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10 Truths I’ve Learned on the Open Road

in Do What You Love, Travel

A winding tunnel through a mountain in North Carolina…

Courtney, Milligan and I are rounding out our third full month living and traveling in our RV.

The first leg of our journey has been full of ups and downs, but for the most part – life seems normal. As normal as it can be driving thousands and thousands of miles across the country hosting meetups and visiting friends.  :-)

In the past, I’ve written extensive “travel updates” chronicling some of the day-to-day activities and sights. Instead of catching up on that for the entire East Coast, I’ve decided to share our journey in a different format.

Below are 10 truths that I’ve come to learn through our first few months on the open road. Embedded in between the truths are some of Courtney’s greatest photos from Tennessee, the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, and Texas.

Note: Special thanks to our amazing sponsor Adaptu.com for their help making the first leg of the road tour a success. Stop by and take our “Crush $1000 in Debt” pledge.

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Milli rides behind as her great-grandmother bicycles in Venice, Florida…

Truth #1: Most things in life are way easier than you think.

With the exception of a few bigger things like weight loss, marriage, and parenthood – most things are super easy.  :-)

5 months ago, we knew nothing about RVs. We were still learning the difference between Class A and Class C – and whether diesel was better than gasoline engines.

We weren’t sure how or where we were going to find an RV – nor how to drive, operate, or live in one full-time.

And now we do. Well, we know just enough to get by. All those months of worrying and stressing were wiped out when I bought the RV at auction, drove it home, and started asking questions. (Special thanks to Chris & Cherie at Technomadia for answering many of those!)

Look, I know that people go through incredibly tough times and overcome things I will never have to. But I also know that most of us make things way harder than they need to be.

If you want something – anything – bad enough, it’s usually not that hard to figure it out. You’ve just got to get out of your own way.

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Up close with the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania…

Truth #2: The United States is freakin’ huge.

Holy cow is this country big. You really don’t get it flying around in a plane. I’m convinced you can’t fully grasp it until you sit at 60 miles per hour for days upon days at a time.

My first longer-than-it-has-any-right-to-be drive was from Washington D.C. to Wilmington, Ohio. It really shouldn’t be that long… I’ve seen a map many times. They look fairly close… turns out there are some mountains in the way. Mount Negro to be exact.

Ever try to drive out of Tampa, Florida around the panhandle?  No?  Don’t.  Just trust me.

And don’t even get me started on Texas. Every place in Texas is 45 minutes away – even when it’s in the same city. And I swear it’s a 6 hour drive from any city in Texas to the next state. I know that seems impossible, but that’s how it feels.

Of course, our nation’s size is also one of its largest benefits. We are incredibly diverse in not only geography, but in people, community, climate, and values.

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Milligan runs through a stone cloister in New York City…

Truth #3: The ability to adapt is still the best currency in the world.

I’ve talked about this many times before – but it still rings true.

Nothing has gotten me farther in life than the ability to quickly adapt to a new situation. By default, we train ourselves *not* to adapt. We strive to build a situation that is static.

We design our work lives, financial lives, family lives, and every other part of our identity around this “stable” life.

But in doing this, we limit our ability to adapt. We restrict our flexibility when crap hits the fan. When we lose a job or someone close to us. When an once-in-a-lifetime really does appear, we aren’t trained to take it.

Learning how to dive into something head first – and adapt – is a universal currency. It’s worth millions and millions of dollars over the course of your lifetime – and even more than that in happiness.

I have no data to prove it – but I’m confident that happiness in life isn’t tied to stability or comfort nearly as much as it’s tied to the ability to quickly adapt to a new situation.

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The RV buried in snow outside of Baltimore, Maryland…

Truth #4: Weather changes everything.

I’ve never fully appreciated the changes in climate and weather as much as I do now.

Note:  As I’m editing this post to publish – it’s snowing here in ARIZONA of all places!  How fitting.

Weather doesn’t just cause changes to daily plans – but can deeply affect everything from your mood to your financial life. We’ve been exposed to weather our entire lives, so it’s easy to take its impact on our daily life for granted.

In the RV, if it’s cold at night – you feel it much more than you do in your home. If it’s muggy during the day – you feel that, too. Traveling full-time and living in a thinner shelter means we’re much more in tune with Mother Nature.

