A Call for Change

I hope everyone’s having a great start to the new year.

I’m in the midst of planning out setting intentions for 2018, as a part of my Annual Review process. You can read that article for the full details on what an annual review is and how to conduct one yourself, but today I wanted to address something that came up while I was looking back at 2017 as a part of this process.

When I first started reflecting on 2017, it seemed like a pretty ‘blah’ year.

There were highlights, like my first backpacking trip (it was epic), getting good enough at poi to attend a high-end retreat in British Columbia, finally launching a YouTube channel, making new RVing friends, and spending a lot of time with my family over the summer. When I lay my accomplishments in a list like this, I can see that while at times it felt like I was spinning my wheels (RVer humor), I did get plenty accomplished.

But overall there was less passion than in previous years on the road. Some people measure a successful year by the amount of money they make, or the amount of prestige they garner. I’ve never been that person. I gauge a successful year by how fulfilled I am. And in 2017 I didn’t feel as fulfilled. In fact, much of the year I felt this undercurrent of uneasiness.

I found this distressing, and frequently asked myself over the course of the year why this was happening and more importantly: how I could fix it.

We’re so close to our own problems that sometimes it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. Towards the end of the year I finally started figuring it out. This was a call for change.

For me, the need for a big change doesn’t arrive all in one moment, it builds over months. It starts as a sort of restlessness, as my subconscious (you could also substitute the word ‘heart’ here) realizes that something isn’t working. But for whatever reason my subconscious self (heart) can’t just inform my conscious self (brain) in plain words…. I guess if it could it wouldn’t be your subconscious, huh? Anyway, the feeling of ‘something isn’t right’ increases until I finally acknowledge it.

Once I recognize that restlessness for what it is, it moves into phase two: a jittery sort of tension that builds as my conscious and subconscious (brain and heart) pinpoint exactly what the problem is, and then work on solutions.

I came to realize there have been a lot of parallels between 2017, and the second half of 2010/first half of 2011, when I was feeling a general dissatisfaction with the way things were and decided to go full-timing.

At first I thought this need for change was all tied to the desire to switch rigs and try a different form of RVing, but the jittery feeling has continued after I placed my order for the Hiker Trailer in October. Placing that order was the right thing to do, it’s that the call for change is greater than just switching rigs.

We’d all like our lives (and blog posts) to be as neat as a story with steady progression divided into clear chapters. But life seldom works that way. As I work on goals and intentions for 2018, my inner compass is telling me I’m on the right track and I’m feeling a stirring of the passion that got me on the road in the first place. But the unsettled feeling is still there, so I’m not completely out of the woods yet.

But at least looking back at 2017 now with a little perspective, I can appreciate it for what it was: that somewhat awkward lull between the ending of one plotline and the start of the next. Here’s to 2018!

