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Heath and I flew up to New York City this week to speak at Vox Con, a conference for storytellers, where we shared how we started full-time RVing and how we built our business while traveling America.
We took the stage right after Donald Miller, a NYT best-selling author and, randomly enough, one of my biggest inspirations for our jump into RV life.
I had nearly forgotten about it completely until I listened to him talking on stage and suddenly it hit me: he once left Texas to travel America in an old Volkswagen van (before #vanlife was cool). Now, a decade or two later, he’s the CEO of a successful company and has written half a dozen best-selling books.
One thing Heath and I worried about after we first started RVing was how it might affect our future. I remember our moms asking us: “How are you going to get a job if you live in an RV?” This was usually accompanied by the classic “When are you going to settle down?” and “When are you going to come home?”
It was from reading books and meeting other travelers that we became determined this lifestyle could work. We could still build a business and write books and be “successful” even if we lived in a Winnebago. I mean, if they could do it, so could we, right?
If you’re considering full-time travel or need a little inspiration on the road, I wanted to share with you the three travek books I read before breaking the news to Heath that we needed to travel to all fifty states for our honeymoon.
The In-Between by Jeff Goins
I read this book while Heath and I were dating long-distance. I remember sitting on my front porch in New Orleans reading it and thinking how I was in one of those in-between times where nothing was really happening in my life. I knew soon there would be a diamond ring and a wedding and adventure, but at the moment I was clicking away at my desk job waiting for the next big phase of life.
This was the book that helped me stay sane and appreciate the present when I was dying to hurry up and get to the future. I think this quote from the book summarizes it nicely:
“Watching a tree grow will likely drive you crazy. It’s a boring process if you stand there, impatiently tapping your foot, waiting for it to do something. But if you step away and come back later, you’ll be surprised to see something beautiful emerge. The fact is the plant is doing something: it’s growing. Just not as quickly as you might like.”
Packing Light by Allison Fallon
This book is solely responsible for inspiring me to not just travel, but to specifically visit all 50 states. Unhappy with life in her twenties, Ally decides to visit all fifty states as a way to leave her baggage behind. She just up and did it. No one told her that she should go travel nor did she win the lottery. She didn’t like how her life was turning out so she took control and changed it. She’s kind of a badass.
I love this quote:
“You don’t have to go. You can stay home. It’s up to you. But if you let fear stop you from doing what you really want to do, you’ll regret that forever.”
Through Painted Deserts by Donald Miller
If you want permission to go, to buy an RV, to travel, to start your business, to do anything, but you’re scared, worried, stressed, all of the above, I want you to read this quote from the Author’s Note of this book:
“We get one story, you and I, and one story alone…It would be a crime not to venture out, wouldn’t it? It might be time for you to go. It might be time to change, to shine out.
I want to repeat one word for you:
Roll the word around on your tongue for a bit. It is a beautiful word, isn’t it? So strong and forceful, the way you have always wanted to be. And you will not be alone. You have never been alone. Don’t worry. Everything will still be here when you get back. It is you who will have changed.”
These books sparked the travel bug in our lives and helped us start dreaming of what our lives could look like one day on the road. I just wanted to share them with you guys today in hopes they can do the same for you!