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Post Info TOPIC: Introduction to the Conundrum


RV-Dreams Community Member

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Introduction to the Conundrum


Hello everyone! 

I am 36 years old, have a great wife and 4 children. Our oldest child is 13 and our youngest is 6. I have worked HARD all my life. I have ran 2 businesses for the last 7 years and was mayor of our small town for 2 years. All my life I have had a very strong work ethic probably to the point of being a workaholic. I have spent more time building businesses and helping others than I have spent with my family and I am very disappointed with the results. 

We have a TT at a seasonal campground and our family spent the whole summer there this past year. After the summer season was over we extended it by deciding to homeschool our kids and travel in our RV. We were gone for about a month and a half and put on over 4000 miles. It was great! This was the first time I gave my family the time they deserved. But, it came with a price. I have lost my desire to continue the rat race. I no longer have a passion for the business I still have and I feel trapped in our home. I have had a complete shift in my way of thinking and I feel I am at a cross roads. 

I have talked to my DW about this and she understands what I am thinking and is supportive. She is willing to fulltime but wants to keep our house. I don't. I have come to the conclusion that the traditional lifestyle sucks! I can no longer relate to working 40-50-60+ hours per week to have a bunch of possessions that are meaning less to me/us. While we lived in our TT and RV all of us were living in a space that was less than 250 square feet and we were successful. We didn't hate each other. We didn't get sick of each other. We adapted and we enjoyed it.  

I want to fulltime but the fact of the matter is after all the hard work I have put in over the years I have nothing in savings. I have no equity in my home. All we have is the crap we accumulated over the years and our TT and RV as well as our vehicles. I just don't know what to do at this point. Yes, I could bury my thoughts and go back to being a slave to the traditional lifestyle (and I believe I could), but the fact remains that I don't want to. 

If it were just myself I would be gone, living off the grid somewhere, anywhere. If it were just my DW and I we would be gone, living off the grid somewhere. But it isn't. We have 4 wonderful children we have to provide for. So here I am. Constantly thinking about what to do. It has been over a month since we returned home and I hate it. I look outside, I watch TV, I do anything and I think we would be better off if we were truly free. Free from the rat race. 

So here I am, in a true 

-Conundrum 



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RV-Dreams Family Member

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First off.......Welcome to the Forum!!!!!!!! and one very big Happy family all here to help you!!


Well I guess you got a taste of the good life as it is in the simple mode......part of your decision will be Finances ,generating income as you go....or being in a position that what you have will do it for you.

you need to try to be as debt free as possible or.......Be debt free

There are 4 of you so there are 4 separate sets of feelings on the matter, each has a priority in the decision

you would have to decide whether to sell your home......keep it to return to......lease it in which case you would need storage for things

Schooling for the kids that meets your home state criteria



If you have just gotten back from your last trip out.....sit down with the kids and find out what they would change....what they didnt like.
Same goes with your partner.....if you know you will go home and the trip is only short and temporary , you tend to deal with it because you will be home soon.

on the road most friends you meet become temporary, are the kids ready for that....are you....is your wife


Another option would be is to start out gradually....instead of planning to be in the campground for vacation just go .....then come back to the house,pay down and thin out and do it again until you in good shape to do the transition


This is just a thought process and my opinion......it might have good points that help you.....it might have a couple that made you bust out laughing.......might have a couple that angered you.........if any have ac-cured there is no charge!!


Good luck Mike & Nikki(the dog)

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 1998 ...Harney Renegade DP  class A

rers1@mail.com

 

My Service dog and life partner " Nikki"......Klee Kia Miniature Husky....(she Runs the ship!!)

We are not lost in the Woods.....Just Extreme boondocking!!!!!!



RV-Dreams Family Member

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Propose to your wife that she go back to work and you play "Mr. Mom". Then gauge the reaction and am I sure you will learn something.

Anyway that you worked hard and neglected your family and have nothing to show for it is probably the root of your discontent. You need to downsize and find a way to save both money and time for the future, your own and your children. It does not have to be an RV.

(It is easy for me to say since we have no children. But we neglected our families and friends for years being workaholics and ended up with too big a house.)

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Bill Joyce,
40' 2004 Dutch Star DP towing a 2012 AWD Chevy Equinox
Journal at http://www.sacnoth.com
Full-timing since July 2003



RV-Dreams Family Member

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Con, you are in good company, what you describe has been felt and written about many many times. Thank God you have woken up at a relatively early age. My story is much like yours I am however a few years older than you. Let us help you along in getting your plan together, see you on the road....

