How in the h**k did we end up here?
I never thought that Dr. Seuss would have nailed the meaning of life in a more subtle way, than great speakers like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, John F Kennedy, Mahatma Gandhi or LeBron James!
We all have our insecurities and doubts, of what we think we can accomplish in life but when you find someone who compliments you so perfectly, who never judges you, who never knocks you when you're down and who never mocks your dreams but emphatically says, "YES!" to each and every idea that comes out of your mouth... you are now the luckiest person on the planet. People go decades looking, searching and thoroughly scrutinizing (Thank you Tinder!) for that rare pearl that will give their life, meaning! When you find "THE ONE", you're now ready to tackle any obstacle that comes your way.
"This, right here, right now, makes me happy. Everything about this moment, makes me want more". Those were my exact words, in the middle of a corn field, Sunday August 17th 2014. To give you some insight, we were at the Bi-Mart Willamette Country Music Festival in Brownsville, OR. Blake Shelton was serenading us with some of his greatest hits, the back door of our '84 VW Westy (Wilma) was wide open facing the stage, our 1 year old boy was asleep, my wife and I were having a cold one and thoroughly enjoying the moment (yes, our clothes were still on...). Why is this moment so important? This is the moment, we decided that we had enough of not living "OUR" life. We weren't doing what made us happy, we were doing what "normal" couples do. While our friends were getting a new car, buying a new house, building a career, bitching about their career, suffocating under their mortgage payments and fighting to have the fuel pump fixed, since it was still under warranty, we talked and plotted and designed the blueprint of what our life "WILL" look like.
Ever come up to a very distinct crossroad in life? You know, that moment when you were facing a decision, like no other. They don't happen very often but when they do, they usually represent major shifts in your life path.
Do I or don't I marry this boy?
Do I or don't I take this job?
Do I or don't I take a chance and move 4000 Kms away from my friends and family for...?
This was our crossroad, as a couple. Do we follow our dream of pushing the limits of our gypsy souls or just play it safe and pretend we're sheeps, following the herd? We were living in Vancouver, BC close to work with many opportunities, for working in Maui (or any Hawaiian Island for that matter). This may sound appealing to many but for us, we first, had to admit, we're not big city people and we're definitely not, like everyone else. We love the open road, we love adventure, we love discovering, whether it's new places, new spaces and new people. You have to understand, being a flight attendant (FA) couple, traveling by air and staying in hotel rooms are part of our work environment and daily life, so when we are not working, the last thing we want to do, is get on a plane and go to a hotel room. For us, hotel rooms are for when you've been on the road for a few days, you stink and you just NEED a shower (with some serious water pressure), a porcelain toilet bowl and strong, unlimited Wifi... It's the small things in life! Right?
We've also discovered a beautiful thing while traveling, we talked and we talked and we talked some more. The kids are great travelers (especially when we add new movies or apps on their iPads and wireless earphones... Thank you Pixar and Wally World), which gives us all the silent freedom we need. After the Country Music Festival, we limped our way back home since our Westy wasn't feeling very good and what normally should have been a 7 hour drive, turned into 12 hours. 12 hours of figuring out, how to put us in a situation where we could travel more and more, with our kids, something most people still think is, unthinkable!
We've often said that the less money we spend, the less money we need to make. First thing we did, we got rid of all payments, not most payments or cutting down our payments... No payments!!! My lovely wife Jamie, had leased a cute little VW Golf (it took her a while, to realize that when I said she had "nice rims", it had nothing to do with her car...) and was only 2 years into her 4 year lease. We contacted VW to find out how much we needed to sell the car, to walk away debt free. Because it was a great little car, it sold fairly quickly, costing us an extra $500 to replace the broken windshield. The lease for our condo was coming due and we told our landlord, we would not renew. So, where did we decide to live from then on?
How about an RV? How we came to decide, which RV would suit us best, will be in a different blog post and to respect the length of this post, we'll just say that we decided to buy a big ass pick-up truck (2011 F350 King Ranch) and a bigger ass, 5th wheel Toy Hauler (Cyclone 4000 Elite). Since we still have our full-time FA jobs, flying the friendly skies and shamelessly plugging 1 or our 5 published blog posts here (https://theoilytravelers.squarespace.com/home/2018/8/12/top-102-air-travel-tips-and-tricks-from-a-flight-attendant-couple), we have to stay fairly close to an airport. Just as you would get in your car and commute to work, we have to get on a plane and also, commute to work. March 26th 2015, we moved into our new home on wheels and since then, our home has been in BC, WA, OR, CA, AZ, TX, TN, ON, FL, AB... Ha ha, I'll let you figure that one out (my one and only clue is, Canada and USA abbreviations).
So, we recently had a nice long drive and guess what happened, we talked and we talked and we talked some more. We decided to push the limits of our gypsy souls, again! Our truck and trailer are up for sale (https://www.rvtrader.com/listing/2014-Heartland-CYCLONE+4000+ELITE-5005451889 and https://www.ebay.ca/itm/312222852177?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649) and we're downsizing some more. I'm aware, we're crazy or extremists to some! We've been full-time RVers for close to 4 years now and we want to bee even more mobile and nimble. A 44' trailer isn't anywhere close, to being nimble or fast. Remember the cute picture of my cute wife, with the cute little retro RV? YEAH!
The funnest part about this journey, is that we each have our own journeys to live. What works for us, may not work for you but what should work for everyone, is finding what makes you happy and always working towards that goal.
Anyone we meet, if our time together is long enough, we eventually come to the exact same question for everyone, "If money were no object, what would you do?" ~Alan Watts
Let that question sink in for a second, if money were no object, what would you do?
Most people we ask, answer with, travel more and that's great. You may want to crochet hats for cats (WoW! I feel a Dr. Seuss story built around this topic), finally solve the mystery of the Loch Ness monster, become a public speaker for Autism or travel endlessly. It doesn't matter what we want to do. What matters is, that we're always working towards that goal and displaying patience. When people say, the journey is just as important as the destination, we try to take that to heart. We want to travel as a family, with our little Retro (I know we don't actually own it, but we will), endlessly. We want to educate our children through travel, involvement, a hands-on approach in, it's most pure sense. That's our dream!
Where will your life be, one year from now?
Where do you want your life to be, one year from now?
Is, what you're doing today, getting you closer to that goal?
We implore you today, think about what you'd do if money were no object. What's important to you? What makes you happy? Shouldn't you do more things, that make you happy and less of things that don't?
We've all heard the saying, "Life is short". Unfortunately, my wife and I have seen firsthand, how short life can be for some, which is why we're not afraid of failing cause we're still alive, we're still here, our kids are still here and we have each other.
We're willing to help anyone reach happiness, as long as it's clear what that looks like.
We're inspired the keep the wheels spinning!
Nothing is closer to reality than that exact quote! Sept 14th, 2013