When I started this blog seven months ago, I had an idea in mind about where this would all lead. But like any new venture that starts with little more than a concept, we soon found that our purpose, as well as our direction, was at a crossroads. Michael and I were both successful artists. We’ve both known what we wanted to do with our lives for the past twenty years, and we had the experience, and the drive to make it happen.
Then the world changed, and we suddenly found that all the talent, focus and commitment on the planet wasn’t enough to take us where we expected to go. Neither one of us could even GET into an art show, and when we did, we barely made back our expenses. Art isn’t the best business model under the best of circumstances, and with one of the worst recessions in history clawing maniacally at the gains we’d made, we knew we had to do something, anything to keep from going under…
The question was, what?
We are both type A, both first-born, both accustomed to setting a goal for ourselves and then committing to the hard work to make it happen. Seven months ago we found ourselves wondering what on earth we wanted to do with the next chapter of our lives and we were shocked (and a little desperate) to find we had no answer for that question. Even when we asked each other what we would do if money were not an issue, there was a crashing silence.
Then Michael found a craiglist ad for a 1969 Dodge Travco in Crossville, Tennessee, and we thought we’d found our purpose again. We both love to travel and thought, this could be it. This could be where we start again. The Travco seemed to represent many of the things we wanted; the freedom to travel, a ready-made business catering to the baby boomer generation (most of whom seemed to be experiencing the same financial and directional setbacks we had), the chance to be self-employed again. There seemed to be a whole bunch of us who never expected to be in this position at this time in our lives, and because we are healthier and more vital than any other generation in history, we thought we could create an opportunity where it seemed none really existed; we could show people like us how to have the adventures they’d planned for at this age, but on a budget.
We dubbed the Travco the “Boomer Mobile” and immediately found ourselves at a crossroads again. It’s an awesome vehicle and an amazing attention getter. But it’s also not big enough to allow us to do everything we wanted to do now, and anyway, despite firing up like a champ after not being driven for months, and sailing down the freeway at 70 miles an hour like it was nothing when we brought it home, we just didn’t know enough about it to think this was something we would feeling comfortable striking out in.
If we were going to travel the country shooting segments for the WebTV program we also planned to launch, and we got stuck somewhere along the way, then what? We were going to be traveling on a shoestring to begin with as it was until the business took off. We couldn’t afford to see this thing parked beside the road before we ever even left the state. Not that it would happen – we could have driven to California and back without a problem – but we just couldn’t take that chance. Here’s the thing about being at a crossroads though. You aren’t obligated to continue along the path you are on just because it seems like a good idea at the time. After talking it over, Michael and I decided there was a different way to go about this new business, and now that we have done what we do best; hunkering down, setting a goal, saving the money, researching our options and focusing in on how to make it all happen, we have a new plan of action.
In two weeks, he starts school at the RV Training Center in Largo, Florida. It’s a ten week course and at the end of it, he will be certified to repair everything from teardrop trailer to a 40 foot Prevost. I will be taking writing classes at AB Tech and UNC Asheville and continuing to blog about our experiences. We still have plans to launch a Web TV program about baby boomer adventures, write a book about boomer travel, and next year, we will also offer an exclusive, four-day intensive raft school for boomers who want to learn how to whitewater raft without necessarily becoming guides. We will also finish the renovations on the Travco, and may wind up selling it to help finance an upgrade to a larger RV. On one hand, I hate to see it go. It has a whole new interior and looks on the inside exactly the way you would expect it to given what it looks like on the outside. But it’s served its purpose by inspiring us to look beyond the excitement of launching a new business, and the contentment that comes with knowing, it is finally going to happen.
So if you have been following this blog and wondering what happened to us….we found our path again, and left the crossroads behind us. Its time to get back to the business of living, learning, and having fun….