Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Career Break Plan

You share a lot of history when a friendship goes back for over 35 years. That's me and Val. High school classmates, college roommates, married to guys named "Ed", holidays together at Indian Lake, and phone calls whenever the day spares a moment. At long last, she came to visit me at my Texas home and sat with me on my squeaky porch swing. In one of those heart-to-heart conversations, she asked, "Why do you want to give this up?" By contrast, Val and her Ed will be moving to Georgia and settling in a big 4- bedroom house with a 3-car garage; my Ed and I will be settling into the 40' x 8' motor coach.

I responded by handing her the Lonely Planet book The Career Break Book: Swap your briefcase for a passport and live your dream. I reminded Val of the sense of freedom and spirit of adventure that we had in our youth before all the responsibilities caught up with us. I told her that I want to recapture that feeling and the book in my hand gives practical advice on how to move in that direction.

I went on to remind Val that plenty of times in my life, I set out on a course that I could not foresee the outcome - parenthood for one. What did I, an only child, know about raising kids? Some how I managed. Writing a grant use to scare me. Did I ever think I could raise millions of dollars for charity through grant writing? No, but I did! The same is true with the adventure of living in the RV and traveling. It's a path to follow and one that I can change if things don't feel right after awhile. It's an opportunity to seize now or never because "someday" never comes.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Getting Ready to Go Full-time RVing

The week before Halloween, I stopped at a pumpkin patch in Chandler, Arizona to buy a pumpkin for a friend that I planned to visit. The lady managing the tented site, approached me from her RV parked nearby. After picking the biggest pumpkin with the perfect shape for carving a jack-o-lantern, I asked about her lifestyle and travels. She told me that she and her husband live aboard the coach and travel around picking up seasonal work like selling pumpkins. "What fun!" I thought as I wobbled on the black high shoes that I'd been wearing for over eight hours since my 7:30 AM business meeting and as I tried not to get pumpkin dirt on my Kasper suit. She shared that the hardest thing about going fulltime was getting rid of things too impractical for the couple's new lifestyle. She told me that she gave keepsakes to her children to hold, probably forever, and the rest she sold at her yard sales that went on week-after-week. I could empathize. I have filled two of the four packing trunks so far to store at Mom's house unless she violently protests. And, the storage shed is beginning to brim full with my garage sale items that only a Saturday morning, crack-of-dawn garager would want.