When to Quit

when-to-quitI’m still in a holding pattern as job searching continues. Yesterday I hit the 30 application mark. There’s been progress, but not as quick as I was hoping. There are things I’d like to start planning for. Places to go, work to do on the blog, and writing for the ebook, but all of that needs to wait until the job situation gets settled.

It’s a bit frustrating, but, this is a part of the the lifestyle too. A wise man once said that you can have anything you want in this life, but not everything. Full-timing before retirement? Absolutely doable, but one of the tradeoffs is having to repeatedly job search like this, unless your sitting on a big pile of money or making money another way. This part of RVing is not as glamorous as the traveling parts and not interesting to write about, but it is what it is.

As a part of this grand experiment, every now and then I like to sit down in a quiet spot with no distractions and ask myself, am I still enjoying the ride? And really think about the answer. It’s a practice that might make some people nervous, because what if the answer is no? What if, after all the work and effort you spent changing your life, you finally succeed just to realize it isn’t for you after all?

That’s okay, truly. Better to realize it sooner than later, because you’re saving on the one resource you can never get back, time. In our culture, quitting has a very negative image associated with it. Quitters weren’t strong enough, quitters never get ahead, quitters are losers.

In my opinion, it’s a mark of strength to decide to cut your loses and quit something that isn’t working for you. The trick however is understanding what kind of resistance you’re coming up against, because there are basically two types.

In any new or difficult endeavor, there are going to be walls that you come up against as you push through. And some of them will be hard and you’ll wonder if you shouldn’t just quit, and go back to the way things were. But this isn’t the same as deciding that it isn’t right for you, this type of resistance is born out of fear. Fear that you aren’t strong enough, and it should not stop you from chasing your dreams. If you decide to quit now, when you still really want your dream, you’ll always wonder in the back of your mind, what if?

But if you come to the conclusion that the dream is no longer what you want, that’s the other kind of resistance, and the kind that it’s okay to turn from. It takes strength to face the first kind of resistance and topple it to keep pushing ahead, it takes strength to face the second kind of resistance and make the deliberate decision to stop, and find another dream. And it takes a measure of wisdom, to tell the difference between the two kinds.

Job searching may be tedious, frustrating, and unpleasant. But when I ask myself if I’m still enjoying the ride, the answer remains Yes. So I continue pushing through, armed with the knowledge that this too shall pass.

* * *

Oh, and the astute (and those following IO on Facebook) might have noticed that there is a new addition to the site.  At the bottom of the page is a little map of where all I went in 2012, as promised.  It’s location might still be changing, I’m experimenting with the best place to put it still.  There is also one in the works for this year’s adventure so far.  Much thanks to Julie for headlining both maps!

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26 Responses to When to Quit

  1. Lynn January 25, 2013 at 8:34 pm #

    I think all you can do is make your best guesstimate as to how you will feel about a lifestyle change. Until you do it, you really won’t know ALL the intricacies of how you will feel, cope etc. I think it is far better to try then to regret not trying. You are young and have lots of time for trial and error. Any endeavor in life has pro’s and con’s – if the pro’s outweighs the con’s, it’s all good.

    Looking for work is always a pain, no matter where you live. At least you can pick up and move when an opportunity comes your way.

    Good luck on the job hunt. Something will come your way.
    Lynn recently posted..A Slow Boat To BaliMy Profile

    • Becky January 26, 2013 at 7:22 pm #

      Yep, that’s what it comes down to Lynn, and right now the pros are still outweighing the cons. And yeah, I’ll come up with something I’m sure.

  2. Kim January 25, 2013 at 9:10 pm #

    I think job-hunting is one of the hardest jobs there is. Online applications can be especially disheartening because there is no contact information for follow-up. I feel your frustration.
    Kim recently posted..Return to TucsonMy Profile

    • Becky January 26, 2013 at 7:24 pm #

      Yeah, you have no clue how the hiring company feels about you and no way to communicate with them. But life goes on.

