The Benefits of a Dramatic Change

For anyone who missed the memo, I’m back traveling in my teardrop in the US again! But I still have some catching up to do from Costa Rica, so here’s another travelogue from my time there.

Living at Wild Sun Rescue Center is like living in a bubble. It feels like a completely different reality than my one back home in the US. Which is not innately good or bad, although in the months I’ve been here, I have discovered one big benefit from such a long-term dramatic change: it makes the problems I’d been dealing with back in the US seem smaller and easier to handle.

My average day at Wild Sun involves working half of my waking hours with animals, then spending the other half primarily reading in the hammocks or swimming in the pool, with occasional outings to the ocean for surfing or beach-going, or trips down to the local store in Cabuya for groceries or ice cream. Nothing really blog-worthy in the grand scheme of things.

Down at the beach with three of my fellow volunteers

I have off one day a week, and occasionally I go out and do interesting travel things on those days, like a trip to the Montezuma waterfalls, or this trip to Santa Teresa on the other side of the cape. But most of my days off I just want to chill and not do a lot of anything.

A horse rider on the (much sandier) Santa Teresa beach

I haven’t been updating IO frequently while here. The pressure to always be working on content is less intense being these many miles away from “home”… and that’s a good thing. For seven years I blogged regularly here on IO and now that I’ve put some time and distance between me and camping, I can see quite clearly that I was burning out. I can contribute this to three things:

  • First, moving from the Casita into the Hiker Trailer last fall sparked a lot of resistance from a small but vocal subset of my followers, which made dealing with comments and e-mails not very fun for a while. (This problem has since solved itself as those people have moved on, and new people more into teardrop camping have found me, hello!)

  • Related to that, I’d always branded myself online as a full-time RVer, which with the switch to the teardrop and now the extended international trip, isn’t really who I am anymore. I was feeling rather lost about how to change gears with the blog.

  • And lastly, road travel was just becoming less exciting because I’d been doing it so long without pause. It had been three years since I started boondocking extensively, and I’d lost a lot of the passion that made writing and making videos seem like fun and not hard work.

The moon rising over the pool at Wild Sun

As for that third problem, coming to Costa Rica has allowed me to take an actual break that didn’t consist of batch-writing a bunch of posts in advance so that I could have a couple weeks of not writing. And I feel so much better for it. I’m volunteering 40 hours a week at Wild Sun, but it still feels like a vacation from what constitutes normal for me. I can feel my excitement for travel returning as my time here comes to a close, and with it comes the inspiration to work on IO again – hence this post.

And for that second bullet point, I’m sure coming here and effectively living a completely different life for a few months is going to give me a different perspective on how to handle IO’s evolution as my own travel style and interests evolve.

In the meantime, I’m enjoying my bubble and my relaxation time. And every now and then I do something worth blogging about, like the two weeks Nick’s friend Harald visited from Norway with his professional quality camera, and the poi crew went out several times to get awesome photos.

The poi crew: Harald, me, Will (Nick’s poi student of the week), and Rob. Nick’s behind the camera on this one.

As a quick rundown for newer readers not familiar with poi, it’s a circus art somewhat related to juggling or hula hooping, which involves swinging weights on the ends of tethers in geometric patterns. Which probably still doesn’t make much sense, so here’s a video of me poi dancing which will probably shed more light on things. I first was introduced to poi at the very first Xscapers Annual Bash in Quartzsite in January of 2016. Fellow RVer and blogger Cherie of Technomadia performed with fire poi around the campfire one night, and I knew I wanted to learn how to do that.

Dancing with fire makes me feel pretty badass. Photo credit Harald Dahl

Two summers ago to up my game, I attended a 10 day poi retreat in Canada, put on by a guy named Nick Woolsey, who is pretty famous in the poi community (and the person whose YouTube videos Cherie and I both learned from). It was at this retreat that I learned about Wild Sun, where Nick taught poi classes during the winter when it was too cold to want to be in Canada.

Those familiar with my past before becoming a nomad know that I went to college to be a veterinary technician, and that I worked with monkeys in my last real job before hitting the road. Which has made Wild Sun an amazingly aligned choice for my first big international adventure, because not only are Nick and another poi friend who I made at that retreat (Rob) here, but Wild Sun has quite a few monkeys, which I have a lot of experience working with.

