5 Intriguing insights from the authors of “Living the RV Life” – and a chance to win an autographed copy!

Let me fill you in on a secret

Marc and Julie Bennett have a super power and I get to brag about it.  It’s called successful multi-tasking.

While writing “Living the RV Life” in 2018 these things were also going on in their life:

  • They held leadership positions with the ‘first of its kind’ gathering for 500 RVers called Nomadfest
  • Starred in the movie premiere entitled RV Nomads
  • Sold their RV
  • Purchased a used Country Coach and named her “CC”
  • Fully renovated “CC”
  • Continued to serve clients in their RVSuccess School along with creating content for their website

Oh, and then comes the book offer from Simon and Schuster?  How could they possibly say no?   Yes, these rock stars hold super powers!    

Marc, Julie, and our dog Penny during a visit in 2016

Here I am with my hard copy AND my kindle version of Living the RV Life.  Oh, and that’s my dog Penny- always mugging for the camera…

You are going to love this book. 

Julie and Marc’s passionate work combines with their zest for adventure and lays the foundation for this comprehensive RV guide.  Each page will energize you, educate you and even entice you to pursue your RV dream!

There are dozens of glowing endorsements listed in the front of “Living the RV Life”.  I loved this one:   

“Warning:  this book will bring out your inner RVer; it could change your life forever.  If you want to learn from the best, dive in and get some RVLove.  Marc and Julie are true veterans of the road; they show us how to make full-time RVing possible.  Hands down the best RV lifestyle book ever published.” 

– Sean Nichols, COO of Battle Born Batteries

My favorite part!

Part 2 of the book explores the relational and emotional considerations of entering the RV lifestyle.  Naturally it’s my favorite section since I’m all about Relationshipping.  As I read the pages my curious mind wondered about the personal challenges Julie and Marc faced as they entered the lifestyle. 

So, I asked them. 

1.How did you first become inspired to sell your home and enter the RV lifestyle?

Julie: “It happened at a pizza restaurant in Colorado!  It was 2011 and we had just visited the Sand Dunes.  On the way home, we stopped at a pizza restaurant and noticed this vibrant couple next to us who obviously were enjoying themselves.  We struck up a conversation and learned that they had sold everything bought an RV and were living in it fulltime.  Wow!  The couple shared that they worked fulltime jobs while traveling on the road.  We had never met anyone who lived this life of freedom and wondered out loud on the way home if it could ever be a possibility for us.  But then a few days later, we fell back into our old grind of life with Marc’s job and me continuing to job hunt.  It wasn’t until the fall of 2013 that we began dreaming of travel in the U.S. and how we might make that happen.  Air travel was out of the question since we wanted to travel with our Labradoodle named Coda.  We remembered the couple at the pizza restaurant and began exploring the possibility of buying an RV.  By 2014 our dream became a reality!  We hope to find that couple some day and thank them for inspiring us to live a life of RVLove!”

2. Since you live and work together 24/7 in a 350 square foot coach do you find it difficult to disengage from “work talk” and reengage as just Marc and Julie?

Marc: “The first three years we RV’d I was working fulltime for a company and RVLove was just a hobby for us.  We had no difficulty separating our work time with our personal time.  But when I left my job and we decided to pursue RVLove fulltime working as partners, it became increasingly difficult to maintain healthy boundaries between work and “off” time.  We got caught up in the pressure of running our own business, needing to make it on our own, not having paid vacation time anymore from an employer.  It proved to be more challenging than we anticipated.”

Julie: “This past year was super challenging, and our work plates were overflowing.  The stress and pressure to meet deadlines knocked us off the track of why we entered into this lifestyle.  Coincidentally, as we edited “Living the RV Lifestyle” we began to see our “old selves” in the pages.  We realized that we wanted to get back to “us” and slow our pace way down.  That is why we began 2019 with a 2-week hiatus from all social media.  We have promised ourselves to protect and uphold the boundaries lines between work time and off time.  This has already made a huge difference in our relationship as we strive to prioritize a healthy lifestyle.”

3. RVLove has become widely known in the RV world and people recognize your faces wherever you go.  How do you handle this consequence of your success?  Has it been positive or negative? 

“If we go out for a walk…especially in a Thousand Trails park we often get recognized right away.  I would say it is more of an enhancement to our lives than a hinderance.  When people greet us it’s usually to give us positive feedback and say thank you.  It’s rewarding to know that our RVLove community has benefitted from the information that we share through our website, You Tube channel and our RVSuccess school.”

4. You two are similar to John and me. Marc, you are an introvert and Julie, you are an extrovert.  How do you manage balancing those two energy needs? 