  3. Evelyn January 25, 2013 at 10:09 pm #

    Hang in there. I have found that often in life when something was taking too long for my liking, there ended up being a reason. Usually, in hindsight the wait brought an opportunity that was worth waiting for. You have a great attitude and I believe good things are ahead.
    Evelyn recently posted..South Padre IslandMy Profile

    • Becky January 26, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

      Yep, I’m nowhere near ready to give up yet, it’s just one of those times where more effort is involved.

  4. Fireman Steve January 26, 2013 at 11:09 am #

    Good morning,
    Nicely written. As you travel life’s path you will ponder your decisions from time to time. Sometimes, in hindsight, you might have done a few things different, however, our total life’s experience is the culmination of all those little roads we’ve taken. As we look back on our life, one has to come to the conclusion that it was a “good ride” after all…. 🙂
    Hang in there and keep smiling.

    • Becky January 26, 2013 at 7:26 pm #

      Thanks Steve, crossing my fingers that the interview I did on Thursday went well, waiting to hear back is one of the hardest things.

  5. Gene January 26, 2013 at 11:57 am #

    No job => no income => no $ = > no food, rent utilities, health care=> lots of stress and worry=> NO FUN => questioning life plans.

    You are right. It is easier to not worry about the first issue (no job) if you have no need for an income because you already have suffidient $$.

    Perhaps you would consider posting your budget and your expenses each issue. You have done this in your posts, perhaps a pie chart of expenses and a bar chart of your savings level over time. It may help you to see if these thoughts of “is this the life for me” are related.

    Alternatively, are you lonely? One of the drawbacks of my Casita is that it does not allow for a lot of people. That is fine for the ‘adventure of the trip’. However, you are not camping for a short time, but full time. You worked for a few months, then you were on vacation/holiday with your family, but now you dont have the cash to travel a lot and ‘vacation’ and you dont have a job. Remember too that we are social creatures; are you feeling separated from ‘society’?

    Keep up the interesting notes. I hope that this question was prompted more by the Winter Blahs than anything more seriouse. Even if you do decide that full timing is not for you now, that does not mean that there is not another, better, more appropriate time. You didnt drive a motorcycle before they took the training wheels off your first bicycle! Going back to the bicycle is OK at some points in life.

    • Becky January 26, 2013 at 7:32 pm #

      Heya Gene,

      I fully believe that most full-timers go through periods like this, but they don’t post about it because it isn’t fun and what people expect to hear. I’m not seriously considering stopping, but I felt it was important to give the whole picture of what full-timing is like, not just the interesting parts. It’s not all rainbows and butterflies.

      I do keep track of my money closely on a monthly basis, I’ve been doing that for much longer than I’ve been RVing, I just don’t feel comfortable laying it all out on the blog. At this point, I’m not hurting for money, I still have more than I did when I left SC last fall in fact, but I’d like to be building my savings as I go.

      And the reason why I’m back looking for jobs in this particular part of the country is because of social reasons. I’m actually staying with a friend who was kind enough to put me up while I job search so that I have fast internet and don’t need to be paying for a site when I have nothing coming in. I’ll be moving back into Cas once I get a job, but I’ll still be in the area to attend weddings and other social stuff in the area this season.

  6. Bill in Austin January 26, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

    I follow many RVr blogs, but you have to be the youngest but with similar dreams to the others. I’m on the tail end of my career and look forward to hitting the road in our fifth wheel and exploring many of the places I’ve read about our visited earlier and need to re-visit. At the ripe old age of 35, we sold our home packed up 2 kids and our pop up and headed out to find a business to buy. We did a 6000 mile trip over 8 weeks and settled in AZ for 6 years before rejoining the “rat race” and getting a “real” job again. My advice would be to follow your dreams, don’t get deep in debt so that you can do a course correction as you see fit. Lots of folks write about how to make a living while full timing. You should check out Nick Russel’s self publishing blog.. You are a great writer and might find a niche there. Also, you could do some click links to your blog. I’m not up on how that works, but as your followers grow, links will help fund you.

    Generally, keep your chin up and enjoy your travels and the job search. Doing this on the front end of your career and life will always be meaningful to you as you reflect back!

