Navigating Relationships During COVID-19: A Preview!

You may recall that Ross and I created a course for a super-helpful work-from-home bundle that came out a few months back.

We’ve now got a preview from the course posted, so if you’re considering whether Navigating Relationships When You’re Both Working From Home is worth purchasing, this will give you a wonderful taste!

The full bundle of “Essential Work From Home Essentials Training Bundle” includes not only our course on “Navigating Relationships When You’re Both Working From Home”, but 25+ other courses from experts across 10+ fields, all who work at home already.

Please let us know if you have any questions! We’ve been working really hard on this to ensure the content is top tier, and I know the rest of the experts have as well.

Watch the preview here or below, and thanks for reading! As always, we really appreciate your support of our work. Let us know if this is helpful for you.

P.S. You can save on the bundle by purchasing it here!

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Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

End of an Era, or How Disney Let Down Florida

It’s the definition of a first world problem: we had Disney World passes, we used them for many months, and then COVID-19 hit. First they closed the parks indefinitely; when they finally reopened last month, they were opening despite Florida’s skyrocketing rates of infection.

As much as Disney is our absolute love, we just didn’t feel safe/couldn’t justify the risk of going into the parks, even with all the precautions. So, in a move we never thought would be an option or a need, we cancelled our Disney passes.

Being a Disney World passholder in normal times is pretty awesome, especially when you live nearby (as we do when our RV is parked in central Florida). We usually visited the parks at least once or twice a week, sometimes for a quick ice cream treat or a ride, and other times to spend most of the day or close out the evening there.

Much to our surprise, during this new era we’ve had no lack of things to do while staying in our RV. In many ways, we’ve been more productive in our businesses than we would have otherwise, despite the feelings of overwhelm and helplessness sometimes. And we’ve indulged in watching new TV shows and of course our new favorite thing, mystery boxes!

When Disney presented us with the option of cancelling our passes, we were torn. Giving them up meant if things were to change in the future, we’d be out of luck. And there’s always the risk that Disney will let annual passes expire and then won’t let new people purchase them. But honestly, our long-term plans don’t include living in Florida. A short-term visit regularly? Yes, please! But for the long term? We’ve got other priorities right now. A little extra money in our pockets doesn’t hurt either.

What ultimately sold us was the feeling that by opening up the parks in the middle of an incredible spike in cases with no sign of state or federal oversight, Disney dropped the ball. We felt that keeping our Disney passes would implictly be an endorsement of Disney’s behavior right now. And we strongly feel that Disney, as one of the largest and perhaps the most prestigious employer in Florida, was uniquely in a position to convince the state government to do more to stop the spread of COVID-19. By opening up the parks, they lost that bargaining chip and opportunity.

So we’re no longer Disney World passholders. We’re still big Disney fans, and we’ve still got our Disney World for RVers as a hub for conversation, but for now, we’ll be sitting on the sidelines.

Thanks for reading. Stay safe, and take care.

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Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

Balancing Work and Travel

It’s one of those weeks where it’s a carefully calculated balancing act. We’re hoping to head out of Florida within the next couple of weeks. We managed to avoid damage in last week’s hurricane, but we know we are unlikely to be so luckily if we stick around longer.

That means we need to stock up on provisions (our goal is to avoid stopping for anything but gas and a place to sleep for the night – fingers crossed!), make sure all of our online orders have been delivered, clean up and organize after getting “comfortable” for many months, and remind ourselves what “travel mode” looks like.

Oh, and work! The trickiest thing about all of this is that we still have to keep up with, if not traditional day jobs, all of our clients, and in fact we need to do extra work to make sure we’re ready to depart safely and successfully.

I’m also wrapping up week one of a coaching program, where I’m learning how to be a coach! I’m something I’ve dabbled in the past, and I absolutely love supporting people and helping them find the confidence, strategy and skills to create the life of their dreams. So, suffice to say, it’s been a busy week here in the RV!

Lots of people say that full-time RVing has higher highs and lower lows than the average life. I think that can be true. There’s less consistency, more surprises to deal with, but there’s so much joy from traveling and living life at a different pace. And honestly, so much of it is truly what you make of it.

We know we’re truly spoiled and privileged to live this lifestyle. We always appreciate your good wishes, but we especially love those thoughts and prayers in the coming weeks as we pack up and head out across the country.

