You might think that figuring out your purpose in life is to be a full-time traveler would be the most difficult part of the process. Well, unfortunately, you would be wrong. Although that was difficult and took years (for me anyways) it seemed like a cake walk verses what was to come next.
Now that I figured it out, I needed to tell people. I also needed to articulate it in a way that wouldn’t make me seem as crazy as I felt. Is that even possible? Who is the first person you tell? Who will be less judgmental? Who will understand? Who will be supportive? Can I get away with doing this and not have to tell anyone? This may bring you a chuckle, but it was a legit thought I had.
I went through a similar situation 7 years ago when I decided Wisconsin wasn’t where I belonged. (Read about that here) Little did I know at the time, I don’t truly belong in any one place. I had lived there all of my life and hadn’t felt whole. Not to mention I HATED the cold and snow. Probably not a great place for me to reside. When I had started to sell my things and tell my friends and family I received a lot of push back.
No one could understand where this was coming from and what I intended to do. In fact, I didn’t even really know. All I knew was I had an atlas, places I wanted to see and the open road ahead of me. How do you explain that to your parents that you are very close with and aren’t wanderers at all? This particular instance took 6 months of explaining, pleading, begging, arguing and criticism. I imagine the first time you tell the people whom you love and respect you may experience these kinds of setbacks.
This time around went surprisingly smooth. After all, I had already been through this. Or maybe it was because I had already been through this that it was just easier for me this time. One of the things I learned from the first time is to take control of the conversation. What I mean by this is tell your friends and loved ones that this is what you are doing and say it with conviction. The second you waver, ask for help or for acceptance you might as well sit down and get ready for the lecture that will follow.
You are going to hear all sorts of things come out of their mouths. Don’t take it personally and truly listen. Sometimes things will come out that you hadn’t even thought of yourself. But, be prepared for the naysayers. These are the people who are living in fear. The fear of what if, how, what about, and when this happens, then what. Don’t get me wrong, you should think of all these things and plan for them, but don’t be held back by them. If you are going to be held back by those things you will never get on the road. They never end and you cannot prepare for everything.
Here are some of the things I heard and here and my responses. Feel free to use your own responses because I’m guessing your excuses are different than mine; or just use mine and wait for the bewilderment on your loved ones faces. That actually sounds more entertaining; do that.
1. Where will you live?
- In the RV I purchase wherever I drive to. The point of me traveling full time is to be able to have the freedom and luxury to do what I want, when I want to. Without that I might as well stay in my house here in Phoenix conforming to what society says is acceptable.
2. How long are you going to do this?
- Well, my thought right now is forever. I’m not going in to this thinking I’m going to do it for a few months. I’m going in both feet first that this is going to be the lifestyle I want to live and have no expectations that I will fail or not like it.
3. What happens when you get sick of it?
- Well, worst case scenario is I park Wanda (that’s my RV. If you haven’t named yours yet, you should) some place and live stationary. Wanda is my home and my home is wherever I go. So, if I get sick of it I will find a place I want to live and park it.
4. What happens when you run out of money?
- Who said I’m going to run out of money? I have income sources coming in, I’ve always been a hard worker and figured things out. There are tons of people doing this now and they are all surviving. If there is a will there is a way and I will find it. Worst case scenario is I run out of money and then I have to park Wanda somewhere, get a job for a while, save up some money and get on the road again. It’s not the first time I have traveled, ran out of money, posted up, got a job and started a new “normal” life.
5. People who travel full time have to be retired or have a ton of money or a pension.
- Why? Why would I wait to do what I have always dreamed to do until I retire and I’m too old, crippled, fragile or sick to fully enjoy it? I have a means to do it now, I have a plan, and I have an income. I have no reason to wait until you or society deems it the right time for ME to travel.
6. (This one is my favorite and you will get it ALL the time) People who travel or live in trailers are homeless.
- How am I homeless? I have a bed, a kitchen, a toilet, a shower, all of my needed possessions and a roof over my head. How does that make me homeless? My home is just mobile
7. How in the world are you going to downsize from your beautiful 1,700 square foot home to 300 square feet?
- Easy. Over the last few months I have been realizing I use a small portion of my living room, my master bath, my bedroom, my kitchen and my patio. I have also noticed an ungodly amount of things that I don’t use or need. I am actually disgusted by the amount of “stuff” I have for no reason other than I thought I needed it or I wanted it and it’s months later and I totally forgot I even had it. What is the point of all that? How wasteful and absurd for me to have these things and waste money because everyone else has them or someone said I should get it when there are truly homeless, struggling people out there. How irresponsible of me this entire time. I’m ashamed it took me this long to realize it. If I were you, I would take a look around and start donating stuff you haven’t used or don’t need. What’s the point?!? Read about that here: Full-time Travel Transition.
I’m sure when you read some of these you may be like: that’s silly or oh, wow, I never thought of that, or do people really ask that. The answer is yes, yes, and unfortunately yes. You are going to get a lot of push back, negativity and judgement. It’s very important that if you are serious about moving forward with this lifestyle that you have thought about all of these things and you are strong enough to not let these objections get in your way. You will judge yourself more than anyone else, and if you have found approval of yourself, they will too, eventually.