After our trip to Worlds of Fun, we checked out of the RV park there and drove across the street to Waffle House. My wife loves Waffle House but we don’t have one in Omaha so we stop at one every time we travel out of town. We had to park in the side parking lot and take up the whole parking area. Our waitress, Alicia, just loved the RV and asked us all kinds of questions. She talked about getting an RV like ours and it seemed like she had a dream of travelling the U.S. She was busy so we didn’t really talk, but if we had time here’s some advice I would give her.
Determine If It’s a Goal or Just a Dream
What’s the difference between a goal and a dream? A goal is a dream with a deadline. The one thing that dooms people from following their dreams is when they end it with, “one day.” I want to travel one day. I want to live overseas one day. Saying things like that is pretty much saying it’s nice but not important enough to follow up on. Set a deadline and you are on your way. We talked to her in June and she could be on the road the next summer or even sooner.
Set A Deadline and Sub Goals
Let’s say she wants to be on the road by next Labor Day. She’ll need to have her trailer or whatever by the spring so she can have time to practice and get to know it. That means she’ll need to have the money to purchase it. She’ll have to determine where that money is coming from. Some ideas are to work a second job, work extra hours at the job she’s at, start a side hustle and have a yard sale to get rid of things she won’t need on the road. Funnel all extra money like birthday money, Christmas money and tax refunds to the travel fund.
A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words
Print off a picture of an RV — any RV. Print off a picture of the beach, Mount Rushmore or whatever she wants to visit. And write down her deadline: “I will be on the road by Labor Day, 2016”. Put them somewhere that she will see them every day. Something like the dresser mirror or the front door so she sees it each time she leaves the house.
Objections Are Just Problems to Be Solved
There will no doubt be plenty of doubts to pop into her head. Some of them will come from her and some will come from friends and family. Most people will let these derail their dreams. Instead, take them on as challenges. When she hears fears like how safe it is for a single woman to be on the road, or what about getting into an accident, how will she afford to live on the road, she’ll be using a lot of gas, it’s an opportunity to learn. Lean on the community and get answers.
Do Some Research
She really liked Cousin Eddy but he’s 31 feet long and gets some poor mileage. For one person that’s a lot of RV. There are lots of options available and by taking the time to do some research she can come up with something that fits her needs. She could go with a full size van converted to do camping; a true camping van Class B; tow a small trailer; get a pickup with a truck camper; or use a full size van to pull a small travel trailer.
RVers are the most helpful people out there, hands down. Go tent camping and chat up some RVers. They’ll show her how things work, what to expect, how to fix things and show her ways to do what she wants to do. Go to RV shows. Kansas City has a big one in March. And since there’s this handy thing called the Internet, ask questions of Google and YouTube. Find some bloggers you like (ahem) and subscribe. How to watch TV? How do you get Internet? What about phone service everywhere? Health insurance while on the road? Banking? How do you make coffee?
Come Up with a Plan
Alicia no doubt has some plans for her travel. She might want to visit some national parks, the beach, southern California or New York City. If she wants to be on the road full time she doesn’t need to come up with a timeline for every destination. It’s a lifestyle, not a vacation. That’s an important point. It’s a lifestyle. It’s not vacation. She can take her time to get to each place. Since she’s a waitress she can get a job just about anywhere she visits. She can look into working as a camp host, start an online business or work temporary jobs like the Amazon fulfillment center for Christmas. Come up with a budget and travel slow. She can use less gas traveling than she does while living in town.
She could get to travelling while she still has a job. I assume she drives a small car or pickup. She could buy a teardrop trailer or even a motorcycle trailer and do some weekend trips. Start with trips to state parks nearby and work out the details of how she wants to camp. If she forgot anything it’s not a big deal to drive to a store or just do without.
Just Do It
Make a decision *today* to do it. She doesn’t need to have all the answers right now. She just needs the determination to achieve her goal. And so do you.