About Me

Me in March 2019 at my nephew’s wedding, held on the edge of Saguaro National Park.

Updated as of November 2020:

If you have a dream, you have to do more than just think about it. Take at least one small step toward it every day. That’s my philosophy.

I’ve always been one of those folks who researches everything before they do it, or decide to buy something. So, of course, it would take me a long time to figure out what to do with my life. Even now, at age 48 (yep, I just had a birthday), I’m still figuring it out.  Luckily for me, I have The Herd to provide me with unconditional support and love (as long as I keep on feeding them!)

This blog is about figuring out what your dreams are, chasing them, making mistakes while chasing them, and learning from the journey.  I have dreams of financial independence, living simply, remaining physically fit, and being a greatly contributing member of society.  I’ve made what some people might consider to be “mistakes” over the years, but am now choosing to view as “course corrections” or “pivots.”  Some choices weren’t the smartest financially (understatement of the year), but have taught me about myself and I find that to be extremely valuable in ways that can’t be translated into money.

Figuring out your dreams isn’t easy. Determining how to chase them isn’t easy, especially when there are so many others out there that are afraid for you, or don’t want you to change.  It takes a lot of work, internally and externally, as well as motivation, to follow your heart and do what makes you happy.  This blog is just one tool that I use to listen to my heart, and I hope it will help you do the same.

Thank you so much for reading this page, and I hope you will stick around and read more, and if you like what you see, or have a suggestion or comment, please drop me a line!

58 thoughts on “About Me

    • Thank you! I’m trying my best to stay focused. I try to pick one or two things a day to focus on, but it doesn’t always work out. It doesn’t help that my full time job is one where being interrupted is totally the norm and expected, as a matter of service.

    • Thank you! Btw, I saw you are working with Project Walk. I’ve heard about them – they used to be here in the Northeast and they get really good reviews around here. I really hope that the time you spend with them is valuable.

      • ah yes, my visit there in 2006 changed my recovery process immensely. i have returned there every summer since then too. where are you located? the heaquarters is in carlsbad, CA. and now one is opened here in orlando, FL that i visit weekly.

      • Hi Robert, I’m in Boston. I wish there was a way that treatment with places like them could be covered with some sort of insurance. I mean, if you (speaking “you” in the general sense) are needing their services, you obviously have a lot of other medical costs to worry about. It shouldn’t be considered as something that is optional, health-care wise. (Sorry for the delay in my responding, I didn’t see your reply back to me until now!)

      • Ah I see. Yup, I agree with you 100%. The amount I pay for the hours of therapy equals the price most pay for a years membership at a gym :\. That’s OK, plus I’m late now too right 😉

      • Ha ha ha, yes, you are late too! 🙂 I honestly can’t believe that that is how expensive that kind of therapy is. I mean, I know you have the services of many people working with you as the patient, but it’s just one more thing on top of so many other expenses. (Sorry, I know I’m preaching to the choir here.) There are so many changes I want to make or see happen in this world. Will the new healthcare laws help you or make things worse for you?

      • ha, yes but i always try to make it a point to respond regardless. you speak the truth. i guess the costs are so high because it is so specialized and because insurance doesn’t cover it :/. right there with you, i think as long as we try it will cause a change even it is a small one. eh, they won’t really effect me either way that i know of.

      • I can totally appreciate that – the trying to respond to everyone’s comments. It’s actually how I have made some really good friends over the past 6 years (I used to blog before at http://tgorourke.wordpress.com, and then stopped for a few years.) You just sort of connect with some people online, you know? And for what it’s worth, I really think that your type of rehabilitative therapy SHOULD be covered by insurance!

      • seems like life is keeping me more and more busy to do that but that’s not entirely a bad thing :). oh cool, well i’m glad you chose to come back. i know exactly what you mean. my real life friends sometimes don’t understand this concept. ha, me too dear. maybe one day they will when research gives them enough proof that it works.

      • Aw, why thank you! Yes, some of my friends who used to read my old blog were like “yay, you’re back!” Have you met some of your online friends in person at one point? It’s pretty cool when you do because you feel like you already know them so well. What’s weird (but fun) is when you hear their voices for the first time. 🙂 (For me, it wasn’t my real life friends who didn’t understand but my now ex-husband.) But it’s important to also keep a balance between your online and non-online life too.

    • Yes!! I absolutely loved that book! He went without so much and really showed me how you can live with very little and be really happy. I think it might have been part of reading his book that got me to thinking of living in a motorhome, actually! That was an AWESOME book!