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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. Hu Mahn on January 17, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    Hi Becky, I have followed you from afar and have changed my name. I am now Hu Mahn but there should be an umlaut on the “u” to make it look like a smiley face. I found you on a google search for some roof caulking problem I had with my first RV a Toyota Escaper. I followed you as my life changed and enjoyed the pure honesty of your posts. When the dog adoption didn’t go as planned I really enjoyed the truth of knowing that not all we do looks so good as we want to post. Few people put themselves out there like that. Thanks for doing it for our benefit and ultimately yours. I come from the opposite side of the RV equation – retired engineer at 55 sets out alone in Tacoma and Royal Coachman 14ft. But your truth that you put in your posts is so gritty honest I had to respond. And give you a possible new opportunity. I loved your tale of your first back packing. I have done several week long treks in the Sawtooth”s of Idaho, my favorite place in the world, and I saw the enginue (can’t spell French words worth crap) collision of passion and reality. I couldn’t wait to read the succeeding posts as I knew they would be very full of reality. And passion. I was right. I thought our paths might cross as I found Quartzsite in Nov 2017 but no matter, I prefer smaller places. The reason I am writing is because I am a writer, ha! I love to write, but I also want to invite you to a place that will knock your socks off. It will be way out of your comfort zone and I’m not suggesting you come be RV but some do. The place is called Puerto Escondido and it is the southern tip of the mainland of Mexico. I’m not suggesting we meet up but that could be interesting too but in my short little life I have found a place (found it really 30 years ago on vacation). This place is like stepping back into the 60s or 70s with conveniences of our age. I grew up then and remember the feeling. People live life here and are not stuck in the rat race of American comidification of everything and becoming a slave to living for the benefit of corporations. I left that full stop and with plenty of hu mahn struggles. I think the perspective from here is more real than most I have seen in the US for many years. Yes, of course there is crime and poverty and if you are not careful or try too hard to interpret what it all means it can get you down. But there are also beautiful local families enyoying a day at the beach or a 100 people from a small village celebrating the 5th birthday of a town girl. so, I suggest you add to your plans for 2018 – the beginning of the “Golden Age – where the impossible becomes possible”, to head down here and check it out for yourself. I am in a place called Rinconada above the gorgeous beach called Carizalillo (sp?). I’m the only 6ft blonde guy around so you could find me that way if so inclined. You may also be interested in my first book called How I won the Tour de France at 55 (limited release) or my first documentary on YouTube called a Consciousness Shift because you also are human. I don’t follow responses but I’m guessing you have my email if you want to respond.
    If you don’t like Quartzsite you might prefer a little spot on the Colorado at Blythe on the AZ side just 1 mile south of the bridge. One of my tribes lives there. A lovely free spot.
    I wish you much adventure in life and hope our paths cross sometime if it benefits both of us. Cheers! Hu Mahn

  2. Becky on January 8, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    Thanks Rhonda, Steve, Linda and Jodee!

  3. Jodee Gravel on January 7, 2018 at 2:24 pm

    Self awareness is key to happiness from within. Good on you for paying attention and addressing the need for change. Not overreacting and making a plan is key and it looks like you’re on top of it. All the best for 2018!
    Jodee Gravel recently posted..Wrapping Up 2017 With Family and FriendsMy Profile

  4. Linda on January 6, 2018 at 7:23 pm

    Interesting you are feeling this way Becky. Other RV bloggers that I follow, have made changes too. One couple left the road to buy a home and settle in Florida. Another couple bought a yacht. And the third, is selling their beast to live and travel around Europe. You know these folks too. We all go through change during the short time we are here. You will determine what is tugging at you, and make a change just like so many others. The best of luck to you in 2018 Becky! It will all work out for you by keeping a positive outlook and remain open. Good things just come to people who remain open to possibilities!

  5. S. Kaeseman on January 6, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    Hi, Becky, Hope this finds you had a great time over the Holiday’s, not sure which if any of the major holidays you celebrate, and hope the start of your New year’s is going well.
    Understand about getting the feeling you need to change something in your life but not being able to figure it out until enough time goes by and you make changes when the time you need to make them hits you in the head and gives you no other choice but to make them. We have gone through that type of scenario way tom many times in our life. But it is fun that way to us, we make no heads or tails of it and just go with it, it if feels right. We do wait a little time to make sure it feels right before actually doing it, but it all works out. Change for all of us is inevitable, one of the Best reason to live and look forward but we never try to forget the past. Memories are what made us, change and how we handle it defines us.
    May you be safe on your travels, always enjoy the adventures and enjoy the good changes, work through the not so good ones and keep traveling along.
    Steve Kaeseman

  6. Rhonda on January 5, 2018 at 9:26 am

    Becky, you have a remarkable ability to look at a frayed rope, gather the splayed ends together and smooth it back into shape so that disconnected links meld back into whole. That you meticulously share your knowledge of how to complete that process with folks you have never met is a testament to your caring heart. Onward, ho! May 2018 bring strength, clarity and a continued fascination with exploring our country through the eyes of a child reveling in wonder!

  7. Becky on January 4, 2018 at 3:31 pm

    To those of you who are glad to be able to put a name to this feeling of uneasiness and tension – I’m glad this article helped you gain some clarity.

