Sell the house, remodel the RV, homeschool the kids, travel the country, become YouTube famous…..Completely Insane, right!?!
I thought I found what made me happy, fulfilled my needs, and what I wanted to wake up and be excited to get up for….Pet Styling. It had been my career for 14 years, I was amazing at it. I was able to work on any dog with my gentle touch and a kind heart. My business, Jenn’s Pup ‘n Suds, was absolutely booming. We even were voted “Best of the Bay” by the readers of Creative Loafing. I should have felt on top of the world, right? The thing was, I didn’t. It started feeling like an assembly line, day in and day out. I read this book, 48 Days to the Work You Love, by Dan Miller, and my eyes opened. ( I highly recommend it to anyone that feels trapped in their job/career). The book describes that you can make a career out of just about anything, and most of it doesn’t require a college degree. You have to focus on what your strengths are and what you get JOY out of.
I started thinking about what my favorite parts of JPS were. I LOVE making videos, love love love it. The passion I felt for educating Pet Parents was unparralled to anything else. Being able to be on camera and connecting with people made my blood flow! I also thrived on my “Networking Days”, socializing and meeting new people, telling them my passions. I began to notice my energy and happiness on those days. On the days I did those specific things were much higher than the other days I was in the salon from 7am-6pm. I began to feel trapped in a cage and I yearned to break out. Have you ever felt like that?
Several years ago, we had the opportunity to drive our RV off into the sunset and become fulltimers and we didn’t take the chance; I regretted it ever since. I told my husband my woes of the business, just venting as wives tend to do, and he replied “wouldn’t it be great if we could sell everything, take the kids, and go travel? But that would be crazy.” That simple statement got my brain gears in motion…..Crazy, absolutely. Doable, totally. Every day for a week, I daydreamed of that life. We could record our awesome videos, homeschool the kids, show them this beautiful country we live in, all while living in our RV. One day, I went to Kyle and exclaimed “Lets do it!” After telling him how what he said inspired me, he replied “That is crazy. It’s not what people do. Its not NORMAL.” My response was “Exactly. When everyone else does one thing, do the exact opposite!” (Thank you Jesse Cole for writing your phenomenally eye opening book “Find Your Yellow Tux”; another Jenn Says must read!)
We thought about it for two weeks and on the final day we gave ourselves to make a decision, we said YES!
As you can imagine, the backlash was of indescribable proportions. Most people were happy, some were jealous, and some said we should be committed to a mental institution after we made the announcement. The great thing about my life, is that its MINE. Everyone has their own chance to live their life the way that they do, making the most of the dash between the dates on your tombstone. We still have people that think we are banana cakes crazy, and that’s totally okay.
Many times, we get the question “What happens when you run out of money?” Well Karen, we don’t plan on running out and no you can’t speak to the manager. But in all seriousness, we have rental properties that are the bulk of our income. In addition to that, we plan to do some affiliate marketing, freelance writing, and the biggest one, growing our YouTube channel. The coolest one, IMO, we are wrapping the RV with our Logo and contacting different RV product companies to sponsor us and put their logo on the RV too. There is an abundance of ways to make money on the road, sometimes, you just have to create them yourself.
Another of my favorite questions has been pertaining to how the kids will adjust to life on the road, what about friends? Having a ton of friends, in my experience, is completely overrated. They are going to be doing virtual school and we will be looking up different homeschooling clubs in every area that we are at. We are connecting with other Full Time Families and socializing the kids. My kids get to be learning about history and then getting to stand in the same place where it was made. Ben loves baseball and we intend to still take him to batting cages and work on his skills. We will be looking up different travel teams in whatever area we are in to see if they need guest players. Molly is obsessed with art and we get to see SO many amazing art museums across the country. If we are in a location for a month at a time, we will find various art teachers that do private lessons and sign her up for those. With Eli, we are going to have our hands full just keeping him clothed outside the RV….but when he picks up a hobby, we will make a version that works with our lifestyle.
Youth is wasted on the young. If you think about it for a second, it really is. When you are young, you work to build this nest egg, raise your kids, and then hopefully retire one day with money they’ll inherit. How about instead of leaving them money, you leave them memories? Years spent together, learning, growing, and doing. When you are on your deathbed, what will you regret most? That my friends is the question that led us to our decision. As we know, all too well, life can be taken away in an instant, you need to live without any regrets and truly LIVE your life. I am honestly looking forward to waking up each day, when my body wants to, having family yoga, cooking breakfast, and exploring the country through the eyes of my children. Many of you think we are bat shit crazy and don’t agree with our choice; that’s totally okay. We are making the choice that is best for our mental well being and our family. If you have a daydream, don’t give up on it, make it a reality. I leave you with this:
“Of course it is happening inside your head Harry, but why on earth should that mean it is not real?” -Albus Dumbledore