Keeping in Touch While Traveling and Full-Time RVing

Camping alone in the desert doesn't mean you have to lose touch with friends and family!
Camping alone in the desert doesn't mean you have to lose touch with friends and family! | Source

Keeping in touch when RVing full-time

You’ve decided to sell your home and join the ranks of full-time RVers and may be anxious about leaving your former life and community ties. But be assured that giving up your house and moving into an RV does not mean that you lose your connection to family and friends. You'll develop friendships with other RVers, but your old friends and family ties will always be precious.

Maintain Close Relationships for Mental and Physical Health

Studies have shown that maintaining friendships and close relationships is necessary for your physical and mental health. People who have close relationships have lower stress levels and better cardiovascular health. In scientific studies of people with wounds, those who have close relationships healed more quickly than those who didn’t. Called Social Wellbeing, having healthy relationships, friendships and frequent social interaction is a proven positive factor in physical health and healing.

Keep in Touch with Family and Old Friends

While face-to-face personal contact is desirable, keeping in touch through other means is also a healthy way to promote your social wellbeing. Sending email, participating in forums, phone calls and keeping in touch by whatever means available will keep your social connections healthy.

It takes effort to maintain close ties, and you'll find that it's important to adapt your communications to their style. Remember that not everyone connects in the same way. Some people write, some talk, some need to hear your voice or see your face. Don’t rely on just one method of communication when there are so many choices available.

In seven years of RVing, I’ve learned to use all tools available to promote a healthy social wellbeing.

Eight Ways to Keep in Touch While RVing

1. Keep in Touch Through Email

Friends who love to write will respond to emails with chatty e-letters and pictures. Computers make it easy to stay closely connected to those who write frequent emails. Remember, not everyone wants to know the history and details of every mile you travel! Keep your emails personal and relate only anecdotes that will interest your friends. Don't forget to include one or two pictures of yourself with your email now and then. You're friends will enjoy seeing your smiling face!

2. Keep in Touch With Newsletters

While it’s tempting to send frequent, lengthy newsletters to everyone on your email list, restrain yourself! It won’t take long for your to realize that only a few people actually read them. While newsletters can be newsy and fun, if they’re all about you, your friends may get bored with them. Most people prefer personal emails that are directed at them and not a large audience. I now limit newsletters to a holiday letter that gives a few details of our travels and sometimes relates a funny incident. Mostly, I confine them to personal and family news. (No, I don’t list every Little League score and trip to the doctor’s…)

3. Maintain a Website of Your Travels

As you travel, it’s tempting to turn emails into travelogues. Try to restrain myself as not everyone is interested in all those details. A better way to document your daily travels is to set up a free website and write a travel journal blog. You can add pictures, notes on sightseeing or anecdotes about your travels. Attach your travel website address at the bottom of your emails so that anyone interested can access it.

*Note: I also keep a database of our travels on my personal computer and include photographs and notes about every place we’ve camped. It’s turned out to be a valuable resource for us that we refer to often. (Note about computer travel journals: BACK UP YOUR WORK!!).

Everyone Loves to Get a Postcard

Keeping in touch with postcards
Keeping in touch with postcards | Source

4. Send Postcards

There are still people who do not use email. By sending them postcards or short letters every month or two, you can keep them posted on where you are and what you're doing. Be sure to acknowledge any letters or cards you receive so that your non-computer friends know their correspondence isn't going into a black hole.

Sending occasional letters and postcards to grandchildren gives them something tangible to keep. Be sure to date your postcards as one day your grandchildren are sure to enjoy re-reading correspondence from their grandparents. One of my granddaughters keeps a photo album of all the postcards we send, so she has a pictorial documentation of more than 10 years of correspondence from us.

5. Phone Friends and Relatives

We all have people in our lives who just do not write. With our growing dependence on email and computers, we sometimes forget that our friends and loved ones are only a phone call away. They’ll appreciate hearing your voice as much as you’ll enjoy hearing theirs! With most cell phone carriers offering free weekend minutes, it doesn’t cost anything to keep in frequent touch with those you care about.