On a more positive note, our new lifestyle allows us to take much more advantage of the times where the weather does cooperate. It’s easy to stay cooped up in a 3,500 square foot house regardless of weather. In a 31ft RV, you welcome being forced out into the weather (on most days).

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Our first glimpse of the freshly wrapped RV inside a random warehouse in Washington D.C…

Truth #5: I want to “work” with people.

The hardest part of living on the road is finding the time and creative energy to “work”. Keeping up with email and daily tasks is hard enough – but by nature, I’m at my best when working on large, audacious projects.

These type of projects are complex enough when you have a designated work space and team in place. Try doing them in and out of random coffee shops and in an RV with your family running around beside you. It’s definitely a “first world problem” – but it’s a real problem nonetheless!

I used to pride myself on the ability to work from anywhere in the world at any time. And I still do enjoy that freedom.

But I’ve also matured to realize that I *want* to work surrounded by other people. And you know what? I wouldn’t mind an office. You know… a place where I go to work and come home when I’m done.

Also, I like having team members working on projects with me – it helps motivate me (and is much more fun).

So over the next few years, I see myself transitioning to a single top-secret location (with a passionate team in place) for intensive creative work periods – maybe one to three months – and then taking off to travel during the times in-between these large projects.

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Milligan outside of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World…

Truth #6: Food and drink connect everyone.

I’m going to share two secrets with you.

Everyone eats. Everyone drinks.

As we visit different parts of the country and meet new people, sometimes we have a lot in common – and sometimes we have very little.

But the one surefire path to a passionate conversation is to talk about food. What food do you like? What do you enjoy cooking?  Do you cook? What is your favorite restaurant?  Favorite meal?  Favorite dessert?

Everyone really does eat. And many people and cultures identify a part of who they are in the food they prepare, share, and consume. The same is true for different forms of drinks, too.

And it’s tough to find a more powerful (and neutral) meeting opportunity than sharing a meal or a cup of coffee. Like it or not, food plays an essential role in our existence as humans.  

Food is an incredibly powerful way to connect with other people.

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Thousands of bats fly into the night from under a bridge in Austin, Texas…

Truth #7: You consume and produce a lot of resources.

Another benefit of living in an RV – your consumption habits are put into the limelight.

Suddenly you start noticing how much water you use when you have to pump it into the tank every time it runs dry. You notice how much energy you are using when you live a few consecutive days on batteries.

And I promise you are much more conscious of the gasoline you use when you get 7.2 miles per gallon of gas.

Want to get even more personal?

Try realizing just how much waste comes out of your body over the course of a week. Or think about what happens when you use too much waste water before dumping your tanks (hint: it comes up into the shower).

Consumption of all forms – like the weather – is something that is difficult to be conscious of. I’m not sure what changes lie ahead for us in this area, but I’m glad to have had the opportunity to tangibly see and measure the amount of energy we consume and produce.

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Me helping Milli find a walking stick on a hike through the Carolinas…

Truth #8: I do not miss television. Not one bit.

I occasionally miss things about having a single location, but I’ve never once missed having our television. Not once.

Even when I wanted to watch the Green Bay Packers dominate the playoffs this past season – I actually appreciated having to go out to watch the game. I watched one game at a local restaurant – and three others along-side friends in different cities.

And I may be the most excited person on the planet for the upcoming HBO series “Game of Thrones” – but once a week I’m sure I’ll be fine taking a break to watch from my computer (without missing a 60-inch television every night of the week).

Look I won’t beat this one into the ground – I’m just making a personal observation for my life. I don’t miss it! :-)

For more on this, check out: 11 Reasons to Ditch Your Television.

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The hustle and bustle of Times Square in New York City…

Truth #9: The faster you travel, the more it sucks.

Nothing new on this one, but we’ve continued to confirm it over the last few months.

We are traveling slower than we did through Australia and Thailand – but we’re still keeping a decent pace. It’s tough to find a good balance. Travel too quickly and you’ll burn out and miss out on many amazing things. Travel too slowly and you can limit some of the people you can meet and events you can take part in.

Ultimately, we’re still trending to slower and slower travel times. Over the next leg of our trip, we’ll be spending multiple weeks in most of the major locations as we’ll have a bit more flexibility and time.

Even still, I believe we’ll shift to a model of staying in one location for 3-month or 6-month blocks of time as we continue. We aren’t ruling out having a single home-location either – it’s all part of the exploration of what we want.

