Thursday, October 6, 2011

aren't you too young?

Ok - well since we still have our internet (life IS really good sometimes isn't it!) and everyone else here is either sleeping or sitting by the fire outside - I will take this biggy on. This is one of the posts that has been on my mind and I knew it was just a matter of time before I brought it up.

Well we may as well get on with it.

As you can imagine, with the work and type of travel we do, we meet a lot of people. And I mean A LOT. Many many more on the job then when traveling interestingly enough. Not Derek so much but I sure do since I am the one that does all the registering of campers at the two parks. So if you figure that I just worked approximately 145 days and probably average speaking to - say 40 people per day/night - thats a huge 5,800 people that I talk to. These are not all lengthy conversations and they aren't always just about us - but I do have to say that people are very curious little creatures and I do talk a lot about our lifestyle to the campers because - well - they ask.

 I suppose many look at me, figure I look pretty young for the job (since many seem to be older (read retired)) and are just trying to figure out how to make such a job/lifestyle work when they know that I only work 5 months out of the year.

Most start with - 'so, where to you live?' which automatically starts the conversation because when I say at the bottom of the hill in the cabin - you know what the next question is 'oh - all year?' to which I say - no - and off we go. Although there are all sorts of reactions I have to say about 85% of the responses are very very positive - as in - boy do I wish I could do that, what a great life, that's great, how wonderful, how great for Cassia and on and on. I then go on to say - 'well you can live like we do …… ' - but that is another story!

Here I want to address some of the other responses that we get - the dreaded 'aren't you too young for that?'

On a hike through the historic village of Tumco CA where we were boondocking.

We get this loaded question both while working and traveling.

To be truly honest I can kind of see where they are coming from. Snowbirding or taking the whole winter off to travel is generally something that only 'retired folks' do - right? But is that true even though it is a commonly held view? What about all those other people that have jobs that take them abroad. I guess that is different - the fact that we don't actually WORK during 7 months of the year is what gets people wondering I suppose.

When we first got that question I would sincerely and seriously construct an answer explaining how and why we live as we do. But what I quickly realized is that the people who ask this question just hold a very different view of life then I (we) do. Nothing I say is going to make them agree, change their minds and even just see my side of the issue.

And so to save myself the frustration, I now just wrap up the conversation quickly but politely and move on.

Cassia walking at Ironwood National Monument - boondocking - near Tucson, AZ.

I then proceed to continue that conversation alone on my way to or from the other park. As in I drive and come up with all the things that I wish I could say to defend our lifestyle and choices.

I say things like:

 - what 'are we too young to travel - to enjoy traveling - does that come with an age limit or is it only for the retired?'

- or 'are we too young to want to get the most out of life and really have some interesting experiences'

- or 'are we too young to live outside the box, colour outside the lines etc'

- or 'should we be like others and just go through life plodding along, punching the clock, children in daycare, at a job that you may hate, just to have a big house that the bank owns ($300-500 K in most urban areas of southern interior BC), a fancy car, ATV, Jet-Ski, big screen TV, credit cards, so on and so forth?'

- or 'are we too young to not want to keep up with the Jones or to realize home ownership is out of reach for a lot of younger people ?'

The days where you worked for a company with good benefits , home ownership was a reality and a secure retirement (entitlement generation) are becoming obsolete. Some individuals were able to sell a home for an over inflated price when the markets were good or they were part of the baby boomer generation and took early retirement with a healthy sum of cash and benefits, not so for everyone. The world has changed and not for the better, we have learned to adapt to the reality of a new world system.

Now you can see why I walk away from this question - 
because it seriously gets me pretty riled up!!

P.S. Reading this over now in the morning I think that I should add that Derek and I are generally thought to be in our mid 30's - 
 Derek is 46 and I am 41.


  1. I know that we are a lot happier making a similar choice for a simple lifestyle. In the full time RV'ing world we are also among the "youngsters" even though we will both be 50 within the next few months. Hopefully we will cross paths in Mexico this winter.

  2. Hi guys! exactly - you are younger then some also and would get the same thing - so you know how we feel. Thanks for checking in on us! You two inspire me - I just can't see us doing all the roads you do in Mexico - something to work up to over the years I think. My boyfriend and I did drive down through Mexico from Calgary in 1994 - we went to Oaxaca which was a great trip. Would love to show Oaxaca to Derek and Cassia - maybe next year!

  3. David Foot's book Boom, Bust and Echo is an excellent read.

  4. Some people will never understand what you are doing, and how you are going about being able to do it!! Many of them, I can assure you, are jealous of your lifestyle. You and Derek, and some of your other followers including myself, are not living the "normal" life....according to most people that are stuck in the "rat race".....we are actually living a BETTER life!


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