In the five P’s of navigating season change, you need a Pastime—a hobby. I invited Gretty Emmerich, a full time RV adventurer to talk about hers today. But then as we talked, I realized that she hit the mother lode with her Pastime. As an RVer, she hits all the 5 Ps! RVing isn’t just her Pastime. It also provides People in the RV community, Physical Activity in the form of hikes and adventures, Projects in every community, and it provides the RV lifestyle as a Place or a cause to get behind. So today welcome Gretty to our community. We are excited to hear about yours!
Chris (C) – Gretty, before we get into this (crazy) RV lifestyle you now have, tell me about what your life was like BEFORE you took to the road?
Gretty (G) – I had a typical life, like every one of your readers. I had been married 27 years, lived near Philadelphia, and raised two boys to college and beyond. I had a nursing career. Life was good!
Then my husband left me for a younger woman who was pregnant with his child. It was a very painful season for me. I needed more than my grown sons could give me, and I decided to move closer to my five siblings in Madison, WI. My sons had already left the nest, and they gave me their blessing.
So I started a new life in Madison with the love and support of my family. I became active as a volunteer at my new church. I went on several medical mission trips and I was so fortunate to build a network of girlfriends I loved, and a life I loved there!
One day at church, I met John and I we decided to take another chance on love.
C – What made you start thinking about changing to an RV nomadic lifestyle?
G – I often say my brother made me do it! One day, he called to tell me he and his wife were going to an RV show and asked John and I if we wanted to tag along. We thought it would be fun to see what he was talking about. Well, that day, we became enamoured with the idea of living in an RV and began researching our options. We changed our lifestyle in an instant! My sons thought I was nuts—maybe a lot of people did! But now they enjoy watching our adventurous life an dlook forward to my frequent visits. I didn’t drive away and never come back.
C – What made you trip the trigger and actually DO IT? How long ago was that?
G – It was that one RV show five years ago. We made the decision in that instant, and then went home to make it happen.
C – What was the hardest part of leaving “home?”
The hardest part for me was leaving my circle of girlfriends. The rest was easy.
C – What is the best part of life in an RV?
G – I think the best part is the adventure. You can get complacent inside—even in an RV! But when you walk outside and your living room is nature? You can feel your heart beat faster!
And one of the things I like best is the RV community. I like to say that my RV connects me and my girlfriends with my adventures. I love sharing my adventures with both my RV girlfriends and my homebound friends.
C – What is the worst?
G – I don’t think there is a worst part. I think not being where family is if they need you is hard, but it would be hard if I lived in one place too. I can always fly to them if I need to. And I do that a lot.
C – How many miles have you gone? Have you seen all the states yet?
G – We have lived an RV life for five years now and we have only traveled about 40,000 miles. I had already seen all the states by car before I started RVing, but I haven’t traveled to them in the RV.
C – Where is your favorite place to stay?
G – I’m a city girl, but I also love nature. So I think my favorite place to stay is Tucson, Arizona. I can stay in nature and make a short trip into the city for all my shopping and big city needs.
C – How do the logistics work? Do you have a place you consider “home base?” What if you need to go to the doctor or dentist?
G – Home base is wherever we are. We have a medical health-sharing plan through Christian Healthcare Ministries (CHM) that allows us to travel and use doctors in any state. And when we get our teeth cleaned, we go to Nogales, Mexico, just over the border from Tucson, to a state of the art dental clinic for a fraction of the cost.
C – Gotta ask: What about the sewage? Sorry.
G – There is an enclosed system of two holding tanks on the underside of our RV. One collects from both toilets (also known as “black water”) and one collects from the sinks and showers (the “grey water”). We simply pull a lever to flush these tanks through a large hose connected to a sewer drain in the ground.
C – If one of my readers was considering this lifestyle, how could they prepare best today?
G – Pray first. If you are married, make sure you and your husband are equally committed. If you are raising a family—and we meet many homeschool families on the road who’s parents telecommute to support their family and provide them a lifestyle that is full of homeschool learning and adventure you can’t get in a classroom!
C – How much does this lifestyle cost?
G – That’s a good question! You can do this RV life as cheaply or as expensively as you like. I have a luxury RV with granite countertops, two bathrooms, a dishwasher, and a washer and dryer. But just like homes, RVs come in all price ranges. Anyone who puts their mind to it can do it.
C – How can my readers get connected with you, if they have questions?
G – If your readers have any questions about RVing, or desire to connect with fellow women RVers, I’d love to hear from them! If they think this is a lifestyle they might like to try, I am open to any questions! You can read my blog at:
What do you think, And Now What? Community? Are you ready to hit the road in an RV? Pop over to our And Now What? Community and let’s talk about it!