Have you ever thought about dropping everything, hitting the road, and following your favorite band or sports team across the country? I mean, everyone daydreams, but have you ever seriously considered it? The prospect of building or buying a tiny house or RV is both tantalizing and intimidating; it opens new doors for how you can lead your life, but it also introduces many new problems.
From the outset, it may seem impossible to find stability under such circumstances. This uncertainty can dissuade us from living life to the fullest. Is pursuing a nomadic lifestyle a realistic aspiration? What do you need to know to make it work out? Here are a few considerations to keep in mind:
RVs vs. Tiny Houses
Recreational vehicles are an excellent choice for travelers looking to live on the road. They are much less cumbersome than tiny houses when it comes to long periods of travel. Another obvious benefit is that they are substantially less expensive; while a tiny house can run you between $60,000 and up (depending on whether you decide to buy a prefab model or build your own), a mid-range RV can be found for less than $10,000 — and much cheaper if you look for a pre-owned model. For the extremely budget-conscious, some creative travelers even get away with spending substantially less.
Tiny homes have their own advantages. While they are less mobile than RVs, they are more easily weatherproofed and can be customized in many unique ways. While they tend to pricier than RVs, a reasonable DIY microhome can be built for under $30,000. Furthermore, because they can be towed and detached from your vehicle, they give you more versatility during your travels. Finally, some travelers simply need the comfort and familiarity that come with living in a semi-traditional home.
Earning a Stable Income
The digital age has made quickly finding work easier than ever before. Whether you aim to work remotely full time or do freelance work, there are plenty of options for generating some income while on the road.
Here are just a few freelance opportunities that you should consider:
- Freelance Writing/Editing: If you have a natural talent for language, consider using your skills to help marketing agencies, local businesses, or other companies by writing on-site content. Alternatively, if you are a strong technical writer, you could help other creatives by proofreading their work.
- Social Media Consultancy: Another essential part of marketing is engaging with potential customers on social media. If you have a pulse on current issues and have a knack for spreading buzz online, you can earn some money by helping companies or individuals advertise their products or services via social media.
- Photography: As you travel across the country, you will naturally encounter a wide range of beautiful vistas. Snapshots of these areas can prove to be valuable assets, especially to travel blogs and organizations. If you are able to market these images effectively, you can earn some serious cash.
Of course, there is no source of income as reliable as true full-time employment. Recent innovations in remote work technology make this prospect more feasible than you might think. There are some tips to keep in mind when looking for a job in a new city. Keeping your resume up-to-date, leveraging your travels by constantly networking with new people, maintaining relationships via social media, and keeping an eye open for new job opportunities (even when you’re employed), will keep you employed and financially secure.
Keeping Stable Transportation
Another part of ensuring secure finances is keeping your transportation ready for the road. One of the biggest risks of staying on the road for so long is traffic accidents. It can be easy to complacently fall into a lull while driving for extended periods of time, and this mindset can leave you susceptible to auto accidents.
Being alert to fellow drivers is a big part of this. For example, considering the disproportionate number of motorcycle crashes (72 out of every 100,000 vehicles) when compared to other automobiles (13 out of every 100,000), you need to stay awake on the road. While such drivers can take safety precautions to avoid accidents, it pays to be mindful of fellow drivers on bikes.
As we continue to enter the colder months of the year, a major concern that should come to mind is the importance of weatherproofing your tiny house or RV. Your living quarters must be able to withstand a wide range of temperatures and extreme weather conditions including rain, hail, and snow. Here are some tips for weatherproofing your new home:
- Insulate windows and exterior doors with caulk or spray foam insulation. If you need more heat to battle the dropping temperatures, consider investing in a propane furnace for night use.
- Whether you choose an RV or to tow your tiny home behind you, regularly perform basic system maintenance, including checking your brakes, ignition and exhaust systems, and a car battery. If necessary, replace your brakes or other components.
- When moving from cold to warm climates, or when the spring arrives, be sure to vigilantly check tire air pressure and tread condition. It helps to carry multiple tire sets for various weather and road conditions. Furthermore, refill the water heater and flush it out if you used antifreeze.
These are some considerations you should keep at the forefront of your mind as you begin your new life as a nomad. Nothing beats living life on the road, and while the prospect may make you uncertain, the lifestyle is entirely within reach to those with proper planning and conviction.