So How Do You Do It?
Since so many people have asked me about this lifestyle and how it is possible to be able to travel the country and actually be able to afford it I have decided to do a 2 part blog on workamping in general. I already have a page that lists different types of ways to make money so I will not be listing them all here. Take me to the “How To Make Money On The Road” page.
Instead, I will focus this blog on overall mindset going into this and a general description of workampers and workamping jobs. Next week I will get into detail about some of the different functions you might perform while working at campgrounds.
So What Exactly Is A Workamper?
I have been asked numerous times what exactly is a workamper? They just don’t understand how I can go to different states and sightsee, explore, or just relax at a campsite. I always get asked how I can afford to do this. I must have some big pension they say.
The truth is I do have a pension. Not a big one but one none the less. I chose an early retirement after doing 22.5 years at a 9-5 job. I took some steep penalties by retiring “early” but walked away with some money and the opportunity to pay a reduced rate on my medical insurance. Is a pension needed for this lifestyle? Absolutely not. There are many people, some young with families who have decided to hit the road full time.
Ahh, The Golden Years
Everyone’s situation is going to be unique with its own challenges. For example, a young couple with a family will need to figure out the best way to homeschool their kids while an older couple might need to figure out their medical care on the road. Let’s face it. The golden years are not always so golden…lol.
One of the biggest reasons I chose to do this is because no one is promised tomorrow. I have watched many people stay in their jobs as long as they could to get the maximum money for retirement. Many of them either passed away while still working, passed away shortly after retiring with that big pension, or just was not physically able to do a lot of things by the time they retired. They never got a chance to explore this great country of ours.
What Path Will You Follow?
Now don’t get me wrong, I am not bashing anyone who wants to hang in there for the long haul and max out their retirement. Even though I know a lot of people that never got to enjoy their big pensions, I also know a lot of people who did. All I am saying is it is not a path I chose to follow. Also, not everyone has a wanderlust to travel. Some like to stay near family and friends and that’s ok too.
As for me, I chose to get out and see as much of the country as I could before the day came where I either passed or physically could not travel anymore. It is a decision that I do not regret one bit. It’s also a decision that should not be taken lightly. Living in an RV full time is not for everyone and that’s ok.
OK, Let’s Do It!!!
There is a lot of thought that should go into this before you leap. There are many things to think about. One that comes to mind right away is can you live with your significant other in a small box. I wrote a blog on that on. Click here if you have not read that one yet. Those pre-full time decisions are another whole subject. For this blog, I will assume you have already done your research and made your decision to do it or you have reached the point where you have decided you will do it but need more info on making money.
There are a lot of ways to workamp. You can work for someone else or run your own business just like if you were in sticks and bricks. For the purpose of this blog, I will assume you will be working for someone else. Some people feel like if you work outside the campground you are not actually workamping. I am not one of those people.
On Or Off The Campground?
I feel as if you are living full time in your RV, van, car or whatever and you are working then you are a workamper. Since we have been full timing, Chris has taken 2 jobs off the campground. Does that mean she is not a workamper? We still live in our RV and she is working. She is a workamper. One thing to remember is that unless you are going to be in an area forever, your job will be temporary. It is not a career. Some people have fun with this by trying a job they would ordinarily never have taken just to see if they like it. Remember it’s temporary. If it turns out you don’t like it, when you move to the next area don’t do that job!!!
There are many reasons that someone would take a job outside of the campground. Money is probably the number one reason. Most campground jobs are either for site only or site and money. The money part is generally minimum wage. More often than not you can find an off the campground job that pays better than minimum wage. Then you would just pay your site fees yourself. Remember, you also have fuel and wear and tear costs for your vehicle for your commute.
I Open The Door And I Am At Work
For me, I like the idea of walking out my door and being at work in under a minute. I also like interacting with people in campgrounds because I feel that in general, they are happier people. I found that if you work off the grounds you run into the normal 9-5’ers that hate their jobs. They tend to be more cranky and negative than those at campgrounds. That is just my opinion of course.
Working off the campground, the options are unlimited. You can basically work at almost every occupation out there. When you work at a campground, the jobs are a little more limited. In next weeks blog, I will go over some typical jobs you might do while working at a campground.
What are you looking to do? On or off the campground? Leave a comment below and let me know.