Choose Experiences

choose-experiencesPeople I meet for the first time are usually surprised when they discover that I’m a full-timer, being as young as I am. They give me a look and are quiet for a moment, I can only imagine they’re trying to sort out for themselves how I manage it. Sometimes what follows is a “Good for you”, oftentimes though it’s a question.

Older folks will usually ask first if I’m traveling with someone, or some variation of that sort. Younger folks are more likely to ask how I can afford it.

There are any number of answers I could give to this question, about how I saved my money up to buy the RV, how I chose a domicile state with low taxes where health and vehicle insurance is cheaper, or about how I earn a living on the road. But it all comes down to this:

I can afford to full-time RV because I value experiences more than possessions.

In the end that’s really all there is to it. I don’t have a lot of the “nice” stuff that most Americans consider crucial for every day living, and as a tradeoff I have the money to spend on gas to travel to exciting locales and pay for a spot to park my home when I get there.

I doubt I’ll ever get rich living like this, but that’s not the point. On my deathbed, I’ll have the love of the diverse group of friends I’ve had the fortune to meet due to traveling, and I’ll have the memories of a lifetime full of adventures. Want something more exciting than indentured servitude to The Man to pay for a 30 year mortgage? Choose experiences.

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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. Ed on September 7, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    Greetings Becky,
    Found your site thru cheprvliving. You have a great blog. What has impressed me is that those who go on full time adventures usually do not have commitments or obligations. There are a lot of wantabes who need to make compromises. My wife an I purchased our first travel trailer and plan some extended trips, but then there are the horses. So, we plan trips, which will allow me to go on extended horse pack trips.

    As I read your blog, I thought of Bernice Ende, who is traveling for experiences not possessions on horse back. As of last year, she has ridden over 18,000 miles in the western US. See

    I will continue to read your blog for inspiration, motivation, and possibilities. Now that I know that you make a few coins after I search for a book on Amazon thru your site, I will do so from here on out !

  2. TravelBug-Susan on August 12, 2013 at 1:12 am

    Trade winds can be any time of year.
    TravelBug-Susan recently posted..Wednesday to Sunday – Sun., August 11My Profile

  3. TravelBug-Susan on August 8, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    Amen to that. After reading this post, I want to meet you in person. Oh the stories we can tell.,

    We started full-timing in Oct. 2011. We had been living in Hawaii for five years and in long-term jobs. Within five days of each other at the end of May 2011, both of us were laid off our jobs from different companies due to budget cuts. We could no longer afford our home.

    Faced with choices as to what to do (1. Sell our home, move into an apartment, and get new jobs in Hawaii, or 2. Sell everything, buy a 5th wheel and truck, travel the U.S. and workamp), we chose option #2. Our home closed October 21, we flew to Oregon on Oct. 21, and were on the road by October 28. Everything fell into place.

    No, we are not retired. We have to work to travel. In Sept. 2012, I had a very bad fall and we didn’t have health insurance. Now we are in San Antonio, Texas, working to pay off debts so we can travel again.

    Would we trade this life for a sticks ‘n’ bricks home? Not for many, many years. Our 5th wheel is cozy and paid for. We share it with two marvelous cats. We gotta do what we gotta do job wise and hope to be traveling again in two years. We do take short weekend jaunts and joined a hiking group in San Antonio. Life is good!
    TravelBug-Susan recently posted..Two 5K Volksmarches Before 9:30 a.m. – Tues., Aug. 6My Profile

    • Becky on August 9, 2013 at 1:27 pm

      Nice to hear from you Susan!

      The end of your comment is what struck me most, you talked about a recent hardship but ended with “Life is good”. Good for you! Life’s about the journey after all and not the destination, I think it’s important to do what we can to enjoy where we are now and not just pine for what’s to come. I have no doubt you’ll get back on the road eventually since you sound so determined about it, in the meantime might as well enjoy Texas!

      On a different note, how easy is Hawaii to visit? I’d never want to live there, but at some point I want to park the RV for a while and go out there on a trip – if I’m going to see all the National Parks I’ll have to eventually anyway. πŸ˜‰

      On a different different note, there’s about a 50% chance that I’ll be wintering in Texas this year after Amazon gets out. Maybe I’ll be able to swing by on my way out to Big Bend or wherever I end up.

      • TravelBug-Susan on August 10, 2013 at 8:52 pm

        Hawaii is easiest (and cheapest) to visit from the West Coast, i.e., Portland, Las Vegas, Seattle. Watch for specials on Hawaiian Airlines during off season, like October or March – look for airfare from the West Coast to be around $400 round trip. Definitely don’t go around Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter when round trip airfare runs about $1,000 round trip.

        We should be in San Antonio if you come through after Are you working in Kansas or Kentucky? We worked at in Fernley, NV in winter 2011. Brr!


