Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
We have been traveling in our fifth wheel home for two years. We are both retired teachers. I actually get bored once in awhile and think about working part-time but do not want to make any long term commitments. My wife thinks I'm nuts. I don't need the money, I don't want to do any of the jobs I see posted on workcamping sites, and I only want short stints here and there. Besides thinking I'm nuts, my wife tells me I'm delusional if I think I'm going to find interesting work whenever I decide I want it. I'm not asking you to find me a job, I'm just curious if you think I'm delusional. I'm writing you because I know my wife reads your column every week. Maybe if you give me some words of encouragement she will take me more seriously. I just feel working occasionally would broaden our travel experience and that I should not be accused of being a workaholic.
--Working it out in West Texas
You're not delusional, you just haven't figured it all out yet. I have no idea what kind of work you are looking for, but I can tell you it's there if you pursue it aggressively enough.
A great way to find interesting, short term, jobs while traveling would be to sign up with a temporary service such as Kelly Services and Manpower. I can tell you from personal experience that they have all kinds of diverse job opportunities. At one time I thought I was the George Plimpton of the working class. My wife and I had over a hundred jobs in seven years working mostly through temp services wherever we wanted to live for awhile. My wife worked mostly clerical jobs, but I dispensed beer, moved office equipment, delivered furniture, worked at a thoroughbred horse auction, fish processor, gold mine, and got paid for filling up helium balloons, just to mention a few. Between the temp services and networking with people you meet along the way, you will turn down many more jobs than you actually take. Many of these opportunities can be as short term as one day, a weekend, a week or a month. That should solve any disagreement the two of you have as to how long you want to spend in one area. You can work together or get some alone time.
The bonus to this whole program is you are going to meet a whole slew of new friends. Some of our best friends, all over the country, we met working various jobs while we traveled.
There are numerous little online businesses you could start and do anywhere. Maybe you should start by working on a plan. Plan your work and work your plan.
I just had a brilliant idea this morning. I just bought a new Winnebago. I told my wife we could operate a "designated driver service" every weekend. We could drive around local watering holes and offer rides to people over the legal limit. I told her we would call it "Bagawino." She thinks I'm nuts.
--Keep Smilin', Dr. R.V. Shrink