I have noticed a trend in all the campgrounds we have been visiting in the last year. This trend used to be a rarity but has begun to be more and more of a daily thing. We love to be in different campgrounds and meet the people who are either living there or just passing through. And lately it has been more of the living there group.
There are a vast amount of individuals and families that the full time RV lifestyle is now becoming the only option for. It is not a lifestyle of their choosing. As a person who loves this lifestyle (and chose this lifestyle willingly) this trend really bothers me. We make our living helping people create an income to do this lifestyle as a choice. To see it as a persons last resort makes me want to look for a solution to help them. The issues are defiantly due to the current economy. Most of those I meet either lost everything due to a job loss, health crisis or bad investments (either made by them or a trusted source.)
No matter the cause the end results were all the same. Those involved in this new lifestyle had a few things in common that most readers will find surprising: they were happier. Wow. That seems so not what would be expected in a world that seems to use only possessions as a way of judging happiness and quality of life. But contrary to that world view people were actually okay with life after losing everything. Something those of us that though life have started over or been born into a non rich family totally understand.
This whole adventure took me back to where I was born; a small coal mining town in south western Pennsylvania that is not even on most maps. Are the lessons learned over 40 years ago the ones that were being relived today? Are we headed to some type of regression back to when happiness and quality of life were more important than having more cars than your neighbor? I sure hope so, but that is my opinion.
Everyone had some type of job or income coming in. If theirs did not supply enough money for the basics in life there was always someone there willing to help out with something, be it some food for dinner or fixing something that was needed for daily life. I believe even then it was referred to a hand up, not a hand out.
All the houses everyone had were small and affordable. Everyone was close and by today’s standards not a great place to live. Back then it seemed like a palace. I would be willing to bet our current motor home is about the same square footage as the house I was born in. We all know the size of the home you were born in is not the determining factor of where you will end up in life. That is determined by you and the desires and dreams inside your own heart.
A few things that kept coming up in conversation repeatedly were that they still had hope, they still had a dream, and most important they have the feelings in their heart to do something to make there current life a bit better. I also believe the ones that will make it believe in that first goal, make their current life a bit better. Wow. Those words alone can be so powerful. If we could make that everyone’s first thought of the day what a world it would be. What I take away from that is this: get up every day, forgive yourself for anything you may be blaming yourself for, and most importantly do something today to better your life. If you can do this little thing and stick to it, there is nothing in this world you cannot accomplish.
There are those that want the life they had back exactly as they had it. I don’t even think I can help the people with this belief. What they really need to do is some soul searching. They need to dig deep to really find out what is important to them and their family. Only then can they start to recover to a better life. Here is where we use the reality baseball bat to the head: it’s gone, there is no just hoping and blaming in the world that will get it back. Only you with a new attitude and plan can do something to better your current life. Forgive yourself and all involved and start doing something productive for a change.
Is there a solution? Yes, there is. It will be different for each person. There is no easy one size fits all solution. We as a family are in the process of setting up a system to take anyone with the desire from “I don’t know how” to the “boy that was easier then I thought.” Don’t get me wrong: its not an “I’ll be rich by morning” or “Make money while you sleep” type scam. It will be the hardest work you have ever done. But with a plan it will seem easy. And deep down I don’t believe there is any amount of hard work someone is not willing to do to better their life for the sake of their family.