Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain
Have you ever been faced with making a life-changing decision, and found that circumstances and coincidences present the answers to your questions almost before you’ve asked them?
I’ve found this to be true more than once in my life–when changing jobs, moving across the country, marrying the love of my life. Every time I was faced with a huge opportunity to make my life better, I would start to ask those questions: How will this work? Can I do this? Is it worth the risk? What if I fail?
And every time, the answers to those questions just appeared at the right time. Sometimes it would be a book, sometimes a friend’s advice, sometimes a television documentary, sometimes just a passing comment from a stranger. Those fleeting bits of advice or voices of experience would provide answers to my questions, along with the courage and confidence to make those leaps of faith into the unknown.
Andy and I have dreamed of becoming full-time RVers for almost twenty-five years, since right after we got married. Our original plan had been to wait until I hit full retirement age for Social Security, but this year we asked ourselves the question, “Can we do this earlier? Do we really need to wait eight more years?”
And suddenly we were being inundated with green lights from the Universe. We found a huge community of full-time RVers of all ages on YouTube, all documenting their travels and providing a wealth of information and advice on living the RV lifestyle.
I contacted my investment advisor only to talk about rebalancing my portfolio of retirement accounts, and he suggested doing some retirement planning. So Andy and I told him of our dream and asked whether it would be feasible to move up the schedule. He ran the numbers and said, absolutely it was possible, that it should not be a problem based on our lifestyle and ages. Another green light!
We had never actually met anyone who was a full-time RVer…..that is, until we made the decision to actually pull the trigger. And now in the past few weeks, they seem to be coming out of the woodwork.
First we met a couple from Buffalo, New York who stopped by our booth at the Oxford Makers Market where Andy sells his handmade silver jewelry. This wonderful couple regaled us with stories from their travels, and were so excited about the lifestyle they were living.
“Any regrets?”, we asked.
“Absolutely not!”, they both said. “Don’t put it off, just go for it!”
Then today, again at the Oxford Makers Market, we met a sweet older lady who just happened to mention that she had been a full-time RVer. Of course our ears perked up, and soon we were listening to her stories. She and her husband (who sadly passed away last December) spent thirteen years on the road, starting out in a Class C, and trading RVs six times for a total of seven rigs over their full-timing journey, including travel trailers, fifth wheels, and concluding with a Class A. She had us in stitches as she recounted the story of her husband getting drenched when the sewer hose wasn’t fastened securely when dumping the black tank. She gave us advice about what to look for in a rig, and she gave us confidence that we, too, can learn to tow a trailer behind a large pickup truck.
“Any regrets?”, we asked.
“Absolutely not!”, she said. “If I could find a rig I could afford, I would go out on my own right now!”
As with any dream, it’s easy to find excuses to just accept the status quo and stay put. But I’ve known or heard about too many people who put off their dreams for too long, and then passed away just weeks after “retiring”. When the Universe tells you it’s time to act, don’t wait! Open your heart, your ears, your eyes, and pay attention to those signposts leading you onward.
Of course there will be challenges to be overcome. Of course there will be new things to learn. Of course there will be times when you wonder if you’re on the right path.
But I’d rather face the end of my life with mind full of wonderful memories than a heart full of regret for all the chances I never took.
Our dream, our goal, our plan is to be full-time RVers by the end of 2018. To reach that goal, we have a lot to do, but we’re already on our way. And every time one of those voices from the Universe speaks up, we know we’re on the right path.