Wishing you all a wonderful week. Take care.

P.S. We’ll be taking advantage of our Harvest Hosts membership when we travel. Free space to park in exchange for buying wine and other goodies? Sign us up! Get yours at a 15% discount and support our blog when you sign up!

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Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

Four Years Of Thanks

It’s been more than four years of being full-time RVers (with vacations along the way, but always returning to our home), and with all of the uncertainty in the world, I’m feeling especially grateful that we followed our dreams and made this adventure happen.

There were so many things that we didn’t know when we started out. If I’d known then that we’d burn through our savings, that we’d have to spend so much money on repairs, that we’d clean toilets or nasty equipment or even experience a few truly horrendous things along the journey, would we have done it?

But, of course, if I knew the bad stuff that would come, then I’d likely know the good stuff, and how could I have passed that up? Getting to meet extraordinary people, visiting gardens and museums and animals and the ocean….eating extraordinary gluten-free food, amazing ice cream, the freshest Mexican and New Mexican cuisine and meeting up with family and friends (some we hadn’t seen in ages) along the way.

(Just a few photos from the past year or so below!)

We’ve worked full-time and part-time jobs, built businesses, checked off bucket list items and built new dreams. We’ve found communities that feel like home and places we look forward to returning to, and we’ve gotten clarity on what is and isn’t important in our lives.

And when I created the tagline for this website (Making The Lives We Want: A Practice In Living), I didn’t have any idea just how much we’d be leaning into it. I’m so glad we have.

I hope that whatever you’re going through, you’re okay. And if you can, take one small step today to make the life you want. Even if it’s just taking time for a cup of tea or a short walk. You deserve it.

Take care, and be well. Thanks for reading.

______________________________

Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

 

Three Places To Focus When The World Is Spinning

Gosh, things are challenging right now! Even with all of my blessings and privilege, I’m feeling like it’s tough to stay in the moment and also to stay focused on my goals when the world seems to be falling apart around me.

So here is an update on the three things I’m focusing on right now to keep me going.

Habits

I’ve spent years developing the habits I’ve always wanted to have. It’s been a slow process, adding them in one by one, and a couple I’ve let go or let be flexible as I’ve figured out what’s worked for me. But developing great habits is SO important when things are stressful.

For me, my daily habits include writing in the morning (brain dump, gratitude, journal from the day prior…anything counts, but I write for about 15-20 minutes typically and make sure to at least write something), reading something for my personal development, walking outside, making myself a healthy breakfast, drinking at least 16 ounces of water and taking my vitamins. I’ve also got some personal prep routines in the mix, and lately I do some meditation and yoga in the mix too (I take three live classes currently, 3 days a week, and it’s such a blessing). Habits give you predictability when the world around you feels like a total disaster!

Daily Activism

Black Lives Matter. The state of the world has me panicked, I’m not going to lie. So one way for me to address that is to make sure that every day, I make time to do something to make the world a better place. I stand up for someone who needs it, I sign some petitions, I write my reps or make a phone call. I can’t do it all, but being able to say I’ve done something every day is key to feeling like I’m making a difference and not being complacent as it feels like we’re moving towards fascism. (The news of people being taken off the streets in unmarked vehicles is just the latest, of course. I’m not planning to stop bugging my reps until Trump backs off of that.)

Planning Ahead and Being Prepared

I also take time every day to think about planning ahead and being prepared. Am I well-stocked with food and supplies? Have I taken a few minutes to create a vision for the future of my business? Have I researched the next steps for my career goals? Even when these things seem like a silly distraction, I know that taking a few minutes to do this daily will make sure that when I look back on 2020, I’ll see how I made the best of it rather than how I fell apart.

Bonus: Self-Care

If you’re like me, without kids, white, employed, this list probably makes sense so far. If you’ve got lots of additional issues you’re dealing with right now, whether that’s mental health or sick family or anything else, please prioritize your self-care and give yourself grace when things don’t happen.

And if you’re like me, you probably STILL feel overwhelmed daily. I know I do. So take what works from this list and build your own list that DOES work for you. Take a bath. Have some ice cream. And leave me a comment to let me know how you’re coping during these challenging times.

