If You Don’t Like It, Change It

This is crazy, right? Sell our house, move us and our pets into an RV, and travel the country living out our dreams. Who does that?

In 2014, I was struggling. I was working four jobs just to barely scrape by and even that wasn’t cutting it. The housing rates in the city that I loved (Hey, Houston!) were ridiculous and I was alone and drowning in debt. I was pretty down most times, but I tried to stay upbeat and kept myself distracted with friends and punk shows and art and tacos. Houston is a great city for all of these things. Eventually, I couldn’t afford to pay rent there anymore and I was broke and defeated and took my mom up on an offer to move into her house about an hour outside of the city so I could  get back on my feet. Moms are the best.

In 2016, things were considerably better, but I still just felt lost. The best advice someone ever gave me was, “If you don’t like it, change it.” Those words went through my head constantly and I decided that I needed to change it. Apparently when I change things, I go big or go home. Instead of looking for a new apartment in the area to start fresh, I decided to sell everything I owned, leave everything and everyone I knew, and move somewhere completely different. I made a list of places I was interested in. I decided on East Tennessee because it is beautiful, it is cheap, and I at least knew one person here.

Moving here was the single best thing I have done for myself up until this point. I was forced to focus solely on me. That was real weird, y’all. I am a natural caretaker. I always make sure everything and everyone is taken care of before myself. So just having myself to care for was pretty new. I am an adventurer by nature and I had so many new things and places to explore. I fell in love with the mountains, rivers, and wildlife. My soul was soothed and felt renewed. I was happy again for the first time in about 5 years or so.

Enter Karl. The day I stumbled upon Karl was the best day of my life. The fact that I got a new Dyson vacuum the same day had nothing to do with it. I mean, it was a pretty awesome day all around, though. I had finally met someone with as much adventure and wanderlust in their heart that I have. We spent every free day from the day we met in the Falcon driving wherever the road took us. Regular days started to feel pretty boring. He told me that he wanted to be a nomad and just live in the van with his cat, Bubba. “Just me and the kitty.” I recognized that he was feeling the way I had felt before I came here. He was stuck and miserable.

I was heartbroken. I had fallen completely in love with this person on those trips in that van. He wanted to live this dream and he talked about it all the time. I loved him and instead of trying to change his mind to keep him with me, I encouraged him. I wanted him to be happy because I knew how awful it was to not be. Then I was heartbroken because I just wanted to be in that van with him. One day he was going on and on about how much better things would be when he could go and I told him my feelings were hurt because as happy as I would be for him, it was going to crush me when he left. He answered with, “What makes you think you aren’t included in this dream?” BECAUSE YOU ALWAYS SAY “JUST ME AND THE KITTY”, KARL!

This was the turning point. We decided to move in together and start figuring this out. I have pets, too. So obviously living in the van isn’t going to be feasible. This is when the fun research begins. Find a suitable RV for our little extended family, figure out how to make money on the road, make decisions about a towed vehicle, sell everything we own, and take off. We’re having so much fun. I’m going to write more later about each of these things. Right now there is an RV I have my heart set on and we are trying to sell some things off to buy it. I just feel like it is the one. We will see I guess.

When I announced my move to Tennessee two years ago and then the one about us selling everything and traveling full time in an RV on Facebook (like you do), so many people said and are saying again how envious they are and how they have always wanted to do that. Guys, don’t stay in a place, job, relationship, or situation that is destroying you. If you have always wanted to do something, do it now. There are obstacles. There are things to figure out. It will take some effort. It will be so worth it. If you don’t like it, change it. Look where it got me.

~Laura

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