“Someday when we’re older, when we retire, wouldn’t it be great to take off in an RV and travel around exploring?”
My husband, Ron and I have had this conversation countless times. Of course it was always just that, a dream conversation in the same way that we’d lay out our plans for how we’d spend our mega-millions lottery winnings or how we’d change the world if we were in charge. Super fun to think about but not something likely to happen! A few months ago we somehow found ourselves actually considering this as a plausible option and after long consideration, heart and soul searching and hours of research and talking, we’ve decided to take the plunge.
A little background on us and how we arrived at this fork in the road: Ron and I met in Phoenix, AZ in 2006. I’d lived there most of my life with the exception of a few childhood years in CA and CO while Ron had moved there recently after being born and raised in northern MI. Wanting to leave the big city life and provide better opportunities for my daughter, Ciara who was about to start junior high, we up and moved back to Ron’s home area and it was the best decision we could’ve made. We were married in 2009 and we both found great jobs in our respective lines of work, construction and real estate. Ciara flourished and excelled, she was active in her high school musical program and after graduating with honors, she went on to graduate from Western Michigan University with a degree in Public History. She married her high school sweetheart, Paul this past January after he graduated from Michigan State and they are planning their move to Philadelphia next month.
After 20+ years working and managing at title companies and handling real estate closings I COMPLETELY burned out on the 8-5 corporate life. It was a career I fell into at the age of 19 and while I was good at it, advanced and made great money, my heart was truly never in it. So in the summer of 2018 I walked away and started my own small business doing personal assistance and errands, which is so much more fulfilling.
Ron still works as a construction foreman and with the snowy northern Michigan weather, he has the option to either plow snow all winter or accept a several month layoff and return to work in the spring. With the kids heading east, they won’t be making regular trips home like they do now, and I’m not tied to a full time career any more. My whole family is still in AZ and Ron’s friend and former boss there would happily welcome him back for the winter season. With all these factors in mind, the reality that this could be a real option for us became more clear.
While the list of reasons on the pro side were numerous, the only real reason we could find on the con side was this: THAT’S NOT WHAT YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO DO. Our whole lives, we’re spoon-fed all of the steps we’re supposed to take in order to cross the finish line and collect our medal of success:
- Go to school
- Go to college
- Fall in love & get married
- Start your career
- Buy a home
- Start a family
- Work hard and move up that ladder
- Keep upgrading everything – newer and better home, cars, clothes, toys, gadgets, etc.
- Accumulate stuff. ALL THE THINGS. Buy a bigger, nicer home to store all your things. A bigger yard, a second garage. Heck, get a storage unit if necessary!
- After all that, hopefully retire at 60-65. Pray that your health is still decent. Now do all of those things that you put off and wish you’d done while you were busy working, consuming and collecting stuff. Oh and now you’re on a fixed income so unless you own all of your things outright free and clear, you’re still in debt. Maybe Wal-Mart is hiring greeters?
Sound familiar? This plan or some version of it tends to be the one we all follow and in turn thrust upon our children regardless of whether it makes any of us truly happy. But who says this is the only possible path to contentment? And what of the legions of people who stay on this path only to reach the end having never experienced their true happiness and fulfillment, full of regret for having wasted their precious, God-given life following someone else’s prescribed path, filling their life with money and things but never really fully LIVING? NO THANK YOU.
Why wait until a “someday” that may never come? Having watched my mother’s struggle with multiple sclerosis I am more motivated than ever to make sure that I do everything I can today, not putting it off to tomorrow. Tomorrow is never guaranteed. Of course we’re a little apprehensive about uprooting our whole lives but we’re more excited about the opportunities coming our way. Opportunities to meet new people, travel and experience new things, to embrace the unknown and trust in our faith that we are exactly where we are supposed to be. The opportunity for something MORE. Instead of waiting for “someday”, we’re making “someday” TODAY!
We have a 3 bedroom home on 5 acres, 3 vehicles, a boat and a lifetime of “stuff” to liquidate before we purchase our new truck and fifth wheel and head out this fall. We’re nervous and overwhelmed and mostly excited to get going. We can’t wait to fill our life with experiences over things. Open road, here we come! Check back for updates on our journey here!
Copyright 2019, all rights reserved. All images taken by me unless otherwise stated.