I’ll also take a couple of sentences to plug Deadbolt Mystery Society – we’ve just completed our third mystery box and it is an absolutely delightful way to spend a few hours! At-home date nights for the win. Use my code to save a little cash. It is seriously the best time we’ve had since quarantine started. Perfect for 1-4 people with access to the internet and a smartphone with a QR code reader.

Sending love and hugs (virus-free) to all of you across the miles. Thanks for reading.

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Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com. 

 

Celebrating But Staying Flexible

It’s been a good week here in the RV. We’ve gotten some clarity around options for the future and we got offered a fun job recording a song. We’re doing our best to stay focused, but with all that’s going on in the world, we’re each taking time to a) advocate for the causes and people who need it (namely BIPOC) and to b) take some time to check in with each other and try to make sense of everything in the world right now.

As someone born to a Jewish father, with Jewish family, the anti-Semitism has been particularly frightening to experience this week. I know it’s nothing like being a black person, or a trans person, in our country right now, but it’s so strongly reminiscent of Hitler that it’s really tough not to worry if we aren’t doing enough or if it’s even too late to stop this train.

But I promised you I’d talk about celebrating right now, and honestly, I think that’s important. When we all have tons of extra stress right now, carrying the burdens of the world, having our own opinions and beliefs challenged, facing the constant stress of racism or persecution and of course of COVID…it’s a very tough time. So taking time, as you can, when you can, for little celebrations can be key to maintaining some level of normalcy or joy.

June is a big month for us. We got married in June, and my birthday is in June – this week in fact. Because I’d also set a financial goal for June (and hit it!), I had scheduled an incredible nine course meal and wine pairing to celebrate at Walt Disney World, on my birthday.

Well, you’ll be shocked to know that the reservation was canceled – and honestly, with COVID, I’m kind of glad it was canceled, because it would have been really hard to say no to attending if they’d been open right now.

So in its place, we’re celebrating my birthday in a bigger way than usual, with fancier food and drinks, Jeni’s ice cream and a gluten-free cake. I was also able to take today off (Friday), giving me a coveted three day weekend! Always a treat as I’m self-employed and don’t get any paid vacations.

Even if your own celebration looks different from mine – a luxurious bath? Fancy tea? Backyard distancing with a friend? – I hope you’re finding time and the means for a treat now and then. Ross and I have also recently put in an order for a mystery box – it’s like an escape room, except without a timer and with a mystery focus. There are also lots of “date night” boxes out there if you need ideas for those. You can do them as monthly subscriptions or, in some cases, as one-off boxes.

I think the key to celebrating right now is flexibility. Go into things knowing your favorite food may not be available right now, and you may need to make due without or change up the day if you run out of key ingredients for a cake before grocery day (eggs, perhaps?). Trying to be open and thankful each day is really saving me right now. (It was super helpful when I found out my day off would be full of thunderstorms, so a garden walk was out of the question!)

Thanks for reading, and stay well. Be safe and take care of each other.

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Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com.

 

 

 

Making The Lives We Want: Our Scorecard

Though we casually refer to our travel blog as “Ross and Jamie Adventure”, the actual name is Making The Lives We Want: A Practice In Living. I named the blog long before we hit the road, secretly writing away and documenting my thoughts as we navigated this crazy dream – becoming full-time RVers, traveling the country, giving Ross the chance to be a touring musician and ultimately finding a new place to settle down.

“Ross and Jamie Adventure” goes back to when Ross and I married in June of 2014 (almost six years married, and we’ve passed ten years together now). We coined the phrase then, creating an email with the moniker for handling our wedding details. It felt right. Even when our disposable income was almost non-existent, we always loved going on adventures, from our first New Year’s Eve together (also our anniversary) spent at Santa’s Village, to drives around northern New England for ice cream, museums or just whatever we’d see, to our short but magical comedy & music cruise out of Miami, to our epic two weeks of mostly camping and living it up in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Even though we’d never dreamed of anything like this when we got married, should it really shock anyone that we decided to embrace adventure fully with a life on the road in late 2016?

Obviously our adventures are looking very different right now. So instead of discussing traveling, I’m revisiting our name to ask the question, are we making the lives we want?

Here’s how things have evolved since I started this blog.

