Thursday, January 12, 2012

Why the road was taken.

        I have been asked recently what was the path in life that led us to a travel lifestyle. What was the point at which we decided, what happened to lead us and what did we do to step in a sense off the grid and out of our stick house? Was it just chance or was it somehow part of a grand plan? I have read of many stories of retirees, those who started or joined businesses that required travel, and still other of seekers of freedom of one sort or another. Our story reminds me of history, economics, timing and chance placing people in situations where they need to make choices for their family that they never expected to have to make. Of course many of the choices that were made suited something already inside us. This choice suited more needs for us than it did not, the same as in any ones life choices suit their life in their own way.
      I was working in the Technical Support Call Center industry and for a while business was good. I was moving through lower management on a fast track and starting to grow with the economy, building debt while building a family, larger car, and nicer things. A young son and twin daughters, everything was looking good or so it seemed. Then the economy turned and "Outsourcing" became a prime cost cutting measure. I was eventually laid off, with a small severance package. Now timing becomes more important, at first I could not except less than my unemployment insurance check due to bills and debt, the juggling began. No one was hiring anyhow. The phone continued not to ring for a year, except for offers of scams or "paid educational" or job training license positions. Odd jobs here and there floated us sometimes;  mostly I had time to be with family and realize how fat I had gotten from office work. The former was good, the latter not so much. One hot day we drove from Portland to the coast for some cooler weather. The drive reminded us how much travel inspired conversation and we talked about future plans and what we were going to do next in life. At the end of a nice day at the coast we were at the beach getting ready to head back to Portland and the dreaded heat, we noticed the folks in the Class-C parked next to us were preparing a dinner instead of the drive we were contemplating. That was a spark.
      Why couldn't we? Other families were doing it we discovered with a little research, and if they could so could we. It came down to the fact that things might not be better but it would be a learning experience and  an adventure. When would there be another chance to show my family around the world? Would I be able when I was older, would my wife? Would the kids still want to hang out with us? When the opportunity came to buy a $1500 1972 GMC Propane powered School bus, I did it. The Neighbors thought we were crazy as did our family and friends. Oddly enough there were others who had never given me a second look wanted to get to know me cause I was now "the guy converting a Skoolie." Too late I guess, my heart was in many ways already on the road. It took me 8 months to complete the interior with my young family. It wasn't much to start out with just enough to meet our needs of shelter and transportation.
       After our minivan was repossessed, debt ate our bank accounts and bills were missed. Our rental stick house of 5 years was purchased by another company with less patience than the previous, and the eviction process commenced.  The situation might have been able to have been rescued, but we thought, how long before it happened again? Instead we welcomed the path we saw before us stepped on to our bus Wayne and hit the road with rarely a look back.....

Wednesday, January 11, 2012