Rob with poi

So, I’ve been volunteering alongside Nick and Rob, and most weeks Nick has a student or two visiting Wild Sun for poi classes (and we collectively are known as the poi crew), and for two weeks in April one of those visitors was Nick’s friend Harald, and we rented a car for a few days (which is quite expensive in Costa Rica) to drive around and get poi photos.

A long exposure of Nick and I with LED poi, photo credit Harald

A couple times we went to Montezuma to the falls to get photos, but my favorite trip was to the rocky shore of Mal Pais, which we visited near sunset on a full moon high tide (so very high). The waves were crashing against the rocks and splashing dramatically.

Very dramatic. Yes, I got wet. Photo credit Harald

Whether you consider yourself an ocean person or not, and I sure didn’t when I arrived here, you owe it to yourself to spend some time watching the waves roll in from the ocean. And if you can do it near sunset or sunrise at a beautiful location – all the better. This was right on the edge of rainy season beginning, and the clouds came as such a shock to me, having spent all of February and March under clear skies. It was such a perfect evening.

More poi crew courtesy of Harald. I committed a major fashion faux pas here by wearing light-colored shorts, lol.

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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. Mark Cowherd on July 5, 2019 at 7:45 am

    “First, moving from the Casita into the Hiker Trailer last fall sparked a lot of resistance from a small but vocal subset of my followers” People dislike change so much they even dislike change within others. Remember the night Bob Dylan went from acoustic to electric guitar? Of course you don’t–you are too young !!! But look it up and enjoy the silliness of it all. I own a *Casita LD and I understood your reasoning. Your teardrop is more mobile and cost less to maintain than a Casita.

    *you were right about the great Castia LD window arrangement

    • Becky on July 5, 2019 at 12:36 pm

      Yes, those windows were fantastic! Glad you’re enjoying your Liberty Mark.

  2. Virginia on June 21, 2019 at 6:49 am

    Everyone needs a break from their routine at some point, even though that routine might seem like paradise to others. I’m glad your trip to Costa Rica was so fulfilling. Welcome back, I have missed your blog. And you’ve probably been reminded of this before but it bears repeating: Be yourself, everyone else is already taken – Oscar Wilde. 🙂

    I camped recently in the Pisgah NF (North Carolina) and saw lots of teardrops. Talked to several owners, and I well understand their appeal.

  3. Roxanne Charlson on June 20, 2019 at 6:53 pm

    These photos are fantastic! First, I’m so sorry that there were some people who gave you a hard time when you switched rigs. Becky. Seems kinda ridiculous… I love the way you write about your growth, the changes you have experienced, and your general outlook on life. Please just continue to be you and know that you are appreciated for your wisdom and sense of adventure, no matter what you decide to do with the life that is, after all, YOURS. Best to you, always.

  4. Barrie Bochoff on June 18, 2019 at 5:59 am

    Hi Becky,
    Life evolves. You don’t need to define yourself as anything but a ‘lifer’. I’m 67 and have experienced many changes during the decades. As my interests change I adjust. I can’t do everything I once did and that impacts what currently appeals to me. It’s perfectly normal for routines to weigh on us. Change is healthy. Our needs change. I am inspired by your approach to life.

    • Becky on June 19, 2019 at 4:16 pm

      Thanks for your kind words Barrie and for taking the time to post this thoughtful comment!

  5. Lori on June 14, 2019 at 9:03 am

    Loved this post, Becky. I know what it’s like to make big changes and to feel the weight of everybody’s expectations. About a year and a half ago, I made a dramatic change in my living and work situations, and I absolutely love where I am and what I’m doing now. It was SO worth it, but it wasn’t the “safe” or expected path. I want you to know that you were one of the reasons that I had the courage to make that change. Your blog has encouraged me to live life in a way that makes my soul happy, yet I love the way you approach each decision very thoughtfully and intelligently. I think it’s absolutely natural (and probably essential) that priorities change and plans evolve over time. That’s what keeps things fresh and makes life interesting! You’re an amazing person, and you inspire me! 🙂

    • Becky on June 19, 2019 at 4:15 pm

      Aww, so happy to hear this Lori! It always gives me the warm fuzzies when people comment on how IO has helped them. 🙂 I’m glad you took the initiative to change your life, and I’m also glad that it’s continuing to work out for you! As I always say, life’s too short not to do what you love.