  • Terry, I’m so glad I met you, you are doing everything right. If you find a few spare minutes in your life try to find the furled sails podcast I think its #131 and #132 they do an interview with these guys http://triloboats.blogspot.com On the front it looks like a sailing page but its much more, also see their http://teotwurbulence.blogspot.com. The freedom you seek is a very admirable quality and the fact that you are willing to work so hard at puts your journal at the top of my list. My dream would be to live and sail the warmest months of the year and then hole up for the winter in a tiny home to focus on writing and film editing, here is some eye candy.http://dornob.com/living-in-a-van-rustic-cozy-converted-campers/#axzz2zudxfdfo Allan

    • I’m listening to the podcast right now (part 1), thank you. These people sound so happy.

      Having lived my whole life so far in the northeast, I can say, I’m done with the cold weather. I would love to have a tiny house somewhere where it doesn’t get snow. I can understand your wanting to be on the water – I’ve always been drawn to it. I can sit along the ocean and look at it for hours and not realize how much time has passed by.

      I guess I’m willing to do so much because I feel like over the past few years, I’ve really “woken up” to who I really am or who I want to be. I used to just go through life doing everything that everyone else does, never thinking it was ok to be different.

      Oh, and about that eye candy page, my reaction was “GET OUT! THAT’S A VAN??!!”

  • Hi Terri, I am nominating you for the Liebster Award.

The Liebster Award is awarded to bloggers with under 200 followers to try to promote their blog.The rules of the competition are:

    The nominate must provide a link to the person who nominated them.
This is my link: http://teandpaper.com/2014/04/27/liebster-award-nomination/
    Provide 11 facts about yourself.

    Answer 11 questions set by the person who nominated you.
Choose 11 more people and ask them 11 questions.

    You do such good work, have fun!

  • Thanks for mentioning your blog, I have only started to read it but just had to stop and post a comment. It is impressive to read something so open and honest. It is inspirational for those who may not have the strength. It is great to self evaluate and reflect but very brave to also put it all there. I look forward to going through your insights to which I can totally relate.

    • Thank you so much for saying that, it is very kind of you. I have found the candor in your videos refreshing as well. And yes, sometimes I find it therapeutic to write certain posts, although sometimes I hover a bit over that “submit” button, wondering “should I really put this out there?” I have also found my posts that are the most open seem to be the ones people relate to the best. So I try to be as me, or as authentic, as possible.

  • WOW! I just read your comment posted on Becky’s blog IO, then I decided to check out your blog.
    It seems that everything that you are interested in or are doing, I have either done or am looking into.
    Ok so I am $250 away from being debt free, I workamped at a National park and am now going to be workamping at Amazon in Fernley Nevada in October. I am excited about that because hopefully I will get to meet Becky (IO) there. I purchased a 1998 class a 26 foot motorhome and paid cash. About 2 years ago I took a motorcycle safety class so I could ride a scooter here in California, more about that later as I no longer have the scooter, it was a 180cc Aprilia.
    maybe if you have any questions I would certainly be willing to answer as I went through 2 years of researching all I have done to this point.
    Ok about the scooter, I may get one again but after a lady decided to transfer lanes right into me, well I ended up in the hospital for 5 days, 2 broken ribs, a messed up knee and some inner ear damage. I am by no means trying to change your mind. I would get a scooter again and probably carry it on the back of my motorhome and use it in areas with less traffic.
    For now I am pulling my Honda CRV behind the MH.
    So I was just amazed at how I have gone through some of what your interests are, oh yeah i was also looking into getting an electric bike, thats on hold for now…


    • Roger, thank you so so so so much for writing me!! Wow that is all too funny. 🙂 congrats on your being so close to debt free, that is awesome! I wish that was as close as I was, sigh….

      I am a bit nervous too about riding the scooter. I am thinking to also ride it in places where there isn’t so much traffic when I’m on the road. And if the weather is crappy, well then I just drive the MH. I was planning on getting it here while in Boston because I figure if I can keep my wits about me here on the scooter, I should be good to go. We have some of THe rudest drivers in Boston.

      What national park did you workamp in? And can I ask what you did and what it paid? I joine the amazon Facebook group, you might want to check it out if you haven’t yet.

      Do you have pets also? That’s why I would choose the MH over the travel trailer like Becky has because I LOvE the casitas, otherwise.

      • Hi Terri,
        I was working at Sequoia National park, working at a market as a clerk, stocking and as a cashier. The pay was not very good $8.00/hr. But the scenery made up for it. As far as pets, do not have any, would love to have one but working 10 hours a day leaving them in the mh, well I could not do that. Eventually I will get one. When I was married I did Chihuahua rescue for 10 years.


