Sweat Rat and Stinky-Do: The Human Factor

February 4, 2017 (by Jimmy) – I have several things on my bucket list. Many of which I have accomplished because of my wonderful wife. For instance, my birthday is Groundhog day. So, my bucket list included going to Punxsutawney, PA for my birthday.

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Punxsutawney, PA – Feb 2, 2013

Another Bucket List item…

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Coliseum – Rome, Italy 2012

Angela set up these trips, which gets to my point. When you go full time, you need to know that you can put up with the person with whom you will share the rig. Angela and I share a great love of travel; we are big competitors, and we both like football and NASCAR (though I had to teach her it’s not just left turns). We do have differences, but we understand these and live with them. I’m a night owl; she’s a morning person. She’s big on reducing GMOs and buying organic. I’m okay with that if I don’t have to eat kale, and I get a burrito every now and then. We have had one ongoing argument ever since we were married:  Who is the luckiest. If you have ever met Angela, you would know that I am the winner of this one, hands down.

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My wife on our wedding day – Las Vegas, NV (Jun 2006)

There are many things that happen every day in life that you laugh about, or react to, or think about and then let go. Those things happen in an RV as well, and I think sometimes more so because you are making more decisions than you do when you have a house. How far do we travel? Where are we going to stay? For how long? When we get ready to move and when we set-up upon arrival, we both take responsibility for the list of chores that need to be accomplished. Communication is a huge part of this. You must be able to communicate with whomever you will be sharing the RV.

Then there are the little things: Things you see on the road, things you discuss, the inside joke things that are just too cute. Let me give you a couple of examples. Angela and I have nicknames for each other. Now these came about through our travel, and I share them here to make a point. It wouldn’t make sense for someone else to call us this because it’s an endearing inside just between us.

One day, when I was on client site, Angela asked me a question in an e-mail. In answering that e-mail I typed, “Hi Sweetheart, blah blah, blah.” However, once I sent it, I noticed I didn’t say, “Hi Sweetheart.”I instead had typed ,“Hi Sweatrat.” Now,Angela is my beautiful Sweat Rat.

One morning,we woke up (okay, Angela woke up). I w as still half asleep. She turned to me and said, “Good Morning, I love you,” To which I replied, “I love you more.” I know, sometimes we can be mushy. She returned with the reply, “You just think you do.” What my half asleep ears heard was, “You’re a Stinky-Do.” Not being able to keep my mouth shut, I asked her why she called me a stinky-do. We got a good laugh out of it, and I picked up a nickname.

The point of this is there are a million things that go on in your day. You have to be comfortable with whomever is on the journey with you. Do we ever get on each other’s nerves? Absolutely. How do we handle those times? It depends on the situation. If we are a half a bubble off level, I usually give her the option to put a board under the wheel. If she freaks out over something I consider minor, I will take a walk and digest the situation, and later we talk it out. Just remember this is the lifestyle you picked and the person you picked to share it. If it wasn’t this on the road, it would be something else at the house. Lifestyles are lifestyles. Don’t get upset. Next week it will be a memory that you will share with others.

It’s good to have some alone time even when you are travelling in an RV. It may be hard to come by in a small campsite, but when she says she’s going to do something, unless it’s apparent that she wants me to join her, I either ask or consider it’s her alone time. I’m sorry that some of this is rambling, but this is all part of the full-time RV life. It’s not all just destinations, hook-ups, and repairs. There’s a human factor that also needs to be addressed. I’m just glad that in my journey, I’m the lucky one.

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I’m definitely the lucky one – Las Vegas, New Mexico B&B on our Rte. 66 drive (another Bucket List Item) 2014

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