Facing Down Obstacles

New DawnEverybody has their obstacles to overcome, and those of us who choose to follow our dreams and live deliberate lives have more than most.

We’re go-getters to a varying extent, every single person who reads IO and other blogs like this. We live with that niggling feeling always in the back of our minds that life as most people see and live it isn’t enough. We want something better, and we’re willing to work hard to get it. We know that time is a finite resource, and that starting on your dreams now, whether it be to go RVing or something else, is infinitely better than starting later.

It isn’t easy, being us.

Daily we’ll face people satisfied with (or unwilling to challenge) the status quo. They might act with indifference when we tell them our dreams, and sap our enthusiasm. They might laugh at the idea of dropping out of the rat race, or give us a look like we’ve grown a second head when we explain that we want to travel full time. Even without words, they are telling that we can’t do it. But we can.

Even if we can push past the naysayers, we face the challenge of keeping up our motivation in light of all the work that needs to be done.

There is no smooth paved roadway leading to our dreams, no action plan with nicely laid out steps in chronological order. We are pioneers, hacking our way through a thicket of brambles with a compass that doesn’t point true north, but rather the direction of our hearts. We will struggle again and again to round up all the pieces of the puzzle and try to make them fit into a coherent picture. We will take one step back for every two steps forward. We will trip and fall, laboring for days, weeks, or possibly even months on something only to discover that it wasn’t even necessary. And at times, we will think that our dreams aren’t worth all the effort. But they are.

And even if we conquer the mountain of work, we’ll be faced with perhaps the most challenging adversary of them all, ourselves.

We will stare into the gaping maw of uncertainty, and wonder if we have what it takes. Are we strong enough. Are we smart enough. Are we determined enough. Here, at the edge of the civilized world where no paved roads exist and conventional wisdom goes to die, we will be put to the test. And we will be terrified. But we will make the jump into the unknown anyway.

Because we know that if we don’t at least try, that little niggling voice will continue asking “what if?”. Because we know that there are others like us out there, doing amazing and impossible things, and the rise of the internet has allowed us to connect with and support each other. And because we know that you don’t really fail until you stop trying.

Right now I’m tackling the obstacle of finding decent paying yet fun summer work, and it’s eating up about all of my free time. It’s looking more and more like I’ll need to take another jump into the unknown myself and head out west this year instead of next. What obstacles are you currently facing?

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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. Becky on March 31, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    William, welcome aboard and glad to have you! Thanks for the compliments and I’m happy to hear that IO is proving useful and entertaining to you.

    Grats on the bus, I’m sure you’ll have a lot of fun with it! I know several full-timers who have converted other vehicles into an RV and they seem to really enjoy being in control over exactly what does and doesn’t make it into their rolling home. I don’t have the skills or will to try it for myself, but I have a lot of respect for those who do.

    You’re very right, while this kind of unconventional living takes a lot more effort, it’s easier to summon up the motivation when the rewards are so great. 🙂 Best of luck to you and keep us all updated on how it goes!

  2. William on March 29, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    I just found your site and really like your writing style. I can’t wait to read more. Per my friends I’m doing this the hard way by converting a school bus. But this is what I like to do. Both the traveling and creating, making it my own. Fear kept me from trying for so long, now I can’t wait to be where you are now. Going through all the trials and tribulations of making my dreams work.

    I spent so much time trying to do what I thought we were suppose to do and not what my heart was telling me. It is amazing, that with all the challenges ahead of us, when you start to follow your heart, the amount of energy and excitement you get to help you work through them.
    William recently posted..The Van, my first conversion.My Profile

  3. Kristine on March 25, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    love it as usual!! I am scared but more excited. The RV is now in the driveway and I move it to an RV park near my house this Friday, the dogs and I will sleep in it Friday and forever on……., all hooked up and slide out etc. I can not wait!! I worry the dogs won’t like it, Ill forget how to hook up sewer, electric etc but I know I am following the dream and not living that status quo (boring) life!! I will manage and then we head north, a huge 1500 mile trip to Mass for the summer. Again nervous, excited. The trip from Ocala was perfect, my sway and weight distribution system is awesome so all will work out!!

    Good luck with job hunt, Im with ya, speaking to restaurants hiring for summer season and again scared but more excited and happy!! Thank you for your experiences I’m right behind you now…..hitting the road.


    • Becky on March 27, 2013 at 10:08 am

      Only two more days until the big one! I can almost feel the excitement in your words Kristine. Take a deep breath or two, it’s quite possible you will forget something, but in the grand scheme of things it won’t even amount to a blip on the radar, try to think of it like that. It’s all a part of the learning curve, and with full-timing being the reward the little bumps along the way will be worth it. 🙂

      Glad to hear that it’s towing well, I didn’t have my fancy hitch yet when I brought Cas home from Florida to South Carolina and I was nervous the whole trip even though it still handled pretty well without.

