Hey everyone, this is the conclusion of the story of ‘what came before Interstellar Orchard’ that started last Tuesday. The first part is here, and the second part is here. You’ll want to read those first if you haven’t yet!
December 17, 2010
The past four months since Revolution Day have been full of ups and downs. Some days I feel like anything is possible, and some days I doubt that I’ll ever break free. The weather is getting colder again, and with it comes the “bad” season at work.
I’ve become increasingly agitated by the fact that I still don’t really know what I want to do.
Well, scratch that, I know what I want to do. I want to travel. I loved road trips as a kid and watching programs on the Discovery Channel, and I know I want to get out and see more of the world with my own two eyes. I just don’t know how I’m going to afford to.
Most of these “lifestyle design” bloggers I follow (I’ve found more of them since The Middle Finger Project) integrate a lot of travel into their lives, and they pay for it by working remotely as entrepreneurs (which is a lot easier than holding a physical job in a foreign country).
The idea of being an entrepreneur: setting my own hours, doing work that is both enjoyable and helpful to others from the comfort of my own laptop and pays the bills is of course very appealing. But these bloggers don’t shy away from the fact that there’s a lot of effort involved in working for yourself, and it requires a good idea to start a business with. And even if I’m willing to put in the effort, I can’t think of a good idea.
I like writing, but can’t blog about how exciting my life is, it’s quite ordinary. I’m not passionate enough about any one of my hobbies to feel like I could turn it into a book and make a business out of that.
Then there’s the fact that even if I do somehow find a way to afford to travel the world like these people do, I’d be traveling it alone, which I’m not sure I’d be comfortable with.
I told Julie about Revolution Day about a week after the event happened, and I didn’t get the response I’d been hoping for. I was hoping she’d be as excited as I was, and we’d work together on how to quit our jobs and go travel… but she wasn’t. Oh, she’s supportive and wishes me the best, but this isn’t her dream. While I went through the veterinary technician program because my parents told me I needed to get a college degree and I figured it was as good as any other option, Julie truly loves her vocation and is happy with a more ordinary life. We’re a lot alike in many ways, but different in that respect.
I sit bolt upright in bed, heart pounding.
Eureka, I think I’ve got it!
Never mind that tomorrow is a work day and I need to be up before 6 am. I think I’ve found the answer, I know what I’m going to do.
What if I travel domestically instead of internationally, and blog about that?
I grab the notepad sitting on the desk beside my bed and something to write with. I’ve been carrying both with me when I go places so that if inspiration strikes about what I want to do with my life I can write it down.
There’s a lot less uncertainty involved with domestic travel vs. international travel. I won’t have to worry about my safety traveling alone as much, and I might be able to work temporary jobs as I go and can skip the whole “having to work remotely to travel” thing. That’ll save me years of having to build up a business to the point where I earn enough to continuously travel with.
I’ll go in an RV, an expansion on my vague dreams from last year. Not the huge motorhomes or fifth wheels retired folks travel in, I couldn’t afford that – how about a small, used one? Yes I’ll probably have to get rid of my car since it can’t tow a trailer, but now that I’m thinking of living on the road instead of just taking vacations, it’s a whole different game. I’ve found little information about going full-timing as a young person. Maybe I can start a blog about it and teach other younger people how to do it as I learn myself, that would be enjoyable and fulfilling and could maybe become a business someday…
* * *
And the rest is history.
…Or not. Because it took a ridiculous amount of time to figure out if: A. This was really a feasible lifestyle for a working-age single person on a budget, and B: How to actually get on the road. (After about four weeks of searching, it was Emily at Roads Less Traveled that answered my initial volley of questions about full-timing – in a 2,000 word e-mail chock full of helpful advice – thanks Emily!).
Which catches us up to today. I hope you’ve enjoyed this story of the months leading up to my decision to go full-timing, and now it’s time to focus on another story, your own.
Thank you to everyone for following along on this journey and making Interstellar Orchard a great community, whether you’re interested in the guide or not. I’ve learned a lot, experienced some amazing things, and met some wonderfully people since I’ve started traveling. I hope my advice proves helpful to those of you just starting out. Safe travels, and happy trails all.