Come along as I share how life changing moments can bring you to something completely unexpected and closer to your dream.
My blog Chipmunks RV Life started as a journal and a way for me to share my adventures of living, working, and travelling in my Class B RV. Writing has always been a passion for me, and sharing my experiences through writing was a wonderful pastime.
I started to hear from my friends and family, who follow me, that I was an inspiration for them. I never felt that way. It was just my adventure. I started to realize through my blog that I can help, guide, and inspire people to step outside their comfort zone and take a chance at adventure. To say, “Yes, I Can.”
I keep my blog real. A single woman living life on the road. I share the good, the bad, and the ugly. The reality of breakdowns and the beauty of “Instagram” moments. Items and products that I use to make my life a little easier. Camping tips, as well as things like boondocking and money-saving travel tips.
How Did I Get Here
How did it all start? Did I ever think at 60 years old, I would be living in a van down by the river and sharing those experiences through my love of writing? If anyone had asked me ten years ago, where would I be? Not in a million years would I have said, “Living in a van down by the river.” But here I am. Come along as I tell my story of the creation of Chipmunks RV Life.
Life began for me with loving parents who instilled values and a sense of responsibility. They taught me that with hard work and determination, anything was possible. That there will be ups and downs, and to remember what goes down always comes up. You just have to believe and look for the path that will lead you where you want to go.
Life was pretty “normal.” At the age of 50, I had a house, a husband of 30 years, and two beautiful grown girls. A wonderful grandson (that has now blossomed into four grandsons) to spoil and a great job I enjoyed. I had no idea that year would bring monumental change.
At 50 years old, my life dramatically changed. A divorce would bring a shift in my life and transform my way of thinking of “normal.” For the first time in 30 years, I was no longer a wife. My children were grown and on their own. I was walking a path I had never walked before. It was scary and exciting all at the same time.
I bought a beautiful little house on a one-acre lot that I just loved. Travelling for a living made it increasingly difficult to maintain, and increasing costs for a house I was not at for sometimes weeks at a time was just not making any sense. I had to open my mind to a different way of living.
Opening my Mind to New Possibilities
I own and travel in a custom van. I have travelled to many places for van shows across North America for over 30 years. Living out of a van was not unknown to me, but only for weekends or maybe a week at a time. I knew I could not live in my custom van, but I could do it in a Class B RV. That thought came to fruition in 2017. I sold my house and bought a 2002 Chevy Roadtrek 190P. I was 53 years old.
I am not going to tell you it was easy because it was not. Downsizing to vansize was just downright painful. What to keep? What will fit? What to do with all the stuff? Knowing that I had a deadline and determined not to have a storage unit, I learned how to minimize it. I was amazed at how refreshing it felt when all of the clutter was gone. I now share that knowledge with my Unclutter Your Life Service. Helping others unclutter the space around them. Clearing the space around you helps clear the space within you.
My friends and family were very supportive of my decision. They wanted to hear all about where I was going and the adventure that takes me there. I wanted to share with them the tricks and trips of living an RV life. Chipmunks RV Life was born.
My Love of Writing
Writing has always been a passion. As a child, I would write stories and keep journals. As the years went by, writing became less and less of a priority. Working and raising a family, along with all the responsibilities of life, there just did not seem to be any time to do that. Still, as I read books, I dreamed of my name being in the author’s place. I never lost that dream.
The year 2020 would be a life changing year for many of us. With the chaos that ensued, the stagnation of my lifestyle and the responsibilities I had in my corporate life, my mind did not handle it all well. In June of 2020, I had my first panic attack. I do not wish that on anyone! I thought I was having a heart attack. My brain was foggy, and I seemed to not be able to keep focus on anything. It was scary. The corporation I worked for did not seem to care. Getting medical help was out of reach for at least a month. I needed to breathe.
I drove out to the woods of Northern Ontario. I needed Mother Nature’s energy to help me heal. Sitting in the woods, I pulled out my pen and put it to paper. I wrote about all the frustrations, the fears, and the blessings of my life. As I sat, I looked at my RV. My rolling home nestled under the old Maple tree. I knew where I belonged. My thoughts returned to a book I had started two years before. It was time to finish it.
Another Life Changing Decision
After a battle with the corporation for the time I needed to heal, I decided that in August 2020, it was time to retire. I was tired. Back to Northern Ontario to finish my book, was the first thing on the agenda.
From Housewife to Vanlife is my journey of moving from a sticks and bricks home to a mobile one. All of the ups and downs, doubts, and accomplishments that came with a complete lifestyle change. It was therapeutic and empowering as I wrote it. I hope you find some of that in there when you read it.
Retirement brought me a whole new meaning of freedom. No timelines meant I could stop as many times along the way as I wanted. I decided my first trip would be to stop at all the places in Northern Ontario I had to pass by when travelling for work. Since then, I have travelled to a couple of my bucket list items such as Labrador and Newfoundland, but there are many still on the list.
Let me know in the comments what your bucket list items are. I would love to see them.
A Change in Careers
In my lifetime, I have done many things. As a teenager, I lived in farm country. Picking fruit and throwing hay after school was a great way to make money. As I grew up, I tried many different things. I worked in autobody shops and auto mechanics shops, as well as delivery services. I also did some office work and retail. When I became a Mom, my job had to work around my children’s schedules. For the last 20 years of my working career, I worked as a logistic specialist and efficiency manager for a large corporation.
It will take the skills I have learned from my many occupations as well as a steep learning curve to move to my next career as a writer. When I published my book From Housewife to Vanlife, I did it by self-publishing on Amazon. Let’s talk about an outside my realm learning curve. I did not know anything about publishing, never mind publishing my own book. After many hours of reading instructions and watching YouTube videos, my dream came to life. My name was now in the author’s spot. Whether I sold 5 or 500 (I have sold over 500), it did not matter. That moment when I held my book in my hand will forever be a light on my soul.
I was now a published author. I am now moving that career forward and learning the art of professional blogging. It is a steep learning curve with many facets. SEO, marketing, affiliate marketing, and learning proper writing techniques to convey my messages clearly and maximize my reach. With the help and guidance of other bloggers, as well as instructional material, both written and video, I am beginning to understand.
I now have a wonderful coach, Daphne Reznik, who publishes a Free At 50 Blog. She has a 3, 2, 1 Action plan course I am taking to help me focus and give me direction in this next phase of my career of being a digital nomad.
What I want to give you with Chipmunks RV Life
With my blog Chipmunks RV Life, I want to inspire others to reach that moment, that light. My wish is to positively touch as many lives as I can. To let everyone know, “Yes, You Can.” Whether you are solo, like me, or travelling life with a partner, your dream is at your fingertips.
To share my experiences of my RV Lifestyle, both good and bad, to aid in successful adventures for those who travel for life and pleasure. Camping tips and tricks and how I do everyday things, like making coffee (everyone who knows me or follows me on social media knows coffee is the most important meal of the day) while living in my RV. Sharing safety and travel tips as well as cost-saving measures to keep everyone travelling down the road.
Creating guides and sharing my travel experiences to give everyone an exciting trip to somewhere. People say they love travelling with me through my blog. I invite everyone to come along on my Chipmunk Adventures. It is more fun with friends.
Find and follow me on Social media here 👇
Happy Adventures to all! See you down the road for another exciting Chipmunk Adventure.
Love this Blog! My tip jar is a coffee mug!
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