      • Roger, have any of your workamping situations paid any more per hour than that, other than Amazon? I just ask because even if I meet my goal of having my LAL student loan paid off by next year, I will still owe about 98K and the smallest payment I can make per month on those is $538. I guess I would have to get some other form of employment at the same time too. I can only imagine what that scenery looked like though – wow!!

        Please don’t think less of me, but I do have pets and I am working full time now, along with a part-time job as well. I have five cats and a mostly blind, 12 year old chihuahua. If you search my blog and look for “Osito” you’ll see the many, many pictures I have of her as well as of all my animals! 🙂 She does sleep a lot during the day, that I know. And I wouldn’t mind leaving my MH during the day and running the AC for them. I do that now in my apartment. I don’t mind paying the AC bill as long as me and my animals are comfy. I can’t imagine my life without them!

  • Terri,
    Since you already have animals, you gotta do what you have to do. I don’t think less of you, after all you obviously take very good care of your babies. it is just that since I don’t have any animals I’m going to wait. I once rescued an old Chihuahua, her first night with us after seeing the vet and him working on her major tooth infection her eye exploded while she was in bed with us, needless to say she lost the eye.
    So I know what it means to keep them comfy, and happy and it sounds like you do both. It is too bad you have to work so much, it sounds like you work hard. Sorry you have to, but the rewards are great, I know I was thrilled when I paid off my student loans.
    i will check out he pics of your animals, after my divorce my ex kept all our animals, and I do miss them…all 5 of them.

    • Oh man, Roger, that is rough. With my divorce, I got the cats, and for a while, visitation rights with my yellow lab who remained with her dad (she was kind of “his” dog anyway) but since we have stopped communication at his request, I haven’t seen her and I definitely miss her a ton.

      I do work a lot now but right now, I’m doing so by keeping in mind that next year I want to majorly change my life. My main concern is that they are taken care of – I would buy their food first before mine, given the choice if funds were limited. It makes me extremely happy and content to see them all relaxing and feeling safe and knowing I can give them that.

      I am so sorry you had that happen to your senior chihuahua. They told me to rub this creme in her eye three times a day when I first got her but the vet also said that if it would ruin our relationship to keep it up, to stop it. So I guess it was not as imperative as they first said. Needless to say, it was going to hurt our relationship with me constantly needing to rub creme on her literal eyeballs.

      Oh, and in addition to my part time and full time job, since last December, I’ve had a fair amount of research to do for someone who is writing a book, so it’s kind of like having 2.5 jobs?

      • I’m sure it’s getting late there, so I’ll make this my last post on your site for the night.
        So in a text my ex told me we were divorced and had no reason to communicate, in essence cutting me off from seeing the dogs again. She is in Texas and I am now in Calif. that was almost 3 years ago. she no longer will reply to any emails.
        Wow again, so you work pretty much non stop. You are quite a woman.
        Again, if you have any questions about MH’s workamping I will answer what I can, and there is so much out there on the web including forums with many many individuals with lots of experience.

      • Don’t know how much of a superwoman I am, but I am just trying so hard right now to save, save, save, and pay down debt while I have this kind of income coming in. I know there is an end in sight so it really helps to motivate me. And wow, another similarity, I was also told via text, so I know how it feels. Thank you, again, Roger, I will definitely be talking to you about workamping and stuff! I know there is a lot out there, but you also don’t always know who to trust, etc. The more I read about it, the more I think it would be a good idea, if I can just afford to do it. It might mean I have that student loan hanging around my neck forever! But if it’s a happier life than the one I lead now, then it’s worth it.

  • Sorry let me address your question about pay, Sequioa was my first workamping job. Amazon will be my second. So to answer your question most of workamping jobs don’t pay real well, but they usually include a FHU site, which can add to the total package. I know what you will need is cash, so you can eventually look at workamping jobs that pay more.
    Hope this helps,


    • It does help, thank you. I’m going to also keep my mind open to other types of positions too, like Becky mentioned, even with temp agencies, etc. And yes, that full hookup definitely helps!

  • Hi Terri,
    Looked at one of your pics of Osito, Please don’t think I’m weird, but when I looked at O I was reminded of my Chi’s, brought tears to my eyes.
    It’s obvious you take good care of your animals.


