Like me, many of you probably embark on this adventure or dream of embarking on this journey looking for freedom. Freedom from the daily grind, freedom from your current life, freedom to explore and freedom to enjoy. I sought freedom of choice too. Freedom to explore my passion in this world, find a meaningful way to earn a living and live my life. Like many, I found myself in the same habits and patterns I had when living stationary. I knew there was something I was seeking but didn’t really take the time to truly explore myself and my inner issues.
So that is how I found myself 4 months into the journey with a new Airstream travel trailer. In case you aren’t aware, they are extremely expensive trailers, especially new. I was sure that’s what I needed to fix this unsettled feeling. The reality is, while I love my home, I am no closer to freedom. The combination of my car payment for my new truck and my RV payment for my new trailer is more than my mortgage on my home. So just as before I am still stuck. Yes I can move my home, but I can’t explore new jobs, new ways of life because I have these huge debts that tether me to my current employment.
My biggest advice to someone looking to start this journey, buy the trailer you can afford now. Whether that is 100% cash, or something you can easily pay off in a year. You will find as you travel that what you thought you wanted, where you thought you’d go and what you thought would make you happy is different then you realized. Leave yourself free to explore. It’s easy to upgrade or change your RV later when you know more about what you need and want. Please don’t delay your journey for years trying to save up enough money for the expensive RV you think you need. Go out, find what you can afford TODAY, and get started.
I would also recommend heading to the West coast first. You can find a lot of places to camp for free. These place can be remote or closer to towns. Either way it will help you to save money. I burnt through most of my savings in my first 6 months of travel on the East coast where it’s harder to find free parking spots that have good enough internet to work. Check out Campendium and FreeCampsites.Net for places to stay and reviews.
My other advice is to spend some time realizing why you want to journey. Is it the simplicity of the life, the exploration of the land, the opportunity to make new friends and build real connections? Or is it to escape your unhappiness? Maybe its all of these. For me, travelling is how I want to live my life, but I know that it will take more than an awesome view outside my window to be truly free and happy.
All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” – Martin Buber
Which brings me to my inner journey. I have been learning about mindfulness in a casual way over the last few years. I have decided that I will focus on practicing mindfulness so I can be more aware, more present and more focused. I believe this will help me in my inner journey greatly and will help me to break free from old routines and habits that don’t serve me and aren’t healthy. I watched a movie on Gaia.com called ‘The Mindfulness Movie‘ by Dr. Rick Handson. It was a good overview from various researchers, doctors and people on what mindfulness really means, how it can help transform your reactive patterns and some ways it’s being used in society today to make a difference. The movie showed a study of veterans with PTSD that have used this practice to make a real difference and I personally know someone with the disorder that found mindfulness to be very effective.
What shape my practice will take is yet to be determined, I have much to learn. I will update you in my next blog on camping near Lake Havasu and the progress I’ve made in my practice!