Hey everyone, this is a continuation of the story of ‘what came before Interstellar Orchard’ that started on Tuesday. You’ll want to read that first if you haven’t yet!
February 20, 2010
Wake up before dawn. Get ready in a haze. Drive 40 minutes in the dark still half asleep. Trudge through eight and a half hours or more of work. I’ve always felt that 40 hours a week, every week of the year – except maybe two for vacation – is a bad way to live. I thought maybe moving down to South Carolina would make the routine better somehow, but it hasn’t. How do most people do this? Maybe there’s something wrong with me. The fact that I secretly hate my career probably doesn’t help.
It’s not that I hate the animals. I love them perhaps a little too much.
Winter is by far the worst time of year. Like humans, more monkeys get sick in the winter, and hypothermia is a real problem for those primates low in the troupe hierarchy who get bullied out of the heated enclosures by the higher ranking animals. We have to work harder and longer in the winter to keep up, and even then there is only so much we can do. We aren’t allowed to have overtime most weeks, it costs the company too much money. And the company is all about money.
Today is a Saturday, weekends are the toughest. There are only two of us veterinary technicians on Saturday and Sunday, both of the vets have off on the weekends. That means we’re in charge, we call all the shots.
Two of us, to see to the health and well-being of 950 primates.
We “put out fires”, in the words of one of the vets. We treat the animals who we deem are in the worst shape, and hope the rest will be okay because there simply isn’t time or funds to take care of them all the way they ideally should be. But sometimes we mess up. Sometimes we make a bad call. Sometimes a monkey in bad shape slips through the cracks.
Maybe it’ll be a good day. Please, let it be a good day. Let there be no animals in critical condition when I do my rounds. Let there be no deaths today.
But no matter how hard I try I can’t save them all, and it breaks my heart.
August 25, 2010
At least once in everyone’s life, an event comes along that changes everything. For me, today was that day.
It was a blog post, shared on Facebook by a friend of mine. I saw the title: ‘Dream Zappers Part 2: Why they zap, squash, and belittle your Aspirations’, quite a mouthful, and didn’t think much of it. But the name of the website the post was from was called ‘The Middle Finger Project’ which made the little kid in me giggle, so on a whim I clicked.
I’ve always considered self-help books and the like to be kind of a sham, they held no interest for me. This article was sort of self-help like, but not quite. I’d never read anything like this before.
The gist of it was: you know those people in your life that shoot down your dreams? They’re doing that because your big ideas make them feel insecure about themselves. So they rationalize: deciding that your ideas must be impossible or in some other way “bad”, so that they feel better about themselves. It’s not that your ideas aren’t valid, it’s that they’re subconsciously saving their own ego because they’re too chicken to try to better their own situation.
Of course, the author said it much better than that.
Point is, I read this article, and realize that in some ways I was one of these dream zapper people. Never to anyone’s face, but in my internal dialogue, I’ll often say to myself “Yeah, that’ll never work”, or I’ll secretly hope they’d fail when I’d talk to someone who was talking about doing big exciting non-conventional things.
I read more articles.
I learned that the author was about my age, and that she was preparing to quit her job as a corporate drone to start working for herself as a copywriter (her dream job) – which would allow her to set her own hours and travel internationally like she’d always wanted.
Wow, what a life! Now that’s an idea I could get behind.
So I made the decision, earlier today, that I didn’t want to be the person secretly criticizing others for following their dreams while I sat on the sidelines miserable with my life, afraid to try to make it better. I’m going to be the one with the big, crazy ideas.
And for the first time I think it really is possible. I’ve been doing a lot of research in the past few hours and I’ve found others, stories of people quitting the typical “American Dream” to do something different and a lot more fun. And while it might be too early to tell, it doesn’t sound like a scam.
I guess as an adult I’ve always sort of believed that your working years weren’t suppose to be too much fun – that’s the reward you got at the end in retirement. Now I realize that it might not have to be like that. I feel like I’ve just received a new lease on life.
I’m not going to tell anyone else about this yet, maybe in a few more days when I’ve had a chance to look into it closer. I’ve created a new folder on my computer called ‘Revolution’, and I’m saving bits and pieces of what I find.
So many ideas are flying through my head right now, I don’t really know yet what I’m going to do. What I am pretty sure of, is that my life is never, ever, going to be the same.
* * *
Four days until ‘Solo Full-time RVing On A Budget’ launches! I’m very excited to get this resource out there and believe it’ll be a big help for those of you who’ve had your own revolution day and have decided that full-time RVing is what you want to do with your life, but are struggling with how to get on the road. On to the specifics, shall we?
Who This Guide Is For
This guide is for people who are interested in going full-time RVing, but who are still in the planning phase and are looking for answers.
