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rexhan

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 #1 
I will be taking off on my own adventure in may of next year.  I have 2 major concerns, first is how i will fill so many free hours of time with activities and such in order to not find myself bored and frustrated.  second, what will i do when i simply want to not do anything except rest and take it easy for a bit.   i know that now free time is spent on the couch watching TV, which admittedly is a waste of time that could be spent exploring and learning new things.  but when you just want to kick back and do nothing... how do you do that?
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jasonodom

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Jason Odom
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 #2 
There's a link to a super cheap book I wrote on this page covering the DAILY activities (things we do all the time) on a real 5 month trip - http://www.vanabode.com/travel/east-coast-road-trip.htm

If you don't want to read that this might help - The sleep of a laboring man is sweet (Bible) so one of the strategies my wife and I employ naturally that is both fun and makes for a great nights rest is to physically interact with the world during the day. Hiking and swimming a lot does it. Other activities we find fun and interesting: reading our kindle, posting pics on internet (you can post every day if you like on this forum, pics and comments of your adventure so you have a backup of it all permanently on the internet. We also have more time to call people and catch up and since we have unlimited talk/text/data on our $45 a month plan with Straight Talk we can do it cheaply and easily. I draw, she makes jewelry from beads and gives away as gifts (any hobby you might like that is SMALL in size so it doesn't become a burden in your Vanabode is good. You can also talk with other travelers if you like, write a book, song or play, fish, hunt, bike, boat, etc. Photography is especially rewarding. As for taking it easy - that's our favorite part, invest in one good super comfortable outdoor chair and sit back and enjoy the sights, animals, terrain, sunsets, sunrises, and neighbors. Doing little is fun.

walgren-lake-nebraska.jpg

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rexhan

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 #3 
thanks for the prompt reply.  I'm sold, having retired with children to South America at 35 and then back into the workforce in the USA so they could attend high school and get into universities here in the U.S., I remember how nice it was to not have the yoke of breadwinner around my neck.  but now, due to the downturn in the economy and other issues, it has taken longer to get back into the "taking it easy" mindset.  the plan is 1-2 years touring North America, before heading to Europe and eventually ending up back in Argentina.  However, with the routines and stigma associated with not working at an early age and the uncertainty of tomorrow, the bravado I had at 35 is not what it used to be.  regardless, i appreciate the knowledge you are sharing and the opportunity to bounce questions off of you.  hobbies will definitely help fill the void of waking hours as will learning and enjoying new places and experiences.  I have never found myself bored during traditional vacations and look forward to a long and experience filled rest of my life.  thank you again for your input and advice.  i'll see you out there on the road soon.
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vanabode@sfodesigns.com

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 #4 
I may not be really qualified to answer this, as I still keep my hand in my old business of electronic design, but.....

Learning how to do nothing for extended periods of time is an extremely valuable skill. When we do it for shorter periods of time, we call it meditating. When we do it for longer periods of time, we call it being lazy. It's impossible for us to imagine spending a whole hour, or (gasp) a whole day doing nothing. WHY? Learn to think without outside input or influences. Sit or lay down and let your mind stretch. It has no boundries. Go find some flowers, and study them. Absorb them. Watch birds. Wonder at their lives. I spent today at the seashore, in awe of all that nature has to offer.
I'm 73, so I can't address society's view of someone who is younger and not "pursuing a career." I can tell you I wasted a hell of a lot of years earning money to buy things that I eagerly gave away to pursue my new lifestyle.

Go on youtube and find George Carlin's bit on "a place for your stuff."
Find a copy of Henry David Thoreau's Walen, in which he wrote Most men lead lives of quiet desperation." 

I don't recommend abandoning your children, but remember there is a value to the struggle itself. Don't give them so much help that you deprive them of the lesson of the struggle.

Enough preaching! You may need much less than you think to start your journey. Mine began with a Chevy S10 Blazer, some clothes, and $220.00. It's been a fantastic three years.

Much thanks to Jason!!!!
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jasonodom

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Jason Odom
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 #5 
Thanks for your input on this subject SFODesigns. The credit for adjusting your life to suit YOU goes to YOU, not me. It takes a lot to make big changes even when they are beneficial. I'm glad you are doing well. By the way I think those Chevy Blazers have become somewhat of a cult vehicle with prices staying up fairly high in some places. Have fun! Jason
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carole steinberg

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 #6 
I like to help people. I am currently staying in a friend's driveway and i am helping w yard work and painting etc. She is feeding me and i have showers etc. Sometimes i volunteer at churches at food givaways or gardening. Dog shelters usually need someone to wash stuff. God blesses us so we can be a blessing to others. It is a great way to live local and get to know the area.
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ken2112

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 #7 
I'm thinking about vanaboding, and my main concern is actually boredom. I've been working long and hard for 35 years and have a personality that generally likes to stay "busy". That said, I know that approach is a chronic source of stress in my life. I'll have to learn how to let go of the idea that I need to constantly "be productive". I love to do long day hikes, which will be my main focus, but I know the hard part for me will be when it's raining or something and I'm stuck in the van. 

Thinking about this, I figure my laptop and guitar will play a key role. I'm also into photography, so I can shoot pics, write songs, and maybe write a book. Hit libraries, gyms, and coffee shops for some civilization time. One aspect of the book really struck home with me, and that's the comparison of how different people live globally. I've been to many 3rd world countries and have seen real poverty. In the U.S. the standard of living is so high as to be ridiculous. Maybe the answer is in the middle. Many people would view having a cozy van and enough food as living large.

The other thing is being time-rich. That's something I've never had, so I've accepted it as normal. I was born into the rat race, so that's my paradigm, but I think it's time to change that. I'm 53, and have never had any extended time out of the rat race. So I think for me the solution will be to take a sabbatical for a year in a van. Then I can decide whether to continue. I can pull it off financially. As for boredom, I figure I'll have to adjust to the idea of not always having somewhere I have to be. 
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vanabode@sfodesigns.com

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 #8 
Although I've been filling parts of my week with design work, I'm careful not to have "deadlines" that cause me stress. One of the ways that you can keep busy at your own pace until you have become more accustomed to your new life is to do volunteer work at farms and orchards. The opportunities and benefits vary from place to place. Some opportunities are paid, some not. Some include lodging, others expect you to camp. Check out https://www.workingtraveller.com.

Personally, I've been into tide pools recently. (Yes, literally!) great photo ops.

Roy
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Souleem

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 #9 
Hmmm, how to fill the day after retirement is a hot topic of concern for me too.

I am learning to knit sweaters and socks at a local knitting supply store. I had always thought knitting was boring and for women only; however, I'm finding it thrilling to be able to knit beautiful garments that I can wear and there are a couple of men in my class. Also, I have watched YouTube vides by men giving tips on knitting, and a woman at Walmart mentioned that her father and all of her brothers were expert knitters.

In addition to knitting, I recently learned to make quilts from scraps of fabric and am loving that. I will have to find a way to bring along my sewing machine and a table for sewing in my van, as well as supplying it with elecricity.

In addition to quilting, I recently learned to make handbags from old jeans and men's neckties, and drawstring pants from fabric from Goodwill and the Salvation Army.

I hope to take a class on spinning yarn at the knitting supply store later this year and am wondering if I'll be able to fit a yarn spinner in my van.

Souleem
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