    To those of you who are also feeling a call for change – I hope that by the end of this year we’re all closer to where where we need to be/who we need to be (processes like the Annual Review really help me dig in to what’s important in my life and I’ve found it very helpful in deciding what changes need to be made).

    To those of you who’ve been in this position before – thanks for your support and encouragement.

  8. Barbara from Camano Island on January 4, 2018 at 11:23 am

    Than you so much for your honesty.

  9. Mike on January 4, 2018 at 10:12 am

    I learned years ago (but sometimes I forget) that smooth sailing is the exception. But wouldn’t always having calm waters make for a boring life? The adventure of life is all about change, and how we react to it.

    Thanks again Becky for another thought provoking post.


  10. JJ on January 4, 2018 at 9:38 am

    Nice article. You might be feeling the need to “jump the pond” and head to brand new lands for a while. Stretch out even further.
    Europe, anyone?
    JJ recently posted..A Call for ChangeMy Profile

  11. Nancy on January 4, 2018 at 9:12 am

    I was forced into change, but I’m glad you have the time to figure things out.

  12. Laura on January 4, 2018 at 9:03 am


    I read each of your posts..your story grounds me in terms of having unrealistic expectations, or intentions. You are such an inspiration and I know that whatever change you make will be a well thought out decision. I can’t wait to see where 2018 takes you!

  13. Mike fryman on January 4, 2018 at 9:01 am

    I meant whatever nutures you…….. I must be aging!!!!!! Frydad

  14. Mike fryman on January 4, 2018 at 8:58 am

    I certainly understand about change and life challenges, I often think about being on the road full time! I wonder if I can be happy and fulfilled…….are you thinking of taking a break for a while? You are free, you can do whatever nitride you…..do it and smile!!! Life has a way of making decisions for you…….revel in your freedom! Frydad…..rambling on life!

  15. Pam on January 4, 2018 at 8:44 am

    Becky, that is as good a description of that inner “call” as anything I have read! You nailed it exactly! Best of luck this year as you start to figure it out, and set out on the path.
    Fondly, Pam

  16. Terri on January 4, 2018 at 8:07 am

    Becky, i so feel for you on this because I kind of am feeling the same way right now. You and I both know how much this feeling sucks when we are going through it, but we also know it’s a place of growth and from it will come something good, and we will be able to look back and dissect it later on.

    Just keep working on figuring out what it is, and try to not force it. Keep on writing like you have, whether it’s for us as readers or just for you in a journal, and it will eventually become clear. A virtual hug to you!!

  17. Michael Jot Neri on January 4, 2018 at 7:06 am

    Your pathways that you share are, for me, like lighthouse on shore for old ships. Thank you!

  18. Dawn King on January 4, 2018 at 6:06 am

    A real life cliffhanger! Best wishes to you no matter what you decide!!!

  19. MnDreamer on January 4, 2018 at 4:34 am

    Happy New Year, Becky, and best wishes as you move forward. It will be fun follow you as you pursue new adventures. You are so thoughtful and balanced in your approach to life; I know you will find the right path for you!

  20. Suzanne on January 4, 2018 at 3:59 am

    Whatever you decide…we are here to support you. You have helped all of us in one way or another with your blog. Life is about change.

    This year I started 2 new jobs after the same job for over 20 years. It has been rough! Now they want me to just do 1 full time instead of 2 part time and I literally just learned both. There are pros and cons for keeping both. I don’t have a clue what to do!

    So hang in there. I’ll say a prayer for guidance for you…and you do the same for me.
    It will all be alright in the end!

  21. Lori Palmer on January 3, 2018 at 11:17 pm

    I look forward to your deliberate living posts. I’ll be doing a lot more deliberate living in 19 weeks from this new year. Perhaps see you on the road less travelled. Enjoy 2018.

  22. DANNIE RIOS on January 3, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    If I decide to rough it, and do without the creature comforts, I hope that lifestyle never grows old.

  23. JWFitz on January 3, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    Good luck finding the change you seek.

    For me 2017 was a year with change in sight.