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GOING FOR IT


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Mike,

There are actually 6 of us and we have sat down (all of us) and discussed the possibility of going fulltime. The kids are excited about the possibility. It is mom and I that need to work out the details. 

bjoyce, 

While I like your first thought that isn't really an option. I would go crazy I think, even more so, if i was stuck in the house all day. I may have been too dramatic when I said that I have nothing to show for it. We do have a comfortable life. The bills are getting paid and there is food on the table. It is just that after being with the family for that long (and actually seeing them for them rather than putting them to bed or waking them up for school) I have come to realize what I have missed all these years. This is the first time we have traveled and saw all the stuff we have only read about in books or watched on TV. There is such a big world out there and I just can't see waiting until retirement to experience it. Also, if we wait until retirement, most likely our children won't experience it. Which brings me to my next point. While living on the road and not having a "home" is un-traditional, wouldn't I be doing our children a great service teaching them how they can be self-sufficient? I mean imagine the education they will get on the road seeing what would be taught to them through teachers and books and showing them a way of life where they don't have to wake up, go punch a clock, work all day, punch a clock, come home and eat, go to bed and then do it all over again the next day. 

Gene, 

I had to laugh a little at your post, first time I have ever been called a Con, lol. It is interesting to me that you describe my "conundrum" as waking up. I think that is a very accurate statement. Now that I have woken up hopefully I can realize my dream :) 

 

Thank you all for the posts and the warm welcome. I will keep you updated.



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Bear with me but I am reminded of a story. During the 80s and 90s a large number of high tech millionaires came out of the Seattle area due to Microsoft, Amazon, Aldus (now part of Adobe) and others. This launched occasional human interest stories in the local papers about those who quit with their money and what were they doing. One that both my wife and I remembered well was about a young retired couple walking the streets of Seattle with their young children and the oldest child made a very insensitive comment about a homeless person. The couple realized their children were growing up privileged, and that wasn't what they wanted. A couple months later the whole family moved to a remote village in Brazil (I think that is right) to help the village get running water and a sewer system. The story is after the family comes back to the Seattle area after two or three years in Brazil. Everyone in the family had changed and the parents said for the better. The kids now were bilingual, missed their friends in Brazil, who were very poor but were still their friends. None of them were going to be the same person they would have been if they had spent the time in Seattle. None of them were going to think about the world the same way again. Interestingly this article hit nerves with many that both my wife and I worked with. I remember some interesting conversations and a couple people eventually moved somewhere more rural for the good of their family.

Now that you have become aware of your situation you should open yourself up to anything, including moving to another country, not just full-timing. If you think radically and big, you might land at a plan that will work for everyone in your family. I think fulltiming would do what you want, but don't limit yourself. Some very good friends have just run away from home to work in Taiwan and are having the time of their lives. They had a completely different plan but when the possibility of work in Taiwan came up he was in the right frame of mind to take it seriously and move on it.

Keep us updated.

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Bill Joyce,
40' 2004 Dutch Star DP towing a 2012 AWD Chevy Equinox
Journal at http://www.sacnoth.com
Full-timing since July 2003



RV-Dreams Community Member

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I like your line of thinking and thank you for sharing that story. I have been spending most of the evening reading about fulltiming. Actually I have done a lot of reading about fulltiming for a couple years. The last few months have been concentrated reading. I don't know that I personally would be ready to head over seas but given the opportunity you never know. I think right now, my present goal is to become less tied down and to spend as much time as I can with my family. The problem is, as soon as we returned home it was right back to the daily grind and I am once again not spending very much time at all with the children. I guess for the time being it is a necessary evil until preparations are made to make a change. So far there haven't been any preparations other than my research and discussing it with my wife. It is my hope that soon the phase of just talking will stop and actions will commence.

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Conundrum,

First of all, welcome to the forum.  I think you've already found this to be a very friendly and helpful place to be.  Secondly, I realize you are baring your soul and don't want to advertize your address and phone number.  But, could you give us at least a first name so we don't have to call you "Con"? smilesmile

How many times have I had the same thoughts you are having?  In the end, rational thought would win out, I would do something to change my situation, and carry on with life.  I also have/had a wife and children to be responsible for and, in the end, thinking of them would bring me around.  Listening to you talk, I know you will put the family first.

I will be 63 this summer and will be retiring and hitting the road in 18 months.  We will be debt free and have adequate income for fulltiming.  My kids are successful and have lives and kids of their own.  I am no longer responsible for their well-being.  I love it when a plan comes together!

Whatever the six of you decide, I wish you the best of luck and happiness.

Vance



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Vance and Marla

2010 Mobile Suites 36 TK3

2013 Silverado 3500 Duramax Dually 4X4 

Full Timing launch date 8-25-2014



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Conundrum, Welcome to a wonderful world of people who have empowered their own goals and dreams and who have had the perverbial brick hit them in the head. Like so many of said we all share a passion for a simpler life not filled with the man made stress we have been led to believe is the only way to live and ultimatetly die by.... We are now in our 6 month of living our dream and will never look back as that was a different chapter in our book of life and we do not believe in re-reading a chapter. We have turned the page and are moving forward....day by day! Good luck, Les

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Les and Sue

http://ramblingrvrat.blogspot.com/?m=1

"CHARACTER is doing the right thing when no one is looking"

9/11 Never Forget!

