Never Settle


Implementing big ideas means an upheaval of everything you know. It’s a time of excitement, wonder, and lots of energy, but there is another side too. There’s a lot of uncertainty about how to make it all work, the stress of doing and learning new things, long hours, and fear about what happens if it doesn’t work out.

No doubt, while the higher risk of pursuing your big dreams often pays off (it certainly did for me) it’s hard to stay in that zone of immense change for long. The adrenaline wears off, the stress takes it’s toll, and you get weary.

Going full-time RVing changed life as I knew it. There were multiple stages where bouts of intense planning were followed by frenzied action over a period of time that lasted a good year or so really. The dust would settle from one big lurch forward in progress, and I didn’t have long to rest before I needed to swing back into action to plan for the next stage. I felt like I was always on my toes, responding to the aftermath of one change then pivoting to face the next, drawing on the support of my friends both on and offline to help sort through the moments of wavering conviction and unexpected snarls in my plans.

But then over time it leveled out. The first six months on the road had some ups and downs as I adjusted to RVing, but sometime during my stay at the Badlands last summer I realized I more or less had a hold on things. The long solo drives no longer seemed as daunting, the thought of RV complications as scary, I discovered that having a social life while traveling solo can indeed work and I’d adjusted to the new pace of seasonal travel following the available jobs. Things have settled down and become easier the past several months, going back to Coffeyville this fall I knew what to expect and predicted within about $200 how much money I’d be making. Having this time has been nice, it’s good to relax and enjoy the fruit of your labors when you’ve worked very hard for a long time at something.

It’s easy to just let things coast and get comfortable. That’s what most of the world does actually: settle for acceptable once they have what they can live with. I was that way for quite a while, or pretended that I was anyway, I was never really happy with a ‘normal’ life. You know, pursuing good ideas instead of the ones that really move you: getting a degree (a good idea), landing a good paying job with upward mobility (a good idea), finding Mr. Right, marrying and getting a mortgage on a nice big house (a good idea). Following the beaten road and doing the stuff that everyone does in the name of a ‘good idea’ because it’s been proven to work, it’s safe and dependable.

I’m not here to debate how safe and dependable that kind of life really is, and I know that for some folks that really is what they want out of life so I won’t knock them for it, but if you’re reading this I’m guessing that’s not the kind of life you’re looking for.

When the results from those first big changes come in, getting on the road in a RV, or creating a career out of something you love or deciding to travel around the world, it’s easy to let that be it. To stop striving and settle for what you’ve accomplished. Heck, at this point you’re ahead of the majority right? But I say no. You’ve done something amazing, now keep that ball rolling. There are still other dreams out there waiting to be realized, ways you could tweak what you’re doing now to make it even better.

And so, to keep from settling I’m continuing to push the bar for 2014. I could have just launched right into searching for another park job for this summer, but instead I’m taking the risk of signing on to sing at a renaissance festival even though it’s not as lucrative of a job option (read: not a good idea), because it’s something I know I’d love to try and while it won’t be as good for my bank account it’ll make for better memories, help me grow, and make me feel more like me.

Yep, surprise, this is sort of a New Year’s Resolution style post, but hopefully more interesting and inspiring than the standard “this year I’m going to lose 10 pounds” kind of resolution. I know, it’s already three weeks after New Years, but I usually have a lot going on in late December and early January and don’t have time to sit down and think about my goals right at the turn of the year. But really, where is it written down that making life affirming, meaningful goals can only happen on the first of the year? Forget that. You haven’t missed the train, in fact the train is waiting right now for you decide to make this an awesome year.

I have a few other goals in mind for 2014 (a different Amazon facility in the fall for sure, and maybe I’ll finally make it out West?), but this post is just as much about you all as it is about me. I hope you don’t just let 2014 be a year of coasting and settling for alright, what’s one thing you want to do to improve your life this year?

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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. Furry Gnome on January 25, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    Continue to enjoy your posts; I look forward to every one. I hope I’ll never just settle. This year my goal is to write at least two ‘blurb’ books. If i do that I’ll feel really good about finally coming to grips with my writing goals.

