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We are about to embark on a journey. A journey of soul searching, of adventure, of uncertainties. There are some people in our lives who do not understand. Actually “some” is an understatement. Most people do not understand. They seem excited for us. They ask questions, and seem interested, but they think we are “crazy.” I guess living in an RV, and working seasonally is risky to some. We’ve had a hard time easing our fears, and accepting that we are making the right decision for our life. Well, that was until last week. I was always told that sometimes people come into your life to show you the way. I never fully believed it until we met Jack.

After months of searching for an RV, we began to be discouraged. It seemed like we would never find what we were looking for. Out of the blue a friend that we hadn’t talked to in a long time called and told us about an ad in a newspaper that we rarely read. This ad not only led us to our new home, but let us know that we are on the right path. The worries that we were making a big mistake were eased when we met Jack.

Jack and his wife were like most Americans. They worked good jobs, lived in the suburbs, raised a family, and dreamed of a life of traveling during retirement. They saved and sacrificed thought their adulthood for their “golden years.” Well, life doesn’t always work the way you plan it to. Jack’s wife got sick, and died a year after buying the RV. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Jack himself was diagnosed with cancer a year after her death. He kept the RV for a couple of years, hoping for a recovery. I started to tear up when he told us that a recovery wasn’t going to be possible. Life’s plan had failed him.

I know some of you may be thinking, “wow a blog about buying a dieing man’s RV”. Jack has given us something very special. After telling us his horrible story, he looks my husband in the eyes and simply says, “Don’t wait. Don’t wait for the future. The future doesn’t always turn out the way you want it to.”

Right then we knew we were making the right choice.

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Comment by Kimberly Barnes on February 14, 2009 at 11:46am
There is so much talk about the bad economy but I didn't have any trouble finding a job for the summer. I had several offers and almost every where I applied contacted me. I think people expect too much these days. They expect a certain standard of living and a large salary. I just don't see the point of it anymore. I'm keeping my house because my son and the dog live there but if it wasn't for that I would sell it all. I told my son to make plans to buy it from me in a year or two because I just can't see myself going back there to live permanently.
Comment by Ryan & Nicole on February 14, 2009 at 10:43am
I’m sorry to hear about your loss. Your story proves again that you can’t always rely on tomorrow. Our family is much like yours. They were totally appalled at the idea of seasonal work. The whole idea of having to find a new job every couple of months confused them. When the economy started to hit the fan they really started to try to talk us out of it. I personally feel that being able to go to the jobs instead of waiting for jobs to come to us is an advantage in a hard economy. We began to doubt if it would work, but it sure does! We’ve gotten offers everywhere we have applied for the summer. It’s working out great, and we’re having a ball! Our living expenses have been drastically reduced, allowing us to work less than we did when we owned a home and such. Most of the retired RV’ers that we have spoken to so far are envious that we are on the road so young. They all wish they had started years before they did. Don't worry about being alone! I've met many woman on the road all alone driving 40 foot motorhomes and living in the desert.

Good luck, and safe travels!
Comment by Kimberly Barnes on February 14, 2009 at 8:20am
I have a decent job. I'm the assistant manager at a Marriott and I make a living but April 1st I'm giving up my job to go work at Yellowstone for the summer. My family all think that I've lost my mind... they all think I'm throwing away a future and a boat load of opportunity. I ask them what am I really giving up?? A job where I work 60 hours a week and feel like a prisoner in my own life. My dad and his wife are just like the people in your story. They saved and saved for retirement. They were so tight with their money they wouldn't hardly eat a meal out or do any thing for fun. The week my dad retired he had a bad car accident and shortly after that we discovered that my step-mom has alzheimers. They saved all their lives for a retirement that is never going to happen. My husband was always so busy working that he barely had time to do any thing with the kids. When he was dying of cancer he told me he's greatest regrett was that he didn't spend more time doing things with them and that he'd always been too busy to do the things he wanted. Life slips away. I have so many stories like this in my own life. I lost a young man to a car accident Dec 23rd. He was my sons best friend and felt like one of my own. I'm telling you stability is an illusion. The best laid plans are at the mercy of fate. You never know what's going to happen next in life. So I have decided to leave my job, my home, my family and go adventuring. I'm excited..I have the days numbered on my calender! People keep telling me they can't believe I'm doing this and they can't believe I'm going so far away from my kids. I've had several women ask me how I'm getting there and if I'm making the trip all alone. I usually laugh because after all I've been through the last couple of years driving out West alone really seems like a walk in the park.
Comment by Ryan & Nicole on October 24, 2008 at 9:30am
Thanks!
Comment by Stephanie on October 21, 2008 at 3:15pm
Wow this is the most inspiring story I have heard in a long time. Cheers! :)
Comment by akscootr on October 14, 2008 at 10:41pm
I've had more than a few people, including all of my family, think I am "crazy" for what I do.... I think they are crazy. All of my siblings are hanging on to their homes by the skin of their fingers, argue with each other due to the stress of no $$$, being unhappy, etc.. etc... yet they make more than I ever have. They always seem to "need" more... and are always struggling as a result. They are unhappy, and most likely will die that way.
I try to practice the KISS principle, "Keep it simple". It works :0) and most importantly it gives people the time and means to live their dream. Risk is a part of life...so why not risk where it matters most? I'm glad you have decided tom live yours... peace :0)
Comment by Jason Kemple on October 14, 2008 at 5:52am
Thats exactly what it is - people are unhappy with their own lives, and although most of them probably dont mean it in a hurtful way (but then again i dont know yall so i wouldnt know), they come across as such because they dont feel fulfilled. I'm kind of going through the same thing right now, except i'm the one unfulfilled with my life although i'm taking corrective actions to fix that :-) Most of their negativety also comes from a fear of doing whats not normal, and afraid for you two that things may not work out. Alot of people dont understand that you dont need to make $50,000 a year to experience life and to fully live. During your first time doing seasonal works, take lots of pictures, lots of smiles, and send them to everyone to show them the happiness, beauty and love of life that surround you. And i'm sure after that, they will come around and understand a little better.
Comment by Ryan & Nicole on October 14, 2008 at 5:44am
Your very welcome! It's been hard explaining things to our friends and family. They really just don't get it. Purchasing the RV was a big step (a year ago you would have never seen us drive such a gas guzzler), and hearing that man's story totally eased our nervous.

It was really starting to get hard to do what was in our hearts with everyone being so negative about it. I've come to realize that a lot of these people are just unhappy with their own lives, and don't know how to change it. They have dreams also, and are jealous that we aren't waiting to fulfill them.
Comment by akscootr on October 13, 2008 at 3:34pm
No, it isn't about buying a dying man's RV. It is about LIVING your life while you can. I am so very happy that you are doing that... see my blog "a story for the new coolworkers". Different story, same circumstances. Every time I hear a story like yours, it breaks my heart, yet inspires me. I think it inspires many others to EXPERIENCE their life also because it isn't all about making $$$ or finishing a career. Thank you for this story for I hope it helps others get out and live to the fullest every moment.
Comment by Jason Kemple on October 13, 2008 at 12:57pm
Probably one of the most inspirational stories i've ever heard. Thanks so much for sharing!

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