The Price We Pay to Work. Insights on Work-Life Balance, Health & Freedom

Disclosure: Please note this post may contain affiliate links. This means – at no additional cost to you – we earn a commission if you make a purchase using our links. We only link to products and companies we use and recommend. The income goes toward supporting the free content on this site and community.

It’s only May and already it’s been a big year. I got really sick (again), quit my jobwe started a new business. And we’re about to enter our 4th year of full-time RVing. For the first time in over a year, I was finally able to sit and reflect on my journey navigating remote working from an RV. Time to talk about work-life balance, health challenges, and how our life continues to change in response to our desire for more freedom. I hope what I’ve shared helps you ask some bigger questions of yourself and your own life. And consider what success, health and happiness is worth to you. This article is long but meaty. So grab a drink and settle in.

The price we pay to work

Most of the people we meet on the road are retired and they often assume that we are on vacation. They’re often surprised to learn I have been working a ‘regular’ 8-5 job for a company. And I have been able to work remotely from the road. It’s been amazing being able to travel while still generating the same income we had when we lived in our stick and brick home. We hear a lot of people say “but it’s OK for you – you have a remote job”. But it hasn’t always been that way. I know from experience there are plenty of opportunities to make a change if you want it badly enough.

You could say I’ve had a very diverse career, with a job history that looks something like this: paper delivery boy, janitor, grocery store clerk, chauffeur, construction worker, call center employee and manager, massage therapist, fitness contest judge, police officer, marketing brand analyst, IT variant configurator, project manager. And most recently, Director of Operations for a nutritional supplements company.

Most of those roles, as it is for most other people, required me to be physically present to do my job. But as technology advanced, I began seeing more and more jobs that people were able to do from home. And from the moment I learned about that, I wanted to work from home too.

Work environments for an introvert

I’m an introvert, so I need down time to recharge my batteries. The higher the social stimulus, the more time I need to recover. I’ve also found that I am most productive in a very quiet environment. I remember people in high school and college who would join study groups and/or listen to music while studying because they need the extra stimulus for their brains to work best.

By contrast, I preferred to be at home, with complete quiet. Even choosing to do some group projects as a team of one, accepting that it was more work. Clearly this is not the way everyone likes to work. But it is what I’ve found to be most productive – and enjoyable – for me.

The idea of working from home just made sense to me. And not just for my own benefit. Sure, I loved the idea of avoiding the time wasted on commutes, and the expense of buying clothes specifically for work. Also appealing was the ability to have lunch in my own kitchen. And taking my dog for a walk on breaks instead of just walking around the building by myself. But it benefits companies too. Remote employees save the company money by not needing as large of an office building. And they have the freedom to recruit talent from a broader geographical area – as my employer did.

That said, I realize that not all people function as well working from home. And some roles (even if they could be done remotely) may benefit from synergistic opportunities when working together in person. Obviously, some hands-on jobs will require a physical presence, until robots or other process improvements make them redundant.

The change begins

My IT  variant configurator role could have easily been done from home. And I would regularly explore this idea with my manager, but was continually told “no”. As an older, more conservative company they just didn’t think that way and liked their employees where they could keep an eye on them. I didn’t like being in the office. But at least the commute was short enough to allow me to go home at lunch to walk my dog. And I had a window to look out of from my cubicle desk.

My role with the company was OK, but not terribly fulfilling, and often stressful. One day they re-organized some departments. This resulted in my window desk being relocated to the middle of the room where I could no longer see outside. It wasn’t that I looked outside often, but at least being able to see it in my peripheral vision made me feel more connected to the outside world. From the day my desk was moved, I started giving more serious consideration to finding a new role. One with a more progressive company that would be more aligned with my interests and aspirations and enable me to work remotely. Funny how what seems like such a small thing, can lead to such big shift in our lives.

Switching jobs for better work-life balance

That was in April 2013. I hired a career coach, updated my resume and LinkedIn profile. By mid May had landed a new job with a newly created role within the company that I have been working with for nearly 4 years. It’s young, progressive and in my ‘home’ industry of health and wellness, nutrition and fitness. My role as Operations Project Manager was a new challenge and learning curve with a nice step up in salary.

But more importantly, would be working from home right after my initial in-person training. I was excited to be a part of the new company and really enjoyed working with such a dynamic and successful team. One that was doing great things to help people improve their health and lives. They had recruited a talented and entrepreneurial team from all across the country and nearly everyone worked from home. In fact, there wasn’t even a centralized physical office until 9 months after I started. Ironically, setting up that Golden, CO office was one of my projects. My last while still living in Colorado.

Moving my office from our home to an RV

A few months after working from home, Julie and I were enjoying the fact that we had created a lifestyle that freed up more personal time. It also allowed both of us to be home together during the day. Definitely better work-life balance. We started to think about what else we wanted to create for our future, and that’s when we started envisioning more travel in the years ahead. I remembered one of our other employees across the USA saying they were working from a family member’s lake house that week. 

This got me thinking about incorporating more location independence within my own schedule and how it might allow us to travel more without using my precious little vacation time. I had the realization that as long as we had a solid internet connection, we could literally be anywhere. Once I learned about cellular hotspots being able to provide a wireless connection, the idea of working from a motorhome became a very tangible reality.

If you have been following us for a while, you know the rest of that story. And how we made the transition from our home to living and working from a dedicated office space in our RV. At first, I told very few people, but after two years on the road, I felt comfortable to talk about it when I was featured in a company newsletter, which made it pretty widespread knowledge. Senior leadership were mostly very supportive. Some even enjoyed living vicariously through me as they had worked from RVs in the past when doing consulting work, but not as regular employees.

Working from the road

We needed to make internet connectivity a high priority because I had regular meetings and was expected to be online and reachable from 8-5 Central Standard Time (CST). I would sometimes work more. But I’ve always held very strong boundaries for work-life balance  and rarely worked more than 50 hours in a week, usually holding close to 40 hours. Recognized for performing very well remotely, I was frequently offered promotions and accolades for my performance.

I resisted most efforts for promotion as I have a theory that many people get so focused on climbing the ladder that they climb right past the rung they would have been happiest on.

I remained in my role and continued to contribute to the company as an indirect member of the executive team, and indirectly leading co-workers without having direct responsibility for them. It was my sweet spot. It mostly worked well for our RV travels too as it allowed us to maximize my limited vacation time by reducing the travel time to get to destinations.

Instead of needing to take time off to travel to the Grand Canyon, we would slowly work our way to the area and then camp AT the Grand Canyon. So when I was done with work for the day, we could step out of our rig to enjoy it. Yes, it can be a challenge working all day with such exciting attractions just outside your door, especially as most of our neighbors aren’t tied to a desk all day. But I was disciplined and recognized that it was my work that financially supported our RV lifestyle and travels.

How long are you going to do this?

People at work would sometimes ask questions like: “Do you still like living in your RV?” and “How long will you keep doing it?” My answer was always the same: “I love it and I have no plans to stop in the foreseeable future.” And I would then respond with a question to illustrate a point: “Do you like to travel?” They would usually say yes. “Where have you been in the last year?”

Sadly, the typical response was “nowhere”.  If they had used any vacation time at all, it was mostly to catch up on projects at home. Or sometimes for a quick a trip to visit family out of town. I would then list 10, 20, 30 or more amazing things that we had seen in our travels in the past year alone. Amazingly, we even managed to spend a month in Australia without any of my work colleagues noticing. It was bit rough working on the other side of the clock (midnight to 9am) but worth it.

I didn’t talk about our travels and experiences to be boastful or make my colleagues jealous. But rather to inspire them to what is possible. And when delivered the right way, it did nearly always inspire them to go out and travel more too. That is actually one of my very favorite things about what we do in our daily lives and via this blog, YouTube channel, social media and email newsletters

We love helping people and inspiring them to live a life they love. But that inspiration always needs to start with inspiring ourselves by living a life WE love!

