Several months ago, I contemplated my life. I knew where I had been – I knew where I was, but I had no idea where I was going.
My wheels began to spin – what would I do when my youngest would be off to college in 4 years? Empty nest syndrome-type thoughts started to churn, and although I still had 4 years, I couldn’t help but wonder what I wanted to do when that time came.
I love the outdoors, everything from exploring/hiking, kayaking, ATVing, camping…you name it – if it’s outdoors, chances are I’ve done it, or want to try it. There’s so much to see, so much to do – but with the normal routine of life, chances are you’re lucky if you get to take a vacation each year. What kind of life style was I really craving?
I can’t place the exact moment I thought of it, or what even prompted the idea – but at some point, several months ago, I thought – why not just buy an RV and travel? Wow, what a truly awesome idea I thought – but then, reality struck – there are SO many “what ifs”…this is probably what discourages many people from taking such a leap – but how great would it be to just “take off” – leave the known behind, and travel into the unknown.
My first thought was – I can do it when I retire – that’s when most people do it (if they do it at all). The second thought was – wow, that’s a long time from now. Realistically, will I be healthy when I retire? Will I even make it to retirement? As they say, tomorrow is not guaranteed – you never know how long you will be shuffling around on this earth.
From there, I shared the idea with my girlfriend Rene, who also loves the outdoors and adventure. At first, we only discussed it as a “wouldn’t that be cool” kind of thing. Within weeks, we both fell in love with the idea and started talking more seriously about it. How do we deal with all the challenges, working remotely, health insurance, etc? I’m a “lists” guy – so of course I started making a ton of lists: ways to make money on the road, challenges, websites for research, places we want to see, needs & wants, etc. (more will be posted about our lists later).
It wasn’t long before we knew, “we could do this”. Over the next several weeks we shared the idea with family and friends, fully expecting responses of “You’re crazy”, or “You’ll regret it”. The responses we got were quite the opposite. Enthusiasm, encouragement, curiosity and fascination.
Sure, we could live the rest of our lives living like most people – go to work every day, have a home, car, pay the bills, etc. The routine, quite honestly, is, well – getting old and stale. I enjoy my job, but it’s the same four walls every day, the same routine, the same people (who are great), and the same feeling of just running in a gerbil wheel. It’s a pretty stable life, a good life in fact. But the gerbil wheel is what really inspires me to think outside the box, or um, wheel – in this case.
The thought of getting off that gerbil wheel is so exciting to us – seeing new places, meeting new people, living wherever we stop, exploring the country – it’s this kind of thinking that even makes the planning part fun and exciting.
Life is but a Journey, you can ride along, or make it something special…one of my favorite quotes goes something like this:
The things that come to those who wait, are the things that were left behind by those who got there first.
4 years to go, the countdown begins…
…more of our planning coming in the next post.