        • Becky on August 11, 2013 at 1:56 pm

          I’ll keep that in mind about travel times Susan. πŸ™‚

          I’m working in Kansas. Coffeyville is right on the border of Oklahoma, dropping down into Texas is my fastest way to warmer weather after CamperForce ends in December. πŸ˜›

          • k&p Catalano on August 11, 2013 at 8:05 pm

            Hi Susan and Becky!
            I lived in Hawaii (Wheeler AFB, on Anu Loop) when I was in my very early teens from 1974,’75&’76. One thing I fondly recall was riding my bike when the tradewinds were blowing extra hard. I’d be wearing a light jacket and I’d take a hold of the bottom corners and flip the jacket inside out and upside down making a sail (my arms were still in the sleeves). I’d hold my arms up and the jacket would catch on the tradewinds. In Essense…I was ‘sailing’ on my bicycle. They (the winds) were so strong they’d even blow me up slight inclines….It was a blast! I think I remember the trade winds occuring in March? Susan…I can’t remember for sure (it was a very long time ago…but I never forgot that sensation) Is trade winds time in the ‘off’ season?
            k&p Catalano recently posted..POST-ITs, POST-US, INTERUPT-USMy Profile

  4. Pleinguy on August 7, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    You are so-o-o right about the choices we make. We really need far less to enjoy life than we think. I am much happier now that I am traveling.
    Pleinguy recently posted..Oh ShenandoahMy Profile

    • Becky on August 8, 2013 at 1:24 pm

      Glad to hear that it’s going well Plein! I read about your visit to Shenandoah National Park, I tried applying to work there this summer actually but it was already too late in February. I’m going to try again for next summer though because it would put me in the right neighborhood to try to perform at the renaissance festival in North Carolina in the fall, something I keep trying to do but fail at. πŸ˜›

  5. RonS on August 6, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Hello Becky, whew! What a trip. I just finished your entire journal in one sitting, and what marvelous journey you’re on. My wife and I are in that “someday” mode. We have a financial situation that, unfortunately, isn’t allowing us to move our own lives forward. It is really bittersweet to read stories such as yours and wish we were there. At the end of every chapter I shed a symbolic tear of gratitude for your sharing. My wife and I are our late 50’sand early 60’s and at this point don’t see our situation changing in time to arrive at the opportunity to even think about securing an RV for the lifestyle we wanted. Bravo! to you at such a young age to have such a strong vision to know what you want and the courage to go after it.
    I have your journal bookmarked, along with several others, and will continue to follow your adventure. Be safe and happy travels.

    • Becky on August 7, 2013 at 1:30 pm

      Hello Ron,

      Thank you for commenting! I don’t mean to pry, but is it debt that’s keeping you from going or are you just having trouble saving enough? Either way, I follow a blog called Man vs. Debt ( which you might be interested it. It’s all about how to rise above financial problems to pursue a life you love. There are tabs along the top to instantly take you to blog posts about the three main interests of the site: Sell your crap, pay off your debt, do what you love. The site does sell materials and guides as well, but I’ve found even the free stuff to be pretty helpful. Maybe some of it could help you too. There’s a saying that goes “It’s never too late to try”…

      Either way, take care and never stop dreaming – maybe we’ll meet on the road someday!

      • RonS on August 7, 2013 at 9:10 pm

        Thanks Becky. Without burdening, we were hit hard and unprotected by the financial collapse. We are also burdened by other family members not prepared for their own future and by others unable to be self sufficient. So, we’re stuck providing housing and most other expenses to sustain them. Trust me whem I tell you, your parents should be EXTREMELY PROUD of you for your intuitive thought and your audacity to do what you’re doing. You ARE living and doing the American dream by living freely and not subscribing to the standards put upon people by those illusive “others” as to what is right or wrong. Being born a boomer and following the “responsible” course is not, as I was taught as a child, the dream it was suppose to be. Having come of “age”, whatever that means, in the radical 60’s and supporting the most radical ideals of the time, I’m not sure where it all went so “wrong”. You just might be new ideal for your generation and the one to come in bucking the system and living the dream of the free society. You may be the living existence of dropping out and living free that was the mantra of the 60’s revolution. Don’t let anyone or anything ever discourage you or threaten to take your life away from you. Keep on keeping on.

        • Becky on August 8, 2013 at 1:20 pm

          Your words are food for thought Ron, I’m just not sure how to reply to them right now. I’m sorry to hear about the roadblocks keeping you from your dreams, but I hope you will keep trying.

          One thing’s for sure though, I will keep on keeping on. Thanks again for writing in. πŸ™‚

        • k&p Catalano on August 8, 2013 at 1:52 pm

          Hi Becky and Ron,
          May I comment here? Ron have you shared Becky’s blog and adventure with your family? Perhaps there is a way for all of you to take the bull by the horns and embrace this lifestyle and way of thinking. With all of you working together towards a common goal you could become the extended family that ‘travels, works and plays together.” There are a lot of families out there doing it already…don’t know how many are multi generational …but you could be the first and blog about it to boot…share your struggles and successes on how you do it. Ron, you write beautifully…prime blogger candidate for sure!

