Making Small Changes

making-small-changesNo small part of my decision to go RVing was because I loved the outdoors so much. To me, going RVing was synonymous with spending more time outdoors. I loved camping. I loved hiking. I loved the idea of getting to sit outside in my camp chair in the woods, in a field, along the side of a river, and just read a book – with all the comforts of home just feet away.

And all of these things have happened since I started RVing. I feel more at peace with myself, have a greater clarity of thought, and am more in tune with the world around me when I regularly spend time outside. All of the worries of day to day living become more distant, and it’s easier to reason through problems and see the right course of action with that distance.

Nature is timeless. It counts seasons instead of days. The trees and grass and lakes and sky were here long before we showed up, and after we’re gone they’ll still be here. That makes some people sad, to know that once they’re gone, the natural world will carry on, virtually unchanged for their passing. I look at it in a more positive light. To me it’s proof that no matter what hardships I might be facing in the short run, in the long run it’ll make little difference. I get a flat tire on the way to work? No reason to panic or despair, this too shall pass.

The funny thing about this whole experience though is that I didn’t need to go RVing at all to have it, and I hope those of you who aren’t on the road yet and are daydreaming about how much more fantastic life will be once you are will take this to heart. Whatever your reasons for wanting to go RVing are, you can probably pursue them to some degree before you hit the road.

It’s easier to make small but important changes to our life when they’re tucked under the umbrella of a big one. Often when we try to enact small changes in our lives on their own, we end up falling back into old patterns because we’ve done nothing to our environment to encourage the new, desired change. Children in general are quite open to change, but the older a person gets, the more they tend to resist it.

For instance, if you want to spend more time on your computer working and less time aimlessly surfing the internet, clean up your computer desk except for what you need to get the work done, to put you more in a working mindset. Get rid of superfluous links on your desktop to Facebook, or Youtube, or wherever you find yourself spending too much time so that you can’t just click there on a reflex.

Sometimes it’s less about the physical environment, and more about the way you mentally approach the change that makes a difference. If you want to live a more active lifestyle for instance, try pretending that you already are. Move your active-wear clothes and shoes so that they’re the most easily accessible in your closet. Subscribe to updates on an outdoors or exercise blog or newsletter. Print and put up a picture near your desk or at the office that reminds you of being more active. Get up a half hour earlier in the morning to squeeze in a quick walk before work. Tell your friends about your plans so that there is some accountability if you fail to follow through on your new routine. Do a lot of little things to help reinforce the change, and you’ll constantly be reminded of what you’re trying to do when inertia hits and you think you’d rather just stay inside and watch tv.

Getting back to RVing, if you like to travel, find a way to work more travel into your life right now. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Chances are, there is some place not too far from home that people visit when they come to the area that you’ve never seen before. Take day trips to local parks, museums, or other sites of interest.

And in my case, sitting outside and reading more, or going to the nearest park, would have hardly taken more time out of my day. What often kept me from doing so was just a perceived lack of time. The more entrenched we become in a routine, the more tasks we find to fill in our days. My to-do list was always too long to spend too much time sitting outside doing ‘nothing’. There were always more things that I should be doing.

Here’s a tip for you though, there will always be things that need doing once you’re RVing too. Something is always breaking or needing maintenance on a RV. At some point you just need to put your foot down and make time. As I type this, I see that it’s a sunny, breezy morning out there, and if I want to get a little reading in before it gets too hot, I’d better go now.

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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. William on August 26, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Hey Becky,

    As you know I’m in the middle of coverting a school bus to full time in. I can’t wait to get out there and enjoy it.

    I decided why not enjoy some time now. I have a few things to finish to make it road worthy and I’m taking it out as is to enjoy a long weekend. I could easily keep getting wraped up in the next part of the conversion and working through all my days off. What fun is that.

    I have camping gear, this would be a metal tent, pull in and setup. You have to make time today, tomorrow things could change.

    Besides my dog Durango is tired of watching me work and wants to know when do we hit the road 🙂
    William recently posted..What to do for my 50th birthday?My Profile

    • Becky on August 26, 2013 at 11:53 pm

      Sounds fun William! All work and no play makes for a very dull life. You can tell yourself you’re suffering now for greater rewards later on, but in the end we only have today. Working on goals is good, don’t get me wrong. But I think everyone should plan some time into each day for things that make them come alive right now.