Marc: “As an introvert, I need time to myself to get re-energized.  Getting out on my bike takes me to that zone where I get refreshed.  When we are in a group setting, I’ll usually position myself near the outer ring where there is less talk going on.  With our public lifestyle I tend to look for my downtime whenever I can and wherever I can. In a social setting I tend to seek out the quieter person in the group.  This is less taxing on my energy drain and I believe it is helpful and non-threatening to those with similar energy styles.”

Julie: “As the extrovert in our marriage, I find myself aware of times when the social scene might be a bit too heavy for Marc’s needs.  I encourage Marc to speak his needs and set boundaries.  I work on respecting his needs and try and tune into where he is at in our social time.  This past year and especially during our book tour, we organized several RVLove meetups where groups get together for fun and food.  It is a great way for us to mingle with our RVLove community, be a catalyst for others to make new connections, and free up other days of the week for our work and “us” time.”

5. What would you do differently if you were just starting off as FT RV’ers and someone handed you a copy of “Living the RV Life”? 

“When we began seriously looking into the RV lifestyle, we did a fair bit of research.  However, we also expended a huge amount of energy weighing the benefits of various decisions.  We spent massive amounts of our time delving into all aspects of the RV life.  Wow.  If we had “Living the RV Life” before setting out, we would have saved a tremendous amount of time on doing so much of our own research and second guessing things. Being able to read other people’s stories would have validated where we were and given us increased confidence to make wise choices and decisions.”   

Win the Autographed copy or order now?    

Do you wait to win the autographed copy of Marc and Julie’s book or do you order it now by clicking the photo below? 

Let me help you decide.  If I were you, I’d click the Amazon link below to order (this is an affiliate link which means Amazon sends me a small commission if you make a purchase).

When you win the autographed copy, you can give your copy to a friend for their birthday.

Sound good? 

How to enter the giveaway

  • If you have signed up for my newsletter, you’re already registered.  You don’t have to do a thing. If not? Sign up on this page.
  • Btw, when you become a subscriber, I promise you that I’ll never share your information with anyone else.
  • Deadline to subscribe to my newsletter: Thursday, January 17rd at noon MST. 
  • A name will be selected by a random number generator on the 17th. I’ll contact the winner by email, and they’ll have 48 hours to reply with their mailing address. If I haven’t heard from them in that time, I’ll select another name randomly, and we’ll repeat the process.
  • I will announce the winner on Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019 by email, on my website, and FB page.  

My next blog post I’ll share our personal relationship challenges when we moved into our RV. 

4 unexpected biking lessons with my girlfriend!

Hi, Girlfriends and Guy friends and Happy New Year!    

Accidents can happen so quickly!

Last Sunday was a beautiful day here in Tucson, Arizona.  John and I had just finished eating lunch and I decided to take a spin on my mountain bike around The Voyager RV resort.  My girlfriend Kathi (who is parked right next to us) was available to ride along so we headed out onto the street together. 

We rode side by side around the resort chatting away about all those things that girlfriends talk about when they have a half hour bike ride ahead of them.  Mind you, the two of us had done this ride at least a dozen times.  We began our usual route taking the streets on the outermost loop of The Voyager.  

Without warning

There we were.  Pedaling along without a care in the world.  About 10 minutes into our ride we made the usual left turn onto 18th Street which is a long straight stretch about 1/3 mile long.  At this point, Kathi slowed a bit and tucked behind me since a car was approaching from the opposite direction nearly 4 blocks in front of us.   

All of a sudden I felt a thunk on my back tire.  Before I knew it, my bike was falling down. 

We were probably only going 8 miles an hour and I easily side hopped off of my bike in order to avoid falling to the ground. 

But here’s the thing.  It’s weird what goes through your mind at a time like this. 

In that split second, I thought it odd that Kathi had not shouted any warning like “Oh crap, I’m falling” or “Watch out, I’m going to run into you”. 

As I’m thinking all this, my peripheral vision saw her on the ground- still straddling her bike. Arm flung over her head.    

Busted, literally!

Bad us.

Kathi and I never wore helmets when biking inside the RV resort.  Ugh.  And now I was staring at my girlfriend lying in the street with a head injury!  

I quickly knelt beside her.  She did not respond when I called her name!  She had hit her head on the asphalt and blood was beginning to pool under her head. 

My years of nursing training kicked into gear.

The longest 30 seconds ever

Again, I called her name.  Again she did not respond to my voice.  I noted her breathing was labored.  Her eyes were rolled back.  Her glasses and hearing aides had flown off and were a couple feet to our left. Her left leg was twisted and caught under her bike.  