Remember, there are no “nomadic rules”. The point of building a home, growing into a community, or traveling across the world is to live consciously – to choose deliberately what you want to do and where you want to live.

Right now our journey is taking us to slower and slower forms of travel. :-)

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Milligan runs the catwalk outside of the Men With Pens house in Austin, Texas…

Truth #10: Your life swells to the parameters you allow.

When you buy a large house – your life will swell to fill it.

When you sell everything you own, start from scratch, and limit yourself to two backpacks – your life will fill the backpacks – but no more.

When you decide to live in a 31 foot RV, your life will fit inside the walls.

For better or worse, our natural tendency is to fill the boundaries that we give ourselves. The trick seems to be that most of us live based on the boundaries that are provided by our culture. We choose the default life of our peers – whether or not that truly reflects our values.

My takeaway from this is that we can really live within whatever world we desire if we are willing to immerse ourselves in it. I have no doubts we could live our life in a backpack, in a mansion, in an RV, in a sailboat, in a third world country, or on a tropical island.

It all starts by tearing down the default walls that have been put up around us – and then putting up our own restraints based on values, needs, and wants.

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Thanks for joining us on our journey!

If you enjoyed this post, please share it on Facebook or Twitter below:

West coast here we come!

Xoxoxo,

-Baker

{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

Dr. Laura @ WhoIsLaura.com March 21, 2011 at 5:27 PM

Baker, as always you have a great post! And Courtney, I just love your photos as well. Although it wasn’t a play-by-play of your journey, in many ways I think you summed everything up so far in a way that only you could do! Love it! I’m living vicariously through you all :) HA! And, if it makes you feel any better, it’s snowing here too. So much for the first day of spring…
Dr. Laura

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Baker March 21, 2011 at 5:33 PM

Thanks, Laura! I wanted to switch things up a bit – and I’m glad you enjoyed the “bigger picture” summary. :-)

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Jeff March 21, 2011 at 5:28 PM

I enjoyed this post very much. Thank you for sharing.

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Jay March 21, 2011 at 5:29 PM

Baker: No lie, BEST POST EVER. And you are so right about the size of the country. I recall the old Will Rogers tale about meeting a cowboy who rode all the way from California to Washington, Dc and said the country was quite large. When asked how large he replied “Just about as big as your butt can stand to ride across it.” Amen to that.

Love the words, love the pictures, love hearing about your trip – ups and downs.

Be safe, travel well and truly looking forward to saying howdy at WDS.

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Baker March 21, 2011 at 5:57 PM

Haha, Jay – that’s a bold claim! :-)

So glad you are into it – World Domination Summit is going to be a blast!

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Brenda March 21, 2011 at 5:29 PM

Great post as usual.

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Amanda L Grossman March 21, 2011 at 5:30 PM

Great post on your lessons learned (and lessons for everyone to learn!). By the way–you are SO right about Texas. I live in Houston (originally from PA–love the Liberty Bell pic), and you can see that a restaurant or other location is in Houston…but then drive AN HOUR to get there! Unbelievably large city.

Still…I do dig it:).

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Baker March 21, 2011 at 5:57 PM

Yeah, while in Dallas/Fort Worth area – every single thing we looked up in the GPS said “47 minutes with traffic”. Like 5 things in a row!

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Jesse March 23, 2011 at 11:21 AM

Too bad you didn’t enjoy DFW, but I’m not surprised. Unlike Austin, you really need a guide to help you find the cool things about the city. They are hidden under many, many layers of pretentiousness.

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Brandon Hansen March 21, 2011 at 5:38 PM

Baker,

What a great experience you and your family are having. I was excited for you the day I read the announcement on your blog about it and have been following ever since.

You are absolutely right, the country is massive and it would be a shame to not have a chance to experience what the good ‘ole USA has to offer throughout its regions.

Good luck and safe travels…

Brandon

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Jeff March 21, 2011 at 5:52 PM

Baker – killer post.

We 2nd the idea of no TV.

We write about our 12 years+ freedom from the boob tube:
http://www.expatyourself.com/2010/03/tv-braincandy/

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marianney | A Life Set Free March 21, 2011 at 5:58 PM

Awesome pictures and great lessons! I especially loved #5. I know that a while back, you had posted about the struggle between wanting to travel and wanting to be near friends and family. I totally get it. I think that is the road we’ll be taking in the future ourselves: half time at home near friends and family and half-time on the road or somewhere new.

