Why I Quit My Job To Travel For A Year
I thought I would share today, a story that I haven't shared before, and let you know how I got to be on this adventure and be able to travel like I am, in my minivan camper around the country.
My last day of work was April 4, 2021. But to understand, we should probably go further back.
Divorce. Mine was 13 years ago, but it was really the first piece to this puzzle. My spouse and I worked good jobs, both made good money, but we spent more than we made.
When we divorced, it was financially devastating, like it many times is. Makes sense, two households to support instead of one. Plus, I had quit my job as a marketing director and stepped into a position that paid a lot less so I could be there for the kids.
It upended our lives and we would never regain that standard of living, the kids and I.
We did without. And I didn’t make much money, but I always tried to make sure we were living within our means, not overspending.
Part of it necessity, part of it just soul searching, I knew I never wanted the kind of debt, the kind of spending I got into the habit of when we were married.
I wanted to prioritize what was truly important and cut out a bunch of that never really meant anything to begin with. We didn’t have a tv our first year, and we never again had cable tv. LOL
Another reason divorce was necessary to the story is because my ex husband would have never “let me” do this. Being on my own gives me a freedom I never had when I was married.
Some people do, and bless you! But it was never that way for me.
And the beginning of a much more minimalist approach to life.
Fast forward several years.
My dream was owning a tiny house.
As I did more research, I realized it probably wasn’t for me. There are too many issues with where to put them and regulations and on and on and on.
Then…the world changed in the spring of 2020 in ways we all know now (pandemic), and I found Bob Wells and Cheap RV Living on YouTube.
For the first time, I thought, I CAN DO THIS!
I’ve always wanted to live modestly and not have money worries. This seemed like my ticket!
Freedom to travel, and CHEAP! Sign me up!
Things are starting to fall into place.
One day, I look at my bank account and I realize. I have enough money saved that I could take off a whole year, travel back and forth from Kansas City, keep paying rent on our house for the kids, and actually make the numbers work.
My kids are 18 and 23. Youngest just graduated from high school. So, they need a place to live and they need their mom, but not like they did when they were young.
My kids, my number one priority in my life for 24 years, would be fine without me for a while. And I was asking myself, well then, what in the world do I really want?
Start where you are.
Use what you have.
Do what you can.
- Arthur Ashe
I started thinking seriously about this whole travel in a vehicle idea. I could do it for not much money if I was willing to use a minivan.
The wheels are really turning at this point, but there are still several other things that had to fall into place before I’d be willing to take this big a risk.
One thing that helped was that I was “underemployed.” That’s what I called it anyway. I wasn’t making much money at all. I was working a basically entry level position and this job could be easily replaced if needed.
There was freedom in that.
So, if I quit my job, traveled for a year, then needed to get another job, it probably wouldn’t be very difficult to replace the income. Whew! What a relief.
Also, I didn’t love my job anymore. And dreading going to work is no way for anyone to live. It was time to leave, even if I didn’t do the travel in a van thing.
My job entailed talking to people every day who were in crisis. Every day, speaking to people who had their lives or the lives of loved ones challenged drastically. They were facing a terminal diagnosis, or an eviction, job loss, losing a loved one - these were the kids of things I’d talk with them about every single day.
It truly drove home the idea that…TOMORROW IS NEVER PROMISED.
ALL WE TRULY HAVE IS NOW.
If not now, when?
I’m 52 years old.
What am I waiting for, retirement? Who am I kidding?
I can’t make it that long to do what I really want to do.
Here are the last two things that I realized and they are big.
My dad was 52 years old when he had a heart attack and then went through a quadruple by-pass surgery. He lived to be 67 and passed several years ago.
His mom, my grandmother, (I never met her.) she had a massive heart attack at 52 and didn’t survive it.
The universe gives us signs. I truly believe that. I know it.
And the signs were very clear.
Time to live the life you’ve dreamt about.
Time to follow your intuition and have the guts to risk and to fail rather than not try at all.
Now is the time.
So, here I am.
Writing about this journey.
Thanks for being here!