    Today, was my last day of work in a job I have held for 38 years. I am looking forward to the new year and a profound change in life style. I will be enjoying a few more months in Yuma, and plan to escape to the PNW for the late spring and summer. Beyond that, it is a decision for a later date.

  24. Judy Blinkenberg on January 3, 2018 at 6:03 pm

    You need a sweetheart! Although you may think it will complicate your life, it adds a bit of fun. I know you will come up with a good plan, whether it involves a sweetheart or not. Last year was our first few months and we look forward to more travels. I would like more stationary time, but that will come. I will keep you on my prayer list.

  25. Michael on January 3, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    I understand your unease and have experienced it. These last few years have allowed you

    to walk many different paths. However, that doesn’t mean your heart is willing to beat you in

    a direction. Perhaps a direction isn’t what you need. You don’t always get to choose a life,

    sometimes a life chooses you. ” If life were to be predictable it would cease to be life, and be

    without flavor.” Eleanor Roosevelt:

  26. paul on January 3, 2018 at 5:14 pm


    You have souI and intellgence, honesty and integrity. I love you for it.

    Have you ever considered putting together a slide show presentation telling about yourself, your life on the road, your guiding philosophy and perhaps a “how to segment”? You might offer presentations for free to begin with and after you have some experience and a list of successfull presentations perhaps charge a fee. Meanwhile, you could sell T-shirts, books and assorted other Interstellar Orchard items.

    I was thinking the presentations could be given at libraries, universities, club houses at retirement villages and even bars and coffee shops.

    I would come see you.

    Warm regards,

  27. Rob on January 3, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    “Happy” is a good indicator.

  28. Jeff on January 3, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    It’s always good to remember why you chose this lifestyle, and it brings out the wanderlust in a lot of your followers who have chosen a different path. Heraclitus had something to say about ‘change’, and it seems to me that you have the freedom to change more easily than those – like myself – who have planted roots.
    Jeff recently posted..Best Wishes for a Magnificent 2018 – from San DiegoMy Profile

  29. Christine Humphrey on January 3, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    What I believe is that women are nurturers. You’ve shared so much of yourself as our mentor and educator, offered words of encouragement, shown us how to use money wisely, among many other things.
    If anything’s missing….you’ll figure it out. You’ve got this one! Looking forward to what’s next in 2018!

  30. Mindy G on January 3, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    Jittery tension. I can understand that completely. Thanks for giving me some words to help describe the limbo I have found myself in!

  31. Robin on January 3, 2018 at 1:27 pm

    I love this! So well put! I feel I too am in that lull between chapters. I was aware of the feeling, but you really helped with the words. Thank you!

  32. Gary on January 3, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    I’ve had a similar year myself Becky. However as the year ran out of days I found myself on hold from blogging due to a back injury. After a short hospital stay, I’ve now time to reflect here at my Son’s house in Arizona. While my Coach has been put in storage for several months. It’s funny how life sometimes comes to a period before you can start the next paragraph. Wishing you, the best year full of exciting adventures.
    Gary recently posted..Merry ChristmasMy Profile

  33. Barney Ward on January 3, 2018 at 11:55 am

    Yep me to on change time. As I have announced 2018 is a year the OFM plans to be moving more often. Too many months sitting in one spot. What else is involved I do not yet know but at least I have a starting spot. Good luck to you on your next facet of life. New facets are fun usually.

  34. Alan Belisle on January 3, 2018 at 11:44 am

    “When you come to a fork in the road, take it” But seriously, I am rooting for you. I hope you find what you are looking for, or at least the road that leads to it. Good luck in 2018.
    Alan Belisle recently posted..Living in Oceanside, CA – December 2017My Profile

  35. Majken Schimmel on January 3, 2018 at 11:41 am

    I am very familiar with that unsettled feeling, which is why I decided on the full-time lifestyle. The feeling still comes and goes, but I find that it’s mostly situational now (such as a work location that I don’t like or making connections with a new friend that you want to spend more time with but your plans don’t allow you to spend more time together). And I’ve definitely rethought my rig, that’s unsettling too. I hope you figure it all out soon.

    PS- reading your post I noticed I have the same view out my window (minus the sunset).

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