  6. Rick Johnson on June 13, 2019 at 3:57 pm

    I started reading your blog because of the RV aspect. Still reading because you are so interesting. Keep doing what you’re doing.

    • Becky on June 19, 2019 at 4:13 pm

      Thanks for following along Rick, it’s great having you here.

  7. Jeanette on June 11, 2019 at 4:45 pm

    So happy for you!! You be YOU! Gorgeous pictures!

    • Becky on June 11, 2019 at 10:51 pm

      Thanks Jeanette!

  8. Cinn on June 11, 2019 at 4:32 pm

    Bravo to the evolving Becky! Stunning photos!!

    I’m relieved to see you got rid of the WordPress plugin that caused my own blog’s early demise — I was worried for you and your website.

    After blogging for only two years, I already notice the change of pace and mindset I have, by not documenting my every move. Now I can focus on my real passion in life: photography, at whatever pace I choose.

    Hope to cross paths at another Xscapers event someday… 🙂

    • Becky on June 11, 2019 at 10:50 pm

      Thanks Cinn! I am fortunate to have Jen as my web developer, she’s amazing and kept IO safe. 🙂

      While I’m sorry you lost your blog, it is great to hear that it all worked out in the end. I’m glad you’re getting back to what you’re passionate about, I hope I get to see some of your photos next time our paths cross!

  9. Deb ( on June 11, 2019 at 4:31 pm

    Amazing pictures. I blog for me and my family but glad to hear from people along the way. I delete or ignore the not too often negative. Enjoy your amazing life and blog when and what you want. It is fun to see you back.

    • Becky on June 11, 2019 at 10:47 pm

      I’ll pass your appreciation of the photos on to Harald, he’ll be happy to see how many people are enjoying them. 🙂

      And yeah, most of the comments and e-mails I get from the blog and YouTube channel are positive or at least neutral… especially now that the people who were just following for Casita content are gone. You all are the best audience a blogger could hope for!

  10. Norm H. on June 11, 2019 at 2:18 pm

    Becky. So good to read a fresh post from you. Your writing reflects the benefits of your recent sabbatical from “the daily grind” of producing blogs. Costa Rica was money and time well spent for you. Like others, I will look forward to future travel posts wherever and via whatever means you choose. I enjoyed your Casita related posts. (So much so that my DW and I bought one last October and are having some of our own adventures.) But, it doesn’t matter how you travel, or with what RV; if any. What matters is your journey, for you! We shall be grateful to follow along.

    • Christine Humphrey on June 11, 2019 at 9:50 pm

      Becky, this post will go down in my book as one of your absolute best! You’ve included much infomation, wonderful photos and links, and best of all, your thoughts and concerns about the future! Thank you, IO! This was total enjoyment!

      • Becky on June 11, 2019 at 10:41 pm

        Christine – I’m so glad you enjoyed this article! It has been a while since I combined travelogue and philosophy in a single post, it’s nice to hear that the effort was appreciated.

    • Becky on June 11, 2019 at 10:38 pm

      Thank you very much for the kind words Norm, I’m so happy to have you along for this journey! And I’m also glad to hear that you’re enjoying your Casita. I hope it gives you as many good memories as mine gave me. 🙂

  11. mike german on June 11, 2019 at 11:28 am

    Ah Becky you have the life….I am quite happy with mine but if I was going to be someone else I would be you…I always like reading your blog and looking at your pics. Also I have a camp in the high desert close to Meadview Az. It is about 10 miles from lake Mead and 10 miles from Grand Canyon West and quite a beautiful spot. It sits in the middle of the largest and most dense Joshua tree forest in the world with an amazing view of the Grand Wash Cliffs. There is plenty of room for your teardrop and you are welcome there anytime. I live in Vegas so I only get up there once in a while.

    • Becky on June 11, 2019 at 10:35 pm

      It’s good to hear from you Mike! I knew you lived in Vegas but I didn’t know about the camp near Meadview. Thank you very much for the offer and if I find myself in that area I’ll certainly drop you a line. 🙂 As always, thank you very much for sticking with IO all these years!

  12. Shredder on June 11, 2019 at 10:33 am

    Beautiful pictures. I enjoyed reading about your travels.

