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By Camille Attell

The sofa made me do it.

That’s what I like to tell people when they ask why I left everything behind to live, work and travel in an RV full time.

I can’t really blame the sofa though, it hadn’t done anything wrong — except it was old, raggedy and needed to be replaced. But when it came time to buy new furniture for our nearly empty house of two years, my husband and I just couldn’t stomach the idea of being anchored in one place any longer.

Before the RV:

bryce camille rv wedding

I’m part free-spirit, part Type A overachiever and I tend to live in one extreme or the other.

I’d lived and worked in Orange County, California my whole life. Other than a six-month, solo backpacking trip through New Zealand and Australia after college, I never left home. After that trip, I landed a corporate training job and stayed for about twenty years.

My husband and I got married in 2014 and bought our dream home — matching towels and marital bliss ensued. Then our dream home turned into a water-logged prison.

Okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic but a slab leak did wipe out our first floor and walls and we had to move to a hotel and remove our belongings due to flood and mold remediation.

Then there was that back thing.

Despite the inconveniences, we took everything in stride. We would have returned home, finished buying furniture and settled back into life if it hadn’t been for one thing: the “back spasm” incident.

camille husband rv

It turns out that my husband occasionally got these painfully crushing back spasms that he somehow forgot to mention. I witnessed one first hand — for five straight days straight — and let me tell you, it’s a frightening thing to see a loved one in that much pain.

You’d think it was exercise or lifting a heavy object that caused such an injury, but nope — it was just the ten- to twelve- hour work days. All that sitting and crouching over spreadsheets had wreaked havoc on his body.

I also suffered my own health challenges. The combined stresses of long work hours, the house and my husband’s back incident left me depleted. I experienced a series of flu, bronchitis and sinusitis episodes for the better part of a year.

But we continued to drag our sore, tired selves to work and kept being loyal and dependable employees.

The sofa that broke the camel’s back:

The series of events I just described spanned nearly two years and by the time we were ready for furniture, something had shifted in us. We no longer felt the pull of settling into life. We felt a strong desire to do something different — to live a little, explore and create a new future together.

beige cream sofa

It had never occurred to either one of us that we had life options.

Our upbringing had us convinced that we were supposed to be on a certain path. It took something significant to shake us awake. The housing and health issues led to us finally ask what we wanted out of life.

Honestly though, in the end it was all those camel (or was it taupe?) colored sofa choices that put us over the edge and made us realize that we wanted something more.

Goodbye cubicle, hello open road!

After we decided to seek out a different future, we explored our options and discovered full-time RVing.

husband driving an rv

We had never been in an RV before. We thought people only RVed when they retired and we had no idea that “full-timing” was a movement. All we knew was that trading in our cubicles for the open road sounded like a dream come true.

We put a transition plan together and worked up the courage to quit our jobs. After nearly twenty years in the workforce as a dedicated and loyal employee, I rediscovered my free spirit and turned in my resignation letter. It was both scary and exhilarating.

Now we’re exploring new terrain and discovering our identities as we learn about life beyond the cubicle. We’ve seen a lot of states, covered thousands of miles and have no regrets.

In fact, I even forgive the sofa.

Renting an RV on Campanda is the perfect way to discover if the RV life is for you.

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