Best wishes to you all on your journey. Shout out if you decide to stop thru Denver. You’d be missing out on a lot if you miss it. ;)

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Living the Balanced Life March 21, 2011 at 5:59 PM

Loved the post, Baker. Your words were awesome and gave me goosebumps to read, but Courtney’s pics made your words come to life. I am so excited reading about your trip so I can learn from you before we take off on the road!
Bernice

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Gillian @OneGiantStep March 21, 2011 at 6:10 PM

Love this. We also elected for no more tv once we returned from our year away. I don’t miss it either. We, admittedly, watch a few select shows on the internet and have downloaded a series or two, but I like that it’s directed watching and it’s on my schedule. A few hours a week is a far cry from the 4-6 hours a day I used to watch! Also looking forward to WDS…see you there!

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Jenna March 21, 2011 at 6:51 PM

Thanks for being part of an awesome SXSW meet up! And it was great actually meeting you in person, talking to Courtney and doing puzzles with Milli. Totally agree with Truth #2: The United States is freakin’ huge. When Sean, Marty and I started our road trip to Austin, TX and our GPS said 37 hours, I remember thinking, “wait, I can fly to Australia in less time then that!”

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Simon March 21, 2011 at 7:26 PM

“I wouldn’t mind an office.”

This is almost like a digital nomad taboo but I’ve been feeling exactly the same over the last couple of weeks. Blogging and Twitter are great, but there are times when I’d love to be surrounded by other developers and designers so I could bounce ideas around, get informed opinions on what I’m doing and generally be with people that understand.

Working by the beach is fun and all but it sure can get professionally lonely.

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Jesse March 21, 2011 at 7:40 PM

I love Truth #10!

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Laila Atallah March 21, 2011 at 7:57 PM

Thanks for this great post, Baker, and the awesome pics! Would love to see even more photos that also include you and/or your wife. I esp like the pic with you and Millie and the walking stick, and the one with Millie running on the catwalk.

Love this idea, and the way your word it, too: “… over the next few years, I see myself transitioning to a single top-secret location (with a passionate team in place) for intensive creative work periods – maybe one to three months – and then taking off to travel during the times in-between these large projects.” I’m going to ponder this idea of “intensive creative work periods.” Great approach, and it makes work sound like a lot a fun. And, of course, doing something like this in Mexico or Thailand sounds even better.

Keep enjoying your travels. Looking forward to your next post.

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Jessica March 21, 2011 at 8:02 PM

Texas… ya summed it up perfectly!
I sure hate that we missed you guys as you came through Savannah, but we love keeping up with your adventure. Keep up the great posts!

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Sustainable PF March 21, 2011 at 9:11 PM

EPIC post.
I drove from Calgary Alberta to Toronto Ontario on a move back to Ontario and the massive size of Canada made me appreciate just how much of our great nation I need to explore. Before I rush out to see the world I want to see our great country. And we sure know weather extremes as well, like you mentioned!

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Canadian April 3, 2011 at 11:50 PM

Did a trip around the Maritimes this past summer… Canada is massive. Would love to see more of it!

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Jolyn@Budgets are the New Black March 21, 2011 at 9:34 PM

Do you realize how many layers you wrote into this? So incredibly thought-provoking. The photos are amazing, Courtney!

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Joan March 21, 2011 at 9:39 PM

May I suggest Tahiti for the top-secret working location? Preferably not in monsoon season.

In all seriousness, this is awesome. And to second the other comments, Courtney’s photos were an incredible addition. You guys make a great team!

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Nonie March 21, 2011 at 10:27 PM

Love this. I drove with my kids (then 4.5 and 2.5 – almost 3 years ago now) from CA to upstate NY one summer. I was amazed not only at the SIZE of the country, but at it’s beauty. My work allows me to take the kids on several smaller road trips each year, and I love it. Sometimes I do drive to put the miles behind me and just *get there,* but other times we stop and enjoy the scenery and local flavors. Guess which type of trip is more fun :) We’re about to add geocaching to the mix …

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Mike Holman March 21, 2011 at 10:54 PM

I like the statement “get out of your own way”.

As for the office/team thing – I think working with other people can be very motivating. Working independently can be a great experience, but it’s hard to continually motivate yourself when it doesn’t matter to anyone else how much work you are doing.

Love the pics.