Why would I change that?

You might be wondering why would I ever want to change my work situation – when it seems like I’ve got such a great gig going? Well, there are some far greater reasons that threw weight behind my decision to leave. We all know that nothing stays the same forever. And as much as I loved my job at times, my role continued to change and evolve. Despite my efforts to stay on my happiest rung of the ladder. Inevitably, I was forced into higher and higher responsibilities and increasing demands on my time.

Those demands eventually broke many of my work-life balance boundaries and started to tip the balance away from life and to work and burned me out. I found myself regularly working intensively more than 50 hours a week. My health and happiness were paying a price. And that was a price I was not willing to pay long term.

This work-life balance shift is especially challenging when you are surrounded in your daily life by people who are retired, on vacation, had less grueling schedules or were otherwise financially independent. I found inspiration in others that worked for themselves as contractors, consultants or running their own business. Those paths offered even more flexibility and freedom than I had. Which reminds me, I should probably caution you. If you have not started yet living life on the road, know that the freedom can become addictive. The more you have the more you want.

Freedom, health, time, and love are the ultimate measures of wealth, and when you have them, you want more - for yourself and for others

This is what drove me to focus on how we can add more of those forms of currency to our own lives.  If you don’t have your health and freedom, what is financial wealth really worth? 

Time to refocus on our definition of success

Julie and I began making plans for my eventual exit from my job to shift to a consulting role that would reduce the stress and free up our time and schedule a lot more. We wanted true location and time independence. We wanted vibrant health, and not end up sacrificing our personal health and wellbeing for our employers. 

I’d had a few stress-induced health challenges over the years. But could feel I was reaching a critical tipping point this time – mentally, physically and emotionally. Stress and pressures show up in people in many ways. Frequent small colds, constant headaches, chest pain, self medicating with alcohol, drugs or other distractions and addictions to temporarily escape the stressors.

We’re all unique in the way stress manifests itself in our lives and health. And we all have a weak spot where that stress starts communicating more loudly with our bodies that something has to change. One of my close friends was having serious digestive symptoms and thought he had stomach cancer (he didn’t). I know what kind of high level demands he is under at work and how it affects him. My belief is that his symptoms represented he could no longer ‘stomach’ his high stress job. When I asked him about it, he admitted “I know this job is taking years off my life”. But he wasn’t prepared to leave it because of other obligations – mostly financial.

Know and respect your weaknesses

For me, my weak spot is usually my central nervous system. I’ve had bouts with chest pain and even checked into an emergency room once when it was especially bad – to confirm I wasn’t having a heart attack (I wasn’t). But mostly it’s my nervous system that gives way first. Usually with shingles, or Post Herpetic Neuralgia (PHN) which is basically shingles but without the rash. The pain is intense and can last for months at a time. And it is a kind of silent suffering because there usually isn’t an external evidence of it.

I say usually, because I have also had Bells Palsy, which is related to the other conditions but involves paralysis of one side of your face, which makes you feel (and look) like you are having a stroke. I’ve only had it once,  but it’s scary as it’s so unfamiliar, uncomfortable and physically obvious, and it wore me down emotionally. They don’t really know what causes it and it is self correcting for most – but stress is the most common culprit.

Within about 4 months, my face recovered about 90-95%, but I still see it when I look in the mirror or see photos of myself today, especially if I am tired. Admittedly, there’s a little part of me that is glad I never regained that last 5-10% because it is a bit of an early warning system for me and a reminder to take care of myself. When I start getting the all too familiar tingle of PHN or shingles. My body is warning me that some serious nerve pain is on the horizon if I keep on pushing myself.

When did it start?

My first experience with nervous system related condition – shingles – occurred 15 years ago (when our family dog died). Recurrences have become far more common over the last 5 years in my higher stress roles, less work-life balance, and even high stimulus situations where I don’t get enough downtime. My episode with Bells Palsy in early 2013 happened during my last few months at my previous employer. I’d gone on vacation over the holidays and had a highly social time with zero down time for over 3 weeks, which weakened my system. In the last couple of days I began dreading returning to work and my body threw up the red flag with the Bells Palsy.

The last 3 years have brought on multiple bouts with the nerve pain, always following high stress periods at work. I am not sharing any of this for sympathy – as I believe your body is sending you signals to make some changes – but to help explain how I knew I was at a critical breaking point again. In sharing my story, it may also to help you to pay attention to the signals your own body might be sending you, instead of trying to mask the symptoms until it turns into a much bigger and more serious condition. Unfortunately, some people just aren’t as sensitive or attentive to their bodies and end up ignoring, masking it. This doesn’t make it go away unless you also make some positive changes.

Workaholism doesn't make you a hero

I believe the American society has serious challenges with work addiction or workaholism. There is so much pressure to always be ‘on’. To be available for many jobs, including constant calls and emails after hours. Employers expect it and employees do it. Many people associate so much of their personal sense of value and worth with their work. We were recently deeply disturbed to hear our close friend say “it’s normal for people to only like 5-10% of their jobs” His wife stood there nodding in agreement. He accepts that his job is literally making him sick and taking years off his life. And that liking only 10% of his job is better than average. I told him, the day my enjoyment at work drops below 50% I am out of there.

Personally, I have worked with a lot of aggressive and driven type A personalities with terrible work-life balance. They regularly work 60-70 hours a week and wear it as a badge of honor. Speaking to their dedication to their role, even though they are only getting paid for 40 of those hours because they are on salary. In reality, their hourly rate ends up being awfully low for the personal cost.

I find it terribly sad that people will dedicate so much of their time and health to a job that in most cases will continue on – with or without them. How much better would life be if they tipped the scales of work-life balance and dedicated the same effort to their personal relationships, health, and well-being? Wouldn’t they be a better, healthier and happier example for their partners, kids and friends? I’m pretty sure the divorce rate would drop and families would have many more fun times together. Maybe even spend more time RVing around this beautiful country we live in? 😉

The end of one road and the start of a new one

I entered 2017 fully knowing it would end very differently to how it started. Having always been a loyal, high producing employee – but to a point. I know my limits and I knew when it was time to stop. My employer had a major milestone to reach by the end of January. So I stayed on to help them reach that, contributing what I could with my declining health. But Julie and I had already agreed that I would leave as soon as that milestone was reached, regardless of whether their expected outcome was achieved.

The only thing that kept me going in those last couple months was the fact that I had already detached mentally and emotionally. And I knew that I would soon be leaving. The light at the end of the tunnel was in view and it wasn’t a train. I distributed my responsibilities across multiple departments and many individuals to ease the transition. This helped create a very amicable departure, scaling my commitment back to just a few hours of consulting each week.

After I left

While it took a couple of months to regain my health, I am now feeling well and strong again. Had I stayed longer in my role or pushed harder, those health considerations would surely have been more severe and/or longer lasting. I have known way too many other people that sacrificed their health for work and paid a higher price. I’m proud to have been part of such a talented team that built such a highly successful company over the past 4 years. And I’m sure there will be opportunities to work with many of them again in the future. But my hope is that I won’t need to, at least not full time.

Our goal is that we will make it on our own. Working only for ourselves, creating useful content and delivering exceptional value for others. In stepping back I’ve had the time and space to evaluate how to harness my skills, expertise, passions and talents in ways that support my goal of creating more freedom, being of service, giving back and living our lives as a positive and inspiring example of freedom by doing what I (and we) love. That journey will no doubt bring with it a new set of challenges. But it’s one we’re ready to embrace with open arms.

