I want to do this..wait, no, that…wait, no this!!! (Decisions, decisions)

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When you tell someone you have this dream of living in an RV, you usually get a few of the expected responses. Some are afraid for you, because, as you already know, you’re a single person. How will you support yourself? How will you stay safe? How will you drive it? You’re a little person after all!  Even last week, a friend of mine said “why can’t you just move into an apartment somewhere new? You won’t have a guy with you.” I was like “um, you’re telling ME that I won’t be with a guy, and that’s why I should be worried….” Of course this friend of mine , who I love dearly, watches a lot of true crime shows. As a single person, more specifically, a woman, I don’t need to remind myself of all the sickness in the world. All I can do is prepare myself as best as I can for whatever each day throws at me.  And well, my friend must have momentarily forgotten that I can be like the Tasmanian Devil as one of my friends nicknamed me. But in a good way (of course.)

Others are very excited for you, and some are even wistful, maybe wishing that they could do the same, or at least experience some of that feeling of freedom from the drudgery of the routine of day to day life. Now, before you think I have gone off into la-la land and think it’s going to be all roses and petunias, trust me, I don’t. I know there are going to be problems along the way. I know there will be times when I worry about money (ok, I already do that….), and repairs, etc. But I also know I can’t wait forever. I guess it’s kind of like what they say about having kids – if you wait until you are ready and have enough money, it’ll never happen.

So, I keep reading RV blogs and RV forums, etc., and watching YouTube videos of people living in their RVs, trying to learn as much as I can. I’ve subscribed to the Dreamers portion of the Workampernews.com website so I can learn as much as possible about that way of life and see if it’s viable for me. I like the idea of being able to work some place seasonally, see the region and learn different skills that I won’t get by sitting in an office every day. But at the same time, the idea of not necessarily being in one place all year round is a bit scary. Will I be lonely? Will I be able to secure enough work for myself far enough in advance and even more important, will it pay enough to allow me to pay for my expenses?

I know that I would like to be able to either work outdoors or work in an area that is beautiful and has places I can escape to on my time off. I know I want to be more connected to the natural world than I am now. So, I think about going to school for something like that, but then I hear from others that it is more important, sometimes, to get on the job training rather than learning a lot from books. And a big part of me agrees with that. And what if I spend all this money on more schooling and don’t end up making any more in some job than someone who didn’t spend all those bucks?

I have been thinking of attending an outdoor school but the price tag is a bit scary at $10,350. That’s about 2/3 of the balance of the LAL loan I’ve been fighting so hard to get rid of. (Oh, and drum roll please, with my most recent payment, the balance should be BELOW $15K!!!!!!!!!!)  I cannot tell you how much I want and NEED that loan to be gone by the time I go on the road. It will make such a huge difference, and be a great weight off of my shoulders. To have part of my law school education paid off, FINALLY.  It’s a loan I thought I would have until I turned 54. Can you imagine? Yes, it is like a freaking mortgage, but let’s not get me started going down that lane.

I do have a concern about getting work – when I tried to get out of the legal law firm world many years ago, I faced so much hesitation on the part of employers. After all, I had this law degree….why would I ever not want to do something in that world? Wasn’t it such a glamorous life?? (Um, in a word, NOOOOOO). And not all lawyers get paid the big bucks like everyone thinks.   But that fear is again creeping up – I am worried that people will think I wouldn’t possibly take a job that pays less than $15 an hour, or who knows, even less… (Many workamping positions don’t pay highly because they are something akin to entry level positions.)  But can I be honest? It would be REALLY nice to leave my work at work, both mentally and physically, for a change. And if I could spend some of my time living in a gorgeous area of the country, say, the Olympic Peninsula, or the Grand Canyon, well, trust me, I can find stuff to do that’s not going to cost me anything, or very little.

So, as you can see, I feel like I am all over the place. I like the NW but wonder what kind of seasonal jobs there would be to had, if I went that route? And what happens if I start having to pay more on my federal loans? How will I afford them? What about the fact that I will be taxed at a higher bracket for 2015 than I will in 2016, but not making the same type of wage I am now making in 2014? (My thought on that is to save extra for the tax bill while I am working in my full time and part time jobs so that I don’t get stuck when filing my 2015 taxes.)  So, yes…I am a planner. But from what I am reading online, that’s a trait that will help me when my home becomes an RV.