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Danny March 21, 2011 at 11:11 PM

I completely agree with #5. I don’t work in an RV, but in a small office in my home with kids running around. I miss working close to others to brainstorm ideas and just have a connection to others working towards your goal. The flexibility of being at home is nice though.

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Joe Edward March 21, 2011 at 11:42 PM

Great post. I love your views on travel and debt. Too bad more people do see it your way. Getting that “debt monkey” off of your back allows you to travel like this.
Cheers!

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Casey Friday March 23, 2011 at 10:48 AM

According to this page (http://manvsdebt.com/finances/), they’ve still got about fifty-thousand dollars worth of “debt-monkey” on their backs, so what point are you making?

I think travel is great, and what Baker is doing is great, but I really don’t understand the direction of this blog. I think it should be called “Family Traveling World,” rather than “Man vs. Debt.” Once again, all of this is awesome, but it’s not going with the theme of the blog.

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Jon Arnold March 22, 2011 at 12:08 AM

Good post Baker…very encouraging. My family and I are less than 3 months away from hitting the road for a year, and — I won’t lie — I’m nervous. We’ll figure it out though. Great meeting you at SXSW last week.

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D March 22, 2011 at 12:10 AM

Great post – thanks for sharing your experience with perspective.

One request – please use terms such as “Developed Countries” and “Developing Country” etc – the usage of “Third World” “First Wold” etc is not appropriate in our more enlightened times.

Its like hearing your grandparents use a term/name/what-have-you when describing a group of people (race/ethnicity/gender/sexual orientation) that you know they don’t mean bad… but it still makes you cringe and you hope none of your friends are around to hear it!

Thanks
D

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Diane March 23, 2011 at 1:12 PM

Hey D – There’s no comparison. Lighten up!

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Janette March 22, 2011 at 12:22 AM

Wonderful post.
Sad to say that I will be crossing Flagstaff as you leave for the Canyon. If you have the chance to catch the Museum of Northern Arizona on rt 180 – do it. Small enough to enjoy- but will give you a good overview of the people and cultures in the area.
Remember when you head through Kansas next time around—-we are right off of I-70 and would not mind an RV on the pad!

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Giber March 22, 2011 at 2:25 AM

Once again, awesome post!

First things first…Milligan is the cutest thing! thx for sharing those pics.

I really liked this quote from you, “If you want something – anything – bad enough, it’s usually not that hard to figure it out. You’ve just got to get out of your own way.” I’m a true believer of this and I’m glad you wrote about it here. I’ve read something similar many years back from Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist” and that has stuck with me for a long time.

Another thing that you said is right on target: “…but I’m confident that happiness in life isn’t tied to stability or comfort nearly as much as it’s tied to the ability to quickly adapt to a new situation.” As times change, even more so today, we need or should I say we must learn to adapt and embrace to what life throws our way.

Also, letting expectations go has been a key factor in learning to adapt to certain situations, both good and bad, in my life.

All the best in your journey and I wish you much more success, happiness, and health to you and your family.

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Jenny March 22, 2011 at 6:46 AM

LOVE THIS!!!

Number 3 stands out – yes adaptability is so important, and you’re right we spent too long like King Canute trying to hold back the tide.
I also liked number 6 – try asking on FB what your friends are having for lunch to get loads of replies.

The only thing I disagree with is that losing weight is hard. Losing weight is actually pretty easy, if you hacked off your legs right now you’d lose a lot of weight. But it’s not about that, it’s about accepting your natural body and treating it with the respect it deserves …. eating proper food, moving in a way you like and resting properly. The basic Zero Gravity ethos.

Aside from that, this whole post was fab and I love the pics of your wee ‘un, she looks like she’s having a blast :)

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Emma March 22, 2011 at 7:33 AM

Wonerful post. Number 10 was my favourite Truth- trying to set my own boundaries and not settle for those imposed by my culture/peers/family/cirumstances is somthing I thrive for.
Emma
P.S Your Daughter is just the cutest.

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Mercedes March 22, 2011 at 8:48 AM

Baker,
So great to hear (and see) that your journey across the US is going well! It looks like you guys are enjoying yourselves and I think it is great that you are exposing Milligan to so much of our history too!
Can’t waitt to see more pictures and hear more about your adventures!

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Lee Drozak March 22, 2011 at 9:09 AM

Great post. I am chuckling to myself with each truth. Being an RVer myself, I can relate to every one of the 10 points.

