I’ve been traveling around America workamping and volunteering since 2007.
My home on wheels (the Tin Can Cottage) is a Winnebago Mini Motorhome.
This blog tells how I got started, my travels, my jobs, the hardships of being away from family and friends and topics of interest to people who live in RVs and people who dream about living in RVs.
Sometimes, though, the stories are eclectic: about routine RV life, my daily adventures, photographs and thoughts about life.
Living in a home on wheels ( my Tin Can Cottage) has not kept me from developing many friendships in different parts of the country. It is a wonderful amazing bonus of life on the road.
How It All Started (#1)
Back in the day when I owned a house and worked at my job as an 8th grade counselor and teacher, I used to inspire my students by giving them what I considered to be the ten most important two letter words for having a dream life.
I would present these magical words by way of a game of hangman so they could “discover” them for themselves. After 13 years of teaching over 5,000 students, I decided it was time I granted myself permission to take on the power of the words: “If it is to be, it is up to me” in living my own dream life.
The dream life for me: living in a motor home aka recreational vehicle (RV), working at jobs around the country, and experiencing a never-ending journey of adventure and discovery via the open road. It entailed selling my house and furniture, walking away from my career, and in short, learning a brand new way of life.
All that was over four years ago. Today I am still living my dream life but not without initially going through immeasurable difficulties and countless mistakes.
As I travel across America I meet so many people who want to know about living in a home on wheels and making a living while they’re at it. Hence, the idea for this blog.
As you read my entries, please let me know what issues or concerns you’d like to see addressed or just leave a comment. I appreciate any and all feedback.
(aka Tin Can Traveler)
Every Day: Something! (#2)
It was the end of May 2006. I had given myself a year to put everything into place. In just one year I needed to sell the house, resign from my teaching position, sell all the furniture, research and buy an RV. It all looked so simple, in my dream! In reality it was like being in a kayak on a river in Class IV rapids; sensory overload: what to do first, where to look, how to paddle, and all the while staying right side up! And, man, oh man, when you’re in it, the river moves like a runaway freight train!
Okay, I thought, all I have to do is set a reasonable goal. So I came up with this:Every day, do something, just one thing toward bringing the dream to reality.
So I got myself a notebook divided into sections for all the different things I needed to do. One page had all the info on selling the house. Another was filled with everything that was being sold or given to family and friends. Other pages were devoted to researching RVs and jobs for RVers.
The most unsettling list was the one with all the things I wanted to keep. I was delirious with materialistic greed, thinking I could still harbor all the flotsam and jetsam from 40+ years of pack rat proclivity.
Mentally, I had attached the stuff to me as so many outer coats that now had to be peeled away one by one. The only way to do it was to adopt a spirit of philanthropy. I saw most of my possessions off to good homes; only keeping what I thought I needed or would be useful.
It took me most of the summer and multiple parings but my home finally took on a cavernous look.
My next step was selling the house. So in August 2006 the house went on the market. Within a month’s time something happened that was both wonderful and dreadful. But that’s a story for my next post.
(aka Tin Can Traveler)
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You really inspire me. You have a broad and unqiue view on life! I would love to do some of the things you do!
If ever you have any questions on getting started, I am here for you.
You are very brave and adventurous! But what a fun experience!
Thanks so much for the visit and subscribe to my blog.
The excitement of adventure keeps us forever young! Thank you for your support!
Hey Annie, so intrigued about your travels and absolutely have to come back for more! Safe travels!
Yay! A new friend!
Thank you so much!
I am so happy I found this blog. You amaze and inspire me. I plan on moving to a RV park in California upon retirement in 2013. I don’t plan to travel around like you do, but will affix myself permanently in a travel trailer at the beach. I too have to sell a home, sell all my belongings and it is all that occupies my mind these days. I will be checking in regularly on your adventures Annie. Thanks for the blog.
You go, Girl! Glad to hear it!
Very cool, Annie. Can I tempt you to join in the weekly travel themes I host over on my blog? This week’s challenge is Parks http://wheresmybackpack.com/2012/06/22/travel-theme-parks/ xxx Ailsa
After reading yours I am very impressed! I’ll have to give it some thought! Thank you so much for the offer!
Fab, looking forward to reading your posts. Happy travels. xxx
Nice to meet you Annie 🙂 That takes courage and a level of consciousness/awareness few people have. I congratulate you on your move! Regards, Paula
Gracie! I am so happy to make your acquaintance! I will check out your site! Ciao!
Annie: I’d like to talk with you about your experiences work camping. I’m editor of a national magazine and we’re doing an article on the subject. Would you be available in the next day or so?
