We are delighted to have Carol White with us today discussing her book, “Live Your Road Trip Dream.” According to Carol this detailed, step-by-step manual of real-life information on organizing the trip you've always wanted to take will have you on your adventure in no time.
Nourishing Relationships: Whatever made you and Phil believe that you could actually take off and travel for a year?
Carol: Phil and I believe that if we want something bad enough, we can make it happen - kind of the "dream it, do it" philosophy - with a generous dose of hard work thrown in! We had retired in our early 50s and had been banging around traveling, playing with the grandkids, reading, working out and just generally catching our breath from a lifetime of work. We started playing with the idea of taking a really long trip and seeing all those places in the US that we had always wanted to visit and before you know it - we were off.
N.R. So, what did you discover along the way?
Carol: We found so many amazing things, both about ourselves and about our country. We found that most people everywhere are really good people with generous hearts and an uplifting spirit - regardless of age, income, geography or occupation. Happiness is truly within - not from what you have or do. We found that every part of our great country has something interesting - we visited all 48 of the contiguous states and all 43 of our National Parks in those states and the vastness and variety is just amazing. We found that the children inside us began to creep out of us about the fourth week and we had such a great time just being kids - doing what we wanted when we wanted and exploring so much along the way. When was the last time you had that kind of freedom? We found that you really can be with your spouse 24/7 and still like each other. Phil claims that the secret to doing that is learning to say "yes, dear" in a genuine and caring way. Smart man, I say!
N.R. What is your #1 piece of advice for others who might want to do this?
Carol: We say, set your date to leave now and begin working towards it. Whether it is a year away or ten - you'll get there if you have a goal. Write it down, look at it everyday. It was unbelievable to us how quickly things started happening that moved us towards our goal every day. The hardest thing was getting the family to believe that we were really going to do this. My daughter said "You can't do that - parent's don't run away from home for a year!" We said, "just watch us..." Actually, one of the things that we spend a lot of pages on in the book, is helping people think through what their obstacles are going to be - we all have them - and then how they might accommodate taking care of Mom, volunteering at the school, - whatever it is for you - in order to make your dreams come true.
N.R. How did all of this lead to your book?
Carol: People all along the way kept saying, "Oh, we'd love to do what you are doing, but what did you do about...?" And their laundry list of questions would begin. After hearing the same issues over and over, and knowing that we too had faced, and solved, those issues, we decided that maybe we should write down what we had learned for others who might be interested. On the waning month of the trip, we began to reminisce about all we had done and all we had learned and just started jotting down ideas of what would be important for other people to know. When we returned and did some research, we found that there weren't any books that address the issues from A-Z, so we decided to write such a book. One problem. Neither of us were writers, nor did we know anything about publishing. After a couple of forays into the traditional publishing world, we ultimately decided to form our own company (hey, we weren't doing anything anyway, right?) and learn to publish and market it ourselves. After four years, four printings, and two editions, were have become road trip experts and our book has become the award-winning, best selling, ultimate guide to road trip planning.
N.R. So what's next in your lives?
Carol: We are still traveling, talking to people about road tripping, and we are National Spokespeople for the RV Industry (RVIA) who does the "Go RVing" campaign. Even though you don't have to have an RV to do a trip of this type, it is certainly worth considering as the type of vehicle for your trip. I will be speaking December 6-7 in Scottsdale AZ at the "Festival of the Wise" (www.festivalofthewise.com) - a boomer gathering that is shaping up to be a lot of fun. We've also spoken at the National AARP convention, been a speaker for AAA here in Oregon, been quoted and featured in hundreds of newspapers and magazines, and been on lots of radio and TV - we are having a great time. What we are finding now is that I'm being asked to do writing for other websites and magazines professionally and I have developed a book marketing consulting practice based on the success that I have had with our book. No matter what the next opportunity is - we'll be there to embrace it. Retirement is the greatest time in life.
We want to thank Carol for a lively conversation and great ideas. Now, Sandwiched Boomers, take a moment out of your hectic life - It's your turn to dream about your next adventure.
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