I grabbed my phone from my bike basket and called 911.  At the same time, a neighbor stuck her head out her door.  I requested wet washcloths and a towel to place under Kathi’s head.  Two people in a golf cart drove up and asked what they could do.  I told them to call the guard gate and inform security. 

After about 30 seconds, Kathi started moving her arms and moaning. 

I was so relieved! 

Keeping calm

She instinctively reached for the back of her head and attempted to raise it off the ground.  Her hand came away covered in her blood.  

As I wiped her hand I began assessing her neuro status. Her pulse was steady but weak, her breathing was now regular.  I continued with; “What is your name?” “Please squeeze my hand” “Stick out your tongue for me”  “Can you smile for me?” “Wiggle your feet” “What day of the week is it?”  “Where are you?”    

Kathi was able to follow my directions but failed the last two questions.  She had no idea where she was or what day of the week it was.  

Meanwhile, a crowd had gathered around us there in the middle of the street.  Several people told me to move her to the side of the road.  Without taking my eyes off of Kathi, I stated. 

Nope.  She is NOT moving.  She is going to stay right here until EMS arrives.   

“What about Lilac?”

As I shaded Kathi’s face she began to talk and ask questions.  “What happened?” “Do I really need to go to the hospital?” “Lilac needs to go inside my camper”.  “This is so embarrassing!”  I and the crowd reassured her as we waited for EMS.  

I called John my husband.  He put Kathi’s cat inside her coach, grab Kathi’s purse, bringing our blood pressure cuff, and my purse.  

It only took him 5 minutes to arrive in our Jeep.  Kathi’s blood pressure was high.  I felt better having John with me!

6 more men to help 

EMS arrived in about 15 minutes and quickly took over the scene.  The team leader asked me dozens of questions as the other 5 assessed Kathi’s condition.  

The drive to the trauma unit of Banner Health Care took 25 minutes.  I was grateful to ride along in the ambulance.  Sitting shotgun up front with the driver I listened as the paramedics cared for Kathi in the rear.  I was impressed with their focused attention; continually assessing Kathi’s level of consciousness and her vitals. 

Impresssive trauma unit 

I walked behind the paramedics as they wheeled Kathi into trauma room #3.  

There to greet her were 9 trauma team members.   Yes, 9! 

What followed was like watching a choreographed dance team.

Each person had their assigned duties and position.  Within 2 minutes they had Kathi on IV fluids, monitors, all tests ordered and fully assessed. 

From the outside looking in

I stood outside the room watching.  Suddenly I was approached by the trauma unit social worker and chaplain.  They stared into my eyes asking questions with such concern for Kathi that I burst into tears.  Apologizing for my emotional reaction I attempted to describe the relief I felt watching my friend being attended to.  Their response was simply to hug me, which naturally caused me to cry some more!

By 6 p.m. a room was ready for Kathi.  She had sustained a concussion and luckily her CT scan was negative for additional trauma.  We helped her get settled then headed back to The Voyager to check on her cat and close her windows for the night.  

The next day I spoke to Kathi’s nurse on the phone to see when discharge papers would be ready.  John and I drove down to Banner medical center and brought Kathi home around 3 pm.  What a relief she felt!  

It’s a week later and we’ve kept a very close eye on my dear friend.  It is a pleasure to see her feeling better with each passing day.  

Lessons learned

  1.  Helmets.  We will now ALWAYS wear helmets, even if we are simply biking three blocks to check our mailbox.  Remember, your head doesn’t know the difference between a fall at 8 mph or 50 mph.  Please learn from my stupidity!  Begin 2019 by wearing a bike helmet or order one below.  Your head is worth protecting!  
  2. Education.  I’m sharing this story so you won’t experience what Kathi and I went through. Please spread the word
  3. Eat food before biking.  We are still not sure what made Kathi fall off her bike last week.  She cannot remember if she lost her balance after feeling dizzy, or if she got distracted by something causing her to wobble and fall.  What we do know is that she had not eaten yet and that might have been the cause for her lightheadedness. 
  4. Listen to a friend’s knowledgeable advice.  I was grateful Kathi was not alone when she fell.  I’m also thankful she listened to me when I insisted she receive an evaluation at the hospital.  It wasn’t until arriving at the trauma unit that she recognized her symptoms were serious.     
  5. It’s important to replace your bike helmets about every three years. Did you know that there is new helmet technology that addresses “concussion-mitigation”?  Read about it here.  

How about your story?

Now that you’ve heard my biking boo-boo do you have one to share?  

What other advice do you have to share that would be helpful to us all?

Do you wear a helmet when biking?  If not, why not?  Will you order one in the links below?  

Wishing you all a safe and adventurous 2019!

Your unlikely RVer,

Gretty

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