April went by in a flash and it feels like May is shaping up to do the same. It’s hard to believe we are already publishing another financial update! Ever since we left Mesa we have been busy trying to get caught up on projects and hobbies while at the same time getting back to enjoying the things we love like hiking and sightseeing. And since we have family that lives close by we have to make sure we find time to visit and catch up while we can.
Over the last month it has been great to be out in the open air and enjoying nature again and we have tried to get out for a nice size hike at least once a week. The great part about being full-time in our RV is we get to enjoy things while everyone else is busy working and the kids are in school. Often times when we go on hike we are the only people around which allows us to enjoy the views and our surroundings undisturbed. That will begin to change over the next few months so we are trying to take advantage of it while we can. We are hoping to hit Zion National Park before it gets too crowded and we have to leave. It’s been awhile since we have been there and it has some of the best hiking!
The first month of the new year is already in the books! Hopefully the adage “as goes January, so goes the year” holds true after a nice start to 2023. Obviously there is a long way to go and many hurdles stand in the way of positive returns for the full year, but a good start is always welcome!
As we enter our fourth month in Mesa, AZ it is clear to us that we will never agree to this type of work-camping structure in the future. We covered the different types of work-camping structures, and our current agreement, in our November 2022 Financial Update blog if you would like to take a look back. We won’t rehash all of that here, but let’s just say that the longer we stay here the more obvious it becomes that it’s not worth what we get in return. And the rate increase that took place at the start of the new year is only making matters worse.
Don’t know about you, but we are happy 2022 is over and done with! After working for a couple of months we were really looking forward to the holiday season and getting a visit from our son whom we haven’t seen since the summer. It all started out great with him arriving in town safe, and on schedule, for a week long stay. While he was here we enjoyed some time outdoors and just catching up on all that has happened since we last saw him. And we made sure to fill his tummy up with some homemade meals and his favorite delicious BBQ requests.
Then we got thrown for a loop when on Christmas day when Mrs. RVF woke up and was not feeling good. We did our best to enjoy the day, but fun came to an abrupt end when it was discovered we had contracted covid for the first time after dodging it altogether for the last three years. Thankfully our son was never infected and was able to get back home safe and sound. But we remained isolated for days and ended up missing a lot of our work schedule. This included the New Years eve party that was the one event we were really looking forward to working and being a part of! Instead we were locked down in our RV and in bed by 10pm as parties happened all around us. A fitting end to a rough year!
It’s hard to believe that we are heading into the last month of the year! While this year has been a great one for traveling the same cannot be said when it comes to finances. Maybe things will start looking up in 2023, but there are still some dark clouds on the horizon despite the recent positive turnaround in the markets. We need to remain optimistic, but at the same time we also have to be realistic about what is yet to come which is likely further economic decay at the hands of an out of step federal reserve.
We are now one month into our new work-camping jobs and it’s going fairly well so far. Some parts of the job are much more labor intensive than we were led to believe during the interview process and it can get a little frustrating because it often seems like we are doing a lot of manual labor instead of working events. On the bright side, we have been able to get more hours than are needed to cover the cost of our site fees and utilities and little extra cash never hurts.
Greetings from Arizona where we have settled amongst the snowbirds and will be riding out the fall and winter months in the warm desert sun.
In addition to being in a warm location we have started our largest work-camper assignment to date. We made a 5 month commitment at an extremely large RV/Mobile home resort. This is a 55+ resort and by the time December rolls around there will be approximately 3,000 people on site. Our job is in the entertainment / activities department and let me tell you this place has a lot going on and it gets very busy.
Our job involves everything from serving coffee and donuts to residents in the morning to setting up and decorating the entertainment halls for parties or headliner events. The calendar is jam packed every day of the week so we always have something going on. The best part is that we will typically only work 2 or 3 days a week and since we are considered residents we will get to enjoy all of the amenities and events too. And if we work ticketed events we get to enjoy the shows for free so we are hoping to get scheduled for some of the bands and headline events on the schedule.
Another month down, literally, and we are heading into the 4th quarter of what has been a miserable year for the markets. The questions is, when will this pain end?
Since our last update we have relocated from our beautiful spot in Tennessee to an amazing lake front spot in Oklahoma. This location has quickly become one of our favorite destinations since hitting the road. We have a pull-in spot and everyday when we open the shades we look out at the lake and enjoy the views and the wildlife. This year has been a disaster financially, but being able to live this life and wake up to these views and scenery almost everywhere we go has made these tough times much more bearable.