For many years, I dreamed of being able to see all of the wonderful parts of America in person, not just online or in a magazine. But with limited vacation time at work, and limited finances, I used to put that idea into the “someday” box. Back then, I had more traditional thinking – that full time travel is something that you can only do after you retire. I’ve always been an optimistic person, and looked for the good in most every situation, yet I struggled with the how of doing this type of travel sooner, than later. It was when I met my wife Julie in 2010 that my thinking around this began to change.
When you meet your ideal partner – one who shares your values and dreams – as I finally did, it’s easier for the world to seem limitless. Somehow, the comfort of being with ‘that special person’ gave me a newfound sense of security in pushing my boundaries and exploring new ideas – more than ever before.
I had done some domestic travel – camping with my family when I was a child and up into my teens – and a couple of trips to Mexico. But the majority of my travel outside of Colorado was work related, flying around on business trips with my previous jobs. And while I had an interest in traveling overseas ‘some day’, I had long believed that the good Ole U.S of A had so much to explore and offer, that it would be a shame to travel much overseas without seeing more of my home country first.
Julie is Australian, so we traveled down under to visit her family and friends for a few weeks in December 2012. This was my first true overseas trip and very eye opening for me. We enjoyed many conversations with people who did a LOT of travel and had so many interesting experiences to share. To me, it seemed Australians have a much better work-life balance than many Americans. With Aussies getting 4-5 weeks of vacation time each year as the standard, unlike 1-2 weeks here in the States, it’s easier for them to plan longer getaways. Many Australians go on long trips of 2 or 3 weeks when they travel, not just for long weekends. It was very common for the folks we met to travel for 4 weeks, or even up to 4 months at a time, on international adventures around Europe, Asia or the USA/Canada. These conversations have really inspired me to want to explore and experience much more of the world than before, and to start finding ways to make things happen now, not “someday”. Truth is, that “someday” doesn’t always come. I have heard far too many stories from people who put things off for tomorrow, but by the time tomorrow came, they didn’t have the health, fitness or finances to enjoy it. Some people even passed away before they made it to that ‘tomorrow’ – so when two of our friends lost their battle to cancer at a young age (45 and 59) it just reinforced our determination that we were doing the right thing by doing this ‘now’.
Why wait – if you don’t have to? Why not go and experience the world now, while you are young and fit? When you camp near the Grand Canyon, don’t you want to actually hike down, or even white water raft down it, rather than simply gaze at it from the window of your car or RV?
If you subscribe to conventional thinking, you likely will wait until retirement, and you may be happy enough with that.
But, if you’re like us – you probably have itchy feet and a desire to travel, explore and experience the world – and are willing to do what it takes to make it happen! That requires an open minded attitude about what is possible and the willingness to focus on how you can make it a reality. And sometimes, it comes down to being very creative and resourceful. As the old saying goes “there’s more than one way to skin a cat!” Especially now that technology makes working remotely a possibility for many.
Solving my work dilemma
Until the Spring of 2013, I had a good job in IT with a stable company and great people, but it was no longer fulfilling, or enriching to me. Being a long established and more conservative company, they weren’t as open minded about working from home or remotely, despite my well supported requests.
So, I decided to look for a new role. I got clear about what I wanted in my new career:
- A younger, more vibrant and innovative company
- A company with strong, ethical and charitable leadership, that produced a product or service that I really believed in.
- And importantly, a company, that would be open to me working remotely at least part of the time. I figured if my new employer was open to at least part time remote work, it would be easy to eventually transition to full time remote work.
Lucky for me, I found this new dream job rather quickly, and am excited to be in a new role with a fast growing health and nutritional supplements company. They are a mostly virtual company with employees around the USA and in my role as Operations Project Manager, I have been working from home full time. Each quarter, several of us in the management team meet up in person in cool locations. In September 2013 it was Lake Travis in Austin, TX. In February 2014, we all caught up in St Petersburg, FL for a Superbowl party – and work meetings too, naturally 🙂
So, with me all sorted in my new virtual role, it really opened the door for us to make working ‘truly mobile’ – not just remotely – a reality. This is what started us on this path of discovery.
Shortly after I landed my new role, the company Julie was working for decided to close their USA office. While she enjoyed her role as Marketing, Communications and Content Manager, she had also been feeling the tug to work for herself again. (Julie used to run a successful business in Australia promoting international authors and speakers in the personal growth/spiritual arena.)
This unexpected change of direction opened up the door for Julie to once again follow her true passion – lifestyle coaching, writing and developing content that inspires others and helps them change their lives to one they truly love. This, she can do from anywhere, and technology enables her to work with clients around the world.
How others react to this crazy idea
When we first started talking about this idea with family and friends, we received a few mixed reviews. Everything from “are you crazy” to “OMG, that is the coolest thing I have ever heard!” We poured into researching the viability of the lifestyle, wanting to make sure that it would be easy to work while hitting the road. The more we looked, the more we started seeing “Yes, you CAN!” Thank goodness for the internet, and all the great information out there. People like Jason and Nikki of Gone with the Wynns, Wheelin It’, Everywhere Once, RV Dreams, RV Geeks, Technomadia and many others were a HUGE help to us getting educated, inspired and getting stared! We appreciated their information so much, that we decided we would start blogging and sharing content about our own experiences and learnings too. We really love the idea of being able to help even more people break through their traditional thinking, and starting exploring and living a life that is truly extraordinary. And so here we are!
We hope that by sharing our experiences that it inspires and helps you find creative ways to live your life to the fullest, whatever that means for you. We recognize that living in an RV and traveling America isn’t for everyone – and it likely won’t be for us forever – but we hope our message and story inspire you to start dreaming about an adventure you’d like to take – and start making it happen!
Thank you for visiting!
Best of LIFE!