More specifically it’s for:
Those interested in small RVing and living a simpler lifestyle
Pre-retirement folks who still need to work
Those who have a limited budget to get started with
People who are single/will be traveling alone
If you match two of the above criteria you’ll find value in this e-guide, but the more you match, the more you’ll get out of it.
‘Solo Full-time RVing On A Budget’ – a 54 page e-guide
The Perfect Small RV Worksheet – a 4 page worksheet to hone in on your perfect small RV
The Perfect Tow Vehicle Worksheet – a 2 page worksheet to hone in on your perfect tow vehicle
The Money Worksheet – a 2 page worksheet, and a 1 page Excel spreadsheet, to help you manage your finances for a quicker takeoff
The RV Inspection Checklist – a 4 page checklist and question sheet to take with you when looking at used RVs
And now you’re probably wondering what this is going to cost. The full price is going to be $7.99, but for the first five days after the launch, you can have everything listed above for $4.99 as a special while Julie and I wrap up our season here at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. March 28th is our last day of “work”, and the introductory price will end that day as we prepare to head north for the next adventure.
Questions and Answers
Q: Isn’t 54 pages kind of short?
A: Not at all – this is a guide, not a book. It’s been condensed down into a useful no-nonsense format so that you get to the meat of the subjects quickly without having to read through fluff text. And there is a lot of information in there, it’s the length of 26 of my average blog posts.
Q: How is it organized?
A: Everyone knows that there is no simple 1, 2, 3 step chart for going full-time RVing, or someone would have written it up already. There is a comprehensive table of contents. This way you can pick and choose the topics that matter most for your own unique situation as you need them, and can go back and reference them again later without having to re-read the whole guide.
Q: Won’t everything covered in this guide be things I’ve already learned from your free articles or on another blog, website, or book?
A: Nope. It’s true I’ve talked about most of these topics on IO at some point or another, but here the subjects have been expanded, refined, and are fully updated for 2015. Some of it is completely new, like the tow vehicle information and the budget calculation formula. As for other authors, it’s true there is a lot of information out there on how to go full-time RVing. But people who’ve written extensively about how to go pre-retirement, on a budget, solo, in a small RV are rare.
Q: Wait, aren’t you traveling with someone else in your small RV? How can you call yourself solo?
A: I’ve been traveling with my best friend Julie for the past six months while she’s been on sabbatical from her career – we’ve always wanted to travel together. But her sabbatical is ending soon and she’s going back to her real life. After the gig at Enchanted Rock ends, we’re driving up to Wisconsin where I’ll drop her off and visit family and friends in the area. I’d been a solo RVer for two years before she came along, and I’ll be one again soon.
Q: What format is it in? Will other formats be available later?
A: The guide and all extras are in PDF format, you’ll need Adobe Acrobat to read them – which most computers these days seem to come with. Julie’s been able to download and open the files on her Smartphone as well (Samsung), I haven’t tried it on my iPhone yet, but I’m pretty sure it can too. There is also one Excel formatted spreadsheet, which does require a program that can open Excel documents. If you don’t have a program that can open it, the same information is included in the PDF worksheet by the same name – it just doesn’t have the calculations in place to do the math for you. As for other formats, it’s possible I’ll get a Kindle version of it up eventually, but if it happens it wouldn’t be until after I’m up in Wisconsin for a while and have time to tinker with it.
Q: How will purchasing/delivery be handled?
A: E-junkie is handling the shopping cart and product delivery, which will come through e-mail. They’re a commonly used service and are well rated. PayPal is handling the money – again a very secure, safe system. You’ll be able to pay using a PayPal account or a credit card, same as with the Donation button on the side of my site.
Q: How do I know this is really the right thing for me?
A: As stated above, if you matched two of the four criteria at the start of this page you’d likely get your $7.99 worth out of this guide (and if you act in the first five days, you’ll get it at $4.99!), the more you match, the better deal it’d be. That being said, I’m not going to try to hard sell you.
What I will do is give you a peek of what’s inside to help you come to that decision on your own. Below is the Table of Contents with all topics listed, and a couple sample pages (click for bigger image).
So there you have it. If you’ve been looking to make the leap from stationary living to life on the road with more freedom, independence, and flexibility to do the things that matter most to you, then I highly encourage you to come back on Tuesday, March 24 for the big launch! ‘Solo Full-time RVing On A Budget’ will be available starting at about 10 am CST depending on how long it takes me to wrangle everything into place.
* * *
And for those readers who are sticking around for the story, Tuesday will also be the conclusion to that! At the end of Revolution Day, it may seem like only a hop, skip, and a jump to get to the idea of full-time RVing, but it actually took me four more roller coaster-like months to arrive…
P.S. The blog that sparked Revolution Day still exists. The tone of The Middle Finger Project has changed a lot from the early days and now it’s directed to entrepreneurs and business folks, but the Dream Zappers post still exists untouched, and if you’d like you can read it here.
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