Recently a nomad friend mentioned they were leaving the road to go back to their sticks and bricks home. I asked reflexively "Why?" The answer, which took me completely by surprise, was "Because I cannot stand being in a small space 24/7 with my spouse anymore".....the spouse was standing right there......awkward. If I ever heard those words from TLE I would be pretty much devastated. There is no doubt in my mind that these people love each other, but let's face it, this life style is not for everyone. If you are both retired then you do pretty much spend 24/7 with each other, so that is something that must be seriously considered when contemplating a nomadic existence. I have to say that when I first suggested we live full time in our Newell TLE intellectually thought it was a good idea, but something in her gut made her say "I need to find out if I can live with you in a small space"......after all, we were talking about transitioning from a 2,000 square foot home to a 200 square foot motorhome. What I suggested as a way for her to find out is that we lease out our home for 1 year, and live in the coach at a local county park......if at the end of that year she did not think it would work for her we would move back into our home.....she agreed. Within 6 months I had my answer, and the rest is history.......well, not so much history.....we are, obviously, still writing history day by day.
So, why does it work for us, and not for other couples? Interpersonal relationships are quite complex, but frankly I think the most important reason it works for us is that we have always been friends......from the day we met......the romance came several years later. By 'friends' I mean we like being with each other, and like doing things together. All the years we were raising our five children I looked forward to the day when the kids would be grown and on to living their own lives so I could spend more time with my best friend. Really, for us, that (friendship) is the key ingredient for why this life works for us.
More often than not when folks jump into this life too quickly without due consideration to all it entails the reality they run into clashes with the expectations they had......it is not one long vacation....it is simply living your life on the road. In your sticks and bricks life you had larger living space, a stable community of family, friends, acquaintances, and work that kept you apart 5 days a week. When you hit the road you leave all that behind, and are pretty much starting over. For us community is very important, and within just a few months on the road we connected with this amazing transient community making many new friends. Don't misunderstand, the community does not come to you.......you have to go out and find it, and connect with it. For some that is difficult, and I totally get that.
Ultimately it comes down to the little things that make this life work for us......get up each day wondering what you can do for your spouse/partner to make their life better. Don't forget anniversaries, birthdays and other significant events in your life......one of those little things is going out on dates, just like you did in your sticks and bricks life. Tuesday it was time for another date, this time to celebrate our just passed wedding anniversary (8/29), TLE's just passed birthday, and my upcoming birthday. Our favorite fine dinning establishment here in the Cape Blanco area is Redfish in Port Orford (Yelp gives them 4 stars on 123 reviews).