This is a condensed and clarified transcript of a video Bob made four years ago

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AS LONG AS I’VE BEEN DOING THIS I’ve gotten a lot of letters from people who started out, who went out to live this life, and they crashed and burned. By that I mean they got out on the road and they ran out of money, or they hated it, or they were so afraid—whatever it was. They got out here into this new life and it just didn’t work for them. It was a miserable unpleasant experience and then they quit. They give up. They go home. But they had sold everything, they’ve gotten rid of everything, and there’re so much worse off than they were to begin with. So I want to go over some of the things to get you prepared and have you ready to go out and start your new life.

Let me give you the two quick reasons this happens. One of the biggest causes of problems is they don’t adjust their lifestyle to their budget. The second is the old saying, “Wherever you go there you are.” In the 12-step community it’s called “doing a geographical.”  They change their location, they’re running away from their problems.  But but problems aren’t out there anywhere. Their problems are within them. So when they go, their problems go with them. They move into a van and become a nomad, and whatever was messing up their life before goes into the van with them.

You have to be willing to make drastic changes inside and outside to solve these two problems so that you don’t crash and burn. You have to be willing to change all of your expectations and your assumptions about life.  If your expectation is that you have $5,000 cash, you’re going to buy an RV for 3,000, and then you’re going to live forever on a thousand dollars a month income with a $2,000 emergency fund, I will almost guarantee you will crash and burn. Because that’s not going to happen if your expectations and needs and wants are the same as they were in an apartment.

The key thing is to live well below your means, not what you think you can scrimp by on.

So, to use an example, you think you have a couple thousand dollars, you have a car that’s comfortable, but you are determined to take your apartment comforts into your new life. So you’re gonna find a $3,000 RV and live in it. You’re gonna crash and burn because that RV is gonna suck so much of your money out of you. You’re gonna break down sometime with no money, and you’re gonna crash burn. Then you’ll go home and write to me and tell me how I failed you and how I misled you.

My thinking is that if you want to be in an RV you need more like between 1,500 and 2,000 a month, and you need instead of a $3,000 total emergency fund you need more like a $10,000 emergency fund, because RVs are going to be constant problems. Any RV that you can afford for $3,000 to $7000 is gonna need constant repairs. If you can do the repairs yourself, then you might be okay. But if you can’t do the repairs, and you’re paying someone else to do them, then you’d better have a big emergency fund.

Another thing I hear all the time is people writing me with hopeless stories. They don’t even have a driver’s license. They don’t own a car. And they’re being kicked out of their apartment. They’ve been staying with family and the family is tired of that, and now they have to go. Or they have health problems and they spent all their money on the health problems. Now they can’t afford to pay rent and they can’t work. What are they gonna do? These are hopeless stories, and if your life is hopeless where you are, and you move into a van, and think you’re going to be a nomad and suddenly it’s going to be solved, it isn’t going to be.

Your life will be just as hopeless now. You have eliminated the biggest expense—an apartment—but your life is still a hopeless story. People come out here looking for a miracle. I don’t have miracles to offer you.

I’m just as a guy who lives in the van of poops in a bucket. That’s my only qualifications to make any of these videos.

I get regular emails from people who say they just can’t wait until they come to the RTR, or they can’t wait til they come out and camp with me, because then their life is going to be fixed. Becoming a nomad is not going to fix that. Something’s going to have to change on the inside of you so that you realize that you’re making all these bad decisions, and you stop. You start making good decisions. Maybe people can give you a hand up, but until you stop making those bad decisions your life’s never going to be better.

I think we can give you all the money in the world and before long, with a series of bad decisions, you’re gonna be just as bad off as you were. A lot of it is the internal changes you have to make. So let me give you my advice on how to make these internal changes right now, right where you are, so that when you’re on the road you won’t crash and burn.

If your life is full of fear now, when you get out here your fears will probably come true. I’m not a person that is a big believer in the idea you can think your life into being what you want it to be, but I’m pretty convinced that if your life is full of fear, there’s a very good chance the things you so greatly fear will come upon you.

I’m also a big believer that if you are a person who fills your life with faith and hope and confidence the odds are pretty good there’s gonna be a lot of good things in your life.

If you look at your life like it’s half empty, thinking, “I’d better hold, man. Things are bad! There’s bad people waiting to get me if I go out and live on the road! There’s gonna be roving bands and murderers and rapists that are going to get me! I know that for certain!” Well, if that’s kind of your attitude in life, you’re gonna crash and burn.

Your attitude in life is going to determine a whole lot of your success, and you need to understand that. If, on the other hand, you’re open to change and you’re open to seeing hope, if you see the glass as nearly full, you’re like, “Man, I could fill it up the rest of the way real easily. I’m gonna look for a solution. Yeah, there are dangers out there. I know there are, but man, if I do this and this and this I’m gonna be okay. The universe is friendly and I’m going to do my part.”

Your van will still break down, you’ll still run into jerks, and you still might run into bad guys — I am NOT going to deny that — but with that attitude you’re much much less likely to crash and burn. Fear will cause you to crash and burn.

You’re going to look at your new life as an adventure and as a quest. And as you quest for your new life you’re going to question everything. Whatever your assumptions are now, you’ll question them. Be willing to change them.

For example, why do I have to take a shower every day of my life? What is the assumption there? What is the expectation there? Or, what is the expectation that I have to have a toilet? Human beings have lived without toilets for millions of years. How did they do it? Do I really have to have a 40-foot RV or a 25-foot RV to be comfortable? Is that really true? Could I live in an eight-by-ten cargo trailer and have all the room I could possibly need, all the comforts I need?

So question your assumptions. Question your expectations. Be open to changing each and every single one of them.

Question your every need. What do you really need in your life? You need enough to eat, you need to be have shelter from the storms and heat cold, and you need a certain level of clothing. If you can learn to be content when all your fundamental needs are met you won’t crash and burn.

I’m telling you all these things so that you can take the steps today to avoid crashing and burning in the future. I believe you don’t have to and that it can be avoided. And I believe you can do it.