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31,536,000 Seconds

525,600 Minutes.

8,760 hours.

52 weeks.

365 days.

Today is our 1 year Nomad-iversary! 

 

365 days ago, we pulled out of our driveway for the last time. Leaving one dream behind and starting a new one. Leaving behind “normal” and the comfort of everything we had built, into the complete unknown from one moment to the next.

Opting out FB cover Truck

 

Going back 21 months ago, we made a life changing decision. We can’t really pinpoint one exact moment. For us, it happened over a 9 day vacation which was our first in our marriage without our daughters. What were we doing with our lives? Where did we see ourselves in 10-20-30 years, now that we were empty nesters? Were we happy enough in our jobs living the status quo? What is this thing called life, and how do we achieve something that we believe would fulfill us? From the moment we met, “normal” wasn’t how we created life. Beautiful chaos is a better description.  (2 kids. Lover of rescuing animals. Moving countless times from state to state, and even a 3 year tour overseas. Military life is just that … Beautiful Chaos.) It’s amazing what can be discussed on an 11 mile hike (yes, in one day). We did 92 miles that week! I remember the day we got home from our vacation. So many things had been discussed in those prior days, but that day, we were both really quiet in our own thoughts about what had been somewhat decided in the last 9 days. Would we really do it? Would this just end up to be something we didn’t have the means to actually grab? Was this just a dream, or were we really going to do this? Sell our dream home, and live … wherever? As I sat in front of our old RV unpacking from our vacation, I wondered about everything. How would our daughters react? How would we financially survive? How would we be able to justify sinking over $100,000 in our dream home, only to turn around and sell it? We were definitely lost in our own thoughts that day. 

RRR1

It came down to this! It’s black and white. We can stay and do what we’ve been doing. Or we can make a change. If you make it more than that, you’ll kill yourself in thought. Yes, we lost a pile of money on our house. We thought we’d be there forever! But the money is already gone. So the choice is actually simple — we can stay and live in the house, or not. It was the same process with all our choices. The support of our daughters was the most important to us. And once we told them our plans, it was a sigh of relief. We had not told them our plans until we could put it into intelligent words (because at first it was a jumbled mess of crazy thoughts). 

We gave ourselves 2 years to sell 2 houses and hit the road.

NINE MONTHS LATER WE PULLED OUT OF THAT DRIVEWAY!

What a year it’s been!  BOOYA!!!!

How has this year changed us?

We now live life in a general direction. We plan only for tomorrow, and even then, it’s left open and flexible. We can choose to stay somewhere longer, or leave earlier. There is no schedule. We often get asked “where are you going next”. We never know how to respond. Sometimes we have an answer, but most times we don’t. It’s awesome! Our response is usually “we don’t know … wherever the road takes us”. Being present in the moment and appreciating that we are right here, right now is all that truly matters to us. This moment we are living right now, right here, today is all that is promised. Tomorrow is never promised. 

We have become better people. We have the time to give back, volunteer more and listen better. Don’t get me wrong, we were awesome people before, but struggled with finding the time between work and chores to give our time and our shoulder to people who needed it.

We have learned the “one in / one out” rule. We have always lived simply. And that’s not changed. But now we have to really think about new clothes, or shoes. We are limited on space, that makes it so much more simple. If we brought it with us, and haven’t used it in a certain amount of time, it’s donated (usually to our daughters who love our cool kitchen gadgets we just don’t use now). We don’t collect things anymore. We collect memories, moments, sunsets and sunrises.

We’ve become more social. We found our tribe! The people who lift us up and remind us who we really are. Our tribe is priceless to us! Our circle of friends will grow. But we’ve met more people in the last 12 months who are more genuine and accepting than any other time in our lives.

We eat when we’re hungry, and sleep when we’re tired. What a concept! 

do-your-thing-pic

Going against social norms is not something that everyone can accept or even wants to do. And that’s ok! The beauty of each of our lives is that each one of us gets to choose our own path. We said from the beginning that we will make memories and mistakes. It doesn’t matter what you choose to do in your life … just be fulfilled and happy about your choice. If you’re not … change it. It truly is just that simple. Now our fears have gone. Our biggest regret now is that we didn’t plan to do it sooner. 

Did you make a big change in your life? What was your aha moment? Seriously, we’d love to hear your aha moment … so leave a comment below and tell us!

 

 

34 thoughts on “31,536,000 Seconds”

  1. Congratulations on your one year anniversary! Amazing how fast it all goes and how many things you quickly figure out when you jump right in…. “of course everything will be ok!” “Of course we’ll be happy! “Of course we’ll make friends on the road!” It’s all so easy now, but when we pulled the trigger, it was all the great unknown. It definitely takes some courage, no doubt!

    We didn’t have one moment that decided it. It was just a series of realizations over time – about how nothing was guaranteed, about how short and unpredictable life was in general, about the kind of people we are, and the kinds of things that are important to us. Eventually, when we really thought about it, we realized we could do something different and it would all be ok. Even if it didn’t turn out the way we imagined, it would still all be ok. And that was what mattered.