    • Becky on January 26, 2014 at 6:52 pm

      Sounds like a good goal Gnome, although I’m curious as to what a blurb book is. 😛

  2. Gary on January 23, 2014 at 10:38 am

    I enjoy your posts and have enjoyed learning about your travels this past year. I was surprised how cold it got down there in Kansas and unfortunately it made its way here. After 17 months of full timing, I hit a new cold weather record of 3 above. I had the misfortune of thawing out frozen pipes and thought of you. I thought about retreating to a Motel, but stuck it out and the following night was not as difficult. I am still blessed with a full time job but still have no interest in getting an apartment or S&B. I just hope the time to spread my wings comes soon. I am looking forward to new adventures.
    I hope you are blessed with warmer temps and wish you the very best at the upcoming festival.

    • Becky on January 23, 2014 at 7:36 pm

      Hello Gary,

      3, brrr! Coldest it got here was 8 or possibly 7 but that was cold enough for me. I hope your pipes are doing well now and that you can keep them clear.

      While a full-time job isn’t as fun as full-time travel, just think about the money you’ll have saved up when you make that switch. Best of luck to you getting on the road. Take care.

      • Gary on January 27, 2014 at 12:42 pm

        Update…. Mother nature won. The pump itself under the bed froze. I was able to thaw stuff out, again, but using a buddy propane heater is adding a lot of moisture inside. My roof vents are frozen shut so it is difficult to ventilate. Unfortunately, I had to winterize and move to the Budget Inn. I hear another big cold wave is coming thru, and heading your way. Its not my fault. lol Stay warm. Next time, I will try to use a form of skirting, but being mobile, makes it difficult.

        • Becky on January 27, 2014 at 2:19 pm

          Sorry to hear that Gary but at least you’re safe and warm now. I’m kind of surprised to hear that propane heaters add moisture, my electric ones dry the air. As for skirting, there are so many options out there, some of which are really cheap. The Class A I shared a site with in Kansas spent $20 for theirs: Heavy plastic sheeting taped on and then weighed down on the bottom with whatever they had laying around. Probably not a great option at 3 degrees but you just toss it at the end of the season and it wont’ hamper a mobile lifestyle. Take care.

  3. Lacy on January 22, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    I enjoy your posts!

    Today, you’re as old as you’ve ever been and as young as you’ll ever be.

    Get out there and LIVE!

    • Becky on January 23, 2014 at 6:56 pm

      Glad you liked it Lacy. I like your quote!

  4. Rick on January 22, 2014 at 8:28 pm


    • Becky on January 23, 2014 at 6:53 pm

      Hehe, I like it Rick.

  5. Janet Shaw on January 22, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Inspiring Post! Enjoy! Enjoy! 🙂 I love it!

    • Becky on January 23, 2014 at 6:53 pm

      Glad you liked it Janet.

  6. OpenSpaceMan on January 22, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    Everyone’s different…there’s nothing wrong with a person if they want to stay in their comfort zone…but something happens to a person inside, that wants to leave their comfort zone and does…because it becomes easier to do it again and again sort of like jumping off a small crate into the pool and then a taller crate….until your jumping off the high dive.


    I’m glad your out there expanding your comfort zone and inspiring other folks…whatever their age… to do likewise. I’m still deal in’ with the long cold Wisconsin winter but that will just make spring all that much better.

    • Becky on January 22, 2014 at 10:36 pm

      Yeah Space, it’s definitely easier to do daring things the more often you push your personal boundaries.

      Glad you liked the post, stay warm up there!

  7. Michelle on January 22, 2014 at 10:20 am

    I have a new year’s resolution word this year that I keep reminding myself of: “Fearless.” It’s what I remind myself , as I’ve decided to leave my comfortable teaching job in the Fall to move onto other things. Started a new podcast and blog at It’s time to feel more like me again, like you said. Love your blog and reading about your goals and momentum forward in this life.

    • Becky on January 22, 2014 at 9:43 pm

      Oooh, a guiding word! As part of my new year planning I usually pick a guiding word too, one word that can sum up how I want to live that year or what I need to work on to improve myself. Fearless is a good one. 🙂

      Best of luck to you this year, I took a peek at your website, looks like you have a good start.

  8. Carolyn on January 22, 2014 at 9:59 am

    Inspiring post!

    • Becky on January 22, 2014 at 9:38 pm

      You’re welcome Carolyn.

  9. PamP on January 22, 2014 at 9:12 am

    Quite thought provoking post. (BTW: hello to Emily -we are the same age.)

