The day before Thanksgiving 2014, we signed papers and handed over our keys of our home, one shell-shocking question hit us like a ton of bricks...the one question we hadn't thought of during all the selling, minimizing, and prepping for our RV travels...
How will we meet people and forge friendships?
Being we are both fairly outgoing, we kind of let our own personalities take the reigns. We're not new at this game. As a military family for 30+ years, it's the life we're accustomed to so, you could say this comes a little easier for us. Through our experiences so far, we thought we'd share our list that future or new(er) RVers who struggle with 'getting out there' can build their amazing relationships, have fat address books and look forward to reunions after.
1) SMILE & WAVE - Bees are attracted to sweetness, right? It's a no brainer, we all are drawn to happy people. When we are in a new location, we smile in hopes that we get noticed as 'those happy people in the big Landmark' (our identity at parks). Don't be that grumpy one that looks the other way or grumbles as others wave to you. Be approachable! Strike up conversation while walking your cat (or dog), polishing your coach or lounging by the campfire. For what it's worth, IT WORKS! Try it, you'll see.
5) ATTEND RV CLUB RALLIES, CONVERGENCES & SHOWS - Join your RV manufacturer owner's club and other RV clubs like Escapees, Family Motor Coach Association, etc. We are members of Heartland Owners Club and Xscapers and Escapees. This is where we meet a lot of our friends. We tend to break off into different 'interest groups' (ie. favorite type diners, ADV/motorcyclists, RZR or Jeepers, etc.). At the Xscapers Quartzsite Convergence 2017, we organized an ADV Ride with others who also ride. We had a blast! Now we are Facebook friends with a couple.
6) SOCIAL MEDIA - Before we started RVing, we joined about a half dozen RV groups on Facebook. For the first few months, we just read, listened and learned. Then, once we bought our toyhauler, we were making friends on Facebook and be messaging where we could meet up. We started following others' blogs and communicated where the best places are to go. We learn so much from each other. Our Facebook page is...drum roll...Always On Liberty if you wish to follow us too!
7) GO SEE OLD FRIENDS & FAMILY - Because they're going to have two friends and those two friends will have two friends, and so on and so on! We went to San Antonio to meet up with our Army comrades, Leon and Barb. We met a whole bunch of their Army friends and soon after, we all 'went to the ball'. Now, we visit with several friends who live in San Antonio each time we go back. Our schedule is always full there...all because, "they had two friends..."
8) TRAVEL CARDS - After you've traveled a bit, you'll notice others have these cool looking business cards we call Travel Cards. We exchange them like kids exchange baseball cards. We have a business card small file book that we keep them in. We write on the backs where we met them, date and type of RV so it rings our noggins a year or so down the road. If you don't have them, get them!! Even if you don't have a blog, simple contact information is all you need. For ours, we don't list our phone number(s) or address. That's a personal choice.
So, as you see, making friends is not hard to do when you RV full-time. In fact, the more you travel, the more friends you'll make and the more destinations you have later for reunions! Before you know it, you'll be making plans with friends to caravan or meet at new destinations.