When we first began our RV family adventure in June 2014, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. My husband had never even seen an RV in his life before (except in pictures prior to us purchasing one, which we did online) and had never even driven a car in Europe. Also, we had no time to “figure this whole thing out.”
But we did!
My husband and I are “5-star kind of people.” Meaning, we’re not big on camping, hanging out in small crowded spaces or spending time outdoors with bugs, which is pretty much what you do when you live an RV life. So after a week, we were beginning to get on each others nerves. With nowhere to go in the RV but outside, we eventually sought refuge in nature.
Because our lives prior to the RV family life was filled with a lot of busyness, nature was something we never really had a chance to observe and truly appreciate. Working more than we needed to, after-school programs, getting stuck in traffic, and chores consumed our lives. What’s worse is that we live in Hawaii, one of the most BEAUTIFUL, natural places in the world, yet had few opportunities to enjoy its beauty.
Taking the kids on long walks in forests, biking on bike paths near beautiful castles, and accidentally strolling through small villages was where we eventually found our peace and balance.
But, nothing is without its challenges. Take our first month in the Netherlands for example. From close calls with bulls, getting lost during a lightning storm, daily tantrums over homework, and over-flowing sewage, we all learned a whole new way of living and eventually began to learn more about each other. There was a lot of encouragement when daddy couldn’t figure out how to change the battery, fear when we drove over a bridge so high we though the wind was going to blow us over the edge, and love when we all watched an incredible sunset over the vineyards in Tuscany.
It’s those moments spent together we all still remember and will probably never forget. Memories we created that will last forever.
Our bond with “Homer,” our RV began to grow and he became part of our family. His role was to keep us safe and warm during our travels and we always double, no triple checked him out daily to make sure he was fine. The kids had no problem making sure he was kept clean and their ‘rooms’ tidy. We eventually had a system going and it worked wonders for all of us which included: waking up late, having breakfast outside, worldschooling either by iPad or books, visiting landmarks, museums or parks, lunch outside, playtime or swimming, dinner outdoors, and finally relaxing either by a fire, beach, or just cuddling up in the RV, watching a movie.
Today’s fast-paced life often leaves busy parents searching for opportunities to spend quality time together as a family. Increasingly, families are discovering that vacationing in an RV is the best way to cement familial relationships while having a great time.
Bringing the family closer together was the top answer for parents when asked what are the most important benefits of RV family camping in “Campfire Canvass,” a semi-annual nationwide survey of a random sample of RV owners by Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA). Other highly ranked responses were “providing a learning experience,” “teaching kids to respect nature,” “broadening their horizons,” and “developing wholesome values.”
RV’ing allows parents to re-establish relationships with not only their children, but themselves. It removes life’s daily routines and distractions, forcing everyone to enjoy “doing nothing, together.” Something, we rarely often do!
So, if you’ve been planning, talking or dreaming about doing an RV trip (whether in Europe or cross-country in the USA), don’t put it off for too long. It truly does and can bring your family closer together.