VERY FEW PEOPLE CAN MAKE THE LEAP INTO FULL-TIME VEHICLE LIVING without experiencing some degree of anxiety. Most of us have never done anything like it before. There’s so much that’s unknown and unpredictable. There’s so much uncertainty.
Humans tend to avoid uncertainty. Better the devil you know. Look before you leap. Don’t stick your neck out. Fools rush in. Safety first.
Uncertainty feels like failure. That’s our amygdala talking. Our lizard brain. Our fight-or-flight brain. Our better-safe-than-sorry brain. But we are not lizards. That tiny reptilian brain is surrounded by a large one that’s capable of much more, including changing itself to see things differently and react differently. It’s a brain that can find answers and create solutions.
Our lizard brain builds walls to keep us safe from our fears. But those walls can become prisons, keeping us from the goals, the growth, the happiness that await beyond the fears.
YOU CAN’T FIX THE STATUS QUO WITH MORE STATUS QUO
We might think, “Live in a vehicle? Holy crap! Am I crazy? What if life gets worse instead of better?”
But maybe we should think, “Stay in my current situation? Holy crap! Am I crazy? What if life gets worse instead of better?”
What’s the best that can happen if you don’t make a change?
Improvement requires change. What’s more, in a constantly changing world, sometimes just maintaining the status quo requires us to change. We can fight change and become its victims, or we can take action and direct that change in ways that benefit us. We can make change an ally.
THE VOICES OF FEAR
We are surrounded by fearful stories—from our families and friends, from the media, and from ourselves. The stories make us anxious about what might happen rather than what is actually happening. Dutch life coach, Marnix Pauwels said, “I hit the bottom of my well of fear and there was nothing there. I wasn’t actually scared of life; I was scared of the thoughts I had about life.”
TAKING ACTION REDUCES FEAR
Fear can be vague. We fear… something. Something not good. Failure? Ridicule? Harm? Loss? Loneliness? Things simply being different?…
If we can pinpoint our fears, if we can name them, then we can focus our energy. We can take targeted measures rather than flailing aimlessly. Success begins with taking the first small step. Then another small step. And another. Those successes show us we can manage the situation. Those successes show us we are stronger and more resilient than our fears.
There will be setbacks, but setbacks are temporary, not the final destination. Our previous successes teach us we can deal with challenges.
Elenor Roosevelt said, “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.”
SHARE THE LOAD
Fears gain power when we keep them to ourselves, when we don’t share them. But sharing is often a fear in itself. What if we’re mocked and rejected? That’s why CRVL built a community of and for vehicle dwellers. We’ve faced the same fears, had to solve the same problems. We are empathetic and want others to succeed.
BELIEVE IN YOURSELF, NOT THE FEARS
“What if something goes very wrong? Will I be able to handle it?”
That’s probably the greatest fear. And most likely, yes, you will be able to handle it. You are probably more able and resourceful than you realize. It’s even more likely you’ll handle it if you reach out to the nomad tribe.
Something could go wrong. But things could also go wonderfully right.
Change is a risk, but doing nothing is a bigger risk. Our lizard brain will always choose not struggling rather than struggling. But struggling does not equal failure. It’s just the process.
Living in fear and uncertainty has been these last few years my problem. Before meeting my last boyfriend I was ready for anything now I’m like can I do this? When it has been my desire for 16 years. Now I have the chance. I don’t know.
We only live once. It is now or never. I am 61 and I decided just now I need to put my fears aside or give up my dream
So very true!
I’m was once there to Bobby I’m 66 and feeling the freedom I haven’t felt since I was in my twenty’s
Pete i’m all new to this do you have a home base in the winter time ‘ see that my thing i would not have a home base and i live on social security
What a great article, powerfully written and these ideas & principal can apply to so much of any life. He is a great writer! Best to all who are living this kind of Life, hope to meet some of you one day! ❤️
I’m very flattered. If only you could go back in time to tell my various teachers that I eventually learned how to assemble words in a coherent manner. 😀
Great article. Thank you.
I wonder to myself is this a sign that this is the right thing? I’m 75 a woman and I just got my RV. My close friends that helped me get it are helping me get it ready for travel. I’ve always wanted an RV to travel in but now that it is happening questions keep popping up? Am I to old to make this change? Am I ready to be lonesome sometimes? What if I break down and can’t afford the repairs?