    • Becky January 26, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

      Yep I have no regrets Bill, I’m just still figuring out how to make it work specifically for me because full-timing is highly individualized and no two people do it quite the same. I am in the process of writing an ebook, but that’s not instant money, and my time needs to be devoted more to job finding right now.

  7. travelfables January 26, 2013 at 5:54 pm #

    Know how ya feel on a lot of it. As a single freelance RVer I often am thinking I don’t get my hustle on enough. But DON’T forget your music (bouncy tunes with sunshine in them are a good bet), especially in the winter (oh and stories- lots and lots of stories :).
    anyway, Thanks for the updates.
    travelfables recently posted..psyche and cupid louvre A12My Profile

    • Becky January 26, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

      Your welcome, And really people seem to be getting the feeling that I’m thinking about stopping and truly I’m not, I just felt it was important to paint the whole picture of what full-timing pre retirement is like, not just the fun happy traveling bits.

  8. MarciaGB January 26, 2013 at 6:51 pm #

    Becky- you are wise beyond your years. And that will serve you very well as you continue on your journey.

    • Becky January 26, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

      Thank you Marcia.

  9. MARVIN January 28, 2013 at 9:32 am #

    Becky ,

    Your Map With The Corresponding Markers And Info Is A Neat
    Addition . I Might Just Try To Learn How That Is Done .

    Everyone That Fulltimes Has Expressed Similar Thoughts Or Questions Their Thinking About Being On The Road .

    Analyzing And Questioning Positions Can Lead To A Healthy
    Decision – Sort Of Like A Year End Review .

    Be Safe


    • Becky January 28, 2013 at 8:15 pm #

      Glad you enjoy it Marvin, I’ll tell Julie. 🙂 It wasn’t too hard to put the pins in the right location, getting the lines to connect them took a little work. Fortunately Google has a tutorial to get you started on it.

      You be safe too!

  10. Susan January 28, 2013 at 2:57 pm #


    I just love to hear what you are doing. I plan on going full time in about 4 years when my son graduates high school. I like to hear about the ups and downs. I anxiously wait for your next blog. I am quite a bit older than you but still young in the world of “full-timing”, I will be 44 when my son graduates. I, like you, will have to work while on the road. Thank you so much for sharing your life with people like me. Maybe in four years I will see you out there.

    • Becky January 28, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

      Thanks for commenting Susan, and looking forward to meeting you on the road one day! The more the merrier in my book.

  11. Bruce Coulson January 29, 2013 at 10:37 am #


    I’ve been reading your blog for quite some time and finally decided to comment. My wife and I also expect to be traveling in the near future. I was thinking if you could try to get involved with a smaller company and rep their product line as you travel. This is something I’ve thought about doing for the burglar and fire alarm industry which has been my career for 30 years. Some companies don’t have the finances to have a large sales force and might consider a unique situation like yours to help get the word out for their product. Best of luck in the future and thanks for sharing.


    • Becky January 29, 2013 at 6:26 pm #

      That certainly isn’t a bad idea Bruce. Best of luck in your future travels, and thanks for stepping out of the shadows and commenting. 🙂

  12. Bruce Coulson January 31, 2013 at 10:40 am #


    One more option would be Mechanical Turk which I think is part of Amazon. I’ve never done it but it sounds like you can make at least a little money between jobs if you have a decent web connection. Here is a youtube I watched a couple of weeks ago about a guy that does an honest review of Mechanical Turk if interested. You may be aware of it already.

    • Becky February 1, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

      Nope I hadn’t heard of it before Bruce, thanks.

  13. Rob February 2, 2013 at 8:23 pm #

    If you do decide to not full time, It has absolutely nothing to do with quitting.

    You may have decided that this phase has run its course, and you are ready for your next adventure.

    Never feel locked into something and follow your desires Becky.

    Best wishes………………………Rob

    • Becky February 4, 2013 at 11:01 pm #

      Indeed, not that I was anywhere close to pulling the plug. I posted this more as a resource for others as it can be applied to quitting many things, not just RVing. Like thinking about whether a job or relationship is serving you well, etc.

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