I’ve been attending leadership, coaching, and communication conferences, workshops and webinars for years now and they have enriched my life, personally and professionally. I am always inspired by the people who organize and moderate these events. What many of them have in common is their willingness to tell their story.
I’m fascinated by the passion and vulnerability it takes for someone to tell the story behind the topic they’re presenting and by the focus they put on the things that matter most. It creates an environment that is so much more conducive to communication, collaboration and commitment. You can’t build lasting relationships without the human aspect!
In my columns, I often discuss the importance of being open to change, of being creative and of following your heart. This new journey that I have fully committed to will finally allow me to put those values to the test and to grow beyond what I can even imagine today.
If I were to give my story of diving into the unknown a title, it would be: “Embracing simplicity: the start of a new adventure”.
In the fall of 2013, after my spouse and I got into this deep conversation about simplicity, we decided to sell everything and live our lives differently. Ironically, we then started noticing RVs on the road. We kept seeing more and more of them every day, in all shapes and sizes. At one point, we looked at each other, knowing it was a sign from the universe to go for it, even though we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into or where this journey would take us.
We just spontaneously decided that we would live in an RV full-time so we could downsize, live more simply and see the world, while remaining active professionally and hopefully finding a project to do together while on the road.
The first step was selling our house. When we stuck that “for sale” sign on our lawn, I really wondered what we had gotten ourselves into!
We also started looking around for an RV. We had to find one to purchase and to fully equip so we would be completely self-sufficient. It took months of research to figure out what we really needed in terms of RV size, make and model, engine power, storage space, office space, electronics, Internet access, antennas, solar panels, renewal energy…We wanted the RV to be as green as possible despite the fact that RVs are, by definition, polluting contraptions. Quite the paradox, right? Needless to say, finding our dream RV became a full-time job!
Come spring, we found a nature loving buyer and sold our house! Oddly enough, I had no reaction whatsoever at the notary’s office. I just felt numb inside. I was in a head space that I just couldn’t put into words. I didn’t really know how I felt because there was no precedent in my life that I could use to put my feelings into context. The only thing I knew for sure was that I was about to embark on a totally new adventure. I felt intrigued and excited, but also afraid.
Between coaching sessions and workshops, I was as busy as a bee creating a web page to sell all our belongings: our furniture, home decor, electronics, and just about everything else that we had ever acquired! I found it surprisingly easy to let it all go and made an effort not to second-guess myself, even though I felt like the carpet was being swept out from under me. But I knew in my heart that everything would be all right and that I could handle whatever came my way.
Every day brought new decisions to make. We checked out one RV after another until, finally, we found “the one”! Bernard and I immediately fell in love with this 40-foot giant. After having it inspected, we signed the papers and took possession. We looked for names for a while and then an image came to mind. The RV would be called Merci la vie! (Thank you, Life!)
These days, I feel lighter and more peaceful, even though I know there are still many things left to do before we leave at the end of summer. I think of our four girls, especially our first-born, who will give birth in late August, knowing in my heart that everything will be all right. I think of my spouse and his ongoing calculations: the amount of gas we will need, the Internet we will need for our work, the material we will need to order…And I think of all the questions that will crop up on the road: what cities and national parks will we visit? Will we go to the ocean, the United States, Mexico? How long will we be gone? We have to figure out so many things if we’re going to be prepared for those unexpected surprises, the good ones and the not-so-good ones. After all, there’s a reason they call it an adventure!
We’re planning to go on a few short trips this summer to test out our equipment and slowly get accustomed to this new way of life. If you’re on a Quebec highway, you may even see us there!
I can’t wait to “rock & roll” in “Thank you, Life” with my spouse, to give my first coaching session from the RV, and to blog about life on open road in the hopes that sharing our adventure will inspire one of your own!