GOD Bless America!

'09 Intl 4400 LP Customized by 2L Custom Trucks, Pooleville, TX

'15 Montana 3610RL

 



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Conundrum,

Welcome to the forum. You've touched so many of us here as so many of us can relate. I, too, worked 60 & 70 hour weeks and I firmly believe the stress and self neglect led to cancer (am 5 years clear now). My oldest son and his wife asked me in my later work years if I could come and stay with their beautiful daughters while they took a vacation but it was the busiest time of year at work and I didn't feel I could. REGRET! I postponed my disabled daughter's birthday party for a business meeting. REGRET and many more regrets!

Eventually the company I worked for was sold, new company took me on for 5 months to help with transition, then I was laid off. Was going thru cancer treatment at the time. But it all worked out for the best. That's the point I want to make, you will work it out. We are much older than you and our children are raised. I often think of my adult children and their crazy work hours and wish they would have your wake up experience, but I helped set their work ethic didn't I?

Keep talking, keep your dream alive, keep your mind open to all possibilities & options, think hard about what Bill and Mike suggested. Read Howard & Linda's journal from the beginning. They too had an awakening but from a different lifestyle. Make a plan when both you and your wife are in agreement and get debt free. Think about how you might transfer your current skills to telecommuting or working on the road. Adjust your life NOW to make more time for your family. Many on here cut their hours and/or downsized to reduce stress.

Having a dream and a plan that you're working TOWARD rather than escaping your current life will, hopefully, make it easier.

Wishing you the very best. Do keep us informed.

Sherry


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Vance,

Thank you for your thoughts. You are correct, I will always put my family first. However, I don't think I am willing to turn a blind eye to my thoughts and I don't think I will continue with the status quo for eternity. While I won't put my family in financial jeopardy I am going to find a way to sustain life comfortably without missing more of my family's life.

Les,

Thanks for the response. May all your travels be safe travels!

Sherry,

Congrats on beating cancer! That is great.

I have already have so much regret and don't wish to add to it. Work ethic is extremely important. It doesn't matter if you live a simple life or not. It doesn't matter what path we go down, our children will be taught what a good work ethic is. I think it will be much more enjoyable if they are taught by doing rather than by watching. What I mean by that is, on the current path we are on they see me working, and working hard. Long hours and not being around. I would much rather have them involved in the work to make our ends meet. All our children do chores and all our children are currently involved in our financial affairs. They know where we stand. Our family is an open book and that is one regret I don't have. They know possessions and money do not come out of thin air. They realize that you need to work for what you want and need. They realize there are no free hand outs. I guess what I am attempting to say is this. It will be my mission, no matter what road we choose to take, to instill in my children the knowledge and work ethic needed for whatever path they choose to go down in the future.

Thank you all so much for your wise words,

-Brandon - my first name ;)



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Brandon,

I can feel the affectionate relationship you have with your family and I really like it.  Sounds like you have a good foundation for a 'plan'.  Now, you just have to work out the details.  Best of luck and keep us up dated.

Vance



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Vance and Marla

2010 Mobile Suites 36 TK3

2013 Silverado 3500 Duramax Dually 4X4 

Full Timing launch date 8-25-2014



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I believe you are up against the decision many in society today face. We work hard to achieve the goals we believe we want but as we grow and experience life our desires change. Most of us begin our careers with a specific path in mind and as we learn that path changes. Our personal goals and desires go through that same metamorphisis. Sometimes they change as we learn, sometimes they change as the result of an event. We all are a slave to the Peter principle, we will be promoted to one level above either our competency or our comfort level. It's not our fault, it's the way of the world.

Society teaches us to want more than our parents and neighbors. This generation has redefined want to need. Some of us are smart enough to realize that simpler is our true destiny. That, self actualization is achieved from within, not by achieving what others have determined is proper. All of us in this lifestyle have shunned the norm. Each of us still have our own wants and desires but we are independent enough to define those goals for ourselves rather than having them defined for us. Some, due to financial constrictions, have the lifestyle thrust upon us and some have plenty of resources but choose the lifestyle for philosophical reasons. Regardless, we are all the same in that we have chosen to be honest with ourselves and stand fast with our principles, desires, and goals, regardless of what the remainder of society constructs as the norm.

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No one can choose your mountain or tell you when to climb, it's yours alone to challenge at your own pace and time."

__________________

 1998 ...Harney Renegade DP  class A

rers1@mail.com

 

My Service dog and life partner " Nikki"......Klee Kia Miniature Husky....(she Runs the ship!!)

We are not lost in the Woods.....Just Extreme boondocking!!!!!!

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