      And I’m sure Durango is enjoying the extra fun and exercise too. 🙂

  2. Pleinguy on August 25, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    Good thoughts expressed in a way that everyone can understand. Thank you. You are so good at this Becky. I’m really surprised you haven’t started submitting some of your writing for publications that pay. Could be a way for you to supplement your seasonal jobs.
    Pleinguy recently posted..LetchworthMy Profile

    • Ross Macintosh on August 26, 2013 at 5:49 am

      I agree with Pleinguy. On tv I see travel writers funding their trips around the world with the articles they submit to newspapers & magazines – so there must be some money in it.

      I’ve also run across a few articles in magazines written by a photographer who full-times. If you’d like I can try and find his contact info. He might be a great person to contact and ask for some advice on how to do submissions.

      Regards, Ross
      Ross Macintosh recently posted..classy camping coffee…My Profile

      • Becky on August 26, 2013 at 11:50 pm

        Awww, thanks Plein and Ross. I poked around at a couple online places that take articles but the pay is never enough to justify the time spent. Although maybe a physical magazine would be the way to go.

        • Pleinguy on August 27, 2013 at 4:00 pm

          You should try some of the RVing mags.
          Pleinguy recently posted..The Corps & MoreMy Profile

  3. John of Sinbad and I on the Loose on August 25, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    I can relate to everything you wrote. I leave in a week and cannot wait for the simplicity of life to envelope me once again. I have a stack of books at the ready and look forward to plopping down in the middle of the desert watching the sun come up, go for walkabouts, read my books and watch the sun go down. Repeat the following day, and the day after that, and so on. Wonderful post Becky.
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    • Becky on August 26, 2013 at 11:47 pm

      Sounds wonderful John! I won’t have enough to spend the winter boondocking in the desert this time around, maybe the year after though. 🙂 It’s definitely calling me, the desert I mean…

  4. Richard Myers on August 25, 2013 at 8:31 am

    Hi Becky,

    I very much enjoyed your post. We are planning on full-timing in a year. Until then, we have purchased a used Casita and are exploring New England in it. I am writing this from a campground in Vermont. We hiked Mt Greylock yesterday and generally explored the area. Two weeks ago it was Acadia in Maine. Three weeks from now will be Ontario.

    Full-timing versus weekend trips means several things. I am looking forward to relinquishing the responsibilities of a home. I am also looking forward to traveling farther and taking my time to do it. In addition, I am striving for greater simplicity and more living intentionally.

    Hope to ross paths one day.


    • Becky on August 25, 2013 at 2:14 pm

      Sounds like you’re having a great time Richard. I just read about Mt. Greylock in a book I’m reading about the Appalachian Trail, that sounds like a beautiful area. I do want to make it up there someday with my Casita, we’ll see how it goes. 🙂

      I do hope to see you on the road someday, here’s to living with less and enjoying life more!

  5. Kai on August 25, 2013 at 2:33 am

    For me, this is your best post, yet. Nice work.

    • Becky on August 25, 2013 at 2:07 pm

      Glad you liked it Kai.

  6. Monte Stevens on August 24, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Very well said young lady!
    Monte Stevens recently posted..A Saturday MorningMy Profile

    • Becky on August 25, 2013 at 2:07 pm

      Thanks Monte.

  7. Kim on August 24, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    Insightful post!
    Kim recently posted..Coleman Lake Part 2My Profile

    • Becky on August 25, 2013 at 1:59 pm

      Thanks Kim, glad you liked it!

  8. Steve on August 24, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    You post today is spot on with my current situation. I have gone back and forth too many times to count but always something stops me from selling everything I own (own house) and hitting the road. More than a few experienced full time travelers have told me to travel first, 3mos – 12mos, before I decide to sell out. You also made another great point…”perceived” available time..a lot can be done without going total minimalist. Still when reading about adventures of other’s it is very tempting to do just that. I wonder how many bloggers tell both sides of full timing.
    Steve recently posted..Negative ThoughtsMy Profile

    • Becky on August 25, 2013 at 1:58 pm

      Heya Steve. I don’t know nearly enough about you to recommend a course of action, in the end you already know that no matter what others say, it’s completely your decision to make. Traveling before selling everything definitely leaves a safety net there in case you end up not liking it, but it’s also a drain on resources trying to keep both RV and house going in the meantime. For me, jumping in headfirst was the right decision, but I had a lot less to lose you could say. I didn’t own a home, I didn’t have as much stuff, and I had no pets to worry about.

      I hope you arrive at a decision that puts you at peace. Good luck and keep us updated on how it goes.

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