      I’ll cross my fingers for your job search, happy job hunting!

    • Diane on April 1, 2013 at 7:54 am


      Are you on the road north yet? I live in Massachusetts so please stay in touch and don’t hesitate to email me if I can help in any way. Have you decided what part of MA you’re interested in?

      As I wrote to Becky, I work at a small airfield in Stow, MA. There’s a small restaurant called Nancy’s Airfield Cafe, which is owned by the airfield owner’s wife. It’s not your usual airfield diner and is on the upscale side, esp. on the weekends when it is very busy through the year (esp. in the fall).

      Please do keep me posted – and best of luck!


  4. Bruce Ramey on March 24, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    Dear Becky,
    Don’t stop living our dream. I think you and your blog’s are awesome. My wife and i are so very ready to pull the trigger but we have a son in high school and need to let him finish. We dream of the lifestyle and reading about it let’s us live vicarously thru you. You keep writing and i will keep reading and i hope to see you down the road.

    Bruce Ramey and wife Tammy

    • Becky on March 27, 2013 at 10:05 am

      Hope to see you down the road as well Bruce! Reading RVing blogs is how I got my kicks before I started traveling too. In fact I still live vicariously through them, because no one has yet found a way to be in multiple places at once and there are so many places I want to go!

      Have you started researching what kind of RV you want to travel in yet?

      • Bruce Ramey on March 27, 2013 at 1:47 pm

        Yes Ma’am, I have my eye on a Heartland Road Warrior. I’m a Navy Retiree so I hopefully won’t have to workamp but your post about Amazon was very good. You are a very gifted writer and should seriously investigate writing a book. You seem to be a very spiritual and free soul. I hope you never get stuck back in the prison of the normal life and always fly free.—-Thank You for your reply, Bruce

        • Becky on March 28, 2013 at 10:50 am

          That’s a nice looking toyhauler Bruce, it seems like a mansion compared to what I have, haha. I hope you guys won’t have to work either, it does put a bit of a dent into the whole freedom to travel anywhere thing. But given the options of working as I travel or not traveling at all, the choice is clear. And yes, a ebook is in the works, progress is just slow. 🙂

  5. Teri on March 23, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    This is a great post and very well said.

    Have you checked out the jobs at National Parks? All National Parks have a concession company that runs the hotel, campground, restaurants and gift shops. Last summer, I worked for Aramark at Mesa Verde National Park. I found the job on CoolWorks. The job paid well and the rent was only $25 week for a full hookup and there were other perks like food and gift shop discounts and a free laundry room for employees. I think Aramark is at Shenandoah National Park, if you want to stay East.

    • Becky on March 23, 2013 at 9:19 pm

      Heya Teri,

      As I hinted at to Marvin, I’ve been looking at those sorts of opportunities this past week and should have enough info to write an educated post about them in the near future.

      Initial results show that they don’t earn the kind of money that Amazon does, although if Aramark really does only chare $25 a week for full hookups then that’s a lot better than the other companies I’ve found, CoolWorks has also been the place I’ve been scouring. Aramark didn’t have info up about how much they charge for the RV sites and I havent’ been able to find an e-mail address for them to ask like with other places.

  6. Diane on March 23, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    Hi Becky,

    Your words are inspirational, and so are your struggles. I’d like to recommend a book I read years ago. Making a Living without a Job by Barbara Winters.

    I also sell Scentsy products, which is a great way to earn an income .when you’re traveling fulltime. If you’d like to find out more about it, you can email me at gypsyscents@gmail.com.

    Another idea for a job on the road: I work at a small airfield in Stow, MA. There are small airfields all around the country where you could pick up a job greeting pilots and helping them fuel, which is what I do — AND airfields have lots of land. A perk of the job might very well be having a free place to park your Casita!

    Please let me know if there’s any way I might help you follow your dream.


    • Becky on March 23, 2013 at 9:16 pm

      Diane, thank you for writing in.

      I’ll add that book to my ‘To Read’ list, I’m quite the reader when I get the opportunity.

      I knew someone else who sold Scentsy products, an old supervisor of mine, she seemed to enjoy it. I’m wary of those kind of things because most of them seem like pyramid schemes where only the people at the top earn any real money, but that’s not the case with Scentsy?

      I gotta say I’ve never thought of the airfield thing before, just more proof that there are as many ways to earn money as there are people earning money in the world, the trick is keeping your eyes and ears open for the opportunity. 🙂

      • Diane on April 1, 2013 at 7:48 am

        Congrats on landing a job with 3 to choose from! To answer your question about Scentsy, it is a direct selling organization, like Avon or Mary Kay. So, the people who make lots of money are the folks who get new recruits. I’ve been with them for a year and a half but honestly have not thrown one home party yet so I haven’t made any money. Bu if you do 3 or 4 parties a month, I think you can make a good amount of supplemental cash without even having a downline. Any month in which you reach $2000 in sales, or PRV (personal retail value), your commission will be $600. You don’t have to carry any inventory and the initial cost for the starter kit is only $99 (plus tax). So it’s not a big risk. What I like is that you can write off business expenses, which in my case generated a loss and will help reduce my taxes a little. Plus I’m learning how to run my own business and getting lots of online support.

