Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
My husband wants to change his life. I think it's a mid-life crisis. He is only 49. He says he's burned out. He is talking about an RV and running away to travel for a year or so. That’s okay with me, but there is so much involved in making a decision like this. We have the money. We could actually retire early by changing our lifestyle a bit. He has worked hard his whole life. I hate to deny him this escape plan. How should we proceed? Just take the leap? I would appreciate some advice.
--The Great Escape in Inverness
It all sounds familiar to me. I’ve done this more than once myself. Everyone has varied circumstances. You really need to make all these personal decisions on your own and carefully. That said, I would suggest you not be afraid to explore this move. If you have never experienced the RV lifestyle, I would advise baby steps. Some people are not cut out for it, although it might sound appealing. Take Sam Israel for example. He was the mini-Madoff hedge fund manager that lost 400 million bucks of other people’s money. Talk about a mid-life crisis. He faked a jump off a New York bridge, and scooted away in a new RV. He didn’t last a week before he turned himself in. My point is, don’t sell the farm without trying out this great escape first. Sometimes the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. Another example would be long-distance hikers. I see a lot of people who have spent months preparing to hike a long trail, such as the Appalachian Trail. They read an account in the paper and it sounded appealing. After quitting their job, buying equipment, and planning logistics for months of hiking, I find them on the side of the trail in deep thought. They have hiked about a 100 miles with all their worldly possessions on their back. They look at me and say, “What was I thinking?”
The point is, go slow. Take a couple short trips. Most people find out this is a great lifestyle. Even getting away from a high pressure job for awhile can help you think clearer. A job can kill you. I know, I had one once. Life is full of adventures and you only go around one time, so don’t be afraid to try a few things.
--Keep Smilin’, Dr. R.V. Shrink