Travel with a 40 foot 5th wheel is always an adventure but 2018 was full of extreme highs and lows and even almost signaled the end of our travels. Luckily, obstacles were overcome, lessons learned and fun was had. I want to start with 5 of the lessons learned, there were more, but 5 seams manageable for this post.
So let’s begin with a little back history; 2018 was actually the second year traveling and the 4th year of living in a “unconventional home”, or recreational vehicle. If I had to sum it up, 2017 would have been about embracing newly discovered family and 2018 was more of an emotional roller coaster.
2018 started with a trip to Florida, one of my favorite places to spend several weeks of the winter months. It was also a chance to do some treasure hunting which is what most of January was dedicated to. I was starting to embrace the life of a gypsy treasure hunter and it felt good. No more bullying, office drama, dreading mornings, stress induced illness or impossible expectations. Becoming your own boss can be stressful too but it is a good stress. I now call the shots and control the direction taken. Outcomes are a direct result of my efforts. I like knowing that my ideas and hard work will come back to me, not line someone else’s pockets or be stolen to make someone else look good. So that brings us to lesson 1;
Lesson 1: If you are not happy in your current situation do something about it! I have worked beside so many people who dreaded coming to work, they would complain and say I need to go job hunting but never take action. Only you can change the path that you are on. Even baby steps count, but take no steps at all and you might as well stop complaining about a situation that you are not willing to change.
2018 was the year to take what I had studied and learned and work to create a business that would sustain a life on the road. A life that would take me treasure hunting and discovering the country. Exciting and a little scary, but I had done scary many times before, so I felt ready. Little did I know how much this would be the year to test my newly found convictions.
Lesson 2: Have a plan, backup plan, and a backup to the back up plan. Life on the road is all about flexibility and rolling with the punches. Things don’t always go as planned with travel or in building a business so you have to be prepared as much as possible.
We had 2 truck breakdowns and one RV insurance claim for damage suffered in a construction zone in 2018. To say the stress was at an all time high would barely cover it. Each time we over came unforeseen hazards because we had a financial cushion and emergency plans to fall back on. This really saved us when the insurance claim was initially denied and we had to cover repairs to get back on the road. Thank goodness for emergency funds!
Lesson 3: Self care really matters especially when life gets crazy. Often times when things get piled up on our plate we take off the very things that will give nourish us and provide the strength needed to push forward. Things like exercise, a good diet, getting enough sleep are let go as less urgent, to do later, whenever that is. Stress is a killer and you have to balance it out with relaxation and a little pampering from time to time. I do my best to go on walks with my puppy and schedule a massage 1-2 times a month.
Lesson 4: Time with family (and friends) should be a priority and deliberately planned for. For the first time we were able to take our grand daughters on a road trip. While a little rough at times, yes sisters squabble, it was an amazing time that none of us will ever forget. We traveled the four corner states and experienced many adventures together. Life has become quite busy since starting life on the road and it would have been easy to put it off. I am happy that we decided to make this a priority and make it happen now rather than later.
You see I have learned that you never know if later will be an option. I found this out a few months prior when a close friend passed away unexpectedly. We had plans to do things later… like a trip to Mardi Gras, attend a friends wedding, dinner together soon. In a moments time, all these plans were no longer available. Life is short, take action, make memories now, not just plans for some day.
Lesson 5: Keep learning and invest in yourself. 2018 was my first time attending eBay Open, a conference for those who resell on the platform. The event was full of networking opportunities, short training sessions and resource booths showcasing tools and services to help grow your business. The investment of time and money was well worth it. My business has doubled and I am feeling more confident in doing what needs to be done.
Learning new skills to help me grow and profit is exciting and an investment in my future. Being around others who have achieved success in their business helped me to see the possibilities. The enthusiasm is contagious and the connections I made enable me to keep pushing forward to achieve what at times seems to be the impossible. Investing in yourself pays back many times over. So I keep learning and growing in anticipation for what the future holds.
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