Make the Journey Enjoyable

Psst, I have a secret to share with you. Are you listening? Good. Here it is: Life shouldn’t merely be about getting from point A to point B. Between those points are where the actual living happens. The journey should be as enjoyable as the destination.

In fact the way I see it, there really is no such thing as a destination. When we arrive at the end of one goal, job, dream, or trip; we may take some time to congratulate ourselves on a job well done and enjoy having completed the task. But wait to long and stagnation sets in. The joy fades a little, and then it’s time to move on. There is always a new project to start, another place to go visit, a new goal to meet. Life is one big journey, with multiple pit stops along the way.

If you choose to only be happy when you get to the conclusion of something, you’re going to be missing out on a lot of fun. The sad thing is, most of the people I meet think like this. They rush about trying to cram as many things as possible into their days, and what matters is that they get everything done in the quickest and most efficient way possible.

I’m not saying that efficiency is a bad thing, I just feel like we’ve made life more complicated than it needs to be. We buy things that are suppose to make life easier, yet somehow don’t end up with more free time to enjoy where we are now.

This philosophy is what made me get started on RVing in the first place. I decided that spending the next 30+ years of my life toiling away at a job I didn’t like for the possibility of going full-timing after retirement wasn’t worth it. The journey was what mattered more, so I’d find a way to go full-time RVing sooner rather than later.

Which brings me to the present. It seems that I’ve had to be reminded of this point again. I could spend this year living in my expensive apartment until the lease is up in September, and work at a different job that maybe isn’t as bad as the last one but still doesn’t inspire me. All in the name of trying to save enough to hopefully buy my Casita within the next year or two at the lower wages I’m now making. This was the road I thought I was going to be forced to take.

Or I could make a go at enjoying the journey to full-timing. Just because I don’t yet have the RV doesn’t mean that I can’t travel and have some fun while earning the necessary money.

I could talk to my roommate, look at cheaper places to stay that she’d be able to pay for on her own without me, talk to the landlady and see what the process was for breaking the lease at our current place, and then search sites like to find seasonal employment at interesting out of state places that provide cheap housing.

Guess which choice I went with.

So that’s what I’ve been up to these past few days. I don’t know how it’s all going to turn out in the end, but at least I can say I’ve made the attempt. If this most recent plan backfires, I fully intend to take time off for a road trip in my truck, I’ll get my travel adventuring in one way or another.

Incidentally, if any of you out there have experience with seasonal employment of this sort I’d love to hear what you thought about it.

Barring that, I urge you to take a bit of time out of your busy schedule today to brainstorm what you can do to make the journey you’re on now more enjoyable.

Image courtesy of Tony the Misfit

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At IO I teach people how to ditch the status quo and travel full-time before retirement, and share stories of my adventures (and misadventures) to inspire future nomads and armchair travelers alike. Included at no additional charge: seizing your dreams, living boldly, and making a difference.


  1. Susanna Dvash on February 21, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    What a cool and inspiring idea! I also made a rather radical change in my life (moved to the Middle East), although I wouldn’t necessarily encourage others to do it. I wrote about it here:
    Susanna Dvash recently posted..Making the Giant Leap Into WhoknowswhatsvilleMy Profile

    • Becky on February 21, 2012 at 11:59 pm

      Hey Susanna, welcome to IO and thanks for commenting.

      I visited your site, congratulations on the radio show, that’s really neat. πŸ™‚ It seems like we have quite a bit in common, but your a bit further along than I am. It’s just that my travel is going to be less international, at least starting out. Anyway, I look forward to following your progress.

  2. DannyH on February 21, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    Becky, I have a couple of friends that did the Yellowstone gig two years ago. They enjoyed it and had a great time. One worked at the check-in desk at the hotel and the other did maintenance and short order cook duties. They got a nice room, food and pay. What they liked was being able to hike in the park on their days off, and when your working there they have group lead hikes for free. They sent some great pictures of elk calving in front of their cabin, which left them stuck in until they were finished (they get mean if bothered). Apparently over the years the elk found out calving near the cabins kept the wolves away, as the wolves didn’t like being out in the open and near people. The whole experience seemed nice.

    If you can work it out, I think looking for a park job would be a great experience and get your mind on enjoying life as it comes.

    • Becky on February 21, 2012 at 11:13 pm

      Thanks for sharing Danny, this is exactly the sort of feedback I was looking for. I’ve found several Yellowstone related opportunities on that site, it seems like it wouldn’t be too hard to get a position there.

