Dear RV Diary,
Corporate America has been good to us. Bill and I have happily lived the American Dream for 21 years. We had goals, needs, and wants. Through hard work and determination, we have fulfilled them all. With our drive for constant improvement and learning, we’ve built our careers one stepping stone at a time. We built a life in the suburbs and started a family. We’ve been able to raise our son in a nice neighborhood with access to good schools, and we have been able to provide for all his needs. Even though it took a lot of hard work to get here, we consider ourselves very lucky and we are thankful for all we have.
Like many Americans living the American Dream, we run in The Rat Race. As I get older, I am beginning to have questions. Why are we racing? Where is the finish line? Is the finish line retirement? I am 47 years old now and have already started feeling the aches and pains of arthritis. According to the Social Security Administration, my full retirement age is 67. That’s twenty more years! Twenty years from now, will Bill and I be physically able to go out, explore the world, and do all the things we dream of doing? We want to travel. We want to see America. We want to experience other cultures. We want to live more simply with less stuff and more adventure.
The Declaration of Independence says we have certain rights that cannot be taken away from us; the right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. But when do we have the time to pursue happiness when we don’t have the freedom or liberty over our own schedules? Time is one thing that you can’t get back.
Having careers and being successful over the years has made us feel safe and secure. Bill reminded me of a quote by Benjamin Franklin; “Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” This quote really hit home for me. The feeling of security is an illusion. We are not truly safe or secure just because we have corporate jobs. There is no promise that we will have our jobs tomorrow. We have given up our FREEDOM for the PERCEPTION of safety.
I think it’s time we re-think the meaning of success in our lives. We thought success meant owning a house, clothing, cars, the latest electronics, etc. Now we feel that things are no longer as valuable to us, but instead quality time and experiences together in nature are priceless. Our definition of success has changed. Our goals, needs, and wants have changed as we have gotten older. We are beginning to plan out how we are going to go from Rat Race to RV in 3…2…1.