Money ≠ Happiness
You know the old saying, "Money can't buy happiness."? Well, it's true. Living life, truly living, has nothing to do with how much money you earn, or how much money you save, or how much money you spend. Living life has everything to do with spending time with loved ones, finding beauty in the ordinary, savoring every moment of the journey, and recognizing that life is not a race to the finish.
Living in a tiny home and spending the last four months in the desert of South Texas has taught us to appreciate the small things - a baby tortoise eating bugs by our door, a morning walk surrounded by the singing of a dozen species of songbirds, sunshine after a day of heavy rain, stunning sunrises, and glorious sunsets.
Rolf Potts, author of Vagabonding says, "The more we associate experience with cash value, the more we think that money is what we need to live." How do you put a price tag on the sound of your nephew's laughter, or the passing glimpse of a bird you've never before seen, or the look on the face of a wild bunny begging for carrots?
Hope ≠ Strategy
We recently watched Deepwater Horizon, starring Mark Wahlberg. In it, his character Mike Williams says to the BP bigwigs, "Hope ain't a tactic." If you desire a life of travel, no matter how much you dream of it, or wish it, or want it, or hope for it, unless you actively pursue a travel lifestyle, nothing will ever change.
For years, Marvin and I discussed the idea of flying across the pond and backpacking our way through Europe, or buying an RV and traveling the US. But until we decided to take the plunge, sell and give away most of our possessions, and buy our tiny home, we continued in the same rut, running the rat race, requesting a few days off here and there and hoping for approval.
"The more we associate money with life, the more we convince ourselves that we're too poor to buy our freedom," Rolf Potts continues. If you tell yourself that you must have money in order to experience full-time travel, you will convince yourself that until you have $XX,XXX dollars in the bank, or you pay off your house, or your kids are through college, or your retirement money kicks in, or you can afford a 40-foot motorhome, the longer you will put off the experiences that long-term travel (whether regional, national, or international) has to offer.
If you desire a life of travel, change your mentality and put a plan in place. Stop telling yourself you can't afford your freedom. Give yourself a timeline. Downsize, downsize, and downsize again.
Of course, we do need money to survive; or rather, we need the food and shelter that money can buy. That's why we take workamping jobs along the way. With vagabonding on the rise, more and more people with travel fever work remotely, have web-based businesses, workamp, or volunteer in exchange for room and board. When life becomes a matter of experiences - meeting new people, seeing new places, learning new skills - instead of hoarding, that's when life truly begins.
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