For those who have been keeping up, I just finished a series on our recent adventure to Belize and Mexico. It was great experience that marked seven years since my world fell apart.
Seven years after my wife announced that she had taken enough crap from me and wanted out, we took off for ten days of romping around in dilapidated buses, across two countries, sleeping in a mix of random Airbnb rooms and ending up at a resort in Cancun. Not a bad way to celebrate.
That journey reinforced the fact that we are good together. We talked about everything. We just had a great time experiencing life together. We proved that this new mindset about marriage and family really works.
So, having done all that… What’s next?
Back to business. Back to making new plans. Back to work. Our current mission is to continue preparing for our future. The last seven years have been good for narrowing down our options and figuring out what really matters.
My Geri had a rough childhood. Absolutely no stability or security. That leaves a mark on a kid and affects the desires and emotional needs. She needs a home. She needs a safe place of her own.
As for me, it’s different.
My father’s side of the family was heavily influenced by my grandfather who worked construction most of his life. The family moved around the country constantly. I don’t even remember how many different schools my dad went to. They were constantly in motion.
After retirement, my grandfather still couldn’t stay in one place very long. The family calls it a gypsy spirit. He still needed to move around and experience something different all the time. He bought a small piece of land, built a deck on it and bought another travel trailer. When he was home, the trailer was parked next to that deck, overlooking Lake Eufaula in Alabama. When he needed a change, off he went; taking his home with him.
To my wife, living out of a travel trailer holds absolutely no appeal. She loves to travel, but still needs that stability. She needs to be able to go home. I would be perfectly content to bounce around the world in a bus for the rest of my life.
So, how do we make plans when we are polar opposite in what we find appealing? Well, here’s the plan.
That seven year stretch carried one other issue with regard to our future. Lots of limitations.
The desperation to save our family required moving. The only way to cut ties with a bad area and start over meant giving up everything we had worked for. Two houses, my own studio, a shop I setup, both of us also gave up good jobs to move.
Our credit got destroyed. Our options were restricted to rental homes and cash cars. Seven years later, our credit is still suffering. But, our options are getting better.
We are currently working towards the purchase of some land near the beach, since crashing waves and sand-covered toes make up her happy place. The spot we found is free of the residential restrictions we have now. A small house with room for a big garden that feels perfect. We are adding to that deal, the plan to acquire an older school bus for me.
I have always dreamed of having a self-contained home on wheels. Something that gives me a comfortable place to sleep, along with the freedom to wander whenever I need to.
Yes. The gypsy spirit is alive and well.
Over the next year or so, expect to hear more about things I have been studying and preparing for my whole life. Building a small house near the beach. Turning my mediocre gardening ambitions into a more self-sustaining lifestyle. Building out a rolling home. Implementing the off-grid type lifestyle and finding creative ways to live cheaper and less dependent on unnecessary expenses.
Geri still wants her own bed and breakfast and I still want another studio. This property may support both of those long-term ambitions. Seems like things are lining up.
Hopefully, we can also return to Mexico and Belize. There was too much to see and do in ten days, so maybe we can try it again in our own bus. We also hope to visit with family across the country, check out more national parks and try to see the world.
At this moment, those are just plans. We are again at the mercy of a financial institution to help bankroll the entire project, but we are still hopeful. If it doesn’t work out the way we hope, we will just roll with it.
Also, expect to see an updated version of my Becoming a Better Man book this week, since those sales will help make that a reality. We are also working on a follow-up with another book. My job with Live Sound International and ProSoundWeb gives me a lot of freedom and flexibility to manage my own schedule and work from anywhere. That work will continue, since I really enjoy it and it pays the bills.
The work of encouraging marriages and offering up my hard-earned advice will continue within the Better Man section of this site. I don’t see a way to end that project. It’s just too important. But, the next chapter of our plans is about taking all that marriage and family advice and putting it into action. Now that we are a solid couple again, life goes on.
I understand that plans change and things don’t always work out the way we want, but I also know something more important… You can’t steer a parked car.
Get in motion. Make plans. Build a life together. Take the changes as they come and keep moving forward. Stay tuned for our next chapter while you work on your own.
Now, go get your copy of my Becoming a Better Man book and help make this happen for all of us.
You can also jump into our new Kickstarter campaign and help make all this happen faster. We are offering book, website banners and even a personal visit from the bus and our crew.
M. Erik Matlock is a self-professed recovering knucklehead with more than 500 articles and four books in print. He shares his hard-earned wisdom at ErikMatlock.com, ProSoundWeb.com and through his books, which are available at Amazon.
(Opening image stolen from WheelofFortune.com)