6. Join Skype to Video Phone For Free

Skype is a video phone call that can between any computers that have webcams. It’s a wonderful way to stay connected with kids and grandkids as you can see each others faces when you talk in real time. Best of all, it’s free! You can talk to someone across the ocean as easily as someone in another state. The downside of this is that you have to be presentable before you make the call! The clarity of your connection will depend on your computer connection, but in general, it works very well and is lots of fun.

7. Social Networking Like Facebook

While there is much discussion about the pros and cons of Facebook, there’s no doubt that social networking is the most popular way to keep connected with friend and relatives. No one needs to know about your headache or what you ate for breakfast, but do share a few pictures of your travels and chat with your loved ones frequently. Do be careful about posting personal information, though!

8. Plan Your Trips So That You Can Have Personal Visits

Of course, the most satisfying way to keep your social connections alive and well is by personal visits. One of the perks of having a house on wheels is that you can spend leisurely time in areas near your friends and families. Plan your travels so that you spend time near friends and relatives several times a year.

Escapees Boomers Rally in Quartzsite.
Escapees Boomers Rally in Quartzsite. | Source

Useful Links for Healthy Social WellBeing

Volunteering Opportunities:
Volunteering: Check out Volunteer.gov for volunteering opportunities at National and State Parks and organizations.

Finding RV Rallies and Events:
The Gypsy Journal: The Gypsy Journal website has a wealth of information for RVers and is a great place to look up RV Rallies and events.

Online Forums and Discussions for RVers
Escapees Discussion Forum: http://www.rvnetwork.com/
Good Sam Club Forum: http://www.goodsamclub.com/forums/default.aspx
RV Net Forum: http://www.rv.net/forum/

Join in Campground Social Activities

Social Hour at Boomer Camp in Quartzsite
Social Hour at Boomer Camp in Quartzsite | Source

How to Become Part of the RVing Community

Connecting with people as you travel

As important as it is to maintain close relationships with your family and old friends, full-time RVers will also want to develop friends and acquaintances in the RVing community. RVers have an affinity for each other, understanding the joys and problems of the lifestyle without explanation. So where do we connect with other RVers?

Get Online

Discussion forums, RVing club forums and chat rooms. Once you join an RV forum, you’ll soon find that the same group of people are active on it. Watch it for a while, ask some questions, participate when you are comfortable with it, and before you know it, you’ll have a group of on-line friends.

Make Friends at Campgrounds

In general, campers are a friendly bunch. Don’t hesitate to stop and visit, join in campground activities like game nights and pot-lucks and get to know your fellow campers. Many full-timers have made business cards with their photographs and contact information that they can give to new friends.

Attend Rallies

If you join a camping club like Good Sam, Escapees, FMCA or others, you will be invited to rallies and events. Attending or volunteering at these events is a great way to get to know people with similar interests.

Volunteering

Volunteering at campgrounds, parks, historic sites or with a service organization like Habitat for Humanity will bring you into contact with many interesting and like-minded people. Because you’ll work closely together for a period of time, you’ll have the opportunity to develop lasting friendships.

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Social Well Being

The happiest and most satisfied full time RVers are those to maintain their social well being by keeping connected to their relatives and old friends. They become part of the RVing community by taking advantage of opportunities to meet new people and interact on many different levels. Even though your house is on wheels, there's no reason that you can't have a healthy sense of connection and community as you travel.

Happy Trails!


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Copyright ©2011 Stephanie Henkel


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Comments 17 comments

point2make profile image

point2make 5 years ago

Great info...thanks. I appreciate your hubs and look forward to reading them. When I make the move, to the road, I know I will be better prepared...Thanks again.


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA Author

Point2make - I'm so glad that you find my hubs helpful. It's so nice to know that the information will be useful to a new RVer! Thanks for stopping by to read my hub and for your nice comment!


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

Many of your suggestions are also good for frequent travelers and for retired seniors. It's good to know how to use the new technology but as you've pointed out, one needs to always keep the intended reader in mind. You don't want to bore someone by endlessly going on about your own activities.

I haven't made a personal website or blog but I know of young couples with newborns who have done so and find it fun to read about their new baby.

