Have you ever wanted to go on a big adventure? One lasting longer than the measly 10 vacation days that your employer begrudgingly allows you each year? I have. I’ve spent years dreaming of a life where I could travel for extended periods of time, but until about 6 months ago - I never really thought I’d ever be able to pull off something like that.Why not, you ask? Short answer: student loans, health insurance, and my career. Not one of these things bring true happiness to my life, other than the fact that they keep me healthy, and wealthy enough to pursue the other things that I love. (Except for the student loans - those are the antithesis of wealth. $600 a month, straight into the hands of the man. And for what! A piece of paper saying I’m “smart” enough to put myself in extreme debt??)
Another huge factor that was holding me back was fear. Fear that I wouldn’t be able to make those loan payments, or that I’d leave one job and never find another. Mostly, I was scared that I would make a decision to do something really awesome, and completely derail the easy, fun, life that I now live.But you know what I say to fear? Fuuuuck that. What’s the point of living a life if you’re not excited to wake up everyday? So with that idea in mind, Tim and I decided we’d quit our jobs and go on the first big adventure of our lives.
This All Started When...
This crazy idea was born out of our desire to move away from our home in Connecticut. We were both born, and raised here - but felt it was time to spread our wings and GTFO of this miserable state. (No offense CT friends and family, but most of you probably feel the same way deep down.)Both Tim and I had career related endeavors that we needed to stick around for, so we picked a time frame in which we’d like to make the move. And then we pushed that date further and further into the future, because life is busy and there’s never a good time to move across the country.
One day, Tim suggested that we buy a van or RV and travel the country for a few months before we actually moved. This would allow us to live like the free hippies we’re meant to be, and would give us a chance to figure out where we wanted to move to. At first - I was extremely hesitant to actually move forward with the idea. This was something I’d always dreamt of, yet when it actually came to pulling the trigger, I was terrified.After I a few days of flip flopping between panic and excitement I agreed. We were already going to have to quit our jobs to move - so why not make an adventure out of it!
Quitting My Job to Travel
For me, the idea of us quitting our jobs, instead of simply transferring within our companies was the biggest roadblock. By nature I am both a worrier and a planner. Whenever I’m trying to do something that involves fun and risk - this really gets in my way.After weighing the pros and cons, I decided that quitting my job in the spring would be worth the experience that we’d have on this adventure.Lucky for me, this decision was completely removed from the equation when I was unexpectedly laid off from my job in November. This happened only 3 weeks after buying the RV that we planned on traveling the country in. Being a strong believer in signs, I took this as a green light from the universe to do the damn thing!
Tim Quitting His Job to Travel
Tim and I are pretty much polar opposites when it comes to worrying or planning. He is not about planning at all. So he was not concerned with the job aspect of this equation.He also has an unwavering belief that things will always work out the way they’re supposed to. (This is something I feel as well - because the universe does truly work in mysterious ways.. but I have to work a lot harder to simply trust and not worry.)Tim has a great job doing commercial irrigation, and works for a large company with branches in every state. He has a great relationship with his boss, so he was pretty confident that he would, at the very least - have no issue getting a recommendation to transfer after our travels.After a couple months of thinking, talking, and planning the details of our trip somewhat quietly, yesterday was the day that Tim told his boss that we’d be leaving to travel in the spring.And guess what? It went incredibly well. He was told that if and when we return to Connecticut, he’d have a job waiting for him.This was the best news possible. And yet another thumbs up from the universe!
So, Why Are We Doing This?
So let me get to the why of this story: Why we would risk blowing up our careers and stability for a silly road trip?I’ve thought about the answer to that question a lot. And there are at least 100 reasons I can think of that make this completely worth it.
Reason #1 : YOLO
The first, and most important reason is soooo cliche, but - we only have a short time here on earth. Some people get lucky and live until 100, and others die before they even get to follow a single one of their dreams. Tomorrow is never promised - so the idea of waiting until retirement to do something like this is inconceivable to us.You truly never know what life has in store for you. Continuously waiting for that next milestone just over the horizon is a trick, because as soon as you get there - there’s always just one more thing standing in your way.We’re young and healthy right now, with enough income to save the money we’d need to make this happen. We have no children (other than our fur babe Suzy) and our mortgage is very inexpensive - allowing us to keep our home base up and running while we travel.There couldn’t possibly be a better time for us to embark on a journey like this. And after losing my job, and Tim being able to take a indefinite hiatus from his - we literally have nothing to lose.
Reason #2: We Need Answers
The second factor in why we’re quitting our jobs to live and travel in an RV is that we’re searching for answers.What I mean by that is, we believe that by spending a long period of time traveling and living nomadically - we will have experiences that will teach us more than we could ever hope to learn while living the 9-5, typical American life.We spend a lot of time at music festivals, and constantly cross paths with fascinating people living life on their own terms. The biggest similarity between the most interesting people we’ve met is that a majority of them have spent some time living on the road. Whether it be on tour with the Grateful Dead, or in a van/bus/RV/car on their own - it’s a common theme.We’re hoping that the time spent connecting with new places and people, as well as reconnecting with ourselves will open doors that we never even knew about. While both of us have done well in our careers - neither of us love what we do. It may be a long shot, but we hope to find a path that brings us abundant joy everyday. And if that path cannot be found, hopefully moving so far out of our comfort zone will inspire a path that we can forge ourselves.
Reason #3: Wanderlust!
Wanderlust! This is the last big factor in our decision to live nomadically in our RV.Neither Tim, nor I have done much traveling outside of the northeast US. Growing up, neither of our families took extravagant vacations to far-away lands. Neither of us studied abroad, or even went on spring break. (Tim didn’t actually attend college, but he spent so much time there with me probably should have just enrolled)We’ve often made it to the planning stages of epic trips both domestic and abroad - only to be met with harsh time constraints due to limited vacation time. During the 7 years we’ve been dating, we’ve only left the east coast to travel to Colorado, Nevada, Arizona and Aruba together - for only about 4 days in each destination.This new lifestyle is finally a chance for us to see the all of the beauty that America has to offer with our own eyes. It will allow us to not only travel to a beautiful destination - but to get to see both the sunset and sunrise there, from the comfort of our own home. We’ll finally be able to do all of the fun things we want to do - instead of just living vicariously through the many pictures that fill up our Instagram feeds.Travel is something that we’ve both always wanted an abundance of in our lives. Traveling in our RV around the country will allow us to immerse ourselves in nature, culture, and maybe even a few music festivals along the way.
Our Plan Moving Forward
As of right now, we’re planning to leave in the beginning of May. On paper that seems like a lifetime away - but we have so much to do before we leave.The main project we need to complete in the next few months is the remodel of our 1985 Toyota Coachman RV. The interior needs a significant amount of TLC and some new appliances. The previous owner did some cosmetic work, however, it was a half-assed job that would drive me crazy to live with.My fingers are crossed for a short winter so we can start making progress on the remodel sooner rather than later. I know there are many people that are more motivated than us that are making it happen, regardless of the temperature - as we speak. (Props to you guys! I don’t do cold.)In the meantime, I’ll be researching places we can’t miss, resources to use, and possible sources of extra income while traveling. If anyone out there has suggestions or information that we should absolutely know before embarking - drop a comment below or contact me via email or Facebook!