Fluid Decision Making

Spring in Wisconsin

Spring in Wisconsin

When people make a decision about something, the majority tend to think of that conclusion as rigid and uncompromising. I use to think like this before I hit the road, that once I made up my mind about something, be it a course of action, a purchase decision, a political stance, what I thought of someone or some place, that was it. Over and done with, on to the next dilemma.

It’s simpler to live that way, more comfortable. Once you make the decision there’s no more critical thinking required. And think also about the stigma associated with changing your mind, society might say that you’re “wishy-washy”, that you lack conviction.

I don’t see thinking like this as lacking conviction, I see it as staying flexible to accommodate for course correction as a situation changes or becomes more clear. The world is always changing, we’re always changing, so why should our decisions be so set in stone?

It can be very liberating, to allow yourself to change your mind. For me, decision making actually became easier knowing that I could always make changes later as new information came in. For instance, during those murky times when you don’t know all the answers or can’t see the whole picture until you get started – like preparing to go full-timing. Before I would fail to make decisions over the fear that I would make the wrong choice. Now I know that life isn’t all or nothing, and if I make a wrong choice it’s not the end of the world. There are always other choices coming, and having made a mistake now just makes me a little wiser when the next one comes along.

Fluid decision making also makes your life easier when something goes wrong (or right!) that you have no control over, because you know your actions can be shaped to accommodate. Flexibility is a key skill for full-time RVing, when weather, a blowout, a call from a friend, a full campground, an unexpected discovery, or a slew of other things could call for a change in plans.

And even if you’re only curious in the lifestyle. For instance, occasionally I get e-mails from people who follow my blog and are interesting in full-timing, but say they’ll never be able to go, and that makes me wince. Never is an awfully long time. A lot could change, but if you’ve already decided it will never happen then it becomes sort of a self-fulfilling prophesy. If the opportunity comes around, you might not see it because you believe it’s impossible.

I like to think that nothing’s impossible.

By all means, don’t let your mind be so open than you can be swayed by anything, but don’t let it be so closed that you fail to see the possibilities around you.

* * *

Two announcements today:

First, my parents have screaming fast WiFi and I’ve managed to upload a lot of videos in the past couple days! There are four shiny new playlists to view under the Videos tab, going from my arrival at Badlands National Park in April of 2013 to the end of my season volunteering in Florida in April of 2014, enjoy. I hope to be all caught up on videos by the time I leave here at the beginning of May. (Edit 9/13/17: Old video clips and playlists have been removed in favor of complete, edited videos! Enjoy.)

Second, The Kindle edition of ‘Solo Full-time RVing On A Budget‘ is now live! Wow, formatting a book for Kindle is hard work, but I’ve done my absolute best to make it look as good as it can on as many devices as possible.

Have a good weekend everyone, spring finally seems to have arrived to most of the country, the high here in Wisconsin Rapids today is a startling 74, I hardly know what to do with myself!

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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. Jodee Gravel on April 20, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    The joy of changing one’s mind – not a little thing 🙂 So many options, so little time! As is often the case, your understanding of life is much wiser than your years – perhaps a side effect of exposing yourself to the freedom of the road!
    Jodee Gravel recently posted..Photo Challenge – Day OneMy Profile

    • Becky on April 21, 2015 at 4:54 pm

      Indeed Jodee, not a little thing. 🙂

  2. Ann on April 20, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    Great post! Great blog! I just subscribed to your blog. It is very inspiring. I am planning to full-time in a couple of years as well. I am 49. My family and friends have expressed great fear for my safety when I shared my plans with them. Have you been able to alleviate any fear for your safety that your family or friends may have for you? I would love to be able to alleviate my 72 year old moms fear before hitting the road. Thanks for sharing your journey.

    • Becky on April 20, 2015 at 6:59 pm

      Welcome to IO Ann, glad you’re finding it helpful!

      Safety is such a big concern for many people, I blame the media for reporting every bad thing that happens in our country, and glossing over the (extremely) more common occurrences of good things. In 2.5 years on the road I have never once had a run in with a “bad” person or felt like I was trapped in an unsafe situation.

      I wrote a post about the different reactions people may have to your decision to go full-timing, and what you can do about it here: https://interstellarorchard.com/2012/01/09/dont-listen-to-naysayers/
      In your family’s case, education sounds like it will help (tell them things you’re going to do to keep yourself safe on the road, discuss with them how America is safer now than it was 30 years ago (you can find statistics on the internet to support it)… it’s just often perceived as being less safe because the globalization of news and reporting means that anything bad that happens anywhere gets reported everywhere.

      There are also links to a lot of other helpful and “how-to” type posts under the “Useful Stuff” tab at the top of the site. https://interstellarorchard.com/useful-stuff/

      • Jerry Minchey on April 21, 2015 at 8:34 am

        In your article that you linked to about safety, you said, “people fear what they don’t understand.” My grandmother put it this way. She said, “People are down on what the’re not up on.”