How our life makes this possible

The fact that we are constantly surrounded by inspiring people who have had the courage to take a risk and pursue their dreams and passions is a factor. Our RV lifestyle also brings with it some additional benefits, in that most of our expenses are variable not fixed. This allows us to quickly adjust the  majority of our financial outlay almost immediately. This is a big part of the confidence and support we have around making the decision to leave my job and the regular income it provides.

It meant we don’t need to replace my income to get by financially. We only needed a fraction of it to support our lifestyle, as long as we are extra mindful of our expenses. Fortunately we had been putting some savings aside as a financial cushion. It is comforting to have that cushion when your failing health brings you to your knees. It may sound obvious but financial success isn’t just about how much is coming in, it’s also about how much is NOT going out.

More importantly, remember that money is only one measure of success and some of the happiest, most joy filled people we have met, had only a fraction of the financial ‘wealth’ of those normally applauded for their material ‘success’. We’re all for creating and enjoying prosperity in our lives, the biggest difference is we’re not defined by it.

It's not more money or things that will make us happy, but more time and freedom.

Closing thoughts

For me, success is living a life filled with love, health and freedom – with more time to spend doing what I love, with the people I love, when and where I choose. And while leaving my job and stepping into the unknown is a little scary, I am reminded that 3 years ago we were also stepping into the unknown when we left behind our home and neighborhood, and drove off in our RV to start a whole new life. And so far, that’s been working out pretty well 🙂

With my newfound freedom and time, I am looking forward to sharing more with all of you here at RVLove. And the exciting new venture we have been working on for almost two years, on the side, but are now able to give our full attention, focus and commitment. 

We’ll be revealing more about that starting on Sunday May 7 and in the days following. Yep, May sure is shaping up to be a huge month and we’re excited to have you along for this next phase of our adventure!

Best of LIFE to you all,

– Marc

Sign up for our email newsletter with the latest RV park reviews, news and updates.

GOT COMMENTS OR QUESTIONS?

We would love to hear from you. Drop us a note in the comments section below.

138 thoughts on “The Price We Pay to Work. Insights on Work-Life Balance, Health & Freedom”

  1. Just want to say thank you for putting yourself out there. My husband Will has had PHN for the past 11 years but it never seems to ease up. Thankfully I talked him into retiring about 6 months ago so at least he can rest when he needs to.

    We expect to have our house on the market by the end of the month and when it sells I’ll be working (teletherapy) from the RV while we nomad around the country.

    Best wishes for your continued healing, health, travel, joy, and love.

    Reply
    • Hi Robin, thank you for sharing. We feel for your husband – and you too. It’s a tough condition to have for that length of time. We only hope that by retiring, your husband can find more rime to rest and avoid stressful situations that may trigger. No doubt you have already ‘tried everything’ to manage the PHN. Marc has found acupuncture, supplements, and more recently CBD oil, to be beneficial. Good luck selling your house and working from the road. Teletherapy sounds like an ideal professional to take on the road with you. Would love to learn more about how that’s working out for you after you hit the road. We’re putting together a collection of different ways to work from the road. Best wishes to you and your husband too for a successful transition and launch into the RV life.

      Reply
  2. Thanks for sharing your inspiring story Marc. I have been researching the RV lifestyle now for six years and having just retired from a 46 year career in flying that was amazing. Being a nomad is part of my DNA and this new adventure we are about to embark on
    is very exciting. I really appreciate your candor and comments on managing health related issues because as you say, wealth and fame are hard to enjoy without health, friendship and the people you love…Take care and many thanks again…Dave

    Reply
  3. You guys continue to inspire me. I wish you, as always, the very best in health and happiness.

    Much love to you both,

    Reply
  4. I am so happy to hear you are doing better, Marc! Wishing you and Julie happiness and success with your upcoming venture, although it seems like everything is working out just fine. 🙂

    Reply
  5. Marc, no need to respond – just wanna give you a thumbs-up and to let you know I wish I had done what you’re doing years ago. My plan is to make the most of the life I have left. We just bought a class B RV and are beginning the process of becoming RVers, maybe not full-time, but at least half-time.

    Reply
    • Hello JMon,
      Thank you for your kind words. Glad you are doing it now instead of waiting even longer. 🙂 Class B RVs are very free and flexible as you can go virtually everywhere with them. Enjoy!
      -Marc

      Reply
  6. Marc, I too have been super stressed out over many things. Mine mostly have to do with family and some work. My work is not stressful just very boring and going nowhere. It’s a desk job working with a local county government that has me doing somewhat repetitive tasks. For the family part my mother and stepfather moved from NC to TX just 30 minuets north of me. My step father is wheelchair bound and my mom has had multiple back surgeries. They see doctors almost weekly. The have called/texted me over the last 5 years and they have needed me almost weekly to come and clean their house or do multiple tasks they have needed done sometimes immediately (once I drove up to just plug something in). They then of course pay me for my time. But it’s made me feel more their employee then a son, ourfamily time like games or events is rare. So last summer in 2016 we all went to the CARE center at Escapees so they could evaluate if they wanted/could go there for their needs should they need more care than I could provide. We had had a blow out of sorts already prompting this need to find help besides me. All this to say that the stress of being a care taker for them, managing my rented house their rented condo and my going nowhere job I have hit that point I need a big change. I feel horrible that I want to leave to go have fun and not take care of them. But I have offered them a proposal that I could come back and take them places too. Back in 2000 I had tried to go full time in an RV but I was dumb and purchased a $600/mo truck and could not buy the trailer so I never did and have been here ever since. I now plan to list my home in July for sale, then purchase a truck and trailer and go full time. I’ve spent months researching using youtube and websites to learn. I am ready, just need the house sold to have the emergency funds and I will to be living and working on the road. The job part is still up in the air but I have at least two promising avenues to go too. So I’ll hope to see you again (brief hi at Escapade) some day out in the wild. Good luck in your new adventure and travels.

    Reply
    • Hello Tim, Thank you for your comment. Sorry for the delay in responding. Thank you for sharing your situation. That definitely sounds stressful, and am certain you are ready for a change. It sounds like you need some time away from your care giving role regardless. I think it will end up better for everyone when you make the needed changes in your life. The learnings you had from your earlier purchase will surely help guide better decisions on your truck and trailer purchase this time. I hope your home sells quickly and that we can meet up again on the road soon.
      Thanks again,
      Marc

      Reply
  7. I have been a “consultant” for the past 12 years. That is what you call those of us who are not ready to use the word “retired”. Unfortunately I inherited the “worry” gene from my Mother and find myself worrying about worrying. I still have my “sticks and bricks”, and am on my 3rd RV trying to find the right fit for me. I want to spend more time on the road but for reasons I won’t bore you with, I am unable to drive very many hours each day. It takes me a long time to get anywhere. I have discovered that even though I enjoy the benefits of being “plugged in”, I do not like RV parks. They are basically trailer parks with little to no social interaction whatsoever. I bought an RV thinking it would be wine by the fireside, roasted marshmallows, and kum-ba-ya. I have not tried the State and National Parks, but am hoping they are a better fit for me. Being alone, I always worry about mechanical breakdowns, battery issues, safety concerns etc. I did spend a month and a half in New Mexico using RV parks and car rentals (when available) Turned out to be very expensive and not what I wanted anyway. I continue to look for a more social journey.I have followed you two from the beginning, and have much respect for you. Congrats on your most recent decision. I have no doubt you have much to share. Your sincere persona and pleasant disposition draws people to you. Sharing your knowledge,on many levels, seems a perfect fit for you two. Can’t wait for the first ” Bennet Rally” you host! There is much to be said for the group of people only you could assemble!