I too find that having a base for my business is helpful. I take my office on the road so I can relate to how difficult it is working from the confines of your RV but would not trade my home base for anything. It is hard to work from campgrounds as most people there are vacationing or “retirees”.

I am glad to see you are finding all the secret life lessons of the camping world.

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Erica Douglass March 22, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Great post. Love the pics :)

It’s funny, when I took my RV out for its first 11-day venture, I found I really did miss my TV. TV is part of my nighttime unwinding/relaxing ritual. Without it, I was consumed by the need to work all the time! But to each his own. I’d actually rather be in the place you’re in with TV.

-Erica

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Pamela March 22, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Yes, yes, yes. Loved it.

And I’m really counting on #1 to be true for me to as I plan to take off in a sailboat in a few years. Somehow I decided an RV was just a little too easy to learn. :) Crazy, huh?

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Matt March 22, 2011 at 3:11 PM

Fantastic piece. I especially love number 3, the ability to adapt. I think this is an important thing you can learn by travelling and it will most certainly have application in what you do in the future, whether it’s continuing to travel, or joining the workforce. There are few things more valuable then someone who can change or adapt quickly.

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Mark March 22, 2011 at 6:30 PM

Great post Baker. I love your idea of slowing down travel; although it doesn’t quite fit with my goal of flying but that’s ok because I love aviation and I will be the one flying & having fun.

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Tenis Oakley March 22, 2011 at 6:33 PM

Im really love read your posts. Everytime I read a inspirational and helpful text. Thanks!!!

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Luke March 22, 2011 at 9:07 PM

Baker: Wow…I love your writing style and your ability to say so much in each short blurb. You definitely hit a lot of truths in this post. Keep up the good work!!

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Martyn March 22, 2011 at 9:38 PM

Thanks Adam. I enjoyed reading each of these truths. I travel very little, so I’ll learn about it from you. :)

You mentioned a few months ago that one of your goals for 2011 was to double your subscriber base – essentially from 9 to 20 thousand. I’d love to see that happen for you. Just curious though. Aside from the snowball effect, are you going to actively look for ways to grow?

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Paula @ AffordAnything.org March 22, 2011 at 11:05 PM

What a beautiful post. I traveled for 2 years and did so at a slower and slower pace the entire time. The first few weeks we moved quickly; by month 3 or 4 we were much slower. By month 13 or 14 we were slower still. Month 24? Snail’s pace.

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Roy March 22, 2011 at 11:20 PM

Great post. Much food for thought. I love #3,4,6,9,10. Especially 9. I work on a cruise ship and we literally have hours in each country. It’s nice, but if you want it to be really awesome you need more time!

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Norcross March 23, 2011 at 5:13 AM

I’ll just say that I’m glad that you all were able to stay at my place as long as you did, and that the scheduling worked out so I could drive out to Austin with y’all. Although I’d rather forget about throwing up in Pensacola, the entire experience was amazing. Cash was bummed when he found out Millie had “gone home”. He pouted.

You all are always welcome in my home. Anytime.

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Radman March 23, 2011 at 9:16 AM

Nice morning read. I can especially relate to the food bringing people together. I am known for getting the most team work/bonding when I surprise a team member (or group) by taking them to lunch out of the blue. They soon learn that I not only am I concerned for the project, but them as a person too. People really do care for each other – you just need to give it a chance to flourish.

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Jesse March 23, 2011 at 10:47 AM

HA! On Texas, I actually know people who will drive two hours one way for dinner – its just the next town over. As for filling space, everything is like this. In project management the saying is, “All projects will take all the time allotted.” Horizontal surfaces are the enemy. Want to reduce clutter, reduce the amount of horizontal surfaces where you live and work. And yes, please, please please KILL your TV.

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Tyler the BizNinja March 23, 2011 at 12:19 PM

Great post Baker. Truth10 is one that we’re battling ever since we bought a larger home.

Still hoping to see you in California.

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Jason L March 23, 2011 at 8:59 PM

” Your life swells to the parameters you allow.”

Great quote… I like it a lot, and definitely it got me to thinking. Hope to maybe meet you when you come out here to California :) (Are you still on track to hit the second week of April?)

Jason

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Wifey of a Roadie March 24, 2011 at 12:00 PM

Nice read! I agree with so many things. Everyone has a budget – whether we are rich or not. I’ve found that the more we make the more we tend to spend (talk about adjusting!) Also we don’t have TV and we don’t miss it one single bit and we’ve found that we spend more time on productive and creative things such as writing, song composing, and traveling! Thanks again for the great article!
Wifey of a Roadie – Out!

