The-Road 1Before I begin, I want to be sure to emphasize that we are really enjoying this new lifestyle. We have a truck, a 5th wheel, and our family - and we're seeing the country together. We're making magnificent memories, stretching our brains, and expanding our hearts.

That said, the mobile life isn't all sunsets and roses. In no particular order, here are the 5 worst things about living on-the-road so far...

Unreliable Internet. When I told Tim I was going to write this post, he said..."Can all 5 things be that we don't have a super fast Internet connection?" I couldn't help but smile - and agree. As far as we can tell, almost all campgrounds advertise "free WiFi." Also as far as we can tell, said "free WiFi" almost never works. We've been tethering our phones with 3G, which works pretty well most of the time...but it's a far cry from our exceptionally speedy cable connection back home.

Driving in-town or in bad traffic. Pulling a 36-foot trailer is stressful...and I'm not even the one doing the driving! My heart rate especially elevates when we have to drive anywhere crowded or that involves sharp turns (not fun at all). Note to all drivers: If you see a big motorhome or camper, please be observant, offer grace, AND keep your distance (do I sound like a snow bird yet?).

Driving in new places or with bad directions. Again, driving with a massive trailer behind you isn't exactly a walk in the park. Taking a wrong turn can be terrifying (and potentially dangerous). When we first arrived in Canyon Lake, we accidentally missed a turn and had to reverse onto a side road to get turned around. I had to get out to "shout directions" to Tim with ongoing traffic coming and I was trembling with fright a little bit afterward.

5 Worst Things About Living On-The-Road 2No real sense of "community." This is probably the number one reason why most families don't stay on-the-road indefinitely. It's hard to build and foster strong friendships when you are a nomad. Don't get me wrong - we are encountering fabulous people everywhere we go. Still, it's not quite the same as having neighbors right next door. I can already sense that our girls miss having the familiarity of close friends a little bit (and maybe...so do I).

The Unknown. Every day is an adventure. Essentially, we're pioneers. We can try to plan, but we never can know FOR SURE what to expect. The weather might change our route. The campground that we intended to stay at might be dirtier or scarier or nicer than we expected. The expenses might be more than we anticipated. We might be delayed by snow, ice, wind, hills, repairs, etc.

Now that I think about it, though, The Unknown is also a positive thing. I feel like I've grown more as a person in the past two weeks than I have in the entire past year. Facing obstacles is requiring us to be innovative, to have faith, and to lean on each other. And all of those things are exceptionally good.

What would scare you the most about living on-the-road?

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18 comments on “5 Worst Things About Living On-The-Road”

  1. okay. i am a total nomad at heart, and have been telling my husband all about your adventures. but it's funny how, just a year or two after our oldest starting school, I really truly value community. i never thought i'd place security over adventure, but i think i get it now. so either way, i'm so proud of you for doing this adventure now. and documenting it. when you settle down you'll have such a new perspective. and nothing will stress you out!

    1. Community is definitely one of the things that we miss the most. I think I'll breathe a sigh of relief when this is all said and done...but it will also be a bittersweet end.

  2. Honestly - this is going to sound brutal... maybe I just don't have your same faith in people... the scariest thing to me would be - trusting strangers. I am not sure where it comes from, but often my first tendency is to be skeptical. Maybe I live too close to NYC! Maybe I've heard too many urban legends about scam artists who approach innocent women in parking lots...and I WAS approached in LA once by a woman trying to scam my Triple A card off me. So... I think I would just get nervous always being around people I didn't know. But I think I would learn a lot about how to read people and hopefully develop better sense of that fine line between discernment and judgment.

  3. Lack of Internet connection would scare me most LOL because that is how I make a living. Everything else I'm sure would fall in to place. We don't have kids however we do have a parrot and turtle and want more dogs so I imagine living on the road with pets would be trying too. We talk daily about moving to Jamaica and although it scares me a bit, I think Kev and I would love the adventure.

  4. Having bad internet connection makes me so stressed.

    Did you guys look into that satellite internet option? I know it is quite expensive but it is realiable and works everywhere. Plus you dont have to reconnect to all sorts of wireless networks everywhere. I think one of the companies is HughesNet. I forgot the names of other providers.

    1. The Internet thing really is stressful...definitely one of the VERY worst things about being on-the-road.

      Tethering our phones usually works, but only when we have a strong 3G signal.

      We'd look into other options, but - as it stands right now - our funds are limited. ;)

    1. Yes, we do. We like it most of the time, but sometimes it's finicky and illogical. Despite its limitations, I am grateful for it. I can't imagine going on a trip like this without technology. Paper maps just wouldn't be quite the same. ;)

  5. It is hard for me to say, never having done it, but I think the lack of solid community might rank up there! But, having close friends all over the country, I may be more used to that then I think. :)
    As I read your blog today, I was reminded of some Scripture as I have been reading the book of James over and over this past week. It is James 4:13-15 "13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; 14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that."
    You guys are totally living the out! This totally popped into my head as I read about how much you have grown in just the past 2 weeks living in The Unknown. Seems to be just the place God wants us! Keep it up! Thanks for sharing your struggles!!

  6. I didn't even think about driving in traffic with an RV. I can see where that would be stressful! Also, my husband hates being even a tiny bit lost, so that would be stressful for all of us. I think the scariest thing for me would be the unknown expenses. We're both very much "planners" when it comes to finances. My husband is a stock broker and a "certified financial planner" and unexpected expenses would keep us up at night.

    1. Both Tim and I are pretty good as far as a "sense of direction" goes, but...it's still difficult to navigate in brand new places that we've never been before. Especially with a 36-foot massive trailer behind us!

      Also - the unexpected expenses are definitely hard/stressful...but we're learning a lot about faith along the way.

  7. After 9 months, I still totally agree! BUT those "worsts" are merely annoying anymore. And we do love the unknown. It can be challenging, but we love not knowing what's coming next!

    1. I'm curious: Is the driving part still stressful...or is it a breeze now that you have so many months behind you? Also - how many days/weeks do you typically stay in one spot?

  8. I love that you posted the flip side of the coin, too. And while the RV life isn't for everybody (me included - I'm a creature of habit!) I can see that you guys are thriving, in spite of the downsides. What a great story the girls will have to share when they grow up!

  9. Yep. All that is pretty much what I'd expect. Honestly I think I'd hate living on the road. I would definitely miss the familiarity of close friends the most. Even though sometimes I feel very antisocial and would like to live in a house on a 10-acre lot, I don't think I'd want to be a nomad. On the other hand, I do enjoy meeting new people, so I would enjoy that. Then again, that's why I blog. Heh. :-)

    The idea of seeing the country and bonding with family IS really amazing, and I do envy you that. It's so much fun seeing where this adventure takes you!

  10. Ahhh...trying to drive a 5th wheel around does sound stressful. Not so sure how Markus and I would do with that. One of the only times we get irritated with each other or bicker is when we are driving :) I think the lack of lasting community (outside of family) would definitely be a challenge for me. But, with that said, knowing that you are meeting so many fantastic people along the way...some of which you will probably connect with again is so exciting and fun. It is such a great opportunity to get to know others and share in their lives when you most likely never would have without going on this trip. One great thing about friends and family is that regardless of where or how long you travel, they will always be there for you. It's those relationships that make home, home.

    1. Yes, it can definitely be stressful. Our 5th wheel is huge and long and not at all easy to maneuver through busy cities. Forever onward, I will have major sympathy for truck drivers and RVers. I now know to keep my distance and to extend a ton of grace.

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