    Reply
    • Hello Michael,
      Thank you for your kind words, and please accept my apology for the delay in responding. Congratulations on 12 years of ‘consulting’. There is a quote from Einstein. I think it was something like ‘I have had many worries in my life about many things, most of which never happened’. There will be challenges, but odds are, most of what you worry about will never happen. As for the social piece, it might just be the parks you are staying in. Some of the parks we stay in are extremely social. Have you joined RVillage? It is like Facebook for RVers and can be a very effective tool for meeting and connecting with other RVers. We have also found that membership based campgounds tend to be much more social than non-membership based campgrounds. Thank you again for your kind words of support. We agree that if we decide to do a rally with our RVLOVE community, it would be a truly wonderful group of people.
      -Marc

      Reply
  8. Marc, as a fellow introvert who thrives on personal quiet time (yet in a very publicly visible job in law enforcement), thanks for putting yourself out there and sharing these experiences with us in the internet world. This post comes at a very timely phase for my wife and I, and we’ve realized I cannot continue (or it would be a very bad idea for my physical/mental/emotional health and well-being) to work until “retirement” in my police profession that literally sucks the life out of you from all sides… public perceptions, organizational demands, and physical dangers regularly faced. I see you worked for at least some time as a police officer, so you might have an idea of what I’m talking about. We began RV’ing in 2007 which has been great for us and our growing boys, but have only been able to occasionally weekend/vacation due to my odd schedules of nights/weekends that will not change anytime soon. We’ve decided to make a change, not sure when and not sure how, but it does bring some mental relief for me to know I’m not trapped in an often-thankless job until some magic pension age that is still 10-15 years away. I’ll probably give up retirement paycheck from the government this way, but even that “security” is not worth shortening the life I would have to enjoy it. Time for us to define our own future, instead of letting the future define us!!

    Reply
    • Hello Scott and Heather, Thank you for this wonderful comment. Sorry for the delay, I didn’t realize I had new comments until today. Yes, having worked in law enforcement I do have a greater appreciation for what you are talking about than most, and have immense respect for those who dedicate themselves to those roles. But, it is not the right fit for all of us. As my sergeant said the day I resigned ‘You are the kind of person people want in this role, but not the type of person we need in the role. I respect that you know yourself well enough to know that this would have too much personal cost to stay in this position. Too many others stay longer than they should.’

      I am inspired to hear that you have decided to find a way to leave. It is not worth staying another 10-15 years for the promise of security that is not at all a sure thing. I have seen pensions disappear, and many others who didn’t live long enough, or with enough health to enjoy their pensions. I once spoke to somebody who ran the pension for a large government related company who said the average number of monthly pension checks sent to those who retired was 18. Eighteen! How many of them had sacrificed their health for those checks, thinking they would be there for many years, only to die in less than two?

      Glad you are defining your own future. Thank you again for your wonderful message. I wish you every success!
      -Marc

      Reply
  9. Thank you for sharing. I’m glad you decided to take control and quit. I have a question. What are you doing about health insurance? I can make another paycheck and quit my job, but I find that the health insurance is the reason I stay more than the paycheck. Health insurance is so expensive. Thoughts on this?? Thank you

    Reply
    • Hello Linda-jo,
      Sorry for the delay in responding. Great that you are in a position where you can find another paycheck when leaving your current role. Heath insurance is a common concern for folks. We frequently hear people make similar statements to the one you just made. We had heard so many people raving about health ‘share’ programs, that we decided to look into them. We signed up with Liberty Health Share. Our coverage is vastly superior to the coverage we had at my former employer and actually costs LESS. We pay $300 per month for the two of us. The coverage is not only national, it covers us internationally, and has far lower deductibles than our former plan too. It is not great for everyone, but it sure works great for us.
      Thank you,
      -Marc

      Reply
  10. Thanks for posting this very personal story about your work life and health. I had this experience almost 10 years ago. I was working for an insurance company as an IT person handling the telecommunication side. It was very stressful and it showed up in me by causing health problems in several ways I would realize much later. The problem that told me I needed to retire was sudden case of hives. These would show up usually at night. I would have to go to the hospital and get a shot to stop them. The doctor told me it was probably being caused by stress. I did not do anything about my situation until it started happening at work. That was it for me. I talked to my husband and we decided that I needed to retire. I was not quite at retirement age so I had to leave a great paying job and face living our lives with out that income. It was very scary. We managed it very well though. Of course now we are both retired and enjoying traveling in our 38 ft Dutch Star motor home. We winter in Florida and summer around our home area so we can enjoy our grand kids. I am so happy you realized you needed to make a change. What ever you have to go through to make this work will be worth it. Good luck and I will be watching all your postings.

    Reply
    • Hello Terry,
      Thank you for sharing this message. Sorry for the delay in responding, and sorry to hear that you had so many health challenges from your work too. But.. If those health challenges helped you leave an unhealthy and stressful environment, they were for the best. I appreciate you sharing the feelings you had when making that decision, and love to hear that it has all worked out so well for you. We believe it will be great for us too. There are so many other measures of success. We live an amazing life, and it is even better since making the change with my work.
      Thanks again,
      -Marc

      Reply
  11. Thank you for sharing! The transparency of both your lives is an inspiration as was your RV blog tips and videos. As you may remember we followed a lot of your recommendations in purchasing and getting on the road. I left the working world (65hrs + in a job as a GM) after losing both my father and brother in a 6 month period. I had one of those wake up moments and resigned the next day and have never looked back. Fortunately we have always planned, saved, and still actively invest, so finances have never been an issue for whatever lifestyle we want to pursue. We also have a gas coach, floorplan was the deciding factor, we tow with a dolly, that is one I might have done differently but now have it down to about a 10 min chore. We have been “Happy Glampers” FT for over 10 months with only one “bump in the road” that has to do with RV safety and security. Without going into full detail at 3:30 am we were broken into and assaulted. If you ever want to do a session on RV safety and security we may have some suggestions so this ordeal never happens to anyone else. Keep up your inspiring smiles and joy of life that is so contagious! I’m sure your future new adventures and endeavors will be as great as you two are!

    Reply
    • Hello Ron/Mike,
      Thank you for your wonderful comment. Sorry to hear of your losses, but very happy to hear that you too have resigned from your corporate role and are enjoying the full time lifestyle so much. I agree that towing four down is a great way to go, and will invest in that system when we switch cars, but the dolly has definitely worked well for us with this car. Sorry to hear about the break-in and assault. That is terrible, and yes, we would be interested in learning some of what you learned to help others avoid it. Thank you again for your kind words. Wishing you continued wonderful adventures as well.
      -Marc

      Reply
    • This has been a major concern of mine since I purchased my first RV. ( I am on #3 trying to find the RIGHT coach for me) I am alone with my small dog, and find, at times, this country can be as scary as it is awesome. I still have a “sticks and bricks” but have been considering selling out and traveling full time. I do believe in having firearms, but there are several states and parks that do not allow them, and I am not one that wants to break any laws and wind up in some filthy jail with people who may not find me as charming as I find myself! (grins) I think we all know that whatever rig we have, they are all easy to break into if someone really wants in. Sure, there is bear spray, knives etc, but anything short of a gun does not guarantee ones safety. I am curious about what you have in place now that you have experienced the horror that worries many of us.

