Once we can boil this down into words, the trip planning process is much easier.
The first and biggest reason is
In fact, we have decided that is our word for 2021.
The freedom to see as much of this country as possible while, simultaneously envisioning what our life will be or feel like once we decide to settle down again.
The first 30+ years of our relationship we lived according to the constraints of what we perceived as was expected of us as a couple and later, as a family of four. While much of it was wonderful, even though it became obvious that change was needed we just kept our heads down and worked for that paycheck and played when we could. We were anchored with a mortgage, kids who didn’t really want much change and jobs to pay for all of this.
The cost of that? Too many distractions from each other. Too much time away from our kids and each other because we had to work long hours and weeks.
(In 2019, our word was ADVENTURE. And we set out to travel across the country.
In 2020, we hadn’t yet figured out what our word would be before quarantine. Not having a word or focus may be a big reason why we didn’t venture out much. Who knows. Unofficially, our focus was on FAMILY since we were given the opportunity to spend soooo much time together. For the first 5 months of the pandemic, all seven of us were living in one small house so we were quite busy. Luckily for us, we all get along well and have the common sense to leave the room when appropriate and that served us all well. And we all took advantage of spending some quiet time alone in The Driveway Palace 🙂
SIMPLICITY and SANITY
If there’s one thing we’ve learned about conventional living it’s how complicated and overwhelming it can be to pay a mortgage payment, car payments, health insurance, utility bills and other living expenses and still find time to enjoy all the benefits of so much hard work.
I remember when we had boats and we used to cruise the lakes and harbors and see the beautiful homes with such resort-style views and dream that one day we would be doing the same. But my first thought was, “What do these people have to do for a living to afford all of this and when do they actually get to enjoy it?” And life is so full of monetary responsibilities like taxes and more taxes, insurance, interest and maintenance so what is the ratio of work to play? It just always seems to fall more on the work side and put money in someone else’s bank account: government, insurance companies and agents, banks, household services. After all is said and paid, it just doesn’t seem worth it to work for someone else’s benefit. They get the money and we get the stress of having to come up with that money. Vicious cycle. Hamster wheel. Merry-Go-Round Syndromes.
LIVING FOR OUR BENEFIT INSTEAD
As I already mentioned, the percentage of finances that goes to paying someone else is staggering, in my view. We do not wish to work hard to make someone rich anymore so THEY get to have the ability to see the world. We simply want to create a life in which we receive as much as we give. Traveling allows us to take advantage of local life and to participate in their success. And right now, the thought of being confined to one location every day, is very unappealing.
So now, we still have a home. It just happens to be smaller and more portable. We still have a truck payment. We still have to maintain our truck and RV and pay for insurance. But it’s so WE can enjoy them, not just have them.
We still have “rent” in the form of campsite fees, but we can control how much or how little we spend, and our utilities such as power, water and sewer are usually built in to that.
It’s amazing how much more abundance we have experienced having less. One may think downsizing is a sacrifice, but it has been liberating to learn how little we actually need to be happy. Our relationship is stronger. We listen to each other more and communicate more clearly because there is no one to interfere or distract us.
When we meet new friends, our conversations are about happy topics and the places we’ve been instead of how much we hate our jobs or our spouses or typical office gossip. And we learn about new places to see and new people to watch online who are living like us.
IT’S ABOUT BALANCE
And we still have to work but now we get to keep more balance and do what we WANT to do… most of the time. I, personally, dreamed about getting paid to travel and experience things for many years and, thanks to wifi and the internet, many people have created ways in which to do just that.
My appreciation goes out to every single one of them for showing us that not only is it possible, but inspiring us to do it as well. Now that we have made the leap, we relish in the idea of making it possible for others to realize it as well.
Thank you to Bryanna at CrazyFamilyAdventure.com for posing this thought-provoking question. I read quite a bit from your blog but this question, I realized, is at the core of how we proceed.
And thank you to Tricia and Marc at KeepYourDaydream.com for your inspiration. Your RV Youtube Channel was our first and continues to be our favorite.
I’d also like to give a shout out to:
We look forward to watching your videos every week. Thank you for making the extra effort to share and inspire us.
As for those of you who read our blog, we would love to hear from you. What are your thoughts, questions, concerns?