    Anyway, it’s all been great and we are so glad we went for it. Some days it’s still hard to believe this is all real and this is our life. We’re always glad to see other like minded people out on the road. Anyway, congratulations! Hope year 2 is just as fantastic as Year 1!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wish I had that aha moment. I have not meet the means to do what you guys do. I am so looking forward to it someday. The more you all explore the more I wish I could throw my hands up and say screw it. Normal for me is a whole different kind of chaotic life. Lol. Well here’s the story. I’m currently 32 years old turning 33 in September. I currently live with my ma. Ten years ago my life was turned up side down. Growing up my grandparents had a small travel trailer. A Jayco j series at it would seam. They had four over twenty eight years. The j series, a 32 foot Jayco eagle, a 35 foot citation travel trailer, and the last was a 40 foot Breckinridge 8 wife park trailer. I spent just about ever summer weekend with them at the camper. Hung out did stuff with grandpa. Learned to golf. Got creative as a kid making campers out of big old boxes. Lol. Made a lot of friends back then. Well I was never a great student in school. But I worked had so I could simply go camping. I started to get close with my dad in teens. Working on the race car with him a lot. Then I use to split my weekends with my ma dad and sister at the drag strip and at the campground with grand ma and grandpa. We moved in 2000 to Arizona for medical reasons for my mom. She was diagnosed with Crohn’s back in 1995. She back then was the big money maker in the house. Almost six figures in the early 90s. After diagnosis she had to leave that job. That made one hose hold in come. But as u can figure we were still doing ok with them having the race car. O sure there were money issues. But we got through. About the time I hit high school my grades rocketed to the stars. High honors for a few years. High school went better than I could have ever imagined. Not the most popular but all the important things were clicking wonderfuly. I went to a local college and was studying to be a computer drafter for Jayco. Yes the Jayco name was still following me. Lol. Second year of collage my folks hit a hard wall in their marriage. My father was seeing another woman in Arizona while we were all living back in illinois. They went through a few yaars of trying to work it out. Anyways I graduated college not as well as high school but I still did better than not thought. While going to school I started cleaning campers for a dealer through college. After college my dad gave me a choice. I either accept a job from school drafting for a company in down town Chicago or move out. So being I could not afford that a have my two week notice and started drafting. Almost a year into it I started to feel this just was not working for me. All I could think about was Jayco and campers. So I turned in my notice again and went back to the dealer I was working for before. That was July of 07. November that year my folks separated legally but kept it quiet from us kids. In April my dad decided that he wanted as he put it to be with his family. That’s what he told all our neighbors and other folks in town. May of 08 he packed up all he could in his truck and a uhaul trailer and turned his back on us. Two days later I bought a 08 Jayco travel trailer. What a life saver she has been. I believe it helped us all get through the hardest time in our lives. We forgot about the trouble that we’re at home. Ma my sister and I became closer than before. Went threw a had life reality that same year. By that August I realized I did not make the kinda money my dad did and moms Crohn’s was at its worst. She spent almost every other week in the hospital. We’re in danger of loosing our house so I decided I need to step up. I left my job at the dealer again to become a over the road truck driver. The income would be very close to what we need to keep going till we could sell our house. Unfortunately the big promises never happened and I watched credit cards go up and bank balances go down. I actually spent two weeks out on the road and didn’t make more than about 300. 00. I quite that one after having no food for more than one week ish. I left that job and had no income. Young dumb kid. I sat at the kitchen table crying. Having no idea what I was going to do. My old boss worked out a short term deal to help me out and work for him off the books. And that spring brought me back full time. Still was not brought but we keep on. O we took in a few borders. To try and off set our lack of money. But it was no use. My sister took off and got married., Divorced and then married my brother in law of 7 years now. We converted him into an rver to. Well as it goes we lost the house. Did a fast sale. 2010 we moved out and lived with my aunt. We bounced around to Indiana and back and now back to Indiana. We have been here for four years now and live in the same place for three years. We still have the same camper. And my sister has two girls now. Lacy 7and Dallas 4. The light of all our lives. They take after their uncle. They love camping too. Lol. They moved back to Texas last year and this year they have got a home all their own. We plan on traveling to them with the camper and hope to at some point possibly winter there I hope. Thing are better now. We have purchased the mobile home we live in and are doing uhh ok. I work two jobs and pull in over time as much as possible. Mom and I still live together. I single still no special person for now. Just stopped looking. Never was lucky in that department. Lol. So I set my sights on other thing I want and work towards. Just paid off our camper two years early and plan on nocking off some other stuff faster. I found this style of life u all live from YouTube and stumbled on John and Laura Hebard from Hebard’s travels. After following them a while and helping them through the whole mess they had with encouragement and some rv advise for beginners lol. I have found a hand full of folks that I follow now and see all the beautiful places out there to visit and see. My hope is that I can do full time rving before my nieces get to big to hang with their uncle and nana. Lol. Get to show them what’s out their and learn somethings I’m sure school didn’t teach me.

