Vanessa and I are often asked the same question whenever we speak of RV travels -- how are you going to make money? Valid question. We both had very lucrative jobs before taking the plunge into full-time RV exploration, yet that doesn't mean that we don't have to make a living while on the road. As awesome as it would be to just live off savings and travel without regard, that doesn't seem to be in the cards for us just yet.
As a copy/freelance writer, I'm blessed to be able to work from just about anywhere. As long as there is WiFi, of course. I take jobs here and there covering topics that I feel strongly about, or that allow me to broaden my knowledge on a whole slew of varying topics. I've learned quite a bit while freelancing, plus it keeps my writing skills sharp.
Aside from writing, Vanessa and I are hoping to find other sources of income while on the road, particularly involving farm work, harvesting, manual labor and the like. We're looking to get our hands dirty, and invest a little bit of ourselves back into the earth. Maybe it's hard to imagine a former Miss Teen USA and a published author choosing a life of working with our hands from dawn to dusk, or harvesting apples under the autumn sun, but it's with good reason.
One of my favorite chapters from Malcolm Gladwell's book Outliers is the last, right before the epilogue, called Rice Paddies and Math Tests. (If you haven't read this book, I urge you to do so. If you want my copy, email me your forwarding address and I'll send it along. It's worth the read.)
Gladwell speaks about meaningful work in this chapter and the importance it has on a person and on a community. The Chinese, as a culture, spend so much time building, maintaining, and harvesting from their rice paddies in order to provide for themselves, their community, and their families. There is meaning behind the work they do. There is pride and reward. This ultimately is a contributing factor to why the Chinese are so hardworking and motivated as a whole.
Vanessa and I both worked in offices, without significant personal reward. We were making money for our bosses, while stationary behind a desk for hours at a time. There wasn't much meaning in the work we were doing. We felt extremely unfulfilled.
To us, working on a farm, or harvesting grapes in a vineyard would facilitate meaning and purpose. Not only would we be helping the smaller farms who need more hands than people are willing to offer, but we also are rewarding the community with the fruits of our labor (pun definitely intended).
Maybe it sounds crazy to some, but one of the main reasons Vanessa and I are taking this leap of faith into full time RV living is so that we can cultivate a stronger sense of purpose and meaning while exploring the country on our own terms. We don't want a 9-5. We don't want to sit in traffic every day. We don't want to earn a paycheck just to buy more "stuff" nor do we want to sell people more "stuff".
It's a lifestyle change that we're hoping to find much more rewarding on a personal level because it speaks to the very core of our being.
Life on our own terms.
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Marisa & Vanessa have a whole "About Us" blurb that they are dying for you to check out.