An Adventure Begins…

in Do What You Love, Rants, Travel

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On Saturday, we finished cleaning out our one-bedroom apartment and passed the keys back into our landlord. We walked across the street and spent the evening and night in our new home – on wheels – in a family member’s driveway.

Yesterday, we pushed off from that driveway and started the first leg of what will surely be a new, big adventure.

I’ve spent the last week trying to put together a huge “IT’S A NEW YEAR – WHOO-HOO!” post. I’ve sorted out December’s income (I made more in December than the rest of the year) and completed my year end income/expenses (which I’ll also share).

I’ve brainstormed what I did well and not so well in 2010 – which goals I hit and which I left shattered on the floor. I’ve projected passionate benchmarks which will guide 2011.

Here’s the thing – I’ve been working so hard on this summary/post, that I’ve been stressing myself out at the beginning of a new, life-changing experience.

Last night, I stayed up for a few hours after a day full of fun with several people here in Ohio (I’ll recount more in the first official travel update). I was feverishly working to get the post ready for today.

Suddenly, I realized something even more important than big resolutions or year-end recaps.

I realized that spending another minute stressing on this one project would likely cause me to miss being in dozens of moments with family and friends.

It wasn’t worth it.

I went to bed.

The mammoth post will come – probably tomorrow – maybe Wednesday. It’s information that’s important and that I want to share – just not at the cost of not soaking in the start of this experience.

There are million things on my to do list. We are making our way to Baltimore to potentially have this baby wrapped in a design. I’m finalizing things with a potential sponsor for the trip. I’m still learning how to use the RV and how to find an external propane station on the road (this is really hard).

But all of that can wait.

Scroll up and look at the picture at the top of this post.

Milligan could care less about wrapping the RV – lining up a sponsor – or putting out a kick-ass end-of-year post.

“This is fun.”

“I wonder where we are going.”

“This apple tastes delicious.”

If I had to guess, those would be her top three thoughts/priorities.

I think we can all learn something from that – I know I can. No matter how ambitious your goals are – and no matter what elaborate plans I share with you tomorrow (or the next day) – let’s all make one resolution that’ll matter in 2011.

Let’s all not forget to live in the moment.

No goal of mine is worth losing that this year.

I’m honored to have you guys along for the journey…



photo by the amazing Courtney Baker

{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

Elle January 3, 2011 at 9:36 AM

I’m so excited for your RV adventure this year and upcoming posts on Man vs Debt. I saw an RV special on HGTV and thought of you guys – it looks like it’ll be a memorable year.


Joel January 3, 2011 at 9:47 AM

Very cool Baker :) Good luck on the road tripping! It was great seeing you right before the holidays!

Enjoy the trip & enjoy all the little moments you’ll get to experience throughout and most of all, have fun!


James Schipper January 3, 2011 at 10:25 AM

Congratulations on the start of this new chapter in your ongoing adventure. I hope we get a chance to meet up when you’re down here in Florida.

Let me know if I can help with anything.


Jody Elliott January 3, 2011 at 10:41 AM

Congrats, bud! If you’re in the Kentucky area, you’ve got a friend in me. Enjoy the trip!


Sarah Russell January 3, 2011 at 10:53 AM

Thanks for sharing – what a great reminder that, although planning and goals are important, it’s the moments like that that really make working for ourselves worth it :)

Best of luck getting ready for the big trip – hope you swing by WI at some point!


Chris Dunphy January 3, 2011 at 10:59 AM

I so know that “first day” feeling. Congratulations on the newest adventure!!!


Mike Moyer January 3, 2011 at 11:05 AM

Very cool. Let me know if you end up in the New York Area. Good luck working out the details, and great advice about living in the moment.


Joan January 3, 2011 at 11:08 AM

Very cool to see you reach that conclusion. I guarantee I’ll still be here whenever the post comes and will enjoy it, but no matter how great it is, I’m sure I enjoyed this one more.

Hoping to see you when you get to the Bmore area. I’m an hour north in southern Pa.


jaythebanker January 3, 2011 at 11:11 AM

Go for it! It will be great reading your posts on the journey of a lifetime! Traveling mercies..


Annie Sorensen January 3, 2011 at 11:14 AM

This goes without saying, Bake, but if/when you’re in the Kansas City area you have a plate of BBQ on me.

Enjoy the ride.
Have fun!


Jenny January 3, 2011 at 11:16 AM

Way more important to live in the moment with your family and friends before you leave! I left Houston just before Christmas for my first road trip destination. Hopefully our paths cross somewhere.


Jean January 3, 2011 at 11:20 AM

Your courage and enthusiasm take my breath away. How very very exciting. It does remind me of the adventures I have had in my life and I treasure the moments. Do you notice how people respond and want the best for you and offer any help you may need. I do think it would be great to meet up with some of them on your journey. I wish the best o you and your sweet family. I also say that if you ever come to Southern California you are welcome here and I will help in any way I can if you need it. But I would gain more from meeting you and your family.


