Launching a B+Lifestyle
It wasn't too long ago when my husband and I began talking about taking a sabbatical from work. After a lifetime of jobs and our own businesses, we were burned out and in need of deep rest - the kind you can only get from a prolonged vacation. The prospect of no time limitations was intoxicating. No more alarm clocks, no overstuffed calendars, no endless meetings, sales quotas, or HR issues to fog our brains. Just the daily routine of waking up when we finished sleeping, choosing what we wanted to do and where we wanted to go without the concern of having to be back for work on Monday.
The big questions was how to begin? There was the issue of finances - we owned a home, cars, and lots of debt. We wondered what a sabbatical would do to our retirement savings. There were also the nagging questions; What did we want to do instead of work? What compelling reason could legitimately interrupt our carefully scripted lives?
The more we imagined taking a year off, the more we started talking about the things we wanted to do, the places we wanted to visit, the activities on our bucket list, and the time we wanted to spend with our grandkids. Was what we were working to keep, worth what we had to miss by continuing to work? It was a difficult question to answer. Lot's of discussion, and a lot of number crunching ensued. What did we really need? Better said, how much did we really need to enjoy slower paced life?
One of the things we knew we wanted to do is travel. On our list of "must see" places are the National Parks, the beaches of the East and West Coasts, New England, Great Lakes, and California. Of course those thoughts were immediately countered with questions on how much hotels, meals, transportation, etc would cost. It seemed a bit of a reach to afford the kind of laid back travel we wanted. Then we had a chance encounter with an RV show.
Jim's brother and his wife were looking for an RV and we went with them to an expo to see all the models and types. We looked at Airstreams - like a yacht on wheels. So sleek and smart in their design. Then there were the Fifth Wheels, they require a big truck to pull, which Jim liked (he is always looking for a new truck!), but the idea really didn't appeal to me. We were bowled over with the 42 foot luxury of the big Class A's but the idea of spending so much on a unit, learning to drive a large vehicle, not to mention the operating costs, threw cold water on those daydreams. Then we happened on a YouTube Video from Leisure Travel Van about a small motorcoach called a Class B+. It appeared to be very nicely finished inside, had a great reputation for reliability (important for first timers), and the price was more in our wheelhouse. The only problem was they were made in Canada, and had only a few American distributors. The closest was in Florida. So, we made the trek to see them first hand. It was love at first sight, but just to be sure, we toured every class B in Tampa on multiple RV Dealer lots. We came home assured we had found the right unit.
A few months later we attended another RV expo in Tampa, Florida and this time went with the intent to purchase - and we did. A 2016 Leisure Travel Van Unity MB. We had to wait almost a year for it to be built, but when it finally arrived, we were more than thrilled- and just a little intimidated at the thought of camping all over the country.
After a dozen local camping trips and a few longer trips under our belt, we are ready to embark on a full-year sabbatical. We will use the RV as our adventure-mobile, traveling to places around the country to learn about them first hand.