        Good luck on your trip cross country. I stayed in the Badlands for one night back in 1992 on my way to Cody, Wyoming. And I bought postcards at the gift store, which is right next to a big restaurant.

        BTW, northeastern South Dakota is very different from the arid Badlands. I stayed at a hostel in Gary, So. Dakota, and it was like an oasis, green and hilly. Don’t know if the hostel is still in operation since that was so long ago.

        Best of luck in the next couple of weeks!

  7. Carl on March 23, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    You are so spot on… We purchased the RV large enough to travel in and live in. We will retire soon. The closer we get to our goal of full-timing the more I fear failure. Will we have enough money to live on, pay bills, buy fuel, etc? Will we find that place we have wanted all our lives to live in and be happy the rest of our lives? Will the used RV we purchased hold together and not become a money pit taking all our extra cash to maintain? Will i fail at being a husband capable of keeping my wife happy in this endeavor? All these and other unanswered questions have me each day going back over my plan and making backup plans to backup plans. That’s me. I am the planner and my wife is the laid back-take it as it comes person in the family. We are so excited and looking forward to this but also scared out of our minds it will become our nightmare! Keep writing Becky and assuring us it is everything we hope for. We are getting close to time to go!

    • Becky on March 23, 2013 at 9:11 pm

      Carl, thank you so much for writing in!

      Your fears pretty much mirror mine exactly when I was at the point where you are now. I was afraid the Casita was going to be a dud, afraid I’d get on the road and discover I hated it. Afraid I’d run out of money before I even had the chance to get started.

      When it comes to fear, the first part of the trick is to do your research: Look at your finances and see how much you spend a month, so that you can predict what the costs will look like once you’re on the road. Start thinking ahead of time about how you’ll earn a living on the road. Get a good used RV checklist (or hire someone to inspect the unit for you) to make sure you’re able to make an informed decision about any used RV you’re thinking about purchasing. Etc. etc.

      If you’re the planner, then I imagine you thought about all of this and did your due diligence, good for you because some planning definitely makes things run smoother.

      The second part is to accept that things will not turn out exactly how you think, and trust in your ability to roll with the punches when they come. It sounds like your wife has this part under control, so between the two of you I should think you’ll be able to pull yourselves through the rough spots!

      Full-timing is not always a cake walk, but I can say that it is indeed worth the effort. Best of luck to you two and let us all know how it goes!

  8. Lynn on March 23, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    Your post brought to mind what my Dad used to tell us kids when we were growing up. Success is 10% ability, 10% creativity and 80% hard work. I believe that is true, anything that is of value to us takes a struggle. That is why when you achieve a difficult goal, the feeling of accomplishment is so strong.

    There will always be people who try to belittle your life, usually it comes from a place of envy. Your life is your’s to create. How exciting is that!!

    Keep creating, to those who don’t understand. Who cares!!!
    Lynn recently posted..A Slow Boat To BaliMy Profile

    • Becky on March 23, 2013 at 8:59 pm

      Your Dad sounds like a wise man. And yeah, hard work is such a crucial part of the equation.

      There’s this thing I’ve read about called the Gap Phenomenon, which basically states that in any large endeavor with a certain amount of unknown and risk there is a build up where the time and effort you put into the project climbs without any noticeable effect. During this gap, where you’re pouring yourself into it and not seeing any results, that’s where the fear takes hold of most people and they end up backing down. Whereas if you just push a little bit farther, you reach the other side as it were and finally start to see some results.

      I’m hitting a gap right now, where the effort and time I’m having to put into full-timing (in specific, job hunting) is climbing but I’m not making enough money to be able to sustain my efforts. I could back down for fear of going broke, but I know that I have the reserves to push a bit farther and I think I can make it to the other side, I just have to keep adjusting course until I find something that works.

      • Lynn on March 25, 2013 at 10:03 pm

        Interesting and very applicable to me right now too having just started my own business. Lots of work taking place but not much money coming in but I can feel the momentum increasing. When I started, I promised myself I would only analyze everything at the end of a year but got to give it the full year.

        It will come for you too!!
        Lynn recently posted..A Slow Boat To BaliMy Profile

        • Becky on March 27, 2013 at 10:02 am

          Ahh, good luck with the new business! I think you’re smart to wait a year before you take a look at the bottom line, new things take some time to work out. Thanks for the well wishes!