Todd January 3, 2011 at 11:20 AM

God speed to you, Bakers’. Have a safe, adventurous journey. I’m really looking forward to living vicariously through your posts.


Rhonda Calhoon January 3, 2011 at 11:21 AM

Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful journey with us. I look forward to your future posts and learning from your experiences!


Paz January 3, 2011 at 11:24 AM

What a great post!!! I am so glad to hear you say…you know what that next great post can wait because we need to live today. So important. Great message. Made me tear up!
Safe travels.


Nick "Not the Peanut Butter Cup" Reese January 3, 2011 at 11:24 AM

Adam! Congrats! Good luck on your adventures! Don’t you wish we could all live like a child? Best of luck.


Justin Lukasavige January 3, 2011 at 11:35 AM

Fantastic thoughts, Baker. You’re right on your daughter’s thoughts, too. Our kids don’t care about any of that. They’re excited to sleep on the floor of the living room when friends come over to play. That’s what life is about.

Let me know if you’re coming through for a visit. 😉 The driveway is open.


Muzi Mohale January 3, 2011 at 11:36 AM

Baker, I’ll be following your journey with interest…can’t wait to see once your RV has been wrapped. You’ve a new fan from Johannesburg.


jean January 3, 2011 at 11:38 AM

How exciting for you all!

We have a massive driveway here in Michigan!

All the best…



Lisa January 3, 2011 at 11:56 AM

This is amazing Baker. So proud of and happy for you and your family. Glad to hear you are taking the time to enjoy the little moments. Slow travel, n’est pas?
All the best!!!


Brian January 3, 2011 at 12:26 PM

I love how young kids put things in perspective. They tend to live in the moment, as you saw, and every little thing seems new. I hope you guys are able to experience more of that yourself on your journey. This isn’t meant to be depressing when I say she won’t be like that long enough, so enjoy it!


Jenna January 3, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Glad Milligan (and now you) have the right priorities. Have a safe start to your trip!


Pea January 3, 2011 at 12:49 PM

How exciting! Bon voyage!


Suzanne Cramer January 3, 2011 at 1:36 PM

You hit the nail on the head…We are all so busy trying to ride life’s roller coaster that we often forget to stop and smell the roses (or, in Milligan’s case taste an apple). This journey is sure to be one you, your wife, and Milligan will never forget. Treasure every moment!


Sean January 3, 2011 at 1:49 PM

Family? Check. Fun? Check. The start of an awesome adventure? Check! You guys definitely have your priorities in order.

The entire journey IS the destination. Enjoy everything along the journey!

The best of luck as you hit the open road.


Del January 3, 2011 at 2:07 PM

Awesome! Godspeed!


Kates January 3, 2011 at 2:23 PM

Have a blast Baker!!

What an amazing adventure for you and your family to have together, and one you guys will treasure for the rest of your life.

If you’re in Rochester, NY, Ann Arbor, MI, or San Jose, CA… let me know, I know some great restaurants that are a must to stop at!


Jenny Foss January 3, 2011 at 2:31 PM

This here, Baker, is an RRRRR-VVEEE. Wow! I haven’t checked in on you in a bit. This is VERY exciting news! All the best to you and your family as you launch the adventure.

As for the decaling of the rig… as it happens, my “former life job” in marketing communications/PR involved design and execution of the decals on a fleet of semi-trucks used for National Road Shows. So, in addition to * all the job wisdom *? I’m also a whiz with vehicular decals.

So if you have any questions? Shoot ’em over. :)

(I KNEW some day that knowledge could come in handy. I just KNEW it!)

Cheers to you guys!


Lisa January 3, 2011 at 3:04 PM

This is awesome! Best of peace with this continued journey. And tell Milligan to continue to remind you to enjoy those apples. :)


Paul @ brokeforcollege January 3, 2011 at 3:16 PM

I hope someday to follow your example and free myself from debt enough to be able to travel the world. Have a great trip and nurture the things that matter.


Brandon January 3, 2011 at 4:03 PM


Thanks for the post. I am excited for you and your family. What a great experience.

I’ll be watching in anticipation to see what the voyage brings.



marianney January 3, 2011 at 4:54 PM

How exciting for you! I am so glad you get to spend more time now with your daughter and really watch her grow up and experience different places!


Evan January 3, 2011 at 5:53 PM

Did you guys plan a course yet? You stopping in NYC?


Justin Hamlin January 3, 2011 at 6:06 PM

Could not have hit that nail more on the head. We (as readers) would rather have one long post from you telling us how much time you spent with your family and your great experiences, rather than a post a day telling us how much you are missing out on with your family.

Keep killin it Baker, make 2011 EPIC!


Gordie January 3, 2011 at 6:21 PM

Hi Baker,
I just came out a 9 month blogging hiatus. It’s great to see you’ve done so well financially in December! Awesome, that you’re traveling as a family still. I hope you have a great road trip and a great 2011.


