You want to be a better person, improve your life, become more productive.
We all do.
That’s why self-help books are best sellers, and gurus like Tony Robbins, Oprah, and even Snoop Dogg become our superheroes.
But reading books isn’t enough. You want to get away from it all. Go on vacation, escape the grind of everyday life, become a better person. Maybe take a Tim Ferriss book for the beach.
But your vacation is too busy to read because you’re running from pillar to post checking things off your “bucket list.”
You return home exhausted to piles of work, wilted plants, and stressed-out pets.
You need a vacation from your vacation.
And then boredom, sadness, and even depression can occur until the next vacation where the cycle repeats itself.
Post-vacation blues do not make for a better person.
ELIMINATING POST-VACATION BLUES
The good news is that there is a way to travel and become a better person without even trying.
Living on the road full-time eliminates post-vacation blues because your everyday routine is travel. There are no piles of work waiting for you, no wilted plants to come home to, and your pet travels with you!
There’s no dreaming of your next vacation because you’re already there. Your life is your vacation, but with a deeper connection than going to Disney World or Las Vegas for a week.
Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.Seth Godin
When you travel full-time, you experience the same happy feelings of a short-term vacation, but the enjoyment doesn’t leave and even expands making you a better person for these five reasons.
Surrounded by beauty decreases stress and increases an overall sense of well-being. Just being surrounded by trees in a campground provides a positive mood.
You appreciate every walk; you value new places explored, and you admire amazing vistas.
Consistent uplifting feelings like these create gratitude leading to happiness and joy making you a better person.
If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.John Irving
DOES BUYING STUFF MAKE US HAPPY?
Realizing people in front of you on the highway are most likely traveling to jobs they dislike buying things they don’t need and waiting for their next rushed vacation causes you to appreciate life on the road.
Society teaches us you must work to buy and accumulate; that the person with the most toys wins; and the bigger the house, the car, and wardrobe; the bigger your success.
But when we gain courage to ignore societal norms and choose a different direction, we carry gratitude in our hearts fueled by freedom on the road that gets activated with every turn.
Travel shakes things up. It keeps us on our toes.
It knocks us out of a rut we like to call our comfort zone.
Doing the same routine day in and day out with no interesting stimuli leads to unhappiness and despair; a behavior many nursing homes struggle with.
When we jolt the norm, experience new things, step out on the ledge, look out toward the horizon; a part of our brain activates happiness.
YOUR BRAIN ON VACATION
The brain you have today is a product of your yesterday. Your past molded it into a series of life history departments sorted into categories.
When you learn something new, experience something out of the norm, interact with the environment: all the things that happen when you’re on vacation; your brain fires neurons forming networks that create new patterns of connectivity.
These new patterns strengthen and improve the brain much like what happens when you install a computer upgrade. When your computer is upgraded, it functions better providing you with a more positive experience.
A person can only grow as much as his horizon allows.John Powell
HAPPY EXPERIENCES CREATES A HAPPY BRAIN
When you’re on vacation, or rather when your brain is on vacation, you feel like a different person, wanting to learn new things, seeking unique experiences, feeling good about life.
When you feel good about life, you smile more, laugh more, give more.
Your brain doesn’t know if you’re on a temporary vacation or living a life that consistently creates vacation-type feelings. But it knows you’re feeling good and as a result forms happy brain synapses creating a better person.
Why are the Yellowstone hot springs painted in such vibrant, wild colors? What do these colors mean?
Is a marmot kin to a beaver, squirrel, pika, or a fox? What’s a marmot?
Why does that billboard read, WARNING TO TOURISTS DO NOT LAUGH AT THE NATIVES in Ririe, Idaho? Are we the tourists or the natives? What?
Curiosity is on high alert when you travel full-time; learning new things, having new adventures, expanding your mind.
CURIOSITY DIDN’T KILL THE CAT, IT KILLED OUR INTOLERANCE
When you’re curious, you develop an open mind for listening and learning.
Maybe you don’t know everything you think you do. Perhaps it’s time to look at life with a different point of view.
Mark Twain said in his 1869 travel book The Innocents Abroad that “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
When you’re curious, your mind expands to accept the different ways people live making you a better person.
