This week I want to introduce you all to Charlene. I met Charlene during a Dream:Reboot workshop we both signed up for where we shared and brainstormed ideas, dreams and inspirations for several weeks together. Her favorite saying is, “something good is going to happen to you today, I hope you’re ready for it” , you will love her, promise!
Rick and I married in 1990 and wanted to live on the road, but didn’t know how to support ourselves. We bought our first house and then began to live ‘normal’ lives. I was shopping for an RV, a Class C, thinking we could use it as a second vehicle and then take off on weekends. But, I soon realized that we simply couldn’t afford it. Then we purchased a sedan and it didn’t take long for me to be trapped in the thinking of having a job because it was the right thing to do. That’s when my dream of living on the road became a wish. I’d be overwhelmed with work and wish I was living on the road. My husband would see a rig on the road and wish it could be ours.
I have the proverbial itchy foot; I have traveling in my blood. From living and vacationing in other countries to living in multiple states in the USA. While in the USA I’ve spent many weeks and summers camping with the family and then with my husband. I yearn to see different places and meet different people. I know the camaraderie of fellow campers gathering around a campfire, sharing life experiences.
My husband grew up on a farm and hasn’t visited many places, but soon after joining our family he was introduced to the wonders of travel and the romance of camping. We camped often, beginning with a tent then graduating to 32’ Prowler travel trailer. While we didn’t haul the trailer to different places, we did rent a lot in a campground near our favorite lake in Indiana and visited it every weekend during the Spring, Summer and Fall for many years. And while we talked about living on the road, it was still wishful thinking.
Between 1996 and 1999 a lot of things happened to us, including having to cash in my retirement savings to pay for the rebuild of a house and medical bills, leaving us financially devastated. We did a LOT of wishing during this time.
Then, 13 years later, we’d recovered financially and our emotional wounds had healed. I’m in the 4th year of owning a business and he hasn’t found steady work for almost 4 years. I found myself wishing, once more, that we could just hit the road and go to Texas where he could find work. But I knew it couldn’t happen because our house wouldn’t sell, or because my business wasn’t growing enough, or because there wasn’t enough cash in the bank.
From Wishing to Dreaming
Near the end of summer, 2012, I was on Facebook and learned about Dream:Reboot. I was so discontented with the way my life was going. I knew there was something better out there, but honestly I couldn’t think of it. I just knew that something had to change. So I signed up for Dream:Reboot and began the journey from wishing to dreaming.
Through the workshop I was able to bring that old dream back to life. I was able to articulate how my husband and I could make the dream happen. I was scared to say anything out loud to anyone other than the group I was with in Dream:Reboot. But I could turn that wish into a dream, with goals and final outcomes.
Oh how I wish I could say that we were living our dream life. But, alas, I can’t. What I can say is that we are at the beginning of living the life we’ve wished for and finally dreamed about. Our dream is to live in an RV and travel the country, supporting ourselves through our own business ventures. I have owned my own online marketing agency and research firm since 2008 and it is a business that can be managed from the road. He is looking at options available to him right now. Our target date for launch is 18-24 months from now. Undecided/undetermined factors include:
1. Sell the house and all its contents and use the monies to outright purchase the rig
Contract a property management firm to rent our house and handle all rental and maintenance issues
2. Purchase a Class A diesel with multiple slides – which leads us to the question of whether to tow a vehicle
Purchase a 5th wheel RV with multiple slides and upgrade the truck to handle the load – leaving us with a vehicle to use while the RV is parked someplace
If my agency hits revenue goal within the next 12 months we won’t need to sell the house and contents, leaving us with a piece of property that could provide us with an income for quite a long time.
We’re leaning strongly toward the Class A diesel and will most likely make our decision next Spring, giving us time to shop around and look at the options available to us.
Keeping the Motivation: Doing
Now I must be patient and do things according to plan. It gets discouraging sometimes and once in a while I find myself wishing that I could just pack up and leave. Then my husband will say something about how he sold some tools and that money went into the RV account. Or I’ll read a post in the Dreamers Facebook Group and get connected again with my own dream. We’ve not had any negative responses from people when we shared our plans. Matter of fact, pretty much everyone wants to join us! So I am surrounded by people who are supportive of our dream. And that’s been tremendously helpful in keeping me focused.
There are a few other things that are helping: A friend of mine wrote a book titled “Dream High!” and it’s about his journey from being a mess emotionally and financially to having fulfilled each of his dreams. But he didn’t stop dreaming – the book was written 10 years ago and I’ve known him for 5 years. He says that the minute he reaches the fruition of a dream, he comes up with another one. Why? Because once you’ve achieved your dream what else are you going to do?
I keep his book handy and meet with him every few months to keep me on track.
We’re slowly getting rid of our stuff and junk. We have every intention of selling or giving away pretty much everything we own. And we’re doing it slowly because we can and because we want to be sure that some things end up in the ‘right’ hands. But at least we’re in the doing part now. No more wishing. Now it’s time to work toward making the dream happen.
Charlene Burke is the owner of Search by Burke, occasionally maintains a personal site, enjoy shooting pool, shooting rifles and going on road trips as often as possible. She loves Star Trek and thinks Janeway is the best captain. Thinks the Knight in Shining Armor is a weenie and that Superman is the bomb…because he can keep up with Wonder Woman. Marvin the Martian is the best cartoon character, ever.