A motorhome and retirement or alternative working life allows longer term trips than is possible when working a "normal" job. However it does create some challenges when trips extend beyond the usual two or three week holiday. For most people it will need a different approach when getting away from home.
For many people holidays are about getting away from the pressures of work and enjoying oneself for a week or three. To make the most of the limited time often means spending money faster than one might at home.
As the length of the trips increases that holiday mindset usually needs to be modified. Living a holiday lifestyle when trips last two or three months rather than a couple weeks soon gets expensive. Eating out twice a day can rapidly become unaffordable for many people. Not only that, it is likely to be damaging to the waistline.
We soon realised that our approach was to not treat our travels as a holiday in the traditional sense but instead to adopt the attitude that we are simply living somewhere different. Indeed that was what we were going to do; we nearly bought a property in France until we realised it would be more restrictive than we wanted. Instead, as we have said previously (French food markets are why we are motorhomers), we became motorhomers to enjoy the local produce and regional products available on markets and in local shops.
Our spending pattern is much as it would be at home, except we are buying ingredients locally and preparing meals in a motorhome. We eat out or buy a take-in much as we would at home, perhaps once or perhaps twice a week. The rest of the time we usually have a simple lunch: bread and cheese or cold meat with some fruit, and then prepare a quick meal from scratch in the evening, using fresh, local ingredients of course.
At home we often use coffee shops and our indulgence when travelling is to enjoy café society, and French patisserie, rather more often. We love to sit outside, to linger over a coffee or a drink and watch the world go by; it is often easier than in the UK as we tend to go where the weather is warmer and more reliable. Slowing down and spending time over a coffee or an apéritif or digestif, perhaps with the local newspaper, gives us chance to get a sense of a place and to really appreciate life.
From our point of view this approach is what The Winding Way is all about. It allows us to spend more time away than if we spent more freely. Yet, spending more thoughtfully does not curtail our pleasure—the pleasure comes from mindful enjoyment of the simple things in life, slow living in fact. We are enjoying the simple, mindful life.