Three Years Ago
My sister passed away after a year long illness. She wasn't perfect, but she could be fearless, awesome, funny and most of all, my sister. She loved to road trip and always amazed me how she was able to find so many cool things to do wherever she went. During her illness and after she passed, I realized a significant shift in my priorities and the reduced importance of “things” to me.
Boyd and I also recognized we weren't getting any younger and in order to be able to enjoy much of what we wanted to see/do, we needed to be in decent physical condition. So often we see folks that are just not physically able to fully enjoy the sights/adventures they have finally arrived at. We committed to making the most of this one life.
Two Years Ago
I remember the exact moment when I knew my corporate masters were done with me and nothing I said or did would ever make a difference or help me fit in better there. That same day I started actively making plans to quit my corporate job in the short term and focus on growing my own business.
Throughout my career, my whole self worth and identity was focused around my career. And, the problem was that my career had become a job to me. Its hard to give up something that has so defined your self image for so long. Nevertheless, I left my job six months later and started work on redesigning one of my company's software products.
Gone were all of the barriers and bureaucracies that made corporate life so mind-numbing at times. We could do anything we set our minds to and we made all of the rules. It was exhilarating, terrifying and the single most rewarding thing I have ever done. And, good and bad, it was all for my own company. We learned a ton and it was a lot of hard work.
One Year Ago
It took me about 1 year to fully shed the corporate funk. My hair actually stopped turning grey and I lost 15 pounds- I kid you not. We established new service norms for my business and our clients. We recognized that we were not a good fit for some clients and not all business was good business for us. Rather than fight it, we owned it and embraced it. We didn't try to be something we fundamentally weren't comfortable with.
We also made the decision to sell everything we owned to make the move to the RV. It was really hard to watch everything we worked the last 20 years for being pawed through by strangers, but it was also very freeing. The lack of stuff is an adjustment, but I really don't miss it. And I love our new adventures so much more than the “stuff”.
As I am walking the dog on another sunny day and thinking back through the path that lead us here, I can hear my sister laughing and telling stories around a campfire somewhere in our past. I know that she would love that we have done this. I am grateful that we were courageous enough to take the opportunity to make this happen.
More than one person we know has been inspired by our journey to look into RVing – not necessarily full time, but as a hobby. That is humbling as well.
We are getting better and better at the traveling thing. After Kaylee graduates in 2018, we want to try a summer in Alaska. We are also looking to upgrade our gear and expanding our business. Don't get me wrong, the RV thing hasn't been all puppies and sunshine. But the worst days on my own terms are still better than my best days a few short years ago.