The reason human beings exist is because of their ability to evolve and adapt to change. Change is not comfortable. Change is not convenient. Change is not always affordable, nor is it always in our best interest. It is just what it is…inevitable. Embrace change.
Change: the act or instance of making or becoming different
Like the changes of the seasons, the tides, and the weather, we are all continuously exposed to change to one degree or another. Some choose to temper these changes with a more static life style, while others fully engage a much more dynamic one. To be clear, I do not insinuate that one is better than the other.
Different strokes for different folks:
When I use the terms static and dynamic, I am speaking more of a mind set and the actions associated with it. Some people who own homes in small towns may live quite dynamic lives: Emergency Room doctors, police, or weekend adventurers. Likewise, someone who might be thought of as “adventurous” or living a “dynamic” life may be just living in the desert in a van out of necessity and rarely ventures beyond their established campsite. Also, some people will only eat at a Denny’s or McDonald’s while traveling, while others are always searching for new culinary experiences. All of these traits are hardwired into out psyche. One thing is for certain, change effects everyone differently.
Two peas in a pod:
Luckily, Marvy and I come from similar backgrounds of being fiercely independent and with the love of new adventures. Even though we were settled for about 12 years while raising our son, we also owned two different homes, lived in four states, traveled all around the Country, and were always meeting new friends along the way. Five years ago, we sold almost everything we owned. I quit my work in Sales and we moved to Mexico. I created a new career teaching English via Skype to students all over the world. And though I only earn about 1/10 of what I made in the States, we have learned to live simply while living and traveling throughout Mexico.
The travel bug bites again:
We live in “Paradise.” Puerto Vallarta is nestled between the foot of the Sierra Madre mountains and the coastal waters of Banderas Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The problem for us is that after living in “Paradise” day after day, month after month, year after year, it stops becoming paradise. When you are addicted to change, “Paradise” takes on an entirely different meaning. So once again, we are about to sell everything we own and fly back to the USA and buy a van to live in. We do not know anyone where we are going, we will not have a place to stay, we will have absolutely nothing but an extremely modest savings (From me working seven days a week for the last 8 months) along with our sense of adventure and our desire for change. Marvy and I have re-invented ourselves and our life style several times during our 20 years together. There are certainly positive and negative impacts on such lifestyle changes.
The Positives and the Negatives
Financial-emotional loss. Nobody really talks about this, but when you make a major change, it means getting rid of a lot of materialistic things. We usually end up taking a loss on the stuff we sell. We also lose all the work and love that goes into it. In Texas, I had about $8,000 worth of landscaping and years of hard labor put into the back yard. None of which is a factor when your house is put onto the market. Most of all things you have accumulated over the years must be sold or stored. And if you have no place to store them, then must be sold despite their emotional value.
The Unknown. It is natural for people to fear what they do not know, but I look at this only one way: Risk-Payoff. In other words, when you make a major lifestyle change what are you afraid of? Are your fears realistic? What is the probability of your fears becoming a reality? And finally, so what? Are you going to die a slow torturous death? Will you be locked into a slave labor force in some Third World County? I would wager that 99.999% of the time your fears are really not this bad. So the question is are they worth the rewards of all the great things that can happen with change? Risk-Payoff. It is also amazing how a little bit of research eliminates 90% of your fears….that is…if you want your fears to be eliminated. If not, see “Static Lifestyle.”
The American Dream. White picket fences, new car loans, two-week vacations only go so far until the next dot.com crash, housing market fiasco, or a multitude of other things out of your control will happen to you. Also, The Greatest Fallacy In America Is Job Security! Let me repeat:
“The Greatest Fallacy In America Is Job Security!”
I cannot tell you how many friends I have known who have passed up amazing life changing adventures because they didn’t want to lose their job, only to be fired or laid-off shortly there-after. So, a big negative is that you may have to quit your job.
You can be whoever you want! Think of it, no dress code, no pressure to act or behave in a certain way. Sleep in, wake up, go to bed whenever you want. If you have a nosey, loud, or drunk neighbor, you can just start your vehicle and drive away. It’s not like you own a home and have to deal with the jerk in the house next to you for 20 years. Learn guitar, painting, mushroom hunting, or just sit and watch the sunset every night on the prairie. Once you experience the benefits of change, you learn the freedom of defining yourself and not through others.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! Lifestyle changes are not easy. But this is part of the appeal. Fall asleep in your RV or Van in the middle of an all-night thunder and wind storm. Get lost and spend hours trying to get back to where you know you are going. Find yourself in very uncomfortable situations, then in a short time realize that things have a way of working themselves out. The biggest challenges you will face with change will simply be your own fears.
Meet new people and develop new friends! Traveling certainly gives you an immense opportunity to meet new people. Again, there are a lot of crazy whacked-out people in the world, but you certainly can weed through them to find the good ones, and traveling gives you the best opportunities to do so. We are social creatures. As I get older I have a tendency to enjoy more time alone, yet the idea of sitting around a campfire with a bunch of strangers in the desert just getting to know each other seems like a much better way to spend an evening that sitting in my living room watching Netflix. Another thing about change and specifically being on the road, is that you honestly get to see the good in people. Yes, there will always be the thieves, rude property owners, and the same judgmental strangers anyone can run into in their daily lives, but you also will see the people who stop and help you if you are broken down on the side of the road, will stop and just want to strike up a conversation. Not to mention you will discover more of the same goodness within yourself.