Browsing "Musings"
Oct 25, 2010 -

Lifestyle Design

On Mondays, I write about personal issues related to full-time RVing life, from philosophical debates to homemaking topics.

Today’s post is for those who are dissatisfied with their lives and unaware that there are other ways to live. Did you know that pre-retirement age RVers are lifestyle designers?

Corbett Barr claims that there are five categories of life plans, of which life style design is one:

Lifestyle designers believe there is a better way. They essentially ask, “why wait until you’re rich or retired to live the life you really want to live?” They start with the concept of an ideal lifestyle and work backwards to plan a career that will suit that lifestyle.

He also has this to say about lifestyle design:

it’s about examining your life and your goals and thinking unconventionally about how to make things possible now instead of later. It’s about designing your life instead of letting society design it for you.

Many pre-retirement age full-time RVers are living their dreams right now, instead of deferring them. They are committed to the notion that life experiences, not material goods, are what truly make you rich. They may camphost long hours during the summer and then spend the rest of the year living frugally in a warm climate. They might decide on a smaller and less flashy rig so they can have better gas mileage and stealth boondocking capabilities. And many choose to work longer and defer retirement since they are already doing what they planned to do when retired.

Lifestyle design does mean choosing an unconventional path. But that does not mean it has to be a difficult one. After all, what is harder: getting up in the morning every day when you hate how you will spend it, or working long hours at something you love that let’s you feel free?

There is certainly more to life than ‘this.’

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Aug 22, 2010 -

Driving the Dempster: Epilogue

There is something bittersweet about fulfilling a lifelong dream. There is the elation at having done it, but also a certain emptiness as you wait for another dream to take its place. There are a lot of things I’d like to do in the next ten years or so—tour Egypt, climb Mount Kilimanjaro, paddle down the Amazon, hike the Great Wall of China, visit friends in Australia—but nothing pressing. I may just be ready to settle for a little less excitement for a while, long enough to build a solid foundation to my traveling life.

My trip to the Arctic and NWT was only a superficial experience, I know that. I didn’t get to have any great wilderness adventures or actually try living in a remote community, but what I did was enough. I saw what I wanted to see and got the answers I came for. I had given up on this dream, watching it fade away as opportunities marched away from me, so standing there, knee deep in the Beaufort Sea was profoundly satisfying. It reaffirmed to me what I learned last year on the Chilkoot, that all you need to fulfill a dream is the courage and conviction to see it through.

My second year of full-timing, that of my Arctic adventure, is ending most satisfactorily and I am curious to see what year three will bring…

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Jul 25, 2010 -

Needing an Evening Out

I’m still very much under the weather, unheard of for me after almost a full week, but I have my appetite back now that I can taste food again. I haven’t been out in a week, other than to check my mail and run a few errands, and I was starting to feel mildly claustrophobic. Moreover, my fridge’s offerings were positively unappealing. So, this being a Sunday night I thought the Drunken Goat might be quiet and a good place to catch a bite. After all, isn’t garlic good for the immune system? 🙂

I wasn’t ravenous, so I thought of just ordering an appetizer rather than a full platter. But then I noticed that there was a wrap available for a very reasonable price, under $20, even made up as a meal with a salad, rice, and potatoes. I decided to try that, confident that I would have leftovers for a nice lunch tomorrow, which I did. It was all very tasty and just what I needed. The best part? A wonderful person I know picked up the tab for me!

Since I had a relatively light dinner, I had room for dessert, so off I went to the ice cream parlour where I confounded the server by asking for cookie dough instead of Rolo. 🙂 I took my cone up to my favourite bench by the river and watched the muddy eddies of the mighty Yukon mix with the clear waters of the Klondike. The day had started off very grey and nasty, but the sun was finally out in full force. I took my time enjoying my ice cream, savouring the cold treat and the warmth on my face, knowing that my Klondike days could very well be numbered and that such evenings remaining might very well now be counted on one hand. I have a lot on my mind right now, but my plans are taking shape.

When I finally headed back to the car I ran into one of my friends and we gabbed for a bit. I cannot believe how impossible it is to go out in Dawson without running into someone I know!

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