      How amazing must that have been, to get to see elk calving like that. πŸ™‚

  3. Marvin on February 21, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Many NPS concessions ( Delaware North ) have jobs from May to Oct and offer dorm type housing and RV spaces at the major national parks ( Yellowstone )

    • Becky on February 21, 2012 at 4:28 pm

      Yeah, Coolworks had several places listed in and around Yellowstone that I was looking at. I actually specifically went looking for places near national and state parks because then I would get to spend my off days exploring them. πŸ™‚

  4. Kathy on February 21, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Hope my comments help a little.

    • Becky on February 21, 2012 at 4:25 pm

      It does Kathy, thanks. πŸ™‚ I’ve been going endlessly over the list of things I can do that could earn me money, it’s not a large list but I’m working on it. Sadly my vocation doesn’t lend itself to travel really so I’m going to have to be creative. Likely there will be lots of odd jobs involved.

  5. Kathy on February 21, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Becky, I think you are a very brave, insightful, thoughtful woman! Im hoping you can pull this off to the extent you can fulfill a dream…one of many I hope. As you seek out your next adventure, just be over cautious as you research potential jobs. Safety needs to be a high priority! With that said, my brother spent a lifetime as a n artist and musician and managed to patch together temporary jobs working at campsites as well as a surveyer throughout VA. I don’t know what your talents are,but you might start searching out town fairs and festivals for work as well as a place to sell original products or resell things.

    RV shows may also offer opportunities. Heck you may find some part time work at RV dealerships especially the big ones that sometimes do their own local shows. Also see if you can register with small convention centers…they often need lots of short term workers. Also catering companies. Anywhere there are trade shows or special events, there is a need for people to work the show. Checl local visitor bureaus.

  6. Brian on February 21, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Fun Valley campground near South Fork, Colorado usually has openings for the summer season. I believe dorm style housing is provided.

    The rafting companies in Colorado will have openings for shuttle drivers.

    The downside would be the cost of housing. You might not be able to contribute to the ‘Casita fund’ as much as you would like to.

    • Becky on February 21, 2012 at 4:21 pm

      The idea was that the roomie and I would rent something she could pay for on her own (a smaller 1 bedroom) and that I just wouldn’t be paying rent there while I’m off working elsewhere. I’ve seen some places that charge more than what I’d would be paying staying with her here, but several that charge less (since it’s usually a shared room dorm environment, and meals are often included).

      Unfortunately full health insurance coverage by the place she works for doesn’t kick in until August anyway meaning she isn’t able to keep as much of her paycheck now as she will be come that time, it still might not work out that I get to leave this summer. We’ll just have to wait and see.

  7. hobopals on February 20, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    I’ve posted this in comments before, but here goes, again. It was my husband’s favorite. It’s a little different in as much as I found the author on the web.

    TUCKED AWAY in our subconscious minds is an idyllic vision in which we see ourselves
    on a long journey that spans an entire continent. We’re traveling by train and, from the
    windows, we drink in the passing scenes of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at
    crossings, of cattle grazing in distant pastures, of smoke pouring from power plants, of row
    upon row upon row of cotton and corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of city skylines and
    village halls.

    But uppermost in our conscious minds is our final destination–for at a certain hour and on a
    given day, our train will finally pull into the station with bells ringing, flags waving, and bands
    playing. And once that day comes, so many wonderful dreams will come true. So restlessly, we
    pace the aisles and count the miles, peering ahead, waiting, waiting, waiting for the station.

    “Yes, when we reach the station, that will be it!” we promise ourselves. “When we’re
    eighteen. . . win that promotion. . . put the last kid through college. . . buy that 450SL
    Mercedes-Benz. . . have a nest egg for retirement!”

    From that day on we will all live happily ever after.

    Sooner or later, however, we must realize there is no station in this life, no one earthly
    place to arrive at once and for all. The journey is the joy. The station is an illusion–it
    constantly outdistances us. Yesterday’s a memory, tomorrow’s a dream. Yesterday belongs to a
    history, tomorrow belongs to God. Yesterday’s a fading sunset, tomorrow’s a faint sunrise. Only
    today is there light enough to love and live.

    So, gently close the door on yesterday and throw the key away. It isn’t the burdens of today
    that drive men mad, but rather regret over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Regret and
    fear are twin thieves who would rob us of today.

    “Relish the moment” is a good motto…”

    So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, swim more rivers, climb more
    mountains, kiss more babies, count more stars. Laugh more and cry less. Go barefoot oftener.
    Eat more ice cream. Ride more merry-go-rounds. Watch more sunsets. Life must be lived as we
    go along. The station will come soon enough.

    Robert J. Hastings
    hobopals recently posted..Disappointed – Dreams DashedMy Profile

    • Becky on February 21, 2012 at 4:13 pm

      It’s a nice passage Nancy, I can see why your husband liked it. πŸ™‚

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