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That’s usually the first word you hear and usually quite loud, and quickly followed by —
If you’re lucky it won’t blend into “Are you crazy?”
But you should be prepared for “What about us?”
Or maybe you haven’t heard these words yet. You just know they’re probably coming your way.
If you haven’t heard them it’s probably because you haven’t made the big announcement yet.
Especially if you haven’t announced yet that you’re planning on selling everything you own including the family home and retiring to an RV. You’re looking forward to traveling full-time and this definitely is not the response you had hoped or planned for.
It’s best to be prepared for a mixed reaction when you notify your friends or family of your plans.
Feeling guilty? You shouldn’t.
Figure out what the real problem is and why they are so dead set against you doing this and move on.
Will their reaction stop you?
“How could you?” you ask yourself, getting caught up in their reaction before you can stop yourself.
If you’re honest with yourself you probably expected this reaction which made you hesitate about telling them in the first place.
So many feelings ricochet through your body that you almost don’t recognize any of them.
Guilt, embarrassment, defensiveness, excitement, disappointment, anger, sadness — they all seem to hit you at the same time.
Be prepared for the questions you’ll be asking yourself too.
“Am I being stupid and reckless?”
“Am I being irresponsible?”
“Am I being selfish?”
OMG my family thinks I’ve lost my mind. “Are they right?”
“What if I hate it — then what?”
No, you haven’t lost your mind so don’t get defensive and guess what — if you hate it you can always change your mind.
You know you’ve planned for this, you’ve gone through all the pros and cons about your decision and made a choice based on your own needs and wants. You’re not being selfish. Keep telling yourself that until you believe it.
Don’t second guess yourself.
Deal with their reactions and then move on — sound too simplistic?
This really shouldn’t have been such a shock to them since you’ve been talking about this plan for years but in their minds it probably was a pipe dream for them to deal with sometime in the future. Not now.
You had hoped for more acceptance from your family, wanting them to be happy and excited for you.
Figure out what the real problem is, address it and move forward with your plans. It doesn’t have to be difficult.
Abandonment — even though your children are now adults there will be feelings of abandonment.
Reassure them you’ll be staying in touch regularly. Skype is almost as good as being in the same room.
Make arrangements for them to join you for a holiday.
In reality what are their concerns?
Safety — Maybe these concerns aren’t being unrealistic.
However, let them know the steps you will be taking to stay safe — you do have a plan, right?
Fear of the unknown — Remember this is your dream and you’ve been planning this for years.
Get them involved with your plans — ask for suggestions as to potential destinations, ask for advice on disposing of your belongings and share the details of your new adventure. Your enthusiasm should get them excited for you too.
Can you afford it? — Without sharing your personal information you can just assure them “Yes, we can afford it. We won’t become a burden to you.”
What if you get sick? — Yes sickness happens as well as accidents. But… you could get sick if you stayed home or fall down the basement stairs. You’ll deal with these issues if and when they happen.
What if something goes wrong, what will you do? — Deal with it, the same as you would normally.
It’s the fear of the unknown and remember they haven’t spent hours and hours drooling over maps and guides envisioning a life of exploration like you have. Have a little patience with them.
What about regrets?
What if you regret your decision?
You can always sell the RV, settle down and reestablish yourself. Home will always be there.
But… what if you didn’t try it — would that be a much bigger regret?
Should you throw those dreams out the window?
Remember when you first approached your kids about your plans and how horrified they were? Did that almost make you throw your plans out the window along with your dreams of travel?
I’m so glad you didn’t because your journey has just started and it’s time to make those dreams a reality. First, take the time to remember why you have decided to retire into an RV and start traveling.
First of all is the desire to travel and the convenience of living in an RV allows you to take your home with you.
Want to experience new adventures, meet new people and basically have some fun.
Wanting to explore without timelines.
Seek warm weather instead of dealing with winters
Enjoy yourselves while your health is still good.
Not be tied down to a house or yard, etc