          Just a thought…

          This economy broke a lot of ‘rules’…time to break a few of your own I’d say…
          k&p Catalano recently posted..That’s ONE Digital Question AnsweredMy Profile

          • RonS on August 8, 2013 at 5:15 pm

            Thanks k&p…the hard part is it’s my 30+ daughter, her (can’t find a job) husband, their two barely teen kids and my 80+ mother in law. They’re by no means invited. The plan was to escape our jobs and absolutely leave this life behind. I hate to sound like some sort of sociopath, but enough is enough!

          • Becky on August 9, 2013 at 1:14 pm

            I understand Ron. Sometime you can love your family but not particularly like them. I don’t know what advice to give you about that having never been in that sort of situation myself, but I will say hold onto your dream, no matter how impossible it might seem right now. Life has a way of handing us what we need when we need it most…

  6. Norm on August 5, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    First time posting, but a long-time “lurker.” Your most recent post so hit it! Like Todd (above), it’s taken us awhile to figure it out, but July 15, my DW and I hit the road. In part because of your helpful information we are now fellow South Dakotans (formerly Northern Californians) from the Rapid City area. We’ll be in the Southeast attending to some family business for a few months and then the real exploring begins. Thanks so much for your helpful and often thought-provoking posts. Enjoy the rest of you Badlands summer. Hope to get there next year. Perhaps our paths will cross in the future. Until then, peace and happy wheels.

    • Becky on August 6, 2013 at 12:09 pm

      Hiya Norm! Thanks for coming out of the woodwork and commenting. πŸ™‚

      The first couple months on the road can be tricky as you sort out what does and doesn’t work for you. Don’t worry though, it gets easier the longer you do it. Best of luck to you and your wife, and yes it’d be great to meet on the road sometime!

      Safe travels and happy trails.

  7. Dawn on August 4, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    You are one wise woman.

    • Becky on August 5, 2013 at 7:33 pm

      Wise? I suppose you could call me that.

      I just refuse to settle for mediocre. πŸ™‚ Thank you for commenting Dawn, and welcome to IO!

  8. Marvin on August 4, 2013 at 2:12 pm


    AMEN !


    • Becky on August 5, 2013 at 7:25 pm

      *high fives*!

  9. Paul on August 4, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    I’m a 29-year-old thinking about making this transition–glad to know there are other like-minded individuals from our generation who don’t feel the need to buy into the so-called “American Dream!”

    “If you work for a living, why do you kill yourself working?”

    The freedom of being able to call anywhere home appeals to me, as does the opportunity to work in unique and meaningful locations. Rather than as a 9-5 desk jockey for the next 30-something years…just to cover a mortgage. I say bring on the wanderlust πŸ™‚

    • Becky on August 5, 2013 at 7:24 pm

      Amen brotha! πŸ˜‰

      Really though it gladdens me when I hear from other ‘younger’ people looking to change their reality by escaping the conventional life path. If you have any questions about RVing feel free to drop me a line sometime, I’m here to help.

      • Paul on August 5, 2013 at 9:22 pm

        Thanks, Becky! I will definitely be taking you up on the offer as I try to figure it all out. I’m just beginning the soul-searching and realization that I don’t want to spend another 30 years in the greater DC area–it’s a stressful area. In the meantime, I look forward to reading all of your other blog posts! It’s great that there are so many resources out there on the interwebs about making the transition to a traveller’s lifestyle….I just can’t imagine undertaking this sort of transition without all of the helpful tips people like you have documented along your own journey. Thank you!

  10. k&p Catalano on August 4, 2013 at 6:38 am

    Becky, I just have to say it again. Thank You for being our inspirational catalyst and triggering the start of our Dream Quest.
    k&p Catalano recently posted..Digital DownsizingMy Profile

    • Becky on August 4, 2013 at 11:20 am

      You’re very welcome K! Always happy to see more folks getting on the road. I hope we meet someday. πŸ™‚

  11. Evelyn B on August 3, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    Well said. I don’t miss any of those possessions I sold at a fraction of the price we paid for them. Well, maybe a dishwasher πŸ™‚

    • Becky on August 4, 2013 at 11:16 am

      Haha, yeah there are a couple things I miss sometimes. Dishwasher is one of them, blender is another. But I don’t miss them near enough to get off the road. πŸ˜‰

  12. Todd on August 3, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    It’s taken me most of my life to get that thought process figured out. Congratulations to you for realizing it at a young age. I’m still not on the road, but hopefully, headed that way.

    • Becky on August 4, 2013 at 11:14 am

      Best of luck to you for getting on the road Todd, keep us all informed of your progress!

      What kind of RV are you thinking of?

  13. Kim on August 3, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    You nailed it:

    “I can afford to full-time RV because I value experiences more than possessions”

    Add my voice to the chorus: Good For You!
    Kim recently posted..The Wild Wild WorldMy Profile

    • Becky on August 4, 2013 at 11:10 am

      Truth. πŸ™‚

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