Christine Butler writing on geographical independence…
My husband, Jim, and I love the freedom of the open road. Over the past 14 years we have covered over 135,000 miles on our motor coach…from coast to coast of the United States.
When we started, our goal was to visit as many National Parks as possible, and we’ve done a good job of checking them off our bucket list. One of our favorites is Glacier National Park which crosses the border from Montana into Canada. We head up there for the tranquility of the wide open spaces, mountains, lakes, and abundance of wildlife.
Before becoming RVers, both Jim and I were in the corporate world, living just outside of Denver, Colorado. I spent 27 years in the telecommunication industry, managing large groups of people in the technical arena. I enjoyed my work because it was challenging, but it was also stressful, and I worked long hours. I was getting burned out. Retirement began to look very attractive.
When I lost my job at age 50, as part of a massive downsizing, I was excited about being free from the shackles of a 24/7 commitment, and it came at a perfect time for me. I took the offer and ran. The same thing was happening with Jim’s job.
One day, as we were sitting in our home watching the snow come down, we decided it was an opportune time to see the country and visit some place warm.
We had just bought our RV, so we packed it up and traveled to Tucson, Arizona for the winter. We fell in love with the desert and soon relocated there. Then, we became reverse snowbirds. Instead of escaping from the snow in the winter by going south, we’d travel north in the summer to get out of the desert heat.
I loved playing golf and doing fun things with my friends in the desert but I longed to accomplish something more. I started searching for options where I could make decent money, have the flexibility of establishing my own schedule, be my own boss, and of course be able to travel.
About seven years ago, I discovered copywriting…how to write persuasively and convince the reader to take action. There’s a big market for this and it can be done on a freelance basis.
I soon realized that freelance writing allowed me to work at my own pace, on my own time, from wherever I chose, and as much or as little as I wanted.
After getting a few years of freelance writing under my belt, we sold our house, got rid of a lot of our stuff, and put the rest of it in storage. We were officially full timer RVers for over three years…zigzagging our way across the country. We kept to our rule of north in the summer and south in the winter. We’d stay in places like the Gulf Coast in the winter and then move to the Oregon Coast, in the summer.
I set up my office in the rig, and as long as I had access to the internet, I was in business. We carried our own Wi-Fi, so I could write as we traveled down the road.
I’ve used my previous corporate knowledge to write for B2B companies. My first sales page was for a client I met at a writers’ trade fair and it paid $2,000…$1,000 down and $1,000 on completion. I took a photo of that first paycheck, framed it, and have it next to my computer as I’m writing. It was a great start.
We now have a home base again in Nevada, just outside of Las Vegas. We are desert rats once more but continue to RV whenever we feel like it. With my laptop and internet connection, I continue to write as we travel. Many of my clients don’t know where I am at any given time and don’t care, as long as they can reach me.
Freelance writing has given me a great opportunity to call my own shots. I can do it from anywhere, even while driving down the road. Next stop — Lake Havasu on the California-Arizona border.
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