    • She is one of my many pride and joys. I’ve only had her a year (got her as a senior) but I can’t imagine my life without her, and I really hope that what they say is true and that she will live til she’s about 19 or 20. When I’m home, she is constantly with me when she’s awake, and even when she sleeps, she likes to be right next to me. She’s the absolute sweetest thing in the world and makes everyone smile when we are out on our walks. I’m told she is blind but I think she can see some shadows.

      I don’t think you are weird at all!

  • Terri,
    I was not sure if you have my email address, so we don’t have to go through your blogsite every time, if and when you any questions.


  • I just saw your blog today and will start reading it from the beginning. I am about to complete my third year of blogging, researching what kind of RV to buy that fit me and my three hounds. I have labels for each kind of RV I have test drove, thought about buying or looked at. It might help you in your search. I look forward to getting caught up reading your blog.

    • Steve, thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I will most definitely check out your blog (and if you plan on reading my blog from the beginning, it’ll be like a cure for insomnia!) My animals being happy is one of the most important things in the world to me, so I am really worried about making the right decision for them, RV-wise. It’s good to know you have dogs in one!

  • Hi Terri… did you decide on a trailer yet? I’m still looking, and have narrowed it down to either a Casita or an Escape.. Like yourself, I don’t want to drive a large truck.. I own a 6 cyl. Toyota Tacoma… Good luck with your search.

    • Hi Cary,
      Not yet, although I REALLY love the looks of the molded fiberglass TTs. A 6 cyl Tacoma could probably pull a fifth wheel scamp – those are nice. Have you been able to see the insides of the Escape or the Casitas? Are you going to be in colder climates? I know the Escapes are true four season rvs.

  • Hi Terri… I have not been inside an Escape, but love the fact that they are insulated and can better handle 4 seasons of weather. If you order one from their factory, they will custom build to suit your individual needs, and the Casita people will not. I have been inside a Casita, and I did like it a lot. I have a buddy who has traveled all over the US with his Casita. His last trip lasted 6 months. I’m looking to go full time, and so the insulation is important to me. I think a fiberglass trailer is a good way to go, they are very light, don’t leak, hold their value, and are easy to tow.

    Scamps look nice, but have not heard too much about them. The Escape is made in British Columbia. I plan to stay in Texas during the winters, and they do get freezing temps, and a little bit of snow, so the insulation would help a lot. I’ll stay in the northern states during the summer.

    Good luck, and thank you for the reply… I will follow your travels online. You can follow me, if you like on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/cary.lindley

    I took an early retirement from teaching, to run my own business and to start planning my full time RV adventure… You are way ahead of me, and so lucky to be starting out earlier in life.

    Good Luck and safe travels…

    • I’m not sure if I’m lucky – I have so much student loan debt that it will be a burden on me everywhere I go. I guess I’ve just decided now is the time to experience something like this. I would love to have something custom built but I know that is definitely out of my price range. It’s going to be a used one for sure, for me. And I have a feeling I’ll be traveling to get to it, too. Not a whole lot of them out here in the northeast, unfortunately. I will definitely find you on facebook, thanks for the link. Can I ask what your business will be? Safe travels to you too – I will definitely be following you to see how yours turn out!

  • Terri, buying a used trailer is a much better buy.. The new 17′ Escape starts at around $22,500..

    I own a pet care business.. I take care of people’s pets and homes when they travel. It’s a business I started 12 yrs. ago, while teaching school full time. However, it has made me want to travel more than a couple times a year.. There is a big demand for this type of business in big cities where everyone is so busy traveling and working.. I also sell pet food online and have an income from that. I plan to continue the online business when traveling, and hope to help other people start a pet care business, from an online website. It’s something I really enjoy doing. My business website is: http://www.homewardboundpets.com or on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Homeward-Bound-Pet-Care-Services/316495178395339?ref=tn_tnmn

    There are many things you can do, while holding down a full time job, that would help you get out of debt sooner. However, traveling might restrict what opportunities you might have. With that said, simplifying your life, living in a travel trailer, may allow you to reduce expenses, and find work that allows you to pay off your debts just as quick.. You will just need to weigh your options. You stated you had a large college debt, what is your degree in?

    So much opportunity is out there, just plan and use your imagination. You can do it…

    • Cary, you have a really nice web page! How did you get started in that? Actually, right now, I’m working a full time job and a part-time job, at a health club. And I’ve been doing some freelance work as a researcher for a person I’ve worked with in the past. She’s writing a book. Oh and my degrees….so I have a law degree (hated being a lawyer) and a masters in library science, so right now I do legal reference work.

