Today we are going to talk about an important subject that applies to every couple and family seeking to enjoy the full-time RV lifestyle – and that’s how to maintain healthy personal relationships while confined to 400 square feet of living space.
Levi and Natalie Henley have been married for 12 years and full-time RVing for six of them. In fact, they have also worked 20 Workamping jobs together. Through it all, they have learned a lot about each other’s personal habits and traits on the job and how to differentiate what goes on at work from their private lives.
Levi explains how Workamping is different from traditional work situations because the couples are often working side-by-side rather than at different worksites. So, it’s no longer a matter of coming together and asking each person how their day went because they’ve been sharing the same experiences and working with the same people.
What is important is that couples process their feelings pertaining to what happened on the job in a way that bolster’s healthy communication rather than bottling in any frustrations they may experience.
It’s essential that couples support one another in Workamping situations to be a supportive cheerleader when things aren’t going so well and coaching the other person on how to make the situation better.
They discuss an issue I never would have considered before and that’s how many couples may playfully interact with each other in words and actions that could cause problems for other employees or would be considered violations of company policies.
It’s also different in work situations when a spouse says or does something that annoys the other person. If a different employee had done the same thing, it would have likely been easier to brush it off. However, because the spouse was the offender, different dynamics come into play.
The Henleys discuss the importance of giving each other plenty of space for alone time to decompress from a tough situation or simply to pursue a hobby.
Workamping can be particularly troubling for some couples who have never worked together in employment situations. The Henleys offer advice on what to expect during those early jobs so that couples can be aware of what’s likely to happen so they can recognize a potential problem before it becomes a big flare up.
Workamping can truly enhance a strong relationship or work to expose cracks in a relationship’s foundation. That’s why I am particularly grateful to Levi and Natalie Henley for coming on the show to explain what they do that works to maintain a positive and successful marriage.
As they noted, sometimes people just have a bad day at work or get into a bad mood. But we tend to internalize that to believe the other person is upset with us specifically when, in fact, it could just mean that someone’s having a bad day and overwhelmed about something that doesn’t even involve the other person.
That’s why communication is so critical to ensuring a mutually-rewarding marriage and Workamping experience.
Levi and Natalie actually delve into relationships – both personal and work relationships – in their blog and in some YouTube videos they prepared. You can find the blog at www.henleyshappytrails.com or by searching for the Henley’s Happy Trails YouTube channel. Their book, “Seasonal Workamping for a Living,” is also available on Amazon.com.
One of the things that can really help a couple before they engage in a Workamping situation is to complete what’s called a DISC assessment. It’s a quick personality test that shows how you and your partner are likely to respond in various situations.
This knowledge raises awareness of how a person typically behaves in that kind of environment. So, for example, if your spouse is more dominating that you may be, you can identify that as a personality trait and not really something directed at you personally.
Because you are aware of how your partner thinks and acts, you can see him or her more clearly, eye-to-eye to connect better on a human level.
The DISC test is also valuable in helping you identify work situations that are ideally suited for your personality. Again, if you are more of a “tell me what to do and then get out of my way” kind of person, you will be much happier at a job where they expect Workampers to take the initiative rather than working at a job where people are more micro-managed.
Knowing your personality and that of your spouse or partner goes a long way to improving your experiences not only at work but after-hours back in the RV, too.
Workamper News allows couples to take a DISC assessment as part of the RV Dreamer’s Journey and new Small Biz RVer courses. However, you can also just take the test by itself by visiting https://www.personalityservice.com/portal/VNCV/store. The cost ranges from $12.95 to $69.95, depending upon how detailed you want the results to be.
This 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.