This week’s episode features a couple from Texas who have been full-time RVing since 2018.
Dan and Patty Harrison had a sticks-and-bricks home in Texas which they sold in 2018 in order to enjoy a life of full-time travel and Workamping. This winter they are in Yuma, AZ, Workamping at a very large 1,300-site campground where they are cleaning campsites after people check out and are preparing them for the next guests.
The Harrisons adopted a routine where they find a Workamping job for three months, then travel around for a few months doing what they call touristy stuff, then head off to find a different job somewhere else. Until this winter, the longest time they’ve been at one job has been five months.
They started dreaming about a life of full-time RV travel about 20 years ago and had originally envisioned becoming medical travelers. Dan was a surgical technician and Patty was a nurse. However, when that plan didn’t pan out like they hoped, they opted to buy a bed and breakfast inn instead.
While visiting their kids in Dallas one weekend, they went to an RV show to check things out. It was there that the Harrisons realized they had what it took to jump into the RV lifestyle, but they needed a bit more information to make it a reality.
Within a few months, they settled on an RV and hit the road. But, they also wanted a greater sense of purpose, so Dan and Patty started looking for ways to do something to help others in some way. That’s when they discovered Workamping as an ideal way to blend tourism with jobs to keep them busy and active.
Now they plan their schedules by selecting a route to see various sites and looking for Workamping jobs in those areas in order to spend more time really enjoying the region. Ideally, they like to spend three months in one place.
However, thanks to COVID, their plans changed and they wound up spending more time in Arizona than they originally planned.
Because they generally work volunteer positions, they have more flexibility in their schedule so they don’t have to commit to an entire season. The Harrisons can donate their time for a few months and move on. Most places that hire volunteers are very appreciative of any help they can get.
Dan and Patty usually receive a free RV site in return for their labor, which saves them a bunch of money on campground fees and gives them a base from which they can explore an area.
I love their attitude that Workamping gives them a purpose for getting up in the morning. Like Patty said, people can fill their time with crafts, playing cards and activities like that. But, for the Harrisons, that lifestyle quickly got boring. Workamping allows them to use their brains while keeping busy and active.
Plus they get to interact with interesting people, and all the activity just makes them feel younger and happier by having something to contribute to the world.
I also enjoyed how Patty described her hobby of collecting postcards from the places they’ve been and assembling them in a book describing their journeys. In the digital age, we all take tons of pictures, but never seem to do anything other than store them in massive digital directories. At least the Harrisons now have a memory book they can flip through or allow others to view and share their experiences.
I was especially appreciative of their advice not to wait to embark on a travel journey. You can support yourself on the road – even before you start receiving Social Security.
I really wish Dan and Patty the best of luck as they wrap up their time in sunny and warm Arizona this winter before heading off to do one of my dream jobs, which is working at a lighthouse in Washington.
Dan and Patty did a lot of research on their own before beginning their lives as full-time RVers, but you don’t have to do it alone.
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Today’s episode is sponsored by the National RV Training Academy in Athens, Texas. The academy’s one-week live training or home study course will teach you everything you need to know to fix about 80 percent of the problems people experience with their RVs.
You can also sign up for additional training to become an RV inspector, campground technician or to provide mobile RV service. For more information, visit www.nrvta.com.
That’s all we have for this week’s show. Next time I’ll be speaking with a fellow who lives in an RV and makes a great living as a mobile service technician. He’ll tell us all about in on the next episode of The Workamper Show. Thanks for listening!