Lou Mindar January 3, 2011 at 6:59 PM

Bakes — You’re in for the time of your life. You get to spend time with your family and everyday will be a new adventure. When it’s all over, you’ll look back on all of it (even the bad stuff) fondly. Don’t miss a moment of it.

Best wishes. I hope to see you somewhere along the road.


Alex Humphrey January 3, 2011 at 9:00 PM

Rock on, Baker! Rock on!


Suzie January 3, 2011 at 9:19 PM

Congratulations on your new adventure…..we spend quite a lot of our time in our rig. (We winter in the RGV area in Texas). Finding gas stations we can fit into and places to refill or empty different tanks is always a challenge. If you are going to be traveling on the interstate highways very much, you need to purchase a book called “The Next Exit”. It tells you what you can find at any exit off of any interstate in all states. Flying J’s are listed and all the local stores, Walmarts, gas stations, hospitals etc. Well worth the $15.00. Got ours at Cracker Barrel, but Flying J’s have them too,. Also, check into the different clubs so that you are not paying the high rates for your stay in campgrounds. Good Luck!!


Mike Hedge January 3, 2011 at 9:41 PM

An exciting beginning! Inspiring! Have a great 2011!


Jeremy January 3, 2011 at 9:57 PM

Been a fan of this site since you were living and working in New Zealand, and I’m interested to see what this trip around the US is like for you and your family. Ever read “A Walk Across America” or “A Walk West” by Peter Jenkins (http://www.amazon.com/Walk-Across-America-Peter-Jenkins/dp/006095955X)? If not, I highly recommend both during your travels. And if you are on the north-end of Columbus, OH this week during your trip, feel free to email me – I’ll treat you and your family to a free lunch at Chipotle or similarly priced establishment!


Suddenly Susan January 3, 2011 at 11:48 PM

You are on a very exciting adventure ~ hope you enjoy every waking moment of it. From a former RV traveler, remember that things shift while you are rolling, literally, so be careful when you open the cupboard doors or you may have things dropping on your head, like coffee cups, etc. Priorities can shift too! I’m looking forward to your posts from the road. Enjoy!


Dan M January 4, 2011 at 12:37 AM

Good luck with the adventure, etc.

But, on an unrelated topic, why do American writers always use “–” in their writing?

What even is it supposed to be? Why can’t you just use a comma or a semi colon?

I mean no disrespect, just curious.


Jeff Rose January 4, 2011 at 10:51 AM

Love it! Can’t wait to hear the exciting news about your awesome December. Make sure to put Southern Illinois on your places to visit. Looking forward to meeting up!


Shannon Steffen January 4, 2011 at 12:21 PM

Absolutely love it, Baker! There are so many times I wish I could hand over the keys, pack up me, the hubs and our two chocolate Labs to hit the road and make memories.

The stressors in our life are the ones that we place on it ourselves. We allow ourselves to be pulled in multiple directions to only realize that we never take another step forward.

It is time to define our own path! Thank you!


Live Life Every Day January 4, 2011 at 4:27 PM


Good luck on your latest adventure! It’s absolutely amazing to see that you and your wife are living your lives the way you want to. You are setting an excellent example for your daughter, Milligan. You are an inspiration to us all. Good luck once again and hope you make many many memories!


Wandering Mike January 4, 2011 at 6:04 PM

Good luck. It can be a lot of fun. You’ll get the hang of finding propane. Just call a local campground or camping store if you can’t find one listed on line. Googling “propane” and the zipcode is an approach I often take. As you get farther south and west you will find more.

I would be interested in hearing more about the economics and commitments associated with the “wrap”. What I have heard is most RV’s don’t get the sightings that the people who do the advertising together expect. Maybe your fresh perspective on the matter will open the area so as to make sense for more.


Caleb Wojcik January 4, 2011 at 6:06 PM

I spent a large amount of time with my nice (7 y/o) and nephew (5 y/o). Being around them reminded me, as it always does, how life is only as complex and complicated as your own perspective.

Good luck on your next adventure Baker.


Bill January 4, 2011 at 7:00 PM

Congrats on getting your start in the RV world Baker. Enjoy the ride!


Jeff Friend January 5, 2011 at 2:34 AM

You’re really doing it man, and that says so much! I respect your decision to detach from the cyber world and concentrate on the few moments you had left in OH. That’s one of the things in my last blog post – to have much fewer “momentless moments” in 2011. Being present is such a huge part of happiness


Vanessa January 5, 2011 at 9:03 AM

Wow, this is a dream most families wish for but do not have the courage to do. Your blog has me in tears, what an exciting time for your family. Looking forward to reading your blog, your goals and your venture with family. Take lots of pics, please.

Travel safe!


Barbara in Reno January 5, 2011 at 10:09 PM

Baker, by the time you get out West you’ll be a pro at RVing! Looking forward to seeing you out this way. Blessings to you and yours!


Dwight January 12, 2011 at 8:33 PM

Looks like an exciting start, will be following this one closely.

Dwight Anthony
Financially Elite Blog dot Com


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