  • We bought an RV; and then when that one turned out to be a clunker, we bought another RV (this time with financing!)
  • We sold most of our furniture, got a storage unit and pulled a lot of favors with family and friends (thank you!!)
  • We traveled the U.S., especially down the East Coast, across the southern part of the United States, spent some time in the Pacific Northwest and cut a northern route back to NH (in several combinations).
  • One or both of us has performed in many communities across eleven states, from bars to libraries, restaurants to yoga studios and clubs to churches.
  • We went from mostly workcamping (at campgrounds in NH, TX, NC, CO and NM) when we weren’t performing to building a thriving virtual assistant business to supplement our not-insignificant teaching and performing income.
  • We’ve eaten premium and super premium ice cream across the U.S. in at least 19 states.
  • We’ve made new friends, spent time with family and old friends, fallen in love with several communities and continued to expand our time table from at least one year to coming up on four years this fall.
  • We’ve participated in yoga classes (Ross as a musician, Jamie as a student) in at least a half dozen communities.
  • We’ve created new goals for the future, no longer content to return to the status quo but instead working to remain location-independent indefinitely.

Of course, it’s that last piece that makes us particularly well-suited to endure what’s going on right now. Working remotely combined with relatively diverse streams of income has meant that instead of panicking when our gigs were canceled, we knew we had a lot of other income streams that, thus far, are doing okay. So we live in gratitude for the blessings we have, for all of the privileges that have made this possible and for all of the people who have supported us along the way when our RV needed work or we needed someone to watch our cat or store our keyboard.

We really are making the lives we want. It keeps evolving, and we keep redefining what that means. We aren’t rich, but we’ve lived lives that so many people have only dreamed about. We are rich in experiences, and whatever comes next, we’ll remain eternally grateful for what we’ve had.

Wishing you health, safety and comfort, friends. Take care.

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Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com.

Thankful and Fearful for Stay-at-Home

So the order to stay at home has finally come down from the governor of Florida. Since we’ve committed ourselves to staying here for the long haul, and since we’re Florida residents, staying put at this campground in central Florida remains our best option.

When the order came down on Wednesday, my feelings of thankfulness quickly made way for fear. Had I done enough to stock up on supplies? What if deliveries didn’t go as planned? What if my clients don’t need me to work for them anymore? What if we can’t get the aid we need? What if, what if, what if…

There are so many unknowns right now. I can’t do anything about that. All I can do is put one foot in front of the other, and hug my immediate family (my husband and my cat), and enjoy the meal in front of me or the beautiful sunny sky.

So each day, I will try to soak in a little bit more of the things that I love that I can control or enjoy right now. I’m having tea with family this weekend. I make phone calls, I write emails, I send texts. I relish “virtual happy hours” with co-workers and remote yoga classes and days without needing a/c and nights full of sleep. I write letters to representatives and know when to turn off the news stream. I discover new TV shows with my husband, appreciate his cooking evermore and work my way through my client checklists to keep my clients as happy as possible.

I know I can’t control it all forever. I know my family can’t either. But we can take care of ourselves as best we can. We can do the work to clean and isolate and exercise and give ourselves room to grieve and cry and also laugh and breathe. And we can know that whatever tomorrow brings, however long this journey is, we will have done all we could to live our lives in joy and thankfulness in the midst of adversity.

Sending so much love to all of you. Thank you to everyone who is making it possible for me, and others like me, to stay home. And thank you, for doing your part each and every day as we work to kick this virus to the curb.

Stay safe, friends.

______________________________

Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com.

Present Over Perfect

Present over perfect. I’ve started reading this book, and I almost could have written it myself.

When we decided to take this journey, my physical and mental health were near a breaking point. I was ready to find a new way, though I imagined it was going to be a temporary break.

Over time, I’ve come to realize just how exhausted I was, and just how much I’d overdone things. It doesn’t matter that I usually get eight hours of sleep – it wasn’t enough.

And now that we’ve created this amazing, almost sustainable life for ourselves, I’m working harder than I have in many years, and I have to keep checking in with myself, making sure I’m not overdoing it. But things feel so different. I’m grounded. Even on a busy day that could be stressful, I take the time for breathing, for walking, for myself and even when the obstacles get thrown at me, I remain continually, pleasantly surprised and thankful that I feel comfortable and capable.

Present over perfect. I just started this book, but I couldn’t resist a reflection. And a recommendation. Celebration, FL | Ross and Jamie Adventure

______________________________

Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com.