My name is Paula Sa. I'm not yet retirement age but I am retired from the nine to five corporate lifestyle I lived. And as you know from my homepage, it was not my decision. I lost my job as a territorial sales manager in retail to corporate downsizing. A curve ball I think I've hit out of the park as it turns out.
I thought I'd work until 67ish, retire in my lovely little condo, within walking distance to so much I'd built my life around, nearby family and friends, in an affordable little corner of southeastern Massachusetts. I'd write a little, travel, hike, visit my daugther, care for my mom . . . well, you get the picture.
And when I lost my job I began to take stock of what I liked to do, what I liked about my job and how I could parlay those things I enjoyed into a new life and income. Well the new life was easy but the income was a little more complex.
I knew I liked to travel, drive, hike and write. I became the Providence Nature Examiner
And I enjoyed a little success and a following for the short time I pursued this. (The articles, with pictures, are about many of the Audubon Wildlife Sanctuaries in Southeastern New England and are still relevant so check them out if you are living or visiting the RI/Southeastern MA area.) But I wasn't going to make a living at it any time soon.
Before I lost my job, though, I'd had an accident that resulted in an insurance settlement. I also had a pension coming when I retired that I could take early. This I decided to do. In combination with the settlement I could manage until I would be able to collect Social Security at 62 I reckoned. But would that be enough to live on once I got there? That's the $64,000 question.
Okay, so what's the answer?
I started researching RV's. I had some cash from the settlement but not a lot and I needed to fund the travel and living for a while. Using the internet and shopping locally, I was able to narrow down my vehicle preference to a Class B van camper. I found the One, went to California, bought it and drove it back home over a month's time. It was a great way to cut my teeth and begin to have some experiences to write about.
I thought, I could write about the whole business of living on the road, a single woman in an RV. I'd received feedback on my writing from examiner.com and found I was in the top 20% of their quality writers by their criteria. That was encouraging!
These ideas jelled together as did the research on this type of lifestyle. I actually discovered many people were doing this around the country and writing about it on websites! Why not me? As most of them were couples I thought I would have a unique voice and story to tell that wasn't being told as far as I could see.
Of course some of my friends thought I was crazy, some thought I was brave but most said they wished they could do something like this and encouraged me to go for it! Oh, did I say I had a mortgage to keep paying on? Minor details.
So I decided to rent my condo out.
And as grace would have it a young woman I knew suddenly was left high and dry by a landlord the day of the lease signing. She called me for help and I told her to pack her car and come stay with me and sort things out. She did and fell in love with my place.
The next day she heard of another female intern
who had run into a bad situation with her rental and jumped at the
chance to come see my place. By the following day I had two tenants
for the Fall with one staying on through the following spring. It was
perfect! They were gifts to me!
While researching the full time RV lifestyle I came across a couple of websites that had been “built by SBI” or Solo Build It. I was impressed with the quality and clicked on the link that changed my life! I could see the possibilities.
I read case studies and everything they had to say about their method and success in helping people create websites and income from them. I researched those websites and saw the different ways this was possible and for $29.99 a month, a completely refundable amount if not satisfied, I took the plunge and have not looked back.
Now, I have an Associates Degree in Internet Communications Technology, which taught me how to write HTML and build websites. But once I saw how many tools and products and guidance they offered, for the same $29.99 a month, to create a website, in my mind “the easy way”, I was convinced this was the best investment I'd made in a long time.
Now when I say the easy way I don't mean without hard work. I've been building this site on an off for the last two years and my site can already be found on the first pages of a search for terms like “solo rv travel”, “stealth camping” and “free rv camping”. How amazing is that!
And I did not do it quickly by many standards you will see in the case studies. But that was my choice as I was traveling, getting to know new people and easing into the RV Vagabond lifestyle as it developed. This winter I sold my condo and cut the ties to a home base. Now my RV Vagabond travel adventure is in full swing.
Did I mention I get to travel and build my website? Have laptop, internet connection and SBI . . . will travel. It's a perfect fit!
Where would you like to work from? What are you passionate about? What would you like to share with the world. My audience is from the US, Canada, the UK, China, Russia, Portugal and many other countries. Many people travel the USA in rental RV's and want to know what it's like before they come here.
But wait until you see the variety of interests SBIers have turned into profitable websites.