  9. Bill on March 23, 2013 at 9:36 am

    Wonderfully said. I’m on the other end of your cycle. I’ve had a great career, made lots of money, bought a truck, 5 th wheel, motorcycle, and need to figure when to pull the pin from this daily grind and live life better. Good luck in your quest. It will all come together so be patient.

    • Becky on March 23, 2013 at 8:39 pm

      But it’s soooo hard to be patient sometimes! 😉

      But really, I get what you’re saying. I may have bought Cas a year ago now, but I am definitely still in the learning stage. I’m figuring it out as I go, and that’s the best any of us can do.

      Best of luck to you getting on the road!

  10. John Hussey on March 23, 2013 at 6:47 am

    Well said. You are wise beyond your years.

    • Becky on March 23, 2013 at 8:36 pm

      Thanks John, and thanks for writing in. 🙂

  11. Pleinguy on March 22, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    How true your words. Thanks for saying them so eloquently. My current challenge is to replenish my funds after purchasing my RV this week. It will take a couple of months, but after that full-timing looks to be in my future. Your example is an inspiration.
    Pleinguy recently posted..A Plan Comes TogetherMy Profile

    • Becky on March 23, 2013 at 8:35 pm

      So you did end up buying it, congratulations! How exciting, and nervous. But exciting, I remember being there. I’m glad to hear it went well, especially with how long of a trip that was from Jacksonville out SW. I hope there’s a blog post with pictures in the near future about it? hint hint. 😉

      • Pleinguy on March 23, 2013 at 9:39 pm

        Yes, there is a post up now on my blog about the pick-up in Tucson AZ. Others will follow, at about one per day, as I make my way back to Florida. I remember following your experience of getting Cas and I could feel your excitement too. Thanks for your interest.
        Pleinguy recently posted..Milestone ReachedMy Profile

        • Becky on March 27, 2013 at 10:00 am

          It’s gorgeous Plein! I love the red detailing. And that big window in the back, that rear view is one of the things I love about my Casita as well. 🙂

  12. MARVIN on March 22, 2013 at 9:31 pm


    Becky ,

    Have you looked at Delaware North in Yellowstone NP ? They

    provide a camp site plus $$$ in that location . The jobs are not

    a mental or physical challenge , but the location is awesome .

    Be Safe !

    • Becky on March 23, 2013 at 8:31 pm

      Funny you should mention that Marvin because I’ve been in contact with someone over there about summer possibilities. I’ll be writing an introductory post about Park/attraction jobs for RVers at some point in the near future.

  13. Richard Myers on March 22, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    Hi Becky,

    Have you considered writing as a way to make money? Honestly, your blog entries are beautifully written and very moving. You don’t just go over the nuts and bolts of full-timing in an RV, you dive into the emotional and philosophical aspects, a well.

    Just a thought…


    • Becky on March 23, 2013 at 8:29 pm

      Heya Rick,

      Indeed I have. I’m working on a RVing related ebook during my (almost non-existent at the moment) spare time, and I’m looking at ways I could earn money by writing for others. Co-blogging and guest blogging (writing blog articles for others) earns a pitiful amount of money in general, but I’m peeking at options like ghost writing and copy writing as well, not necessarily for blogs but for other kinds of websites. It doesn’t seem to be an easy field to get into, but we’ll see what happens. Thanks for commenting.

  14. Kim on March 22, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    You have great insight and a beautiful way of expressing it. I identify with everything you said.

    My biggest obstacle was fear. I didn’t want to jump of that safe cliff because I was afraid. But then I was pushed. Which was scary indeed – and shamelessly wrong.

    But I landed safely and now I’m living my dream. You are right – it’s not easy being us.
    Kim recently posted..Frugal-MindedMy Profile

    • Becky on March 23, 2013 at 8:21 pm

      I think fear is the most common reason Kim. I think there are a lot of people who want to do things like full-timing, but they never will because of fear. It’s easier and safer and more comfortable to let things remain the way they are, even if it means living with that quiet desperation. Only when the fear of things remaining the same becomes greater than the fear of change do people react. Or like you said, when circumstances change and they get a nudge.

      In my case, I think that if I had liked being a vet tech more, if the two ‘real’ jobs I tried after graduating college had been more tolerable, I probably would have done just that. Tolerate it, and saved the RVing for vacations. So in a way, I’m glad that I didn’t end up liking being a vet tech much, because the distaste of having to do it for the rest of my life became stronger than the fear of forging ahead. It got to the point where getting out of that situation was the only real option.

      Granted I could have gone back to retail work like I did while I was in school, or tried going back for something else, but the catalyst of realizing I could live however I wanted to opened up the path to RVing, and as long as I needed to make a big change in my life anyhow, might as well shoot for the stars and try the RVing thing.

      I’m ever so glad I did.