What can a full-time family do during a pandemic?
We’ve had several people reach out to us to check in and see how we’re dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and how it is affecting our lives as full-time travelers. The short answer is we’re working through many of the same challenges that everyone else is facing, and getting through it day-by-day just like everyone else.
That said, there are some unique challenges that we’re facing while on the road during this crazy time, and we wanted to share some updates and thoughts regarding our experience – for those of you that just love us and want to know we’re safe (❤️) and to hopefully help some other full-timers know we’re out here supporting you.
Itravelft.com reports that there are over 6.3 million full-time travelers in the United States, with around 1 million living in RVs just like us. And with our limited space and travel-based lifestyle, we simply can’t stockpile like those in traditional housing.
Just like everyone else, we’re having to pay attention to how we interact with people, how we are planning our meals and groceries, and how it’s affecting our work and connectivity. Luckily for us, we’re already at an advantage regarding working from home and homeschooling – as it’s already a part of our daily lives. So here are the places that it’s affecting us:
Obviously, this is a big piece of the puzzle for us. We’ve spoken with lots of RV’ers out there that have a lot of different plans for the next few weeks of #socialdistancing. Some have decided to press on, some are headed back towards family, some are hunkering down where they’re at.
With many state parks and sights closing, and events being called off, the options for full time families have been diminished certainly. That said, we’re in the “press on” category, at least for the moment. Obviously plans can change and we can be forced to redirect, but flexibility is one of the hallmarks of this lifestyle, so we’re ready. We decided that heading back to the very large city we call home base wouldn’t do us any favors in the isolation department, so we’re going to stick with the plan for now – which includes several small towns for the next several weeks.
Food / Groceries
Which leads us to the next thing to consider – how we’re going to eat and…. well…. dispose of things. Rest assured, while our space is limited and doesn’t allow us to be hoarders, we have plenty of food and TP to last us a reasonable amount of time. We’ll also be conserving and making smart decisions regarding our usage in the coming weeks – just like everyone.
Working from Home
This one isn’t really sounding many alarms for us, as we’ve been in the working from home boat for almost 15 years (albeit just one on the road) and homeschooling since we launched. For those of you who are new to all this, welcome! It’s sometimes awesome, sometimes boring, and always worth it. Here are a two BIG thoughts to help you through the day.
- Set a schedule. Set yourself an alarm, get up, make your coffee, and get going. You’ll be surprised how quickly the day can get away from you if you just meander through it. Also, try to figure out your most productive times of the day, and work your routine around them.
- Set boundaries. This is really challenging, and there are about a million books on the subject. It’s important to let work be work and home be home. Setting a schedule and having a routine really helps with this. It can be tempting to just work when you feel like it and take Netflix binge breaks during the day. Maybe that works for you, but for me, it makes me feel like the workday never ends.
We also know that we have a lot of friends a little panicked at the moment regarding their kiddos being home, so we’ve got your back. Here are a few resources that have been floating around, and a few that we personally use to help you with your newfound teaching opportunity.
Vooks – App with lots of free books for younger kids.
Epic Books – Has over 35,000 books, educational videos, etc. It’s a monthly fee, but usually has a free month or two to try it out.
A final note on all this – be sure to have grace for your kiddo. They’re adjusting too. There’s no shame in letting them just be kids and play. They’ll be alright, we promise.
The most important thing in all of this is that you stay safe and be responsible. Coronavirus isn’t like things we’ve seen before, and it never hurts be more cautious. It’s been said a million times, and we’re sure you’re tired of hearing it, but your actions more than ever can have a lasting impact on the health and safety of others around you. Let’s all do our part to help slow the rate of spread, stay healthy, and look out for each other.
With Love, the Bowlings