The real voyage of discovery consists, not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.Marcel Proust
Learning about cajun traditions in New Orleans or Mormon history in the Grand Teton National Park, you see populations with “new eyes” making your heart bigger and your mind stronger.
You allow the positive in people to shine through.
Full-time RV travel not only opens your heart to other people, but it also enhances your relationship.
When you live in a small space with someone, and also travel with them, compatibility is apparent.
What’s not so obvious is how your compatibility is accentuated, meaning you focus on the positivity of your relationship causing it to expand.
Just as many people go on vacation to improve their relationship, full-time RVers experience this improvement daily creating a stronger, sexier bond.
TRAVEL STRENGTHENS RELATIONSHIPS AND IGNITES ROMANCE
The U.S. Travel Association reported from a 2012 survey that:
1) Travel has long-term benefits for couples
2) Travel helps build and maintain relationships
3) Travel ignites romance and intimacy
Couples who travel together are happier than couples that don’t. Their lifted spirits from being on vacation cause them to overlook things that annoy them at home. There are better things to focus on like the fantastic view outside your door.
Full-time RVers feel this way daily. Instead of focusing on the negative, couples that live and travel together accentuate the positive in their relationship. They’re more connected in ways most people don’t see in everyday life.
Actually, the best gift you could have given her was a lifetime of adventures.Lewis Carroll
When something terrible happens on vacation, it can ruin the whole trip.
It rains the entire time; you lose your passport; you get pickpocketed on the train; or Montezuma’s revenge comes to visit.
Because of the limited time you have on vacation, there’s no room to recoup and carry on.
You have a miserable vacation to only return home to more misery.
Once again, you need a vacation from your vacation.
GO WITH THE FLOW
There’s a favorite saying in the full-time RV world that life is like a bowl of jello.
Life wiggles and shakes this way and that. Trying to keep it from not moving is useless and frustrating.
So you learn to accept it for what it is. You adjust your sails and carry on.
I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.Jimmy Dean
Like the time we were in Plymouth, MA. We were scheduled to leave on October 30 even though the campground closed for the season the day before.
They said it was okay. We’ll be the only ones there, that it’s no problem.
Until this happened.
They called it a bombogenesis. The winds gusted at 70 mph. The pine trees swayed and fell around us. The power died. We were alone.
But we survived.
And we were stuck.
There was no way out of the campground due to massive trees blocking the roads and highways.
So we stayed with no electricity, no one around us, even the birds were gone.
It was if we were starring in our own Halloween nightmare movie!
Reservations had to be canceled, plans changed, and the jello shook straight out of the bowl.
But you learn to accept these incidents on the road. You don’t let it ruin your life like it would if you were on vacation.
You learn to accept the flow becoming more patient, more tolerant of the “what is.”
Because you know tomorrow is another travel day where the sun shines brightly, and the birds are singing again.
The difference between traveling full-time and taking a vacation boils down to one major factor, which is time.
You have a limited amount of time on vacation.
When you travel full-time in an RV, unlimited time allows you to move at your own pace. You can stop and smell the roses and APPRECIATE the surrounding beauty.
More time allows you to see more, do more, live more that ACTIVATES your brain cells.
When you travel full-time, you have the time to ponder and allow your curiosity to AROUSE.
Not being rushed and stressed with time allows you to ACCENTUATE the positive in your relationship and the world around you.
Time helps you ACCEPT the “what is” causing you to be more self-aware and present. You’re not dreaming about a future vacation or missing one in the past because you’re living it in the present.
Live in each season as it passes;Henry David Thoreau, Walden
breathethe air, drinkthe drink, tastethe fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.
Joseph Dispenza, a former monk, and inspiring writer wrote in his 2002 book, The Way of the Traveler: Making Every Trip a Journey of Self-Discovery, that we are the hero of our own journey. Every time we go to another place, we open up the possibility of something wonderful happening. When we move out of the familiar, we set in motion a series of events that, taken together, bring about changes at the very root of our being.
When you travel full-time in an RV, the changes of appreciation, activation, arousal, accentuation, and acceptance make you a better person without even trying.
I look forward to reading your thoughts in the comments.