    All in all we talk about it once and a while. The only thing holding us back is family and medical conditions. Grandma is about 84 now and had Dementia and has a hard time remembering what happened five minutes ago. Grandpa still just as stubborn but is slowing down quite a bit. They live comfortably but drives a small truck around the Chicago city limits and even down town some times. And works at a golf course mowing grass. They sold their camper four years ago. Just becoming to much for them to take care of even with my help. My aunt lives with them and works 70 hours a week and a awsome company that is extreamly helpful with the family situation. The only way I could hit the road full time now is if i hit the lottery. I need two or three RV’s. One class a for my grandparents, one for ma and I, one for my sister brother in law and nieces. Even if we can’t travel all at the same time together just being able to take off for a few weeks together. Camping or rving certainly brought the family together.

    This is my story. And I’m not ashamed of it or the life I live. I’ve learsnd to grow as an adult. And just plane do my best. My goals are set and I’m working towards them every day. Thanks for sharing your story. It certainly helps me to set and stay focused on the road ahead for my goal. U know I don’t even think I have told John and Laura this story. Lol. Well happy travels to you.

    Truly yours.
    Kevin.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kevin! You got this! “Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong.” As long as you belong with your Ma, do what you need to do, and just enjoy. I lost my mom in 2012 and I’d pretty much do anything to have her back for just 5 minutes!!! I miss her every single day! Hugs! Thanks for telling your story!

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  3. We’ve been on the road 15 months now, but haven’t quite experienced the freedom that you do. It’s a growth process. Congratulations, I hope we meet somewhere down the road.

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  4. How amazing you both are ! I am hoping to be hit by the “aha moment”. I jabe has a habit of “just jumping” in the past, but now I am older I am not quite sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Happy 1 year milestone guys. It’s Amazing how fast time goes by. Heading out Sat. To southeast visiting family and friends and then heading to Nova Scotia in June. Safe travels to you and hope to see you in the boonies.
    Mark and Lynda

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Congratulations! This sounds like such an amazing journey to self discovery and world exploration. You guys are so very brave and courageous for doing what many wouldn’t even dream to do.

    xo Sheree
    PoshClassyMom.com

    Liked by 1 person

  7. My husband and I fell in love with the idea of RV living back in 2007, we sold our home and floated around from rental to rental looking for a “happy place” until a health scare in 2016 woke us up at age 49. Kids all grown and gone, we decided nothing was holding us back, so we jumped!

    Financially it wasn’t an IDEAL situation but if you want something you find a way. Our jobs allowed us to telecommute so we sold off everything that we didn’t give to our kids and moved into ‘our brand new’ USED, so as to not go further in debt, RV. Yes we had just bought new furniture, which we donated to a church family in need. Take the losses, doesn’t matter in the end. It is what it is.

    We had previously owned a Class C and had a 5th Wheel for a while, now we’re in a Class A. You won’t know what works best for you until you try it. Even now we think smaller is better.

    Anyway, I eventually quit my job to reduce stress and we traveled Jan-Oct 2017 until my husband accepted a new position back in our home state which is an office job. We continue to be full time RVers, going with the flow taking advantage of reorganizing our finances and enjoying being around family/friends. The big social aspect of RV life is not our deal, we are more solitary and would be off in middle of nowhere if possible (on a 5 year plan to be financially free to do so) but we still feel the sense of community. Doing things our way and loving the feeling of the simple life, no “stuff” to tie us down. Not sure when or where we’ll go next, but life is good and we are free on our own accord.

    Those searching for answers on how to do it…..need to just do it. There is no wrong way, you need experience to decide what is right for your self. Having to work allows for less freedom but it’s doable. Needing to stay in places with electricity and where our wifi works, and parks without both RV and personal age restrictions and length/size restrictions that meet our budget. Working regular office hours also restricts you from visiting sites when less occupied. But…. We make our own paths in life in order to find happiness.

    However, with this being a growing trend….it is becoming increasingly more expensive and harder to get into places it seems to us. Wondering if others feel this way.
    Facebook Page – wejstgo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I loved this story! What an inspiration. You’re so spot on that there is no wrong way! We, personally, don’t find it hard at all to find places, but we don’t stay in campgrounds. We love to camp free in areas like BLM land where we can do that. We haven’t found them to be more crowded at all. To date, in 2018, we have been hooked up to a pedestal zero days. We have equipped our RV with solar, and love it. It allows us the freedom to really get out there, away from everyone, and the views are not of our neighbors slide or RV window. There are so many beautiful options. Everyone requires and wants something different, so it’s a matter of choices. Decisions. And what works for you personally. Thank you so much for sharing your story! I loved it!

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  8. Wow! This is truly inspiring! I’ve always thought about living the nomad life, but family life just seems to make it impossible! Your story has reignited that spark inside me.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I really enjoyed reading about your story. It makes me happy when people travel and go for their dreams! My boyfriend and I have already started saving for a gap year and it is going to be an amazing experience!

    Liked by 1 person

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