        • Becky on April 21, 2015 at 4:49 pm

          Hehe, sounds like your grandmother was a pretty cool lady Jerry!

      • Ann on April 21, 2015 at 1:01 pm

        Thank you so much for the response Becky. It is very helpful. I will definitely utilize your suggestions.
        Ann recently posted..Discovering Full-timing – What a BlessingMy Profile

        • Becky on April 21, 2015 at 4:50 pm

          Glad to help Ann! I hope your family manages to at least accept your decision, that’s about where I ended up with my parents.

  3. Scott on April 20, 2015 at 5:22 am

    The only thing constant is change.
    It has taken me the best part of a YEAR to decide on the right rig. Now that iv’e decided on a class and floor plan I’ll take at least that much time looking for “the deal” among a 1/2 a dozen brands…

    • Becky on April 20, 2015 at 7:02 pm

      Sounds like you’re on the right track Scott! Be patient in your search, and don’t jump on the first one that you find. Be willing to wait for the perfect-for-you RV to come around. 🙂

  4. Donna on April 19, 2015 at 11:04 am

    Loved the post. It was just another sign of support in my thought process. I too want to become a FT Rver. It was the dream of myself and my husband for the past 3 years since his retirement. This was the year to put the house on the market and kick things up beyond dreaming and researching to doing. On Feb 12th of this year all that changed. My husband died suddenly. So I’m taking the next year to grieve and decide where to next. I’m considering a solo RV lifestyle and your blog has been a help with the “yes I can ” attitude.

    I will continue to follow your postings and will probably come back to this one a lot.

    • Becky on April 19, 2015 at 11:35 am

      Hello Donna, welcome to IO.

      I’m sorry to hear about your husband, you must miss him terribly. I think you’re very brave to keep the idea of full-timing alive in your heart while you grieve and think about what’s next. No one but you can decide if it’ll be the right decision for you or not, but if it is, I hope my blog helps you find your way! Safe travels and happy trails to you.

  5. Terri on April 18, 2015 at 9:41 am

    Glad you are enjoying your time with your family – was that bear in a campground close to home or your parents’ backyard? I used to be like you were too – once I made a decision, it had to be the one I followed through with even if it later felt like it was the wrong one – hello, can we say law school??? 🙂 Over the past year and a half or so, I’ve also changed my mind so much about the direction my life should take – I know it’s much better to be flexible now. Much less stressful!

    Can’t wait to see the videos! (and we continue to go forward with the tiny house on this end! I have surgery this Tuesday and will be out of work for six weeks but I am looking forward to it (well, not the pain, but the mental time off too.)

    • Becky on April 18, 2015 at 8:40 pm

      Parent’s backyard. After I took this picture he reared up on his hind legs and managed to pull one of those green seed feeders in the background down, made my parents mad. 😉

      Enjoy the videos, and keep us updated on the tiny house!

  6. Jo on April 18, 2015 at 9:40 am

    Beautifully put, Becky.
    Full-timer for 7 months now!

    • Becky on April 18, 2015 at 8:24 pm

      Congrats Jo! The first 6 months on the road are the hardest I think, if you make it to month 7 you’ll probably stick with it for quite a while. 🙂

  7. Barb L on April 18, 2015 at 8:52 am

    Excellent post! Love the term “fluid decision making.” That’s one of the skills we’ve really had to focus on in our 4+ years full timing, since DH and I are at opposite ends of “to plan or not to plan.” I’m still the researcher, analyzer, list maker, but my planning now is full of multiple options, so that we can more easily manage new opportunities or challenges. I’ve learned to be comfortable with expecting the unexpected and wouldn’t trade our nomadic lifestyle for anything. Thanks for a great blog.

    • Becky on April 18, 2015 at 9:04 am

      You’re welcome Barb, glad you enjoyed this post!

      I think everyone already on the road has figured this out to some degree or another, they just may not have a name to put to it. 🙂 Such a handy skill for full-timing.

  8. Jim at Growing Faith on April 18, 2015 at 8:31 am

    I try to go with the flow, and allow my plans to change when a better course of action presents itself.

    Enjoy your fast internet and nice weather!
    Jim at Growing Faith recently posted..Comment on Koinonia Farm by jim@growing-faith.orgMy Profile

    • Becky on April 18, 2015 at 8:52 am

      Thanks Jim, it’s going quite well. 71 today and then it starts getting colder again, but I think the worst is over (it snowed the night I arrived, haha).

  9. Bruce on April 18, 2015 at 6:38 am

    Excellent post!

    Sage advise for anyone as encouragement to bend down a bit and smell the flower’s fragrance along life’s road. Nothing as frustrating or confining as being stuck in one’s mindset simply because of a previous decision, belief or stance – especially if it isn’t entirely yours!

    Life is fluid and ever-changing. To survive and flourish we must adapt.

