First Time RVer: An Interview with Phil Calvert 813

Q. Hiya Phil, would you say you have a homebase or that you feel at home while in motion?
A. To me traveling is freedom. I haven’t had a home base since I graduated from high school. I’ve been to 79 different countries and lived on 3 different continents. Again, traveling is freedom.  I would say I am most at home when I’m on the road.

Q. Describe your travel style in five words or less?!
A. Veni, vidi, vici.

Q. A few lightning questions…

Favorite snack, meal, or beverage to have on your travels?

  • Chips. I eat potato chips everywhere I go.

Three pieces of gear (or any random items, really) you always bring with you on trips.

  • iPhone. My POSITIVITY shirts. My miniature bible.
RV parked in the Midwest
Phil sports his Positivity shirts wherever he travels.

First thing you do when you arrive in a new place?

  • Eat the local foods.

Q. Has RVing ever occurred to you as a feasible way of travel? Why or why not?

A. No. Never. Growing up, it wasn’t a reality for me, I would only see one on the highway every once in a while. But as I travel more, I see them everywhere.

Q. You’re a first-time RVer–what did you find intimidating about an RV before having traveled in one?

A. Driving such a huge vehicle was tough at first. It was an adjustment to check blind spots, adjust to the wind, and all the basic stuff. But you get the hang of it pretty quickly once you’ve been in it for a little bit.

Phil Calvert driving RV
Phil Calvert, first-time RVer.

Q. Was there anything that defied expectations about RVing for you?

A. I think I always thought it’s impossible to drive these big things. But you just kind of fear what you don’t understand. Once I got going it was a smooth ride.

Q. Did you learn anything new and surprising on your first RV trip?

A. I didn’t realize how accommodating RVs were. You honestly have everything you need and it’s so convenient if you’re taking a trip alone or with a family. They’re very relaxing if you allow them to be.

South Dakota Route Planning
Phil Calvert spreads out in his travel trailer as he plans his route.

Q. Has RVing given you a fresh perspective (on anything—travel, life, people)? How has RVing helped you “Phil the Culture”? 

A. I got a chance to experience a new culture… on the road and in an RV. It’s a different side of travel and you get to meet the people who are immersed in this culture.

Q. You have a superpower for bravely jumping into new environments and making the best of any situation? What advice do you have for travelers nervous about trying something new?

A. I always ask myself, what’s the worst thing that can happen? You only live once and I think we should take advantage of that. Something is always going to be new until you do it. I think you have to try things in life to really know who you are.

camping in south dakotaQ. What’s your favorite quote, lyric, or mantra that keeps you sane or gives you inspiration on your travels (This one’s mine: “It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end”- Earnest Hemingway) 

A. Today is a good day to have a good day.

Thanks for your time and wisdom, Phil. See you on the road!

Kelsey’s first career as a performing artist had her traveling the world. Eager to keep traveling, she hit the road to see the USA in a 69’ Airstream Overlander. Today you can find her writing about travel, design, and good food. When she’s not planning her next trip, she’s sipping on local beer and petting other people’s dogs.


  1. Camping and traveling on the road takes money. Where did you get your original RV purchase money and how do you pay your way from that point on? Budgets are necessary. Gas prices are always an unknown. Boondocking is really not a long term idea. Bottom line is sufficient financial resources are an absolute necessity.

  2. This is the best thing I’ve seen all day! Phil’s positivity, ability to connect with random people and adventurous spirit is contagious!

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