      Reply
  12. There are just no words Marc that can describe the respect I have for you, your Wife and your willingness to share such intimate details about your life and the insights that naturally follow when we are open to them. I think you hit the nail directly on the head with your blog post. I was just thinking yesterday that life really should be a journey filled with fun, laughter, love, friends and situations that center us around those things. I thought “what is the true measure of that”? Boiling it down I came up with “what if it all changed in the next moment”. What if I had a bad accident or became sick? What if I won the lottery or became famous?….What would NOT change if any of those things became a reality…What doesn’t change is whats important. Friends, family, what makes me laugh, love cry. The “good” stresses in life. The “bad” ones bring on the sickness you described and the “good” ones are the laughter and love! Then I read your Blog and see that your insight is exactly what I was seeking in my thoughts…the answers. By the time I was finished reading you article I had tears in my eyes for a couple of reasons. One, I was so sorry to learn that a friend had had that kind of suffering and two, that such a joyful out come can come from such suffering. Your article teaches that very well. We all suffer and if we stay patient in that suffering and know that part of our growth is through suffering, then we can look down the track for that glow at the end of the tunnel and say to our self “by the time I get there…I am going to be one enlightened SOB!” There is no feeling like the feeling of emerging into that light at the end of a tunnel. We all go through it and we all celebrate our own as well as our fellow man’s victory over the darkness of that tunnel. Thank you so much for your inspirational words and thoughts and sharing your victory. You guys are truly an inspiration on more levels than just RV’ing. God Bless buddy!

    Reply
    • Hello Brett. WOW! Amazing comment that you shared here. I loved reading it, and am sure that others did too. I am honored and deeply touched to think that this post has been so well received by so many people. Thank you again for your kind words and the beautiful words you shared to further enhance the original message.
      -Marc

      Reply
  13. Dear Marc & Julie,
    I know there are times in life that we are faced with things to deal with. But if you look at each thing that we are presented with as a “gift”, and look at life as a gift, then you will spend the rest of your days unwrapping presents. And that is a very exciting thing! Congrats on your freedom, your good health and your new life!
    Janice

    Reply
  14. Marc & Julie,

    You two rock. Thanks so much for your transparency. You are blessing many with your story – making a difference no doubt in more ways than you know.

    Reply
  15. Thank you for the article. My husband and I have been planning our fulltime life for three years now. It will come to fruition on August 18. All kinds of doubts creep in. I am one of the “throw my life into my job” types and the stress is killing me! I have well meaning friends telling me I won’t last fulltiming because I’ll miss working. Your sentence
    “How much better would life be if they tipped the scales and dedicated the same effort to their personal relationships, health, and well-being?” gave me an epiphany. My new job will be ME with the focus on health, well being and strengthening my relationship. I’m so excited to get started! Thanks for the insight!

    Reply
    • Hello Rachael, Thank you for your kind words. Excited to see that your three years of planning have you so close to launching. I am sure you will love the lifestyle. I am so touched to think that my message gave you the epiphany. Yes… Our health, well being and the relationships with those close to us are so much more worthy of the attention that you formerly would have given to your employer. Thank you again
      -Marc

      Reply
  16. Hi Mark and Julie,

    Congratulations Mark on your “retirement” from corporate America. So glad to hear that you are feeling better and looking forward to your next adventure. Can’t wait to hear the details.

    My husband “retired” early four years ago and we spent the first two years figuring out our next steps. He has seen improvements in his health also. We’ve sold our “stuff” and bought a coach this year. So excited to be full timing.

    I have a question. I notice that you have the tandem bike attached to the coach ladder when you travel. Where do you store your road bike? While traveling and at your site? Not sure if it fits in your mini.

    Thanks for the great job you both do on your site. Maybe we’ll run into you sometime.

    Reply
    • Hello Karen,
      Sorry for the delay in responding, we had some website challenges yesterday after sending the email update. Thank you for your congratulatory message. Congratulations right back to you and your husband for retiring, downsizing, your coach and hitting the road. We actually have three bikes. We have the tandem that you mentioned which travels outside. We have a Citizen folding bike for Julie that fits in the back seat of the Mini, and my bike travels inside the motorhome in my office. When we are at a campsite, we usually lock them to our tow dolly or a picnic table. My bike gets covered up when outside. Thank you again, and look forward to meeting up someday.
      -Marc

      Reply
  17. Hello Marc,
    I have been watching you and Julie for a while now, on YouTube. My husband and I bought a small travel trailer at the end of December and moved into it. I work at the fairgrounds and we park it there. We are both locked into 40+ hours per day jobs. We are hoping to break out of it! We are just not sure how to do it. I love watching you and hearing your perspectives on things! Thank you for being personal and real in this post. I love you guys and we haven’t even met. 🙂 Please do take care of yourselves and keep that precious balance. I am so excited for you and look forward to hearing more about your plans. I am living a life of freedom vicariously through you two!! Peace and blessings!

    Reply
  18. Marc & Julie,
    Sorry to hear of your health issues Marc, but it sounds like you have figured out the root cause and are doing something to improve the balance in your life. I haven’t purchased my RV yet, but I have been doing a lot of research. I read many of the RV blogs to get info and to hear how other people manage their lives of freedom on the road. Hope to meet up with the two of you at some time in my travels. Happy for your new journey!!! Jenny

    Reply
    • Hello Jenny,
      Thank you for your support. Glad to see that you are doing your research, it will help you make the right decisions. It is a wonderful life of freedom and experiences. Hope to meet you out on the road.
      -Marc

      Reply
  19. Congratulations Marc on looking for balance in your life. It is a hard thing to find in today’s work environments. I was a Director at a major health insurance company and loved my job and the travel involved. The corporate climate started to change and they were demanding higher results for less investment. This happened around the time I was diagnosed with SVT (a form of tachycardia) and Systemic Lupus. I continued to work because I felt an obligation to my staff to try and manage corporate’s expectations. I experienced severe flares that ended in hospitalizations, but I wasn’t listening to my body. I am so glad that you were paying attention to the physical manifestations of stress. I finally had the ultimate wake up call – we were walking downtown Philadelphia and someone driving by shot me in the head in a completely random act. Thank God it was a small caliber at an upward angle that did not result in major damage. I was on disability from work, home, and not traveling. As my head healed so did my priorities and I made the decision not to go back. I do continue my battles with lupus but I enjoy the good moments so much more. We bought a gently used Class A last year and have been using it for short trips. I am never more relaxed and happy than when we use Bertie (Big Bertha). My husband works remotely and will be retiring next year. We are gearing up for much longer periods of travel. I don’t think I’ll ever get him to give up sticks and bricks, but as JT says, “….it’s enough to be on your way.”. I know this is lengthy, but what you wrote struck such a strong chord in me. Greet life everyday with gratitude for your blessings and with a hopeful heart, go where it leads you. I wish you and Julie good health, love, and peace. Jean

    Reply
    • Hello Jean,
      Thank you for sharing this beautiful comment. I read it out to Julie and it literally brought tears to her eyes. I am deeply moved by what you wrote as well. Proud of you for making the decisions not to go back to your former role. Interesting to me to hear stories like this. We are sent messages, and when the subtle messages are ignored, stronger and stronger messages are sent until we are forced to pay attention. What an awful random act, but so glad that it did not result in permanent damage for you. Love to hear that you have enjoyed your travels so much in Bertie. Thank you again for sharing your beautiful message today.
      -Marc

      Reply
  20. Hi Marc and Julie,
    Great blog! I identify so much with what you’ve written as I am still in my working years (independent consultant in my line of work) and we don’t want to postpone “living” for some distant date. We are living half time in our RV, but keep our traditional home. To be able to afford our lifestyle, I gave up a traditional salaried job (50+ hours a week), we started renting our home as a seasonal rental so it pays most of its costs. I started collecting a retirement early even though I took a 25% reduction in benefits. Our thoughts is we could use the money now while we have our health and the income can replace part of what I still need to earn.

    I think that “workaholicism” is a huge problem in the US as you pointed out. When I travel, I see people working on their vacations-and don’t see the people who are too work centered to use their vacations at all.

    Hope that we met you guys on the road sometime.