By chance, I came across an interview on youtube the other day of this blogger, at Interstellar Orchard and I’ve been reading through many of her posts, because it seems like every question I might come up with, she has had to deal with. She makes it on seasonal employment but she didn’t start out with the debt that I have. But I know she knows of others who have. I just like her very pragmatic approach to tackling problems and the type of lifestyle she is  leading. And she seems very down to earth. If you are even considering this lifestyle, I suggest you head on over to her blog and check it out.

Anyway, this post has already grown much longer than I expected it to, so thanks for listening/reading if you’ve made it this far.


Little Things for Which I am Thankful

Some weeks, it is a bit difficult to come up with good stuff for this post – those are the weeks that you just want to be over once they’ve started. But this week has been different. I was thinking about a lot of this during my run this morning.

I want to share with you a video that I like listening to as I do stuff around my apartment. My favorite line in the video comes at the very end and it’s “It’s doable. You just have to have the right mind-set.” 

I am so thankful for the outpouring of concern I have received from many of you this week when you saw I was down in the dumps, whether it be on facebook, or as a comment on here, or in emails.  Some comments came from some new readers of my blog, which really helped and made me feel like “you know what? it’s gonna be ok. there are people out there rooting for you. just like the last time you blogged. aren’t you glad you started up again?”  I have also found some new blogs to follow of my own, and they show me that among other things, yes, you can live in a trailer or motorhome, with your furry animals, and be happy. (That’s RVSue and Her Canine Crew.)  You don’t have to live like everyone else in this world. (Art of Hookie.) I’m not the only person who sits with pen and paper to calm herself down, and keep on figuring out ways to get out of debt, faster, faster, and faster! (Budget Loving Military Wife). And I’m reminded every day by a certain gentleman who was part of my downsizing online class, of how you can really make changes just by keeping at it, and keeping at it, and keeping at it.) (Less Stuff, More Joy.)

I am reminded again of how good and helpful the online community can be. And this (blogging) time around, I also have some really good friends and a support network that I didn’t feel like I had when I wrote on my old blog, Middle-of-the-Pack-Girl. So that’s just the first thing I wanted to mention I am feeling very thankful for.

The second thing.  I was gone for 12 hours yesterday and when I came home, the animals were pretty much bouncing off the walls. My little Osito kept following me everywhere. Made me so thankful for the decision to adopt her just a year ago. As I started writing this post, she was snuggled up right next to me, asleep. That’s all she needs to be happy. A warm Mom to snuggle up to. I’m so glad to be able to give that to her.

This makes me glad to be alive.
Reservoir behind my building.

The third thing.    I was REALLY tired this morning when I woke up. My legs were stiff and I thought to myself, how can I even run on these legs today? But I did. Granted, only three miles, because that’s what my brother advised me to run. But you know what? My legs felt pretty damn good once I got going! I was so very thankful for the beautiful reservoir I have behind my home (see pic to the right.)  I was reminded of how much I love running and that camaraderie you can have with other runners sometimes, that smile or nod you give each other, like you belong to a special club or something, lol. It’s unspoken but you know what you share. And this morning, the water on the reservoir was very still, and the sky overhead was pretty much overcast almost during my entire run. My FAVORITE type of running is under cloudy skies.

The fourth thing. I just made a big payment on my private LAL loan. $700 to be exact. It will take a few days to hit the account, but it’s there. And it will bring the balance down under $17K! Woohoo!! This is the first of a few payments for this month since it’s a three paycheck month. (Another reason to smile.)

The fifth thing.  I’ve got my health. I’m 41, and don’t look it or feel it. I feel much younger. And with my chiropractor helping me, I no longer feel pain every single day in my back, or if I do, I know how to handle and decrease it. If you do have your health, you really do have everything. (Well, that, and people and animals to love.)

Finally, folks, it’s Friday. My best friend turns 30 this weekend so a group of us are taking her to brunch tomorrow where I hear that they have a CHOCOLATE BAR!! I can’t imagine a better way to enjoy time with my friends.

Have a great weekend. And if you’ve liked this post, please drop me a line or subscribe!