Travel is one of the best ways to reignite enjoyment in life. It can also spark your creativity and new ways to make a living.
We keep being told that Freedom 55 has turned into Freedom 85. So, why not earn while you travel and stop worrying you haven’t saved enough to retire?
Many Boomers are heading down the open road in an RV. Melissa Dafnis, the host of Your RV Dream Online Summit, asked long-term RVers how they manage to save and make money while they travel and live a life of freedom and adventure.
Notes from Your RV Dream Summit
Kathy & Rich Shute ( TrekWithUs )
Kathy and Rich chose a full-time RV lifestyle after both being laid off in 2008. At that time, they had a big house, fancy cars and debt. They wanted to travel but also wanted the comforts of home. For the first 18 months, they tested the feasibility of this lifestyle close to their original home. They wanted to make sure that working out of their RV was doable. They discovered they never need to retire, they can take their work with them while they visit friends and family and are able to spend lots of time in nature. They also love giving up the freeway commute to and from work.
The RV community is a wonderful, supportive community of people who love freedom and adventure. Their mission is to help folks break out of enduring a soul-crushing life until you retire. They want to inform, educate and inspire others to get more out of life and not be broken by the economic system. Their lifestyle has strengthened their sense of independence.
On their website, they share RV upgrades and how to make a living on the road. They warn people to be prepared to reinvent your whole life. It helps to be a handyman so you can do your own repair and be prepared for internet problems. They find Verizon usually works well for them and suggest researching parks ahead of time to discover where the hotspots are for connection. They suggest setting up your workalike income in advance.
Their favourite destinations include Utah, Bend, Oregon, Upper Washington State, British Columbia, the California Coast and Wine Country, Vermont and the Florida Keys – where they kayaked with manatees. They tend to stay about three to four weeks in each location and find 1000 Trails to be a cost-effective membership.
Advice to others is to not let fear hold you back. Start part-time and live your dreams.
Jill Sessa ( VespaAndaLaptop )
Jill describes herself as a Digital Nomad who travels with her dogs in a small 1973 RV. She’s been living and working on the road for the past four years.
When Hurricane Sandy hit on her 40th birthday, it created a midlife crisis. She was spending too much money on rent and not enjoying the location. Jill decided to begin by exploring Route 66 and was happy to discover the positivity she saw on the road was so different from the negativity she had left behind.
She has the freedom to move at will and likes her small and nimble RV because it can go anywhere. She boondocks for three weeks at a time with no need to pay camp fees. She has her entire life with her at all times and she has a deep sense of contentment living on the road. She can set her own hours – work 18 hours one day and kayak for 9 hours the next day. She is able to define her days for herself and enjoys not being bound by the decisions of others.
Jill says her annual expenses now equal her former monthly expenses and that feels very freeing for her. As a Digital Nomad, she makes her living online. She maintains websites and uses screen-share with clients. She can almost replicate her former desk job and there’s little difference to the customer – although she admits that some days she would rather be kayaking than working.
She loves the vibrance of seeing people continuing to learn as they age. She finds happy people in their 80s are still out exploring. She says to understand that you can be afraid about the unknown and still go travel. You can learn as you go and ask for help when you need it. She reminds herself that a mundane day in an RV beats a mundane day in her old life.