    Reply
    • Hello Tony,
      Thank you for your kind words, and congratulations on the choices you have made in your own life to allow you to travel more, and enjoy your health now, instead of putting it off for the potential ‘someday’ that is promised to nobody. Agreed on how sad it is how many people work on their vacations and even more sad how many people don’t take vacations at all. I have known so many people in that situations.
      Thank you again,
      -Marc

      Reply
  21. Wow Marc, you have been through a lot. Thx for sharing. I haven’t gotten my RV yet but I’m looking for one soon because I am a travel surgical cardiac scrub and looking to get further out west. I understand your pain and my prayers are with you. I continue to enjoy the videos and I’m learning so much from so many just like you two.
    Josie (my cat), and I are excited about getting out there and y’all have been very helpful in helping me prepare for the transition.
    Again my prayers are with the both of you and maybe some day get to meet y’all. Stay safe!!!
    Bobby

    Reply
    • Hello Bobby. Very cool that you are exploring the options of taking your work on the road. We have met others who have taken their health care careers mobile. Thank you for your support. Wishing you success and hope to meet you out on the road too.
      -Marc

      Reply
  22. Hey Marc,
    You and Julie rock!
    So happy to call you friends. Thanks for sharing your journey with all of us in the RV family. This was an inspiring read.
    Looking forward to tomorrow’s launch!

    Reply
  23. I found your website several months ago while researching the purchase of a motorhome. I have watched and read many of your exploits and have found them very informative and helpful. Thanks for sharing your information and personal stories. I wish you all the best. Hope to make a purchase within the year, and start enjoying traveling around our beautiful country.

    Reply
    • Hello Stephen, Great to hear that you have found our information helpful. Thank you for your well-wishing. Wishing you success in your upcoming purchase and travels.
      -Marc

      Reply
  24. You two are amazing and such a strong force. We are new to RVING and newly retired. We became attached to you because we have a similar coach and have learned much from your videos, etc. We wish you good health and continued success. You are part of our lives and we look forward to your positive changes. Wishing you a blessed life and see you in your videos and blog.

    Reply
  25. Marc, thank you for sharing your trials and tribulations. My husband and I have been following you and Jules for 18 months now and because of you and a few others we have chosen to follow in your footsteps. Work balance will not be an issue for me, after a 33 year career I was laid off. We were not going to start looking for a coach until the fall but because we wanted to show two incomes when we purchased the coach we up our dates. With all that said even though I will start my retirement my husband will still have 2 1/2 years to work. Our plans are to start our full time life but we will be stationary until he retires, only leaving for vacations and weekend runs to Pismo beach or the desert area.

    I am excited to hearvwhat is next for RVLove. I hope our paths will cross one day.

    Keep healthy and happy and just live one day at a time!

    Reply
    • Hello Loretta,
      Thank you for following us for 18 months and happy to hear that you will be transitioning to full time soon. Always interesting to me to see companies lay people off after over 30 years of service, driving home my point about how companies will move on with or without people, and rarely care about their employees as much as they state. I really like your outside the box thinking on transitioning to full-time even though you will be mostly stationary for the next 2 years while your husband finishes up his work. Maybe that timeline will move up too. Thank you again for your kind words and support.
      -Marc

      Reply
  26. 2 points I thought were spot on: 1) the rise of electronic communication and the expectation that employees will always be available has seriously impacted work/life balance, and 2) people don’t give enough thought to the impact of promotions. The $$ look great, but it comes at a cost that is oftentimes not worth it. We experienced both, we walked away, and we are both eminently happier.

    I also very much agree on your point that this RV lifestyle lends itself to flexibility. There are very few real ‘fixed costs’ and most things we can adjust as needed. It makes all the difference in the world when you’re looking at a monthly budget.

    Given how talented and driven you both are, I have no doubt your new endeavor will be a success and you’ll both be happier for it. Best of luck!

    Reply
    • Hello Laura,
      Thank you for your kind words and specifically calling out which items you liked the most. Yes, we see so many people forward their work email and calls to their smartphones and check them at all hours. I was very disciplined in setting boundaries around that and did not install any of the work software onto my phone and would rarely even carry my phone after hours. People learned that I would not be available after hours. Those last few months those boundaries started cracking, because of a major company milestone. Loving the flexibility and variability of our expenses in this lifestyle. Thank you for your words of encouragement as well.
      -Marc

      Reply
  27. Marc, thank you so much for sharing your story. I feel that I am in the same boat – my work is negatively affecting my health. It’s too stressful and not much in the way of fulfillment. I’m currently studying to begin work as a freelance Front End Web Developer. You story gives me hope that I can soon leave my full-time office job and begin a new life with more freedom to travel and enjoy life more.

    Best of luck to you and Julie. I look forward to following you on your new journey!

    Reply
    • Hello Thomas,
      Sorry to hear that your work is negatively impacting you, but very glad to hear that you have an exit strategy. That makes a huge difference when you have a vision and are working toward the change that you need. So glad that sharing my story gives you hope and am wishing you all the best. We are excited for you.
      Thanks again,
      -Marc

      Reply
  28. Marc,
    Thanks for sharing your story.. I am a store manager for a pharmacy chain and always under high stress. I suffer with nerve related stress as well but in the form of fibromyalgia. I have learned so much from RVLOVE .. So thank you !!
    I bought an older class A and am hoping to go fulltime next year:) I am in the process of downsizing my material possessions and am going to put my house on the market in early fall of 2018. Hope to see you guys on the road :))

    Reply
    • Hello Ron,
      Thank you for your kind words. Sorry to hear that you are dealing with fibromyalgia, but confident that when you remove some of that stress from your life your symptoms will reduce, as I have seen that happen for others. Congratulations on your purchase, and looking forward to seeing you out on the road.
      Thank you,
      -Marc

      Reply
  29. When I met you (sat next to you) at the Feb. Escapees Boot Camp, you both hid this decision well. DH and I have had more reminders since then that life is very, very short, and to live even more accordingly! Although we live in our RV full time, we’re sensing changes, too, more downsizing and simplifying in many ways. Will be watching for your new plans with much eagerness!

    Reply
    • Hello MoHobyDick,
      Yes… we totally remember you, and yes… we were keeping all of this very much to ourselves at that time. Had not even told family. Life sends us stronger and stronger reminders until we get the point. Wishing you success in your upcoming changes.
      Thank you,
      -Marc

      Reply
  30. Marc, you may already be aware of these facts. But as someone that has had stress induced bouts of HSV1 over the course of the last forty year I have come to understand the disease and the triggers. As you are aware HSV1 lives semi dormant in the brain stem waiting for a trigger to wreak havoc on you. You are aware of many of the triggers I’m sure. I have a degree in molecular biology and have made it my mission to control my outbreaks. My path:
    Relieve stress, mental and physical can trigger
    Physical triggers include irritation of the area normally affected.
    Most important and most often overlooked, chemical triggers. Stay away from anything that has high levels of Arginine (amino Acid) Chocolate, nuts are very high in this. Arginine is a precursor for the main protein needed by HSV to make it’s protein coat. When it chemically senses high levels of Arginine present it kicks replication into high gear. At this point, and also as a prophylactic to prevention you should be taking 500mg of Ly-sine (amino acid)each day. The way Ly-sine works is that it has almost the identical molecular makeup as Arginine, HSV will use this Ly-sine in place of Arginine to make it’s protein coat. When it uses Ly-sine the protein coat falls apart before the HSV has a chance to multiply. Viruses are not living beings, they are simply chemical factories responding to every stimuli you present them with. You have probably noticed the mental sensations right before an over active infection. Usually you get a dull head ache and maybe even slowed responses to mental activities. Please try the Ly-sine, it can help to lower the base load of the HSV you have at any given time.

