Category Archives for "Wain’s World"

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.”Dream

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.2015-02-27 07.21.49

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.

2015-04-05 09.15.55We 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.2015-06-16 22.11.29

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.

2015-08-26 15.30.32After 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…


Living Your Dreams

Well, we’ve done it — we’ve sold our rental property and our house.  For the first time since 1992, I haven’t owned any real estate (and at one point we had 3 homes).  We decided to go all-in with our location independent lifestyle.  As I type this, I’m sitting on the patio of a condo I rented in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

We sold 99% of our belongings for pennies on the dollar.  All those treasures I’d found over our 20+ years together are gone.  The high-end stuff that we bought when business was booming is gone.  The masks I bought as we travelled the world are gone.  Photo albums are gone (I kept a few of them but basically no photos of our lives before we met.)

My walk-in closet has been reduced to a 4′ wide closet which I share with Steve and the stuff that was in the hall closet in the house.

I have to remind myself “it’s just stuff”.  It’s stuff that we actually don’t need.  It’s stuff that weighs us down.  It’s stuff that we have to let go so we can follow our dreams.
DreamI’ve been longing for this type of lifestyle for years.  My first mentor had me write out a list of what I wanted for my life and one of the items on it is “living where I want to live”.  I wrote that because Steve was in the military at that time and we’d just received a posting that neither of us wanted.  We knew that we would be posted one day, and that’s why I created a flexible, portable business right from the start — we just felt like we were being punished when we were posted to this particular base — so Steve quit and we decided we’d figure out the pension side of things later.

When the effects of the 2008 / 2009 economy nearly destroyed my business, I moved my office back home after all my employees quit one by one.   I was in a really dark place for a while.  My pity party went on far too long.  I was lost, confused and lacked confidence for quite a while.

When I started to pull myself back together and figure out what I wanted, the dream of living where I want to live while I continue to make money resurfaced.   I took myself through an exercise that I ask my clients to do — imagine your ideal lifestyle and your ideal day.

Document with such clarity that an actor and director could reenact this day — from the moment you wake up until the moment you go to bed.  Where are you?  Who are you with?  What does your bedroom look like?  What type of accommodation are you living in?  What do you smell? See? Feel? Taste?  What do you do in the day?  Who do you talk to?  … and so on…

My ideal day takes place in a villa in Tuscany.  I am living a jet-setting lifestyle and I’m making money as an entrepreneur, author, speaker and consultant. I have a few brands and they are managed by an excellent leadership team.   I am a subject matter expert on reinvention — both personal and business — and I get paid well to help others do the same.  (There’s more to it than this but this is the simplified version.)

With our eldest daughter settled in her job and talking of plans to buy a house with her boyfriend and our youngest daughter starting her second year of university, Steve and I started talking about bringing this dream to life.  I wanted to sell everything and travel the world with nothing more than a backpack.  While this is not unusual if you are in your 20’s or 30’s, we are 50.    We are “supposed” to be using this time in our lives to pay off our mortgage and build up our retirement fund.   We decided we’d rather enjoy being together and travelling the world while we still have our health.  We’ll figure the rest out later.

2014-09-11 16.13.15Steve wasn’t quite ready to have nothing though.  He needed an in-between.  A place for his stuff, a place to call “home”.

Last summer we bought the “Bellagio” a 2012, Montana Big Sky 3585sa from a couple we met at our eldest daughter’s horse show.  We had never been inside a RV before and we were blown away at how spacious they are — 2 TVs, fridge, convection/microwave and a shower… we were so green… haha!

We moved into the rig (I still don’t know why they are called rigs and now it’s a bit embarrassing to ask) at the end of August with the intention of travelling North America for 2 years before selling it and moving overseas until we get bored and want to come home.  It didn’t quite work though as our tenant was a problem and we ended up breaking the lease and moving back into the house in December.   We put the house on the market back then too.

When we accepted the offer on the house in early February, we decided to bite the bullet and renovate the rig.  There was nothing wrong with it, except it wasn’t to our taste.  It was 50 shades of brown and I’m more of a 50 shades of grey kind of person (no, not in “that” way).

2014-09-11 16.41.10We figured, it’s only about 400 square feet, so how much time would it take to install a washer/dryer combo unit, rip out the carpet, paint all the walls and cabinets, install vinyl laminate and replace the bathroom vanity?

I can honestly say we have never underestimated the scope of a project as badly as we did this one.  It’s been 2 months of many hours each day on work days and full days on days off.

We got as much as we could get done together, done before I left but there was so much more to do.  We couldn’t move the rig from our friend’s driveway because it was still torn apart.  We obviously couldn’t move into it when we moved out of the house.  So since March 26th, Steve has been living in a hotel and busting his butt trying to get the rig back together before joining me here.  I hope he is able to leave it knowing that he’ll be able to move it and move into it when he goes back home — I’m here for a month and he’s here for 18 days.

The transition hasn’t been as smooth as we hoped but it is what it is.  We’re now living our dreams.  We’ve started our new chapter.

I can’t think of a better way to spend our 20th wedding anniversary than back in the place where we got married and started creating dreams together.

Are you living your dreams?  Share below in the comments…