    • Becky on April 18, 2015 at 8:50 am

      Well said Bruce. So often we’ve been conditioned to act or think a certain way just because that is what those around us do, and never realize that it can be different, that we don’t need to do what everyone else does.

  10. Janett on April 18, 2015 at 6:18 am

    Wow…reading this was like another a-ha moment…you’re such an old soul! Hey Becky, I just finished catching up on your last four posts; been busy preparing my Lil’ Scamp and Jeep to hit the road.
    I’ve been employed by those “non-fluid” decision makers where everything is carved in stone and no “what-if’s” left on the table. Strange how we can fall into that way of thinking and apply it to our personal lives.
    And, for those that say they will never have the opportunity to live a lifestyle they choose…buy Becky’s book and never say never ;)!
    Great read!

    • Becky on April 18, 2015 at 8:48 am

      Congrats on all the progress you’ve made Janett! Scamp is a good brand, I think you’re going to have a great time. 🙂

      Fluid decision making makes going full-timing so, so much easier.

      Say, would you mind if I used part of your comment as a testimonial for my book?

      • Janett on April 18, 2015 at 3:58 pm

        Oops! Correction above –> I meant to say “I’ve been employed by non-fluid decision makers”.
        Book testimonial…absolutely! Oh, I forgot to ask if you took the bear pic?

        • Becky on April 18, 2015 at 8:22 pm

          I actually read it the way you intended Janett, funny how the mind sometimes fills in the blanks. I’ll edit it so that it makes more sense to other readers. 🙂

          Thanks! And yes, took that up at my parent’s house a few days ago, first bear of the season. They don’t hang around all summer long but migrate through in the spring and fall… which is good because they do a number on my mom’s bird feeders.

  11. Jerry Minchey on April 17, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    Hey Becky, Congratulations on getting your book on Amazon Kindle. This will add a lot to your monthly sales and will give you access to RVers other than your readers.

    Your article about decisions is very good. The way I look at it, when new facts become available, I don’t consider it as changing my mind. I’m making a new decision based on new information.

    But on the other hand, if there are no new facts, I try not to waste time and energy going over the same information again. I stick with the decision I made when I analyzed the situation the first time. In other words, when I catch myself rethinking a previous decision, I ask myself, “Are there any new facts or any new informtaion?” If the answer is ‘No,’ I stick with my original decision and go on.

    By the way, I just bought the Kindle version of your book and gave you a 5-star review. I could have given you a review based on reading your pdf version, but then it wouldn’t show up as being a review from a “Verified purchaser.”

    • Becky on April 18, 2015 at 8:41 am

      I agree with that practice Jerry, no point in spending energy and time reviewing a decision when the circumstances haven’t changed, well said.

      Thanks for purchasing on Kindle! Both the Kindle an PDF versions have been edited for those typos you found. 😉

  12. Rob Bryant on April 17, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    hey good post. Always say we made the best decision at the time with the info we had . And we are free to make another decision anytime. A friend just made us a hard drive with over 2000 movies on it and lots of whole t v shows. Now are we prepared for storm days if we are restricted to inside the r v .

    • Becky on April 18, 2015 at 8:32 am

      Nice Rob! That’s really all you can do: make the best decision with the info you have. Glad it worked out for you. 🙂

  13. Frank on April 17, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    Yah, that “Fluid” thing, hehheh, can’t drive yah, me, knutts…

    While making the transition to a different rig/set up for “Getting out there”, I must have been changing my mind every 4-hrs or so for a period of about 3-4 months.. LOL and I”m still doing “What if’s…” just prove the current set up is going to work.

    But once I’ve got it decided upon, that’s it, rock solid (joking here) mind set in concrete… (Not).. but as you mention, you just have to do it and go with the flow and Adapt as you go…

    fun.. an Adventure to be sure.. how was the tour? I really think you have the best setup. Just think about the Wind, Rain, dust all working the same 24-shift.. at least you can cook/eat in peace…

    • Becky on April 18, 2015 at 8:31 am

      Loved the tour Frank, that’ll be going up in a blog post soon.

      It took me about that (3-4 months) to decide on a Casita, I wonder if we had a poll if that would be a common answer for how long it took people to decide on their rig (feel free to answer, those reading).

      • Jim@HiTek on April 18, 2015 at 9:16 am

        I spent approximately 2 months deciding what type of RV (Class A), then 3 months deciding on a diesel pusher instead of gas, and 3 months deciding on the brand/model(s) that were best, and then another 6 months finding something I wanted to buy and could afford. Had to develop a go-with-the-flow attitude and not rush it even though I was in a hurry. It’s a big decision. (Like you, I’m a full time RV’er without a home base).

        So, in my case, 14 months. Nearly all of that spent researching the lifestyle online.
        Jim@HiTek recently posted..On the way to Amsterdam…My Profile

        • Becky on April 18, 2015 at 8:17 pm

          Thanks for weighing in Jim!