    Now that I am a Senior, my goals are more immediate. I lived the conventional “good idea” for most of my life. Now, I only have to please me-no one else. I can afford to live more by Serendipity. Goal is to continue my mobile lifestyle trading free campsites in a warm climate for what work I can do.

    You inspire and encourage me. Love your post!

    • Becky on January 22, 2014 at 9:37 pm

      Sounds like a good goal to me Pam! Safe travels and happy trails to you. You’re welcome for the post, It feels so good to see reactions like this to things I’ve written.

  10. Mike LeBlanc on January 22, 2014 at 9:07 am

    Outstanding thoughts! Excellent ideas! Superbly written! I agree with previous posters and I would add, consider, “What if….” I never fail to get at least one good idea from your post. THANK YOU so much for sharing Becky!

    • Becky on January 22, 2014 at 9:33 pm

      You’re welcome Mike, glad you found it helpful. 🙂

  11. Misty on January 22, 2014 at 6:38 am

    Why choose an unconventional lifestyle if you’re just going to turn it into a different kind of “daily grind”? 🙂

    I’m really proud of you and Julie! I know you’re going to have a blast!
    Misty recently posted..This newfangled biking crazeMy Profile

    • Becky on January 22, 2014 at 9:33 pm

      Thank you Misty! And let me say that if you do decide to build a hobbit hole to live in one day, I’m definitely coming out to see it.

  12. David Swanson on January 22, 2014 at 6:22 am

    Thanks Becky. I needed that read as I’m about to embark on yet another big adventure in my life into the unknown. I’ll be selling my heavily winterized motor home with it’s gorgeous fireplace, and trading it for a Prius to live in full time. I know it will work for me, ive done my research. I’ll survive the neysayers in my family and RV community. A Prius has a long sleeping space, the AC and heat runs off the batteries using very little gasoline, AND, owners are learning how to get 60MPG on the road! I’ll be able to fulfill that bucket list of places ive always wanted to visit I could never have done in my 6MPG monster motor home.
    You’ll love the ren fair community and will have a wonderful adventure. I was a participant for over 20 years as a potter in 3 different ren fairs. The employees are poorly treated as you might guess from the salaries, but the comeraderie of the entertainers makes up for it. Just dont give up your day job (Amazon) :).

    • Becky on January 22, 2014 at 9:20 pm

      Hello David,

      I already responded to you over e-mail, but as you can see your comment did go through just fine, I need to approve first time commenters before the comment shows up on the site, that’s how I keep spam and advertisements from showing up. Next time you try to comment it’ll go through automatically now that I’ve cleared you as a non-spammy source. 😉

  13. Allen on January 22, 2014 at 6:08 am

    Good morning Becky. I follow several RV blogs. I am 62 and will retire in May this year to go fulltime in a motorhome with my wife and son who is 14. The blogs I follow are generally not from people like me but more from young people like yourself. I admire your pioneering spirit and enjoy the depth of who you are. I hope that my next step rejuvenates my spirit. We will be volunteering, first gig is with COE, to stretch our limited resources. This our year for change.

    • Becky on January 22, 2014 at 9:13 pm

      Hello Allen and welcome to IO. Congrats on the impending retirement, you all must be very excited by this upcoming change. I wish I’d had the opportunity to do this kind of traveling when I’d been 14. Volunteering is a very rewarding experience, I bet you’ll love it. Safe travels and happy trails!

  14. Kirsty Halliday on January 22, 2014 at 5:53 am

    Amazon helps get the New Year weight loss goal dealt with! I lost 6lbs over Christmas in Fernley! I’m in Quartzite, AZ and have been surrounded by RVW (RVing Women) these past few days at their rally. I’m undecided where I go from here but I am appreciating the time to just sit and chat and learn and enjoy the quiet. These ladies all applaud my decision to full time, which spurs me on all the more, same goes for reading your thought provoking blogs, so thank you!

    • Becky on January 22, 2014 at 8:37 pm

      You’re very welcome Kirsty, glad you’re enjoying yourself. Sometimes not knowing where you’re going next is a very good feeling. I’m looking forward to the year I get to visit Quartzsite myself. Take care!

  15. Teri Lee on January 22, 2014 at 2:30 am

    I heard that Amazon has workamping jobs in California for returning workampers only, the weather would certainly be better there than in Kansas. I agree that we have to go after our dreams, you are smart with money and will work out all the details, as needed.

