I get lots of emails from readers about safety; it is probably one of the most common topics. People write me and ask if they will be safe or if they can be vandwellers/RVers if they aren’t mechanics. I often get letters from women asking if they will be safe. Fear is the root of many of those emails. I’ve concluded that fear is probably the one thing more than any other that keeps people from following their dreams. They long to make a change in their lives but they are paralyzed by the “what-if’s” and perceived dangers and risks of following their dreams. I think there are many of you out there who fall into that category. You are daydreaming and planning, but never actually doing anything to make your dreams come true. You live vicariously through my and other blogs. There is nothing wrong with that!! If I my writing makes your life better in any way, I am grateful for the opportunity. But I hate to see you miss out on a better life because of fear.
Numerous times I get in extended email conversations with people who are very frustrated with their lives, and really love the idea of mobile living, but their fears hold them back. I want to help them so I always try to calm their fears as best I can. I address their fears directly and try to show them reasonable solutions to help them get over them. With many people fear is so ingrained they can’t overcome it and they find a reason why my every reassurance can’t help them. Every time I offer a solution, they tell me why it can’t possibly work. Sometimes they just ignore me like I never said anything.
Having lived with a lot of fear in my life I understand how powerful its death grip is on our heart and minds so sometimes I give up on logical reassurance and turn to shock tactics instead–trying to break through the fear. In this post I want to share some of the answers I have given to a reader that I have been writing to for a very long time (over 40 emails back and forth). Every time I offered a solution this person responded by a repeating all the reasons she/he couldn’t go mobile and claiming that what I suggested couldn’t work. I finally decided logic could not work so I just started talking straight to him/her.
I know there are many of you out there enslaved by fear as well. I’m hoping that perhaps my answers to her/him will shock you out of your fear as well. There is nothing in his/her questions that could identify the person, but if you are reading this I hope you aren’t offended by my sharing my answers to you with the other readers. I hope you are grateful for the chance to indirectly help other people.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~ Attributed to Mark Twain
Question:May 31, 2013: I’m a little bit fearful on heading out…. I’m so frustrated at things mechanical going wrong for me I’m about to give up. Maybe I’m meant to be in an apartment and just drive to where I want to visit once in a while.
Answer: May, 31, 2013: I will do everything I possibly can to help you. I know very little about RVs but I do know a lot about solar. Here is my advice so you can have your best possible life:
- Take it easy!!
- Set Sail!
What’s the worst thing can happen? You don’t have enough power and have to do with out your microwave, coffee maker or refrigerator.
My friend, if that is the worst thing that can happen to you, then you are better off than 80% of the people on the planet. You have the potential of a great and wonderful life but instead of living it you spend all your time worrying it won’t be perfect.
I will take all the suspense out of it for you. IT WILL NOT BE PERFECT. There will be problems and there will sacrifices. Horror of horror, you may have to drink instant coffee, cook over your propane stove and buy an ice chest. You may have to dig cat holes and poop in the woods. You may have to bathe with wet wipes and a spray bottle. NONE of that is likely, but it is possible.
But let me tell you what you will get in return.
- You will wake up every day in a beautiful National Forest or Desert and thank God you are so lucky!!
- You can reconnect with nature and feel human again.
- You can camp with some wonderful people who will do anything they can to help you and will also give you all the privacy you need and help when you need it. We are a true community.
- You can chase the best weather and avoid extremes.
- You can travel and see a lot of gorgeous country.
- To me, that is worth any sacrifice I have to make, but only you can decide if it worth it to you.
I don’t know if you will need more batteries for your fridge. Come on out here and we will find out. If you need new batteries I will drive you into Flagstaff and you can buy them whenever you can afford them. We will deal with the problems as they come up.
“I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow than a sleepy and permanent planet.
The function of a man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. “ ~Jack London
Question: June 18, 2013: Here I am getting the RV finally able to go somewhere and I’m feeling reluctant and scared to leave. I know it’s mostly because I’m afraid something is going to go wrong with the RV and I shouldn’t because I’ve worked so hard and spent so much in getting it ready to be used…. I wish there was a way I can get over this and I know I’ve done all that I could do to make me road worthy but that fear is still there.
Answer: June 19, 2013: …fear is normal and healthy! The little voice that nags at us that there is danger reminds us to do our due diligence and take all the precautions and prep work we should. But sometimes that voice just goes on and on even when it shouldn’t.
You have done all the work to make yourself as safe as you can, and you are going to be with other people which always make you safer. So I suggest when the voice nags you that you literally thank it for its good service, tell it you’re glad it’s helping you stay safe. Then just keep reminding it over-and-over again that you have done everything you can to eliminate the risks and you aren’t going to be alone.
Hopefully after a while it will calm down and you will feel better just by hearing yourself say it. But the day will come when you are just going to have to screw up your courage, ignore the voice, and set sail.
Embrace the risks and danger as a reassurance that you are still alive and life is to be lived and not just endured and survived.
You are at a crossroads, Will you spend the rest of your life in a wheelchair waiting to die, or will you grab life by the throat and demand all the joy and fullness out of it that you can get?
Only you can make that choice.
But once you make it, don’t look back, don’t think about it again–just take action.
Either buy the best rocking chair you can and start making provisions for your funeral, or get in that RV and drive away and let the chips fall where they may—good or bad!
Use your health, even to the point of wearing it out.
That is what it is for.
Spend all you have before you die;
do not outlive yourself.
~George Bernard Shaw
Answer: June 20, 2013: Your fear has you paralyzed, it has nothing to do with generators that is just the excuse your fear is using to paralyze you. Lack of electricity should not keep you from traveling. At worst you might be without it for a month or two while we figure it out and you save money.
You simply have to choose to either sit back and wait to die, or take a chance and start traveling. Generators aren’t part of the decision! You are choosing between embracing life with all its potential problems or a comfortable “living death” for the remainder of your years on this planet.
You can have a comfortable life in an apartment while you wait to die or can throw caution to the wind, get in your RV and drive away.
You may have to do without electricity and use an ice chest, drink instant coffee and use a propane stove. BUT you will be alive and embracing life. I also suspect that when we put our heads together this terrible problem that is tearing you apart with the generators will actually turn out to be no big deal at all. But maybe not, maybe it will be an insurmountable problem. SO WHAT!
Life or death, choose.
“It is very important that you only do what you love to do. You may be poor, you may go hungry, you may lose your car, you may have to move into a shabby place to live, but you will totally live.
And at the end of your days you will bless your life because you have done what you came here to do.
Otherwise… you will do things only for a reason, to please other people, and you will never have lived. And you will not have a pleasant death.” ~ Elisabeth Kubler-Ross