Haven’t You Left Yet?
When we bought our rig last August, our intention was to tour North America for a couple of years. A whole year later we’ve been asked quite a few times “What happened?”
Ahhh, this past year has been a year of transition like we’ve never had before.
We bought the rig on impulse last August 20th. We’d never seen inside a modern RV before – let alone one that was 40’ tip to tip – and when we saw this one we said to ourselves “Yes, this is how we are going to transition from living in a house to travelling the world while we work.”
The problem was we hadn’t planned how we were going to pay for this lifestyle – which if you are living it you know, it can be (and for us it is) actually more expensive than staying in your house! I’ll write a blog post about this later.
Being the entrepreneur I am, I thought I’d create some courses and sell them online. I’d also pick up consulting work along the way by speaking at associations and Chambers of Commerce and hosting workshops.
Or so I thought…
When I started to write my first course I realized it was more like a college course than an online course. The content was meaty and definitely not the entry level kind of product most online course creators sell. I felt it would be a hard sell and I’d lose too many people along the way and I wanted neither of those things to happen.
I stopped writing, regrouped and am now in the process of creating a new strategy for my courses and consulting work which I plan to have finalized within a couple of weeks.
Then there was the problem of our house. After we bought the rig, we’d put the house on the market. We thought it would sell quickly but it didn’t. We’d received some lowball offers but we weren’t going to entertain them. We had been landlords for over 10 years, so we decided to rent it out.
What a mistake that was!
We paid more in legal fees in the first couple of months than we collected in rent!
With the tenant on a one-year lease and laws which protect the tenant more than they protect the landlord, we had to figure out a way to get her out. Fortunately, I have a good sense of people and their hotspots (after all, I’ve owned an incentive company, which incents, recognizes and rewards people who behave in a certain way for nearly 20 years).
I knew this tenant didn’t like people in “her space”. She had been very uncooperative with giving us access to do our inspections and maintenance. Therefore, I guessed correctly that she would really hate having people through the house a few times a week.
I informed her that we were going to put the house on the market and told her what the expectations were for allowing realtors to show the place. We also told her that if she wanted out of the lease we’d understand. It worked and within a few hours of giving her notice, she’d replied and said she wanted out. Yahoo!! But we had to move back into the house until it sold 4 months later.
These two practical items weren’t the biggest issue though.
A few days before my 50th birthday, I ended up in the ER and our first big trip (to California for 3 weeks over Christmas and New Years) had to be cancelled. I am still bummed about that – I’d booked everything and we had tickets to see the Canucks playing in Anaheim and in San Jose.
Fortunately, the move back into the house was at the same time as I was unable to travel, so it wasn’t all bad… just a blip…. And a convenient one because it was winter.
When we accepted an offer on both our house and our rental property in March, we started madly renovating the RV to our taste. We had one month to do the renovations and if you’ve seen the posts on the Wains World website, it was a biggie!
We learned NOT try to downsize, renovate and move out of your house while also working. The pressure was IMMENSE and we ran into one problem after the other, which delayed the project by weeks.
We ended up moving into a hotel for a few days until we left for Jamaica for a month to have a vacation and experience another little taste of what our nomadic lifestyle would be like.
But this chapter of our lives wasn’t over yet…
When we got back to our fulltime RVing lives I realized I really didn’t like not owning real estate. The market had gone crazy right after we sold and I was worried we’d end up spending all the equity we’d acquired and we’d never get back into the market – should we ever want to.
So, on a Wednesday in May, I told Steve I’d like to buy a condo so our daughter had a place to stay while she finished her university. The next day we were on the ferry to the Lower Mainland (Vancouver, BC) and the day after we’d bought a condo.
Next item on the to-do list was to renovate it. Again, there wasn’t anything seriously wrong with it… it just wasn’t to our taste.
And that’s when the next “surprise” happened.
After waiting for nearly a year to have his mitral valve repaired Steve got a surgery date. Guess what date? Yup, the day before we were to take possession. Uggh.
Fortunately, we were able to move the possession date up by a week and so round 2 of mad renovations was about to begin. The day after we moved in, we started to rip up the carpet. Talk about craziness! We hadn’t even received formal authorization from the strata council but we couldn’t wait.
Steve and Lauren were in charge of demolition. I was in charge of sourcing everything – including new furniture and lots of other stuff we’d just given away or sold for pennies.
… and then the surgery was postponed.
In a way it was appreciated because there was no way we were going to get the floor down in a week, let alone everything else done.
However, the delay meant that we had to go back to the island, get the rig out of storage, find a RV park with availability (easier said than done) and Steve went back to work.
After a few more surgery dates which came and went, Steve finally had his surgery on July 28th (5 weeks after the first date) and we moved into the condo with Lauren for his recovery time.
We were also able to get one last boating trip in… and Lauren got up on the wakeboard on her first day!
Even though it didn’t work out the way we thought it would, it was all good in the end.
As I type this blog post, we’re on day 7 of our first road trip and I’m writing as Steve drives over the Coquihalla.
Steve is doing well and he’s got the okay to travel.
I’m finally able to get back on track business wise as well.
The Universe has a remarkable way of making things right, all in due time.
Are you living your dreams? Have you made big plans then had to postpone them but you’ve never given up on them? Share below in the comments…
Carol Wain is a leadership consultant, trainer, mentor, speaker, best-selling author and Entrepreneur of the Year 2003. She is the founder of Marquee Incentives, Marquee Marketing, Marquee Experiences, Marquee Events and Carol Wain International, which provide consulting, training and related products and services that transform businesses.
Using Carol’s F.O.R.C.E. Formula™, leaders and managers learn how to attract and retain the employees and customers they want, increase sales, reduce expenses and use their strength to make positive changes in the lives of others.
You can find Carol on Google, Facebook, LinkedIn & Twitter. Visit her website at http://carolwain.com and reach her at Carol@CarolWain.com