I wanted to be totally honest about this journey from the beginning. And in so many ways, I have. I haven’t sugar-coated the things I’ve shared. But I also haven’t shared a whole lot beyond what could fit in an Instagram caption.

 

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Hi 👋🏻 We are the Krause Family, party of 6. We live in our RV full time as we travel the US. We’ve visited nearly half the states so far and over 12 national parks and monuments. We love WiFi and movie nights and Starbucks with parking lots big enough for our rig when we are traveling from one site to the next. We are not perfect at anything. We get stressed and yell at each other. We sleep in and stay up too late. We have too much junk still, even after purging and selling a 5 bedroom house. We really don’t know what we will do when we are done with this. We took a leap, and while I’d love to tell you this life has been like a movie, the truth is it’s messy and complicated. We are learning to trust our capes. 📷 by @jaimienicolekrause

A post shared by Jill Krause —RV Family Travel (@happy.loud.life) on

It’s been really hard for me to truly bleed words onto this blog about this year and what sparked it for a few reasons, but the heart of all of them is fear.

I have been afraid of judgement. I’ve been afraid of hurting people’s feelings (people who have certainly hurt mine in the past). I’ve been afraid of failure.

I’m still afraid of all of those things, but I’m not in as raw a place as I was a year ago or 6 months ago or 6 weeks ago.

It’s November 1st, and maybe I’ll blog every day this month, or maybe I’ll have the best of intentions but I’ll be super tired and overwhelmed somedays and I’ll fail at NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) like I have many years before this. For now, though, here are 3 things I haven’t put out there until now:

  1. The election of 2016 had a profound impact on me and our family and was a major spark for this. My kids came home from school singing a song about building a wall that they learned from classmates on the playground in the days following the election. The weeks after the election brought into razor sharp focus how important it was for us to get serious about walking the walk with our kids when it came to our values and the values we hoped they’d grow up to embrace. We could not rely on the community around us to teach them why this country was already great in so many ways, and how we can and must fight to make it better for all people who live here. We couldn’t assume they would pick these values up from us if we weren’t intentional about it.  That’s not to say everyone in our community was a racist or that we were expecting other people to teach these important lessons to our children. It was that we realized we had to really start to take seriously the task before us.
  2. We didn’t have a massive savings account that would take us through the year. I had a blog and we based our living expenses on a low average of what I’d earned off of it the 3 previous years. We had high hopes (fueled by actual conversations with people who we trusted) we’d be able to add to that by monetizing this platform, especially the YouTube episodes we were making for a large YT channel at the beginning of the year. We made the mistake of focusing on things that were not immediately profitable, I put my money-making blog on the back burner as I worked myself to exhaustion on YouTube content that netted us zero dollars, and promoting a book that is more a bragging-right than a paycheck. Financially, this trip has been a roller coaster, and I’ve learned some serious business lessons, the biggest being that nobody is invested in your success more than you are, and nobody will feel the effects of your failure more than you will. I have worked harder this year than I ever have in my life.
  3. Failure is a matter of perspective. Failure is an ingredient in the recipe of success. Failure has an image problem. I’ve become good friends with failure this year. If my kids learn 2 things from this trip, beyond those values we are trying to model, I hope they will be:
    You can speak a crazy idea into existence. You can dream a big dream and then you can go live it.
    Your dreams can fall and fail, and then take new shapes and rise again.
    I haven’t shielded my kids from failures this year. The whole of this journey will be more beautiful and more meaningful when they can remember the lows that came with the highs.
    I won’t apologize for my absence here. I’m not promising anything else moving forward. I hope I’ll be back to share more soon.