Thanks for sharing this info.


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA Author

I too enjoy reading blogs of my friends and acquaintances and clicking through their pictures. One nice thing about a website or blog is that everything is together and they're usually easy to navigate through. Thanks for your comments, Gail. I always enjoy seeing/hearing from you!


dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 5 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

A new "lifestyle!" Thanks for the info.. Flag up!


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA Author

Hi Dallas, Yes, RVing is a new lifestyle for a few million people - mostly retirees. It's a great way for active adults to travel and see the country! Thanks for your comment!


dallas93444 profile image

dallas93444 5 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

Welcome! :-)


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

Hi Stephanie...I've been absent from your pages for a bit and I miss the good hubs you write. I enjoyed this one, as well. You know I still consider the RVing life-gypsy soul and what not...

I'm bookmarking this one and have a question for you: are you planning on writing a book with all of your great tips and reviews of sites? Should consider it.

Rated up and useful.


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA Author

Hi Denise,

It's good to hear from you! I've missed being in touch with you, too. I've been out of the loop this summer as we've been involved in projects with our kids in NY. It feels good to start writing again! Every now and then I think about writing a book, but haven't quite reached that point. You never know what the future will bring, though. :)

Thanks for your encouraging words!


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

I agree with Denise, you should definitely consider compiling all the great info you've gathered into a book.


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA Author

Hi Gail, Thanks for the boost to my confidence! I'm really touched by the wonderful encouragement I get from both you and Denise. Now you've planted the seed...


World-Traveler profile image

World-Traveler 5 years ago from USA

We are very lucky to be able to have RV's in the USA. In some countries I see very few RV's. For example, while traveling and teaching English in Thailand for five years I saw only one RV. The same in abscense of RV's I saw in Malaysia, Laos, South Korea, and several Spanish countries such as Panama and Nicaragua. The primary reason for the absence of RV's in these countries I surmise is because of the high possible rate of theft and burglary.

I enjoyed my 13 foot Jewel trailer. It was small but got us from the Sierra Nevadas down to Disneyland and back up Highway 1 through beach side RV campsites all the way up the California coast to Oregon. RV beachcamping and desert living are some of the best experiences people can have in the great outdoors. I am happy that you have had some of these experiences.


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA Author

Hello again World-Traveler,

Your RV trip up the California coast must have been fantastic! It is something I'd love to do again someday as the redwood forests and the rugged coastline have to be some of the most beautiful places in the U.S.

While we try to use reasonable safety precautions here, we are lucky that we don't have to worry too much about theft and robbery while traveling by RV. I suppose that some countries have higher fuel prices and maybe poorer roads that would also make RV travel less appealing. I'm so glad that you were able to spend time exploring the U.S. in your Jewel trailer!


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 3 years ago from Ruskin Florida

Stephanie- Great Hub chock full of great and sound advice for other RVers.

It is hard enough to keep a variety of friends when you are not traveling, often just due to attrition as we age. But, you are right in that while travelingm you have to make concious efforts to keep up with your special friends and relatives.

Great Hub! Voted Up and Shared!

Keep on Truckin!


TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

TIMETRAVELER2 3 years ago

Hi Stephanie: As a fellow long time RVer, of course I knew all of this stuff, but you did a nice job with it here! I can remember long before cell phones, emails, etc. In fact, I am so old I can remember what it was like to travel without credit cards or ATM access. Things have changed dramatically and have made it so much easier to keep in touch while on the road. I'm leaving for another trip soon and am excited...again. Nice job, my friend.


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 3 years ago from USA Author

Hi Don, Even before we started RVing, our friends were moving to other states, and we realized how important it was to keep in touch with regular phone calls and other communications. It is worth making that conscious effort to keep in touch. Thanks for stopping in to comment - always great to hear from you!


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 3 years ago from USA Author

Timetraveler2 - It must have taken a lot of forethought to travel in the days before credit cards and ATMs and computers! I love the technology we have today that makes it possible to keep in close contact with friends and relatives no matter where we are. Do have a wonderful trip! We're leaving on a short trip in a couple of weeks, too. It's always great to be on the road again!

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