    • Becky on June 11, 2019 at 10:32 pm

      Thanks Shredder, glad to have you along.

  13. DJ on June 11, 2019 at 7:39 am

    Beautiful post, beautiful pictures. You are busy being you and you shine 🙂

    • Becky on June 11, 2019 at 10:31 pm

      Thanks DJ, glad you enjoyed this!

  14. Jerry Minchey on June 11, 2019 at 6:58 am

    Becky, I stored my motorhome and spent basically the same three months in Costa Rica that you were there, but we were in different parts. I spent most of my time up in the mountains at 4,500 feet elevation. I did get over to the beach a few times and to some of the areas you mentioned.

    I have been RVing full-time and blogging for the last seven years just like you. I had not realized it, but I was getting tired of writing the weekly blog. Spending time away from the rapid pace of living in the US was perfect for getting recharged. I’ll be spending at least three months in Costa Rica next year for sure.

    I enjoyed your comments about your feelings and the pictures were wonderful. I love your writing style.

    • Becky on June 11, 2019 at 10:30 pm

      Yes, we did leave and come back around the same time, didn’t we Jerry? I hope you enjoyed your time there as much as I did! I hardly got to see the mountains at all what with the busy volunteer schedule. I would like to go back to Costa Rica, if not this winter then the one after. And I’m hoping that when I do I’ll be able to afford to travel more this time. We’ll see!

  15. Doug on June 11, 2019 at 6:25 am

    The joy of your life is the freedom to do as you please: when, where or however. As for naysayers, “this is where the Cowboy rides away….”

    • Becky on June 11, 2019 at 10:26 pm

      So true Doug. Fortunately, the naysayers didn’t hang around long. They eventually figured out that I was going to continue living life on my own terms, and moved on.

  16. Yvonne Knowles on June 11, 2019 at 6:19 am

    I enjoy reading your writing and I’ll continue no matter how you travel or where you go! Go find adventure and enjoy life!! Yvonne

    • Becky on June 11, 2019 at 10:21 pm

      Aww, that’s so sweet of you to say Yvonne. Thank you for following along!

  17. Bev on June 11, 2019 at 6:15 am

    Your life is amazing . Your adventures, your life style, poi skills… Oh to be young again and follow your dreams! Thanks for sharing your adventures with a woman of “advanced years and a shortage of courage”.

    • Becky on June 11, 2019 at 10:21 pm

      I’m so glad you’re enjoying my blog Bev. And let me just say that adventures don’t have to require a lot of time, or courage, or youth. I hope IO inspires you get out and find your own adventures. 🙂

  18. Jodee Gravel on June 10, 2019 at 9:06 pm

    There’s an empowerment in your writing now that speaks to your international experience and your break from the “norm” you were living before. All the photos are stunning, how fun to add Harold’s pics to your story. Glad you’re back safely to what I suspect will be your temporary home in the states.

    • Becky on June 11, 2019 at 10:18 pm

      I feel like the quality of my articles is definitely influenced by how inspired I am at the time of writing. I can often push through and write even when I’m not really in the mood (and lets face it, blogging for seven years straight, it’s impossible to be in the mood all the time), but it’s so much easier when I am!

  19. Ron on June 10, 2019 at 6:59 pm

    And on to your next adventure if you get to Brainerd MN we have a place you can park for awhile and if interested even some landscaping / yard work for cash if interested.

    • Becky on June 11, 2019 at 10:14 pm

      Thanks for the offer Ron. We’ll see if I end up going past there.

  20. Sandy on June 10, 2019 at 6:06 pm

    Welcome back stateside! Great pics. Looks and sounds like you had a delightful experience.

    • Becky on June 11, 2019 at 10:13 pm

      Thanks Sandy! Yes I enjoyed Wild Sun very much. 🙂

  21. Rob on June 10, 2019 at 6:05 pm

    I read a blog, any blog because it’s educational or entertaining. I write a blog because I want to. Writing a blog is work, I’ve long thought people do it because they find it worthwhile (they want to…) or they are making money from it (it’s a job).
    As life goes on we do change, interests change, tastes change. No right or wrong to all that, it’s “us” just living our lives how we want to.

    • Becky on June 11, 2019 at 10:12 pm

      That sums up things quite well Rob!

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