Overcoming Fear to RV Again as a Strong Solo Woman

My task right now is overcoming fear. I feel stuck in this dark place between fear and missing out on life.

I have my new home. My wonderful Airstream, Bridget. I have my tow vehicle (still unnamed). My trusty sidekick Murphy will go where I go and keep me company. But I have some crushing fears about starting over and going out on my own. 

Yes, I realize it’s been almost five months since Rob passed away. I know that’s not a long time in the grand scheme of things but I have to get out of this rut. 

This morning a friend posted this on Facebook.

overcoming fear

Why can’t I just move forward and live my life? What am I waiting for? Is fear stopping me? Why am I stuck in fear and not living my life?

Having lost Rob so young reminds me not to waste a minute. I feel like I’m wasting minutes… days… weeks.

To be fair, there has been a lot going on and I have legal, medical, and other matters going on that can’t be ignored. That doesn’t mean I can’t go on short trips here and there. 

The truth is, I’m scared. I’m afraid to pull my new little trailer. I’m terrified of damaging it or totaling it or hurting someone. This broken wrist has also amped up my fear level. This has been just awful and I have needed a ton of help from family and friends. I feel like I’ve gone from ultra-independent to dependent with one ugly slip and fall.

I’m also afraid I’ll be bored or lonely. In truth, I feel like I had been traveling alone for a long time because Rob was completely unable to help in any way and he slept a lot. I did it all and that’s OK because I wanted him to enjoy the rest of his life. I wanted US to enjoy the rest of his life.

I reason with myself. I remind myself I drove the giant dually truck while pulling the 38′ 5th wheel thousands of miles. I drove the 38′ motorhome while pulling the car more than 18,000 miles. I backed them into campsites, hooked up and unhooked by myself.

My reasonable self says just hook up and get moving and the fear will melt away with the miles. My fear is like trying to squish a spider. It keeps getting away and I can’t seem to catch it.   

The 2018 International Airstream Rally is being held in Salem, Oregon this year in June. I was born in Salem and It’s just a few hours away. I think I’ll go. I may not take Bridget because it’s late to get registered and space is hard to come by. But I’m going to check into my options today and see what’s available. I’m hoping it will help me break the ice and get moving forward. 

Three Years Later

I’m updating this post partially for me and partially for those who read it in the future. I’m OK. It’s still hard but I’m OK. I’ve towed my trailer over 35,000 miles since I wrote this post originally. I’ve boondocked in some very remote locations and loved it. I went from Washington state to Maine, then on to the Florida Keys, and back home again. I’ve spent months at a time on the road, just me and Murphy. I’ve had sad days and happy ones, I’ve dented my trailer, had my truck break down in the middle of nowhere, and made it out the other side. I’ve even dated a little here and there.

So yeah, I’d say I overcame most of those fears.

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15 thoughts on “Overcoming Fear to RV Again as a Strong Solo Woman”

  1. Good Morning. This blog entry strikes home with me strongly. Instead of a death it was a divorce after many years of being together. I was so messed up I went to counseling for help. The counseling and my application of the counseling helped tremendously. But the counselor made a big point that emotional recovery with careful effort on my part would be about two years. It turned out to be 27 months. Please give yourself time and continue to develop YOUR own new life in your own way. Best wishes for you as you are trying to have tooooo much fun.

    1. Barney,
      Thank you for sharing your story. I’m doing well now but as you know, it’s a work in progress for life. I believe when we stop growing and learning, we stop living.
      P.S. You can never have too much fun.

  2. Juley,
    I read this from a “Throwback Thursday” post. Your authenticity and openness about your fear is inspiring. You are an amazing person and I hope you sharing your fear, self-awareness and ability to move past it encourages others to do the same. One of the many reasons I am grateful to call you friend.

  3. You’re strong, Juley. Give yourself time. One morning you’ll wake up and just go, and it will feel so natural and freeing. I have all the confidence in the world in you!

  4. Definitely go to the rally! Also, I highly recommend joining the Escapees. I've been a member for a long time. With other groups you belong to xyz. With Escapees (SKP) you are part of a family. One of the wonderful benefits is their CARE organization. http://www.escapeescare.org/

    The SKPs also have what they call BOFs or Birds of a Feather. There is one for SOLOs. I was a member and did their newsletter for a couple of years. In fact, I met my current husband at one of their rallies when he signed up to join the SOLOs.

    I understand the fear but you don't need to rush right now. Everything is still new – it will happen. Feel free to PM me on Facebook anytime if you want to chat. Hugs!

    1. juley.torkomian

      Donna, Thanks for the suggestions. I’m trying to be patient. Time goes by so fast. I can’t believe it’s been 5 months already so in the blink of an eye, it’ll be 2019. Talk to you soon.

  5. Juley you are the strongest woman I know. Pete and I talk often about how amazing you are. I don’t know that I could do all that you’ve done while Rob was sick and now, attempting to continue with this lifestyle on your own. You will do it, because that’s who you are but it may take baby steps to do so. You suffered a tremendous loss. Be gentle with yourself. I think going to the rally is an excellent way to get your feet wet. You will be with like minded people that will get you excited about traveling again and they will be able to answer some questions and alleviate some of your fears. Is there a local Airstream group you could join? That would also help get you out on short trips but give you some support. I believe Pete and I are heading to South Dakota, Colorado and Utah in August. We would love to have you travel with us.

    1. juley.torkomian

      Hi Linda and Pete! Sadly I missed the rally. Registration closed the day before I tried to register. That’s OK. I’m going to find something else nearby to attend. There’s a lot going on right now. Thanks so much for the offer to come along with you. I’ll keep it in mind. I’d like to do a long fall trip but I have to be back for Christmas. There’s a new baby coming!

  6. My husband had to go to another state for 10 months a few years ago. I am a very confident woman, but it was just weird without him being there. Surprised me how much I just counted on him being there. Like my right arm was cut off. Just a void without him. A void where he should have been. He is in very bad health now and I don't know how long he will be around and I'm afraid of what I will become without him. Does this make sense to you? I know it will be hard to restart myself without him. A widow friend told me recently that it took 3 years for her to become who she is without her husband–a woman, not part of a married couple. Hoping you can transition sooner than that. It's frustrating to feel lost. Start small, but do start. This time is for you and who you are. Prayers for you. Ann M

    1. juley.torkomian

      Ann, Yes, it does make sense. No matter how prepared you think you are, you’re just not. However, don’t be afraid of what you’ll become. You are who you are and you’ll find your way just like I am. You take care of yourself. <3 Juley

  7. I feel for you!! Maybe a woman's singles camping group. Maybe you could start a group. You sound perfectly capable. Find a campground a couple hundred miles and reserve six sites. Advertise on your blog for a four day weekend, single women. See what happens.

    1. juley.torkomian

      Thanks, Flowergirl, I’m looking into some groups. My brother and sister-in-law have a travel trailer and we may go out a couple of times this spring and summer to get my feet wet.

  8. Juley I love the new blog name! You are going through a major loss and life change. Everyone grieves and recovers at different rates. Just because you "know" all the reasons to just go, doesn't mean you are quite ready. It means you are going to offically say goodbye to the way things were, possibly in your mind leaving Rob. I feel you are right on track and doing what you need to do for yourself. You will know when you are ready to take the next step, whatever it maybe. Please do not beat yourself up with the "what if or why can't I". It will happen when your mind and heart are ready. Take care and hugs to you and Murphy!

    1. juley.torkomian

      Wise words from a wise woman. I’m trying to be patient. I’m not very good at it though.

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