Hi Annie ~ I’m posting again because the first one was lost. I just love your web site and posts which I found this week in an article about Work Camping in the Challenge Magazine found at a PILOT/Flying J in West Virginia. I have been a full-time caregiver for my husband who passed away May 2011 and we were also full-time RV’ers for 6 years. I now live alone in our 32′ Jayco motorhome and tow a Jeep behind me. I haven’t really been brave about getting back into travel till now and I have managed to get all the way from Charlotte, NC to Pittsburgh where my daughter is living. You are So inspiring. I am also hoping to write and journal more. I’m originally from Colorado-Arizona – the West! Love to see those desert photos. Thanks for the great posts. RandylRose
Hi Randyl ~ What wonderful news that you are traveling again! I am so proud of you!
You can count me as a friend out here on the road. So happy you like my writing and photos.
My gratitude and best wishes to you!
I came across your blog in this months issue of Challenge magazine available at the Pilot and Flying J truck stops. Your way of life fascinates me. I’m just starting out on your blog but since its a long drive to Kansas City, MO from Cambridge, ON you’ll be keeping me company along the way. Your are very brave and courageous for living your dream life. Your 10 2 letter words are something to live by.
Thank you for creating this blog and sharing your story with all those that are interested.
Hi Kitina ~ Thank you so much for all your kind words. So happy you are enjoying my stories.
Hope you are having safe travels and adventures of your own! And, you’re welcome!
How very inspiring you are!
In some way
Live your dream.
I am so grateful for your heart warming response!
Great blog Annie, I look forward to returning often to read your fascinating stories and adventures.
Patricia, I am so very grateful for your support!
Hey Annie! I’ve really enjoyed your blog. So many adventures!
I nominated you for an award! Check out http://unkilleddarlings.wordpress.com/2013/05/05/the-very-inspiring-blogger-award-nomination/ for more info. Keep up the good work 🙂
Thanks so much, Emily Anne!
Sure thing 🙂
Thank you, Judy!
You’re welcome: )
Wow, Annie. This has taken some guts to actually make the big “move” into a RV and to hit the road!! This must be a very interesting life….I can imagine its not always sunshine and roses but you must be having some great adventures! Looking forward to reading all about them in your blog!
There’s certainly a lot of adventures from 7+ years on the road.
The great thing is that there’s no end in sight. I love the life!
You are living a life that many only dream about. You are living your dreams! A daily adventure and regular surprises are your way of life. Live free; enjoy. Eddie
I love your way with words, Eddie! “A daily adventure and regular surprises” Thank you so much! Annie
This reminds me of the book “Mad Monks on the Road”. They travel in an RV with their two cats and eventually made a book out of their experience. Are you still on the road?
It’s the only place to be! Seven years; no end in sight!
Hi Annie… glad to connect and interact with you.
Your blog inspires others how to reach the dreams.
With all my respect to you. Best wishes .. !!
Kindred spirits! Gratitude for your kind words. Blessings, Annie
You are a brave and lucky woman who lives your dream – something most people don’t. Thank you for following my blog even though I’m still a teacher… I plan to retire earlier though, but maybe not sell my house. I hope to fulfill some of my dreams anyway. Your adventures are inspiring – looking forward to following them!
What kind words to read first thing on a beautiful morning! Welcome to my world of gratitude and never-ending adventure. i wish you all the wonders you seek! Annie
Your writing is so inspirational!
I am honored….and grateful for your company.
Hi! I made it a goal this month to discover a new blog/blogger friend every day. Today I discovered you! I am amazed and inspired by how you live your life! What an amazing opportunity and what an adventure! I am quite envious. Your pictures are gorgeous! Can’t wait to follow more of your journey!
How special to have you along for the ride! Thank you so much!
You have a fantastic blog and i admire that you live your dream … I hope that i can do so when i stop work as a nurse … Meanwhile, i follow you 😉 … // Maria 🙂
I am grateful for the compliments and the blog follow. See you out on the road, Maria!
Annie, I’ve just seen your favourite film – the one you have recommended “A month by the lake”. It is lovely. Thank you so much xo
Paula, I just watched it again the other night! I fall in love with that lake every time I see the movie.
So glad you liked it!
All this is very interesting. I “envy”, because Your world is full of wonders to be found. We do not have campers, but we make road tours once a year and smaller ones lasting a day or two.
All the best to You and Yours!
Ah! I admire your beautiful photos of Fniland. It looks like a wonderful place. Thank you for sharing them.
It’s a pleasure to meet you.
Ah! How very considerate. Thank you!
Delighted to have discovered your journeys here Annie and looking forward to following your adventures. Regards from Thom at the Immortal Jukebox (plugged in and ready to play).
Thanks so much for your support, Thom! Welcome!
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