Full-Time in an RV – A Teen’s Perspective

Full-Time in an RV - A Teen's Perspective 1

On July 8, 2016, my life changed. Not in the way most every other teenager’s life changes, like transferring schools or getting a new boyfriend. No, my world has been turned upside-down in the best way possible, for that was the day that my family and I rode into the sunset with our home on our backs and our future ahead of us.

Haley Jones
Enjoying the sunset after a nice hike in Page, Arizona.

Only a mere 43 days into our adventure, my eyes have been opened to things that simply can’t be experienced while stuck in a suburban lifestyle and never venturing outside county lines. I have learned more about people, culture, experience and travel in these five weeks than I have from 12 years of private school education.

Of course, it hasn’t all been unicorns prancing through a magical field of rainbows. There were tears shed over friends missed, frustrating times when our refrigerator wouldn’t work and boring days of sitting around Thousand Trails Las Vegas Campground, waiting anxiously for our truck to get fixed.

Out of those challenges came experience.

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The day I was feeling really down and missing my friends, I met 25-year-old Adelle at youth group. Adelle was born and raised in the Philippines and had moved to Las Vegas at 21, to begin her nursing career.
But what really piqued my interest was her involvement in “medical missions” within the church. Medical missions include going to Third World countries and providing medical care along with sharing the Gospel. The knowledge she was able to give was invaluable, because I want to become a medical missionary myself.

Also, because of our refrigerator malfunctions, I now know how to pack and store food in a cooler “the right way,” as my dad would put it. And, during our wait in Las Vegas, my family and I got to meet Dick, a deaf senior musician who happened to live at the RV campground where we were staying. We had the fortunate pleasure of hearing Dick perform a mini “concert” for us outside our trailer one warm, Monday evening. His heart for all things musical makes up for what his hearing might lack.

“For every teenager out there, hear me when I say this: Spending time with your family will not kill you.”

Out of all these moments came knowledge, but most of all, fun. For every teenager out there, hear me when I say this: Spending time with your family will not kill you. Only getting to see your friends over FaceTime will not make you a social pariah. Actually, going outside and enjoying nature and family time, without feeling the need to Snapchat about it 10 times, doesn’t make you weird. It helps you to be appreciative, and to live in the moment and love your life.

Some of my best memories have been spent with my family, in a town I’d never been in before, hundreds of miles from my hometown. The best Christmas of my life wasn’t the best because I got the newest iPhone or a puppy. Instead, my mom, dad, and I spent that day bundled up and ATVing through Sedona’s red rocks. Halfway through our ride, we looked up to find that a light sprinkling of snow was beginning to cover our ATV and the rocks around us.

Haley Jones
Impromptu climb at Pioneer Park in ST. George.

It wasn’t much, and it melted within the next few minutes, but the memory of that day, topped off with a perfect dusting of snow, is something I’ll never forget.

There are so many things that we have yet to discover, and I am beyond excited. If this first month is any indicator as to what full-time RV life is like, I can’t wait for what the future holds. And the best part is, I’ve only scratched the surface.

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Author

Haley Jones #133661

Haley set out RVing with her parents, Glyn and Jena, and cat, Jo-C, in July 2016. She prides herself on being a bibliophile, straight-A smarty pants, debate seeker, novelist-in-training and conversation enthusiast who loves to laugh. Haley is a full-time online student with Northstar Academy online christian school.

2 Responses to “Full-Time in an RV – A Teen’s Perspective

  • What a wonderful and inspiring article. Way to go Haley! Not only for taking the time to write such a great article to help others understand the benefits of this lifestyle, but more importantly, for thinking outside the box. You’ll never forget or regret this time–that’s for sure. As a fellow RVer who grew up as a full-time RVer I can attest to that. Enjoy every minute! Sending SKP hugs to you and your family.

  • We all grow up too fast. Family time is one of those things we take for granted, until we discover too late in life that we should have paid more attention. My wife and I traveled around with our kids in an RV, and they really liked it. You can make a lot of friends that you would have never had the opportunity to meet. And with social media at everyone’s fingertips, you can stay in touch. Enjoyed your article!

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