    Reply
    • Hello Jim,
      Thank you so much for making the time to offer your detailed information. I really appreciate it. Having worked so much of my career in the supplement/nutrition industry, I definitely recognize the value and impact it can have. I have been really diligent about taking 500-1000mg of Lysine per day for the last year and definitely think it helps. I also take high quality Vitamin C, L-Glutamine, and a few others. Admittedly, I could probably eat a few less almonds and pistachios and will definitely do so per your recommendation. Sorry to hear that you have had to deal with HSV1 for 40 years, but glad to hear that you seem to have figured out ways to manage it.
      Thank you again,
      -Marc

      Reply
  31. We live in Arvada, CO and just ordered our RV today. The house goes on the market next month. We are giving our stuff to family. We are so excited. Hope to see you on the road.

    Reply
    • Hello Julie,
      Awesome. We are excited for You! I know Arvada well. I went to high school at A-West, delivered pizzas, and eventually became an Arvada Police Officer. Congratulations on your purchase, and your efficient downsizing. Hope to see you on the road.
      Thanks again
      -Marc

      Reply
  32. Wow! Marc, I’m throwing myself in front of the bus publicly by saying I cried reading this. I can relate…healthwise vs. work stresses. It was like I was reading my own story. I totally understand. I bet we can compare stories sometime.

    Congrats on putting YOU first. Hugs and chugs to you both. Be well, BOTH of you. I treasure you. See you on the road again soon and this time, spend more time “living”.

    Reply
    • Great to see you putting life ahead of work. We only get one shot at this life and knowing that you have identified what’s important, gives others hope! Well said.

      Reply
    • Marc, Congratulations on the bravery and intelligence to take this next step. I can’t seem to get the office clowns around me to understand that work isn’t about quantity but quality, and that 50-70 hours per week won’t make you the office hero. It will make you unhealthy and unhappy. Fortunately you knew about the need for balance early on. Good luck on the future endevours!

      Reply
      • And even if those long hours do make you the office hero, that extra 1-2% raise you get over your peers is a really poor ROI for the 50% or more additional time you gave up for it.

        I too am trying to work on my corporate exit strategy. It’s a good job and a good company but a soul sucking existence. Sadly I think it will be a few more years before I can escape, but fairly soon I believe I’ll have the opportunity to work remote FT just as you did. At least then I can hit the road and start living a little more.

        Reply
        • Hello Andy,
          Great point on the poor return on investment of time those ‘heroes’ see. Glad to hear that you have an exit strategy in the works. Hopefully you find a way to accelerate that timeline a bit. Working from the road, even if working full time, is still FAR better because of all the wonderful life experiences you can have that help tip the work/life scale back on the life side. I definitely would not have lasted as long as I did in my job if I didn’t have the quality of life to help offset the stresses.
          Thank you,
          -Marc

          Reply
          • Hi Marc. Like most people, my father worked his entire life and retired at 67. After several months of retirement boredom, what does he do? He gets a part-time job at a local car dealer doing odds and ends. Not out of financial necessity but to give him something to do. I suppose this comes from a life spent in the office not developing any hobbies. He always wanted a Harley and I kept encouraging him to get one but now he claims he’s “too old” and it would be “too dangerous”. Very sad, won’t happen to me. Keep up the inspirational posts, I’m right behind you!

            Reply
      • Hello Mark,
        Thank you for your support and compliments. I certainly had my challenges with my co-workers. Setting boundaries can be tough sometimes, but when I refused to answer phone or emails after hours, they eventually stopped calling during those times unless it truly was an emergency and I was the only person who could help remedy. When the calls were once per quarter instead of daily like so many other people accepted, it made it easier to answer the call because they were respecting me and my boundary. Hope your co-workers start figuring it out before they burn out.
        Thank you again,
        -Marc

        Reply
    • Hi Lisa,
      Thank you so much for sharing that. I am deeply touched to think that what I had written resonated with you on that level. Julie and I really loved our time with you all in Quartzsite. That was a really tough time for me, as it was when it was all coming to it’s head with my work and health. Looking forward to the next time we meet up in person. I will certainly be in a better place with my health and be doing more ‘living’ than working when we do.
      Thanks again,
      Marc

      Reply
    • Hi Lisa,
      Thank you so much for sharing that. I am deeply touched to think that what I had written resonated with you on that level. Julie and I really loved our time with you all in Quartzsite. That was a really tough time for me, as it was when it was all coming to it’s head with my work and health. Looking forward to the next time we meet up in person. I will certainly be in a better place with my health and be doing more ‘living’ than working when we do.
      Thanks again,
      Marc

      Reply
  33. Good decision for both of you. If you don’t have your health nothing else matters! I look forward to seeing more of you guys!

    Reply
  34. So well written, thank you for being so open and honest about your experience as this post is so impactful. This really resonates with me and your reasons for leaving are the same reasons I left the PhD program I was in and switched gears to independent contractor work while full-time RVing. We are so lucky to be able to see life for what it truly should be, compared to those that overwork themselves and wear it as a badge of honor (as you so perfectly put it). Cheers to your upcoming lifestyle change!

    Reply
    • Hello Caitlin,
      Thank you for your kind words about what I had shared. It has made me so happy to see that it has resonated with others. Glad to hear that you are also one of the lucky ones who sees life for what it should be.
      Thank you again,
      -Marc

      Reply
  35. Congratulations on making the decision that was best for the two of you. My husband and I have been following you since last fall. We are considering full-timing in the next few years and are also no where near retirement age. Best of luck to you, and maybe we will see you on the road one day!

    Reply
    • Hello Taunya,
      There is definitely a growing number of us making this lifestyle our own many years before retiring. Wishing you success in finding a way to come out and join us sooner than later, and to meeting up with you when you do.
      Thanks again,
      -Marc

      Reply
  36. Congratulations Marc on recognizing that your health, happiness & well being are the most important thing. I left my high stress job of nearly 0 years on January 1st to go on the road with my retired husband full time. I prepared at work for 4 months so the transition would be easier for them and haven’t looked back once since! I can sleep at night no without waking up 3 or 4 times and I am actually,,y enjoying my ice again. I have always said to people that when your job is no longer bringing you happiness then t is time to move on. As a nurse, I know that life is way too short to waste even one moment! Thanks for sharing and good luck in your new adventure. Maybe we will meet out on the road some day!

    Reply
    • Hello Judy,
      Congratulations on YOUR retirement! Great to see that you have benefitted so much from your decision to leave too. As a nurse, I am sure you would have many reminders of the importance and fragility of our health.
      Thank you for your your message and kind words of support. Would love to meet up some day.
      -Marc

      Reply
  37. I’ve followed you guys for a couple years and I’m now full-timing myself. Juliet-TFTR was my neighbor for a few days last month and mentioned you both. I’ve just hoped all was okay with you.
    Change is good! Looking forward to hearing about the next leg in your lives adventure.
    Chilling for a week or so in the Valley of the Gods.. This place is awesome!

    Reply
    • Hello Kent,
      Thank you for your support. Love to hear that you have been following us for so long and are now full-timing too. We really enjoy Juliet, Mick and Romeo. Julie actually talked to her this week on the phone. Yes, all is well for us now. Sounds like you are loving your travels.
      Thanks again,
      -Marc

      Reply
  38. Marc I wish you well my friend. I hope whatever the new journey is that’ll you’ll both be happy and fulfilled. I’m sure we all will be!!!

    Best

    vin

    Reply
  39. Thanks for sharing your story. I’m happy you made the decision to “retire”! Because, yes, your health, we’ll being and happiness are most important. The rest will take care of itself. Happy travels.

    Reply
    • Thanks Diane – it’s not exactly retirement so much as transitioning to self employment, but we’re excited that we are prioritizing health and happiness so highly and yes the rest WILL take care of itself. Happy travels to you too!