    • Becky on January 22, 2014 at 8:34 pm

      Yeah Teri they do hire small groups of previous campers for smaller projects, what those people do is go to new facilities that are opening and help train the new workforce, so it’s not quite a standard job and is a one time deal. Not everyone who has worked before is eligible either, they’ll pick the 20 or so ones that had the best records at their previous gig. I did express my interest in such projects last season, we’ll see if anythings comes of it.

      Either way, you’re right. I’ll figured out the details and money, I’m highly motivated with a gig this fun. 🙂

  16. Ian B on January 22, 2014 at 1:38 am

    Regular job vs. Ren Faire? I’m thinkin’ Serendipity…

    • Becky on January 22, 2014 at 8:27 pm

      Indeed Ian.

  17. EmilyO on January 21, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    Fifty years ago when I was in my early 20’s, I thought much like you. The only woman who encouraged me to pursue those dreams was my mom (a woman beyond her time). I did involve the “a good idea” in my life but threw in the “never settle”. Am still that way today and I plan on continuing with a little more of the “never settle” in my life now. I still have too much to see and do – you go young lady, it makes for a very interesting life that enrichs you and your soul. My little Casita has been idle too long and it’s time we go find those adventures – and maybe run into you someday.

    • Deb on January 22, 2014 at 9:07 am

      BOTH of you have shaken my spirit… it’s been needing (and asking for) a good “waking up”! I just had my 61st birthday and refuse to settle! …so what next in this one precious life I’be been given?!
      Thank you, fellow adventurers! <3

      • Becky on January 22, 2014 at 9:35 pm

        You’re welcome Deb, go out there and live!

    • Becky on January 22, 2014 at 8:27 pm

      Yes Emily, it would be great to meet you on the road someday! Safe travels and happy trails to you.

  18. Rob on January 21, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    Thru our lives we always have to do something, everybody has to eat. When you find yourself actually saying “they pay me for this!” you’ll know you’re in the right spot.

    Enjoying what you do (for the most part) is the goal. I does sound like you’re having fun!
    Rob recently posted..What day is it?My Profile

    • Becky on January 22, 2014 at 8:25 pm

      Well, when I say they’re going to pay me to sing, it’s not more than a pittance really, I’ll be doing other stuff during the week (fair is weekends only) to pay the bills, but this isn’t about the money, it’s about the fun. 🙂

      • Diane on January 22, 2014 at 11:07 pm

        Exactly!! That is one of my New Year’s goals: to have more fun. I loved what you wrote about taking the ren fair job will “make me feel more like me.” You continue to inspire when you put your life and risk taking out here. I’d caption your life as “Woman on a Wire.” I love the way you have and continue to dare yourself to try new things. Love the title of this blog, too: never settle. Getting into a rut is easy. Getting out of a rut is so much harder.

  19. Pleinguy on January 21, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    A very thought provoking post. I’m sort of in the same frame of mind. There are things I want to do this year. Most costing money, wouldn’t you know. The trick is to stretch it out during the journey, so as to make it more manageable.

    If one has a bit of a financial cushion, it is much easier to act on your dreams; or to even dream about other possibilities. Yet, as you’ve proven, with creative thinking, following a plan and perseverance, much can be accomplished that seemed beyond reach.
    Pleinguy recently posted..No CarMy Profile

    • Becky on January 22, 2014 at 8:23 pm

      Yeah, no matter how open you are to new challenges and possibilities in the end money still plays a very key role in whether you can go for it or not. Good luck on your plans for 2014!

  20. Ron on January 21, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    I enjoy all your blog posts, please keep them coming. I expect that we will learn more in future posts but would like to hear more and see photos of your current position in Florida.
    If you are ever in the Brainerd MN area in the Summer we would have a place for you to camp in our yard on the lake for a few days or longer term on some remote acreage we have near by. We Winter in South Texas 2 miles from the Mexico border. Lots of workkamping jobs here with about 500 RV parks in the area. Enjoy your Winter. Ron

    • Becky on January 22, 2014 at 8:16 pm

      I wrote a little about the OSBS about a week after I arrived, I am working on getting more pictures and information but usually when I’m in places that would make for pretty pictures I’m busy working, haha. Don’t worry though, there is more coming.

      And thanks for the offer Ron, I do plan on making it to NM one day.