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Matt Brown March 26, 2011 at 3:26 PM

Baker,

Excellent post and great list. You are truly an inspiration for getting out and seeing what this world has to offer (which I fully intend to do). Thanks for sharing your experiences and keep them coming. I hope to spend my time exploring this country and world the way you have done and continue to do. Keep up the great work!

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Thomas March 28, 2011 at 3:55 AM

Hi Baker
That sounds like some journey you and your family is on. It must be great for your daughter traveling around with her parents in that age. It really sounds like a great adventure. For what the TV concerns you are not missing out on anything these years. It seems to be a playground only for very stupid people, and the rest is news ;-)

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Justin Hamlin March 29, 2011 at 10:26 AM

Baker, I FEEL you. I just did a 9 day, 3600+ mile cross country trip with one of my best friends. This was the 3rd time we have driven coast to coast, and i freaking love it. Every mile of this huge-ass country.

My trip was part fun, and part work. The part work meaning we had a deadline, I had to be home to NY in 9 days. The fun part was Mardis Gras in 3 cities, seeing good friends in Atlanta, GA, Charlottesville, VA and Trenton, NJ.

Oh, and I didn’t miss TV one bit.

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Denise @ The Single Saver March 29, 2011 at 12:59 PM

Just saw that you will be attending the Financial Blogger Conference. Soooooo excited that I will get to meet the famous Adam Baker!

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Dwight Anthony March 29, 2011 at 8:55 PM

Great journal and truths Baker. Really made a good point and it reads like a mini manuscript.

Dwight Anthony
Financially Elite Blog Dot Com

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Ravi Gupta March 30, 2011 at 9:59 AM

Great article! All of your point strike home. The point of food keeping us all together and being flexible or adaptable strike home. I’m currently working but looking for other jobs so I’m willing to do things that I would normally not do.

-Ravi Gupta

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David Berger March 30, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Baker,
great post. I especially agree with #6. Sitting with someone down for dinner or even better, having a bottle of wine or few beers together bonds like nothing else.

Having a crazy night out together bonds like nothing else.

David

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Kathy May 1, 2011 at 1:31 PM

Fantastic post! I really agree with everything you say! Especially the part about traveling slower. My husband and I have been vagabonding (with a Honda Element) for 8 months now, and have spent the last 3.5 months in Mexico. We try and stay in 1 place for at least 6 weeks or so, but not always possible. The faster you travel, the more tough it is!

Also love the part about life expanding to your parameters…couldn’t be more true. And the one about weather…we experienced that when it snowed in Atlanta last year. We were so tired of being cold we finally flew to the Caribbean. Good stuff, thanks for your writing.

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Maggie May 30, 2011 at 3:04 AM

I just wanted to add that it is amazing how amazing this country is too. I drive cross country at least once a year for the past 9 years. Denver to NC and Montana to NC with my 5 kiddos and you can miss so much on the interstates. Slowing down and talking to people changes the whole trip. I intend on getting a pop-up camper to take my next go around just to force myself off the main roads and find the best camping spots. Not, sure if a pop- up will hold all 7 of us but, here’s to trying.
God bless you in all that you do. It is good to see a family not following the herd. There are so few of us.

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Ela June 2, 2011 at 6:06 PM

What you say in your posts contains deeply truths that only the wise and experienced people understand and apply it.
I am from Republic of Moldova, a former Soviet Union replublic. I think most people here live frugally not even knowing that this is a blessing in disguise.
The problem is that most Moldavians (like any other people in a poor country) prefer the bondage of debts so they leave Moldova and go to live in other countries like America, Canada or Western Europe.

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Jessica June 30, 2011 at 5:55 AM

Just wondering if you mean Tallahassee instead of Tampa. I have lived in Tampa for over 20 years and have never been near the Florida panhandle.

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Ana@DestinationYogaRetreats August 25, 2012 at 3:43 PM

I so love and appreciate what you said in No. 3 I was, still am, an expat since 2004, I am on my 6th country now. In each one, I was always struggling to find stability and clutching on to old things i’m accustomed to when what i should’ve been doing was to appreciate, embrace and adapt the new and unknown. I would’ve enjoyed much much much more. In England now for 3 years then off on the road again. Wish us luck!

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