The #1 question we get asked by almost everyone: how did you do it?! How did we decide to take a year (maybe more), save, plan and finally…. pull the trigger? (Question #2 is how do we afford it?)
We didn’t come up with dreamscaping. We first ran across the term when we were interviewing financial planners in Philly. We were asked to fill out our “dreamscape” to drive our retirement planning. It was the first time Scott and I sat down together and defined our long-term goals. Writing them down, dissecting them, really understanding the intent was an insightful exercise. Not only did our dreams become “Our Dreams” but it also didn’t seem so… hard to reach.
Since that first time, Scott and I try to sit down annually to assess our progress, realign if there are new items on the horizon and generally devote 1 to 2 days of 100% attention to strategic vice tactical perspective. It’s easy to get lost in the daily grind when you’re going 100 miles and hour. A full-stop pause is critical to the horse driving the cart, not the other way around.
Dreamscaping can be an independent activity or something you do with your person (partner-in-crime/travel companion/friend). The goal is to define and refine your goals. Once you figure out what you want…. then it’s just an exercise in back planning. Too easy.
Answer this question right now: what will make you happy? What sounds like fun? What is your thing? Is it a round-the-world trip? Time at a quiet camp on a lake with plenty of safe space for the kids to play? Fishing in wild Alaska? Competing in the Lego Olympics? Learning to cook? Competing in the Amazing Race? What’s the dream?!
No wrong answer. No limits. This isn’t retirement and it’s not forever.
Write it down.
I’m not going to recreate the wheel. The tools we use(d) to work backward to plan for our year in the RV comes from Tim Ferris’ 4 Hour Work Week. He has a free downloadable spreadsheet. It’s useful:
I also came across this one that I like but haven’t personally used it: https://xoffice.ariix.com/library/beta/US_en_training_Dream_Building_Worksheet.pdf
Regarding the process, I’ll go a bit further with my recommendations:
- When you’re just starting, you need at least 2 appointments/dates/sessions…. we recommend they’re within a week of each other.
- Plan at least an evening for the first “session” and a couple of hours for the second. Scott and I do both over a weekend away. Tip: when your person is telling you what their dreams are, it’s a good time to start a little Christmas list. The best presents are something they didn’t know they desperately wanted until they open it up.
- If you have kids, get someone to watch them so you’re not distracted. Note, when Evie and Jack are old enough, Scott and I plan to include them in a pre-planning meeting to solicit their input. Don’t you think it would be an excellent habit to cultivate young? “What goals do you have for your education this year? What are you interested in doing with your time? What would you like to see?” I think the answers would actually be really interesting.
- During the second session, discuss what you’ve learned, rework the dream if necessary, set a time frame, set goals to work towards making the dream a reality.
- Finally: tell people. The more you talk about it, the more real it is. Solicit feedback. Take useful advice, do not waste time on naysayers. Sadly, not everyone is capable of dreaming.
That’s just how we do it. I get that we seem capricious (we are) and by all accounts we border on insane with our spontaneity (no plan is “go” until we confirm 10 minutes prior to arrival) but for the big important stuff, we’re responsible. We know what we can afford. We’re just executing our plan.
Hit me up with questions or if you want to run your idea past us. We love talking to people about how they WANT to spend their time. Cheers.