Stop Dreaming, Start Living

Stop Dreaming, Start Living: Advice from a Full-Time Traveller on New Year's Eve

The other night a man sat down next to us at a local bar. He asked the inevitable “Where are you from?” question, and we explained that we travel full time in our RV. His response was “F*ck you,” said only somewhat jokingly. 

We finished up our drinks and said our polite goodbyes, but the conversation stuck with me because it’s not the first time we’ve gotten this kind of reaction. Other times we get, “Are you rich?” or “Did you win the lottery?” (An equal number of times we get, “So… you’re hobos?,” so don’t worry about our egos too much). 

The answer to all of these is no. But I get it. To people living a stationary life, and maybe feeling a bit stuck in it, it seems like we must have had some crazy circumstance that allowed us to do this. If the me from three years ago met the me from today, I’d probably tell me to f*ck off too.

But we didn’t have some crazy flash of luck or the winning ticket. And neither have any of the other young full-time travelers we’ve met. We haven’t met a single trust funder or lottery winner. The people we meet are photographers, electricians, lawyers, accountants, nurses, programmers, designers, writers, artists, camp hosts and workampers. 

And almost everyone we meet in our age group has the same story. We were plugging along, doing all the stuff we were supposed to do: climbing the ladder, buying houses and filling them with stuff. But it wasn’t making us happy. Something was missing.

So if you’re out there wondering why your life isn’t like someone else’s, or thinking someone else has been blessed with your dream life, know that they were probably once just like you. The only difference is they stopped what they were doing and made a change. 

I do believe in finding contentment where you are, and full time travel and full time RV’ing aren’t for everyone. But if you never wake up excited for the day ahead, and spend most of your time dreaming about a different kind of life, it’s time for a change. A friend of ours summed it up pretty perfectly over a campfire one night. He said, “I woke up knowing exactly what every day was going to be like, and I didn’t want to do any of it.” Yup. We’ve been there. 

If you’re waiting to hit the jackpot to pursue your dream, stop. If you think you’re not lucky enough, stop. If you feel guilty because you’re “supposed” to be happy, stop.

Tonight the calendar will tick over to a brand new year, blank and full of possibility, and it’s up to you to decide what to do with it. You can wake up 365 times next year wishing you had someone else’s life or you can start living your own to the fullest. 

Celena Carr