Your article has helped me calm some of those fears. I’m going to print it up and put it in my RV so I can refer back to it and remind myself I want an adventure before I leave this earth.
I am your age and have been rv living since 2015. It is a lot like moving to a new neighborhood. You take steps to acclimate to your surroundings. I traveled a lot with my horses over many years and loved the freedom which grows on you. Be confident–you’ve got this. If you worry about stuff it finds you.
What?! Too old?!! No such thing Dodi…you’re too good to sit aging in a recliner with the tv blaring all day. That’s the only “TOO” in this equation. Enjoy your travels :-))
Dodi, there are many nomads who hit the road to discover all the beautiful places, but their biggest, most beautiful discovery was themself. They learned they were far more bold, capable and self-reliant than they had imagined.
61 and I feel the same. But this is our only life so I need to take advantage of it.
What if you never break down? Change those negative thoughts to positive ones. I have been RVing for 8 years. Most people are always willing to help.
Good luck to you with your dreams! I had a dream to travel to Yellowstone and have a work camping job. I did it at age 65. Some things were as expected-others weren’t. Now on my next trip I know what to do different! 😃
Good luck & God bless Dodi, hope you post some time once you get started.❤️
Wonderful article; very well put! Thank you for voicing these concerns/worries many people, myself included, have pop up every so often. “Change is the only constant”. Trusting ourselves, living in Harmony with ourselves & others, & Enjoying our lives… This is why we are here. We only have one go around on this Earth, in this Lifetime. May we all follow our Hearts Desire!
To Dodi: You go for it Girl! I look forward to hearing of your adventures, if/when you wish to share✨
SherBear Thanks for the encouragement, no worries I will be sharing all the exciting adventures with all <3
I likewise have been anxious over this new nomadic part if my life. At 72 yo I became a vanomadic. Spent 5 months in the Quartzsite/Earp area where I found the RTR and the safety of the Womens Caravan. Now I am feeling anxious again as I try to find new but cooler BLM for the hot seasons. But I shall find places and I shall enjoy nature.
So to Dodi: check the HOWA site for the caravans locations Being a nomad while enjoying nature everyday makes our latter years truly golden.
Penelope K. Don’t be anxious,for cooler places drive ‘ upwards ‘ go to higher elevations( mountains & / or high desert ) & voila, that’s the solution ! Happy trails. 🙂
Thanks for sharing…
Thanks Penelope I will do that, thanks.
I’m hoping to be on the road in a month or so.
I’m not “scared”, but I am a bit nervous.
I’m also pretty excited.
You’ve got this! Keep a goin’! Once you get experience, you’ll most likely become less and less nervous. When I first got on the road, I voyaged across the country almost non-stop for 17 hours from Ohio to Wells, MN to my parents. It was below zero for most of the journey. I was afraid to overnight anywhere because I didn’t have heating and wasn’t sure if my bedding would keep the dog and I warm enough. 6 years later, my bedding was more than enough to keep the dog and I warm enough in 7 degree weather.
I feel that same fear with aging I will be 80 next season, I have done brave and exciting things a bit younger, like in my 60’s, but these years have passed and my kids worry about me as well as my I do too. What I am embarking on is an off grid tiny cabin in the north woods. I am excited and anxious…..but going ahead in spite of age and anxiety.
I’m 76 & have been full time rv’ing for 4+ years. 5 years ago my life was suddenly turned upside down. The death of someone close can have that effect. I had to make several important decisions all within a couple months regardless of consequences. I ended up getting a 13 ft camper and that is now my home. The beautiful things, people, and adventures I have experienced have forever made my life so very worthwhile. Never be afraid of opening another door, seeing whats around the next corner, or over the next hill. That’s what life is all about. Travel well and with a smile on your face.
We live everyday and die once, I will not die wondering “what if”, life is Worth living and thank you Jesus for helping me through the fear!!!
I love this! When I first heard of vanlife, My lizard brain absolutely SHOUTED at me that living in a van was too small and cramped. But, after reading Bob’s book, my bigger brain LEAPT UP and magically manifested the van I yet live out of today, 10 years later.
All the comments here are sooo cool and put a smile on my face!!!
Thank you everyone for your comments, it gives me courage!!!
When you think you can’t do it, CHANGE YOUR MIND!!! 💯
And say “ I CAN DO IT ” 💕 “ I CAN DO THIS “ 💕 “ I CAN DO THAT “💕🌺💯👍😃🇺🇸