  • Good morning Terri.. I met a couple of teachers that were pet sitting and house sitting part time, did some research, and started my own business. I now have approximately 130 – 150 clients, and try to stay within 5 miles of my home.. It pays very well ($30 – $50 per hr.), but keeps you very busy during the holidays and summer. That’s a sacrifice most people are not willing to make. I added mid-day dog walks and house sitting to increase the income. I then added the pet food distribution, as it seemed a natural fit.. In the end I needed to quit teaching, as my business started doing so well. I guess you could say it was a combination of hard work, determination, making the right connections, and offering a service that people need. Luck is always helpful.

    Would love to share, if you are interested.. The only downside to starting a small business is that it takes a couple of years to start building a customer base. It also occupies some of the most popular times of the year, but it would definitely help you get out of debt quicker, if you find that it’s a job you enjoy. You would be able to keep your full time job while you started your own business. Start-up cost are minimal, since your work out of your home.. A website, business cards, and the most expensive cost … advertise. You have to get the word out…

    I know I am getting way ahead of myself, and I’m sure the whole world is trying to help you. Just know that there are lots of opportunities out there. You just have to decide what works for you.

    • My next door neighbor is actually a pet sitter and I have a friend who has started doing it with her boyfriend as well, and they even have their own facebook page and everything. You’re right, it does take some time to get the clientele built up. That is wonderful that your side business became your full time gig. I’ll be honest, I would love to work with animals more than I do now. I did volunteer for two years with the animal rescue league in Boston, and I want to get back to them, but working six days per week (and two evenings) has made it hard to get down there. My day off is the day I get everything done or just sit and relax. (Oh and working on holidays or the summer, not a big deal to me.)

  • Terri I can see that your plate is full… I’ve always thought that wherever there is a will there is a way… I look forward to following you on your blog, and on Facebook.

    The Journey can be so much more fun and exciting than the actual event. Make the most of each moment and keep your dreams alive… Hope you will continue to follow me on Facebook, and I hope to meet more people with similar dreams of going RV full-time .. It’s so much fun thinking about the possibilities… I mean really… what if we actually pull this off…How cool…

    • I know, right?? May I ask – what is your plan with doing the pet sitting if you are on the road, as in what happens to your current customers? Do you sort of outsource it to someone else while you are on the road? I will most definitely be following you on facebook, I already signed up to get notifications of your status updates. 🙂

  • Terri I plan on selling my pet sitting business to one of the local businesses or turn it over to a new owner… It has value, due to the large amount of income it generates, but since the business is primarily based on Cary, it’s not a simple process. The 2 ladies that currently help me are not interested in owning it, and so I have to seek other buyers.

    I have a 4 Phase plan, and Phase 1 was to purchase the tow vehicle and I have. Phase 2 is to purchase the trailer. Phase 3 is to sell my home, and Phase 4 is to sell the business. I hope to wrap all of this up over a period of 2-3 yrs. That will allow me to travel debt free, money in the bank, and a nice steady monthly income. Online businesses are great for the RV lifestyle.. So I am trying stayed focused on that area.. I currently have one online business, and I’m looking into starting another, but hate to be too dependent on the internet when I start traveling.

    I am having so much fun doing the research on the travel trailers and and learning more about the RV lifestyle. I love the independence it offers you. I found your blog by reading about what other people are doing. I’m following Interstellar Orchard, and I think that’s where I saw your blog, Chasing Simple Dreams… love that title… I just want to travel, take pictures, meet people, and share my experiences with everyone.. When someone asks me where I’m from, I want to be able to answer “today I’m from here.”

    Hope you are having a good day… If you like you can email me at coachcl@comcast.net… I enjoy corresponding with you and I love talking about living in an RV…

  • I don’t at all mean this comment as snark; I mean to be helpful and I am in earnest: Consider leaving the U.S.A. and defaulting on your usurious creditors. There is nothing immoral about defying unreasonable expectstions tantamount to serfdom.

  • Hi Terri, I just discovered your blog today and I’ve been reading it voraciously. I identify so much with your journey, not least of all because we both ended up in the same southwestern city! I have yet to find my frugal tribe here, so it’s wonderful to virtually connect with you. I am also a recovering English major turned librarian who is seeking a more authentic life. I dream of financial independence and hitting the road in an RV, but that’s complicated by my fur family. Anyway, I couldn’t see a way to PM you, but if you want to chat sometime about life in ABQ or anything else, feel free to email heather9387@yahoo.com

    • Heather, thank you SO MUCH for leaving a comment for me! I just emailed you from my personal email – i hope you get it. It sounds like we have a lot in common – I would love to connect with you too!

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