I never used to be someone who likes to hangout outdoors. I realize now, that it was just the fact I needed to start living in an RV first. And I needed to move as well.
Since spring began here in East Tennessee, Tracy and I have started to take time and spend our evening hanging outside. If I was rich, we would buy some wood for a campfire, but just spending time outside together has been amazing.
I think the ecology of the South is outdoor friendly to humans. In Wisconsin, those 3 nice summer months are the only time wasps, flies, and mosquitoes get to live. As a result, when you go outside, you are targeted as a meal worth pursing.
Here in the South, we have a bunch of lovely creatures that love to hunt the nasty biting insects. Heck, even the wasps in the South are more pleasant and less aggressive then the wasps of the North.
Even when the day is blazing hot, the evening temperatures in the rolling hills of East Tennessee are not to be missed.
After over 3 years of full-time RV living, and after recently discovering the joys of sitting outside in the evenings, I have discovered that I didn’t even understand my own awnings capabilities.
All around the park I noticed that many of the awning have legs that are staked to the ground. It was weird because many of the awnings looked exactly like my awning did, but instead of the bottom arm being attached to the RV, it was standing up and down.
i finally decided to look at my awning a little closer and I can see the arms are made to detach from the RV. Just looking at where the arm is clipped to the side of the RV, I can see it even has a nice foot pad with a place to secure it to the ground.
Nice! At my current site, I can’t extend my awning this way, but this will be a great tip for future locations.
Maybe all the HIWML readers will have already known their RV awning works this way, but I honestly had no idea!
The other thing I have discovered since sitting outside is that I have met a lot of nice people. These people have spoken into our lives with deeds and actions that change who you are as a person.
It is widely quoted:
The you of tomorrow is the same as the you of today with exception of who you met and the media you consume.
Einstein is quoted as saying something like:
Doing something over and over and expecting different results, without changing anything, is the very definition of insanity.
That means you need outside influence to change yourself and your circumstances. You did what you did to get where you are, but you need to do something different if you want to experience something else.
Reading blogs and reading books is great. It gives you great ideas.
Unfortunately many people don’t blog or share their ideas without being asked. Most people only share their views and ideas if you go talk to them.
To make matters more difficult, it can be difficult to connect with people. You normally connect with coworkers, neighbors, and a few random friends from various locations.
RVers get to connect with people all over the country on an ongoing rotating basis. All you have to do is sit outside under your awning and say hello to people who walk by your campsite. Ask a question or two, give your name, ask about destinations, or what they are camping in. Take a risk!
Over the last few years we have met some cool people with cool jobs who do cool things.
I recently met someone who shared with me how to avoid the gigantic bumps before an after a bridge when. That may not seem like a big deal to you, but when you drive a 20,000lb + vehicle over a bridge, those bumps before and after the bridge really rattle your RV all over the place.
I met a couple who have been driving around the country, but came to Tennessee to have a doctor who specializes in a treatment they needed.
I met couple who are learning how to slow down and put their marriage before their work.
I met a couple who spent the last 2 years traveling to relatives houses and trying to reconnect with family.
I met a man who encourages me to try new business ventures and ideas and not to give up.
I met a couple that needs to work minimum wage jobs to make ends meet. They decided they might as well periodically move around the country instead of being stuck in the same place forever. Cashier jobs all look and pay the same, but it doesn’t mean the other hours have to be mundane as well!
Many of these people surprised me. They started the conversations. They reached out to me. But I wasn’t exactly passive. I did set up my awning and took the time to be outside. I did wave. I did smile and make eye contact.
You don’t have to be an extravert to network. You just may need to grab a seat under your RV awning and smile.