      Reply
    • Hello Diane
      Thank you for your message of support. Glad you enjoyed my story. Agreed the rest will work itself out as long as we stay focused on what is most important.
      Thanks again
      -Marc

      Reply
  40. What an inspiring blog – thank you! It’s wonderful to hear when people understand what’s really important in life – and it rarely comes from a corporate job! We wish you an Julie all the best!

    Reply
  41. Hi Marc n Julie,
    Excellent blog full of wonderful wisdom. Our favorite, “Freedom, health, time and love are the ultimate measures of wealth”. My husband and I took an early retirement in November 2016, sold our home and 90% of our possessions, moved into our newly bought motorhome and are loving this new lifestyle. Thank you for your candidness, for sharing your experiences and knowledge. It was through blogs and videos like yours that cemented our decision to hit the road. You’re an inspiration!

    Reply
    • Hello Sonia and David,
      Thank you for your kind words about our blogs and videos. So happy to hear that you have found them to be inspirational and beneficial in your own transition. Congratulations on your early retirement and hitting the road. Fantastic!
      Thanks again,
      -Marc

      Reply
  42. Good job Marc, you guys rock. Looking forward to your new adventure. We sure do enjoy our RV adventures, I just wish we were a little younger and my body in a little better shape to enjoy more. Take care kids.

    Reply
  43. Thank you for proving such an inspirational story. My wife and I have followed your blog and it has pushed us forward in our thinking of life on the road. This article is very close to my personal situation and how stress and work can play major roles in your health and happiness. My wife and I are about to set off later this year living in our MH full-time and selling the house and giving away all the material things that are grown children get fit or want in their homes. We have adapted a minimalist mentality to a certain degree and are finding it refreshing. The decision for an early retirement recently at age 53 for both my wife and I has provided more happiness and value of life then we ever imagined. We look forward to continuing following both of you through your journey and maybe see you along the way. This story has hit home for us and is an uplifting view on the true meaning of happiness and life. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • Hello Bob,
      Congratulations on your early retirement and upcoming transition to full time RVing and having downsized already. Fantastic that you have already seen so much value and happiness in that decision. Thank you for your kind words about what I shared.
      Thanks again,
      -Marc

      Reply
  44. Mark,
    Thank you for sharing your story with all of us. My wife and I left the senior retirement industry two years ago – that is how long it has taken us to recover and rebuild our health. We worked 100 hour weeks routinely to the point of collapse. We will be hitting the road soon and enjoying our health and freedom soon.
    Thanks again
    Brian

    Reply
    • Hello Brian, Wow.. those are some serious hours, I would certainly have collapsed with less. Glad to hear that you have made it out and have recovered. Wishing you well on hitting the road
      Thanks again,
      -Marc

      Reply
  45. Excellent post. Could feel the truth of your life that you have been living. Resonated with me to the core has I lived it in the last 4 years. I am now making the changes. Thanks again for this wonderful post

    Reply
    • Hello Susie,
      Thank you for your kind words. So happy to hear that it resonated with you on that level, and to hear that you are now making the changes as well.
      Thanks again,
      -Marc

      Reply
  46. Courage to step into the unknown! It’s one of my highest values and certainly seems to be shared by those of us who choose this lifestyle. All the best to both of you.

    Reply
    • Hello Britt, Yes… that is one of the things we love so much about this lifestyle is that we are surrounded by courageous people who live a life of adventure.
      Thank you,
      -Marc

      Reply
  47. Kudos to you for taking the steps you needed to get your health back. When we ran into you at the Escapee’s rally in Tucson, we would have never guessed what you had been through. We are anxiously awaiting your Sunday announcement! All the best.

    As an aside, google “Nancy Zieman Bell’s Palsy’. She is rock star in the sewing community and has her own PBS series on sewing. You might find her journey interesting.

    Reply
  48. Thank you so much for writing this. You have no idea how much I needed to hear this, as I’m about to go through a company departure as well (and hit the road as a full time RV-er). 🙂

    Reply
    • Hello Erik.
      So glad to hear that this message came to you a such a perfect time. Wishing you well in the transition and congratulations on going full time.
      Thanks again
      -Marc

      Reply
  49. Wishing you two the very best!
    Similar job related feelings along with health issues (shingles) hit me two years ago when the work-life became not only more stressful but had me realize that life is short, too short to not enjoy even marginally, the job and company where I worked. Fortunately a supportive spouse and family members encouraged semi-retirement which is still something I’m struggling to accept. However, parting from a position that was no longer rewarding at any level was a tremendous load off and now each day is a bit brighter as we look to fulfill what makes life worth enjoying!

    Reply
    • Thank you Ron. Excited for you and your semi-retirement. Having supportive family and spouse definitely play a big role in transitions like this. Thank you for sharing
      -Marc

      Reply
  50. Marc, So happy for you and Julie and happy you’re doing well now! Of course there’s fear…always in the unknown..right? Love the part about “climbing the ladder”! So true! Stay well! Wishing you guys love, good health and friendships!

    Reply
    • Thank you Tammy. Yes, always a little fear in the unknown, but less afraid of that than of going back. Glad the ladder reference resonated with you too. That has been a long standing belief of mine.
      Thank you again
      -Marc

      Reply
  51. Hi, I’m Mike from across the pond in UK, I believe I know how you feel, but my life was different to yours, I was a military man for 22 years, then went on the road driving heavy vehicles for just over ten years, went back into the military as a civilian until I retired at 66 which was just over 3 years ago, I planned my retirement 3 years before it happened, I did the same as you and slowed my pace at work although I would switch to a different pace when needed but for emergencies only, I must admit I have done a lot of travel since retiring to places I want to see, so I say to you, you have decided the right way for you and your wife, life is to short, so my friend enjoy it while you can, safe travels to you both, I hope everything works out for you.

    Reply
    • Hello Mike,
      Thank you for your years of service, and your well wishing for us. Glad that you have been able to get out and enjoy extended travel.
      Thank you again,
      -Marc

      Reply
  52. I love reading this post about how thoughtful you are both being in creating a life you love. It is hard work, sometimes frightening to make those decisions. And yet, at the end of the day, it’s worth it, isn’t it? Thanks for the inspiration!

    Reply
  53. So much of your story sounds really familiar to me. Long hours, stress, health. I can’t wait for the next chapter in your life!

    Reply
  54. That’s quite a story! Glad you’re feeling better and hope you continue to do well. Look forward to meeting you both on the road someday.

    Reply
  55. Thank you for sharing your experiences, Marc. I’m glad you made the change and look forward to seeing what you and Julie create. Best wishes to you both!

    Reply
  56. Marc, Congrats! It is a very tough decision…but when it comes to your health, well there is no price to pay for that.

    Reply
    • Thank you BD. Yes, people spend their health for money, then end up spending money to try to regain their health. Better to just keep the health in the first place.
      -Marc

      Reply
  57. Wow Marc!! I know how much all of this means to you and am so happy that you have made the decision to put you and Julie first! Enjoy!!

    Reply
    • Thank you Cassie. I appreciate your support, and though I don’t miss that job, I do miss our chats. You are definitely one of the highlights from my role there. Wishing you and your family the best!
      Thanks again,
      -Marc

      Reply
  58. Some times we have to make hard decisions in our lives. Our health has to be first and foremost in any thing we do. We thank you for every thing you guys do for the RV community. You both have been instrumental in our decision to go full time. We start our adventure mid-June. Take care of your self, enjoy your life together and God bless, Juan & Mary

    Reply
    • Thank you for your kind words Juan. Yes, some times the hardest decisions become the most rewarding though. So happy to think we have been part of your decision to go full time, and we are excited for your upcoming adventure.
      Thank you again,
      -Marc

      Reply

Leave a Comment