Of all the things I love about the full-time RVing lifestyle, there is one thing that tends to stand out – you get to create your own family traditions. You can create new ones, mix your own with your spouse’s, and get to be the main influence on how your family celebrates events on the road. Traditions are what make a family. They create memories and become your baggage as you grow up. You bring some, your spouse brings some, families on both sides influence your traditions, and your children will take their favorites and share them with their own families one day.
Guest Post and Photos by Laura Georgieff
Less Family Influence
Living on the road full-time, means that you will mostly be on your own. Your families could be miles away during most holidays. You will celebrate birthdays and main life events on your own, and your spouse, kids, and you, will be creating new ways to make memories. I actually love that about this lifestyle. You get so close to your spouse and rely on your small family unit to create happiness and well being.
My husband and I left our home in Europe as teenagers. I was 17 when I moved to Florida, my husband was 18. We have lived our entire adult and parent life 6 time zones away from family and have had to create our own traditions and family culture from the first day.
I have always loved the idea of mixing both of our cultures and finding ways to celebrate what feels right for us. Some days are really important in both of our cultures, but we may not celebrate them as much. Others are not celebrated in Europe, but we create memories and they have become our favorite days as adults. Being on the road gives you the opportunity to strengthen your family bond, involve the kids, and create new family traditions.
Involving The Kids
Things change when you hit the road. Your kids may be used to large birthday parties with friends. Invitations going out, the thrill of friends coming in with gifts, a piñata and party at the community pool, music and hot dogs.
As you full-time RV, your children’s birthdays could happen anywhere. You may be a planner and ensure that you have a free day dedicated to your child, in a family-friendly campground. Or you may not be a planner, and the birthday might fall on a travel day.
But you have each other! Involve your kids in this new way of celebrating. Can you make it a birthday week? Get them onboard with gifting an experience instead of a toy. Ask them if they would like to video conference their best friends from home. Is there a special cake they would like you to bake? Or would it be fun to start baking birthday cakes together? Could birthdays be yes-days for the birthday kids?
There are so many fun ways to celebrate birthdays, that do not involve a large party with dozens of friends. But this will be a change and you need to acknowledge the fact that your child may mourn the “old way” of doing things.
By involving your kids in creating new traditions, you will get them onboard and receive their support. There will be joy in organizing new ways of celebrating and it can ease the new way of doing things.
Keep An Open Mind
Cooking that 12 lb. turkey the way you did growing up, may not always be doable in an RV. Family coming in with a dish and sharing their favorite recipes? Not necessarily going to happen.
Be ok with change. Keep an open mind and get excited for new ways of doing things. Replacing family will be hard – it won’t get easier… but you are given the opportunity to create happiness in new ways. Cooking a ham instead of turkey, or ordering a turkey and finding that you can spend your day doing something else than cooking, can bring you joy. How about Thanksgiving or Christmas days spent out on the water, instead of in the kitchen? Some of your holidays may become campground potlucks!
I promise you will find joy in those new traditions if you keep an open mind. Do not dwell on the fact that you wish Aunt Sara was bringing her secret Mac-n-cheese to Easter lunch. Instead, focus on spending the day outdoors with your own children, enjoying a potluck with your neighbors, doing less cooking and ordering out, or however else you choose to spend your holidays.
Last Christmas, we treated ourselves to some shrimp, a steak dinner on the grill, a game of Ticket To Ride, and marshmallows on a camp fire! Guess what? Favorite Christmas evening ever! I am not looking forward to our first Christmas home… and it may have become a new tradition!
Travel To A Fun Place
You are living a life full of travels, and it may have stopped amazing you, but it is a very special thing to choose a new place to create traditions. Other families plan destinations around holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries, and you can do the same. Do you have a boy who loves surfing? You could decide to be near the coast around his birthday and gift him a surfing lesson. A girl who dreams of horses? About about a horse riding lesson in Kentucky? Your husband spends tie fishing? Think about being in Montana around his special day.
What if your family tradition was to celebrate in everyone’s favorite places? Or join your travel besties in a common place for a week? The page is blank and you get to create traditions as they feel right for your family!
Many full-time RVing families decide to travel to their families’ homes for the Holidays. That, in itself, can be a tradition. Some, no matter what, will make sure to be home for Christmas and Easter. Others want to be near one family for Thanksgiving, and spend Christmas with the other side.
Living in your RV full-time, means that you can do that, and have the luxury of sleeping in your home and own bed, while celebrating with others. While more traditional, those are awesome traditions too! This lifestyle allows you create memories wherever, and whenever, you wish. Use the opportunity!
Creating Family Traditions On The Road
Creating family traditions on the road, is one of the coolest things this lifestyle grants you. We love that we get free reigns and whatever we create, becomes our new norm. We don’t hesitate to think outside of the box and to create memories by trial and error. When we love something, it naturally sticks.
There are so many ways to make life amazing on the road and it is all up to you. So go ahead and make new family traditions to be treasured for years to come and passed down to your kids!