Plans Written In Jello

It was just last week that I posted a tentative travel plan for my summer travels, and in today’s post I’m going to do something totally bizarre and throw them all out and start over from scratch!!  As a nomad all my plans are written in Jello, and this Cherry Jello rolled over on my plate! What!! Why would I do such a crazy thing?!

Very simple, the first line of this quote from Elizabeth Kubler-Ross popped into my head, and it would not let go:

“It is very important that you only do what you love to do. You may be poor, you may go hungry, you may lose your car, you may have to move into a shabby place to live, but you will totally live.

 And at the end of your days you will bless your life because you have done what you came here to do.

Otherwise, you will live your life as a prostitute, you will do things only for a reason, to please other people, and you will never have lived. And you will not have a pleasant death.”                        ~~Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

There is no one I admire more than I admire Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and this simple quote summarizes everything I believe about living a good life which can be summarized in that one sentence, “Only do the things you love to do.” Those summer plans meant I was not going to do what I love to do.

So many people live their life for their old age and therefore they do almost nothing that they love. They only do whatever society tells them to do to have a few “golden years” at the end of their life. Then on their deathbed, they look back with deep regrets, that they did so little that they actually loved. They do not have a pleasant death.

This is just down the road from where the Summer RTR will be near Flagstaff, AZ.

For a long time I lived that way too, but all it did was make me very sad and lonely. Today, I live my life totally differently, I live for my last few days and moments before my death at the end of my life. When my life flashes before my eyes I want it to be full to the brim with memories of doing the many things that I love, and as few as possible of doing the things I hated doing.

When I wrote that post I was in Cottonwood, and camping with some of my favorite people and shooting videos. I was tremendously enjoying myself and big part of me wanted to stay and keep doing the same thing because I was having so much fun.

But my summer travel plans had been published and were already set in motion so I just let momentum move me forward and I reluctantly said goodbye and headed out.

My first stop was back in Pahrump to take care of a van project and hang with a few other friends. When that was over I was headed to Lone Pine CA to drive up 395, which I consider to be one of the most beautiful drives in America—it had been a long time since I drove it so it was a top priority.

As I thought about my plans for May, driving the Oregon and Washington coast, I realized I was not looking forward to it, instead, I was dreading it!  I am NOT a water guy; the oceans have no call on me whatsoever! In fact the more I thought about the drive up the California, Oregon and Washington coasts, the more I realized I hated the idea!! I HATE THAT KIND OF TRAFFIC and to endure it for something I didn’t even want to see made no sense!!

So I got to wondering to myself, “If you don’t want to go, and in fact you dread going, why in the world are you going?!!” You know what the answer was that came to me? I was going because it was expected of me! Everybody else loves the coasts, especially the Oregon coast, so I was going just so I could tell them I had been there and loved it!

That’s when the wisdom of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross popped into my head and I remembered I had dedicated my life to living to follow my dreams and happiness no matter what the herd told me to do—and here I was doing something for no other reason than the herd told me to do it.

If I was going to live like I only did the things I loved to do, I would skip the Oregon coast and all my summer plans and head back to Cottonwood/Flagstaff and hang with my friends, so that’s what I’m going to do! I will go over to Lone Pine because I’m so close and I do love it, but then it will be back over to hang with my friends.

Part of the reason is the last two summers were very high travel years. In 2014 Judy and I went to Alaska and 2015 was all over Wyoming. Next summer, 2017, is also going to be a major travel year as I plan to go to Alaska again (in June of 2017 I’ll start drawing Social Security so I’ll have the money).  As much as I loved both summers of travel, a third one in a row just is not sitting well with me, I want the time off.

No, this year was going to be a social summer.

This is a photo of our group at the Summer RTR in 21013. We were in the beautiful Coconino National Forest.

So the reason I’m posting this now is so you will know not to look for me along the route I published earlier and also start to plan to join me in my Arizona camp and at the Summer RTR (yes, that’s right, taking the summer off from  travel means there can be a summer RTR).

Until it gets too hot I’ll be moving between Cottonwood and Sedona, AZ, then when it gets too hot I’ll move up to the area around Williams and Flagstaff, AZ. My camp is always welcome to you and so I hope you will feel free to drop by. My tentative dates for a Summer RTR are for June 16th to June 26th, 2016 near to Flagstaff, AZ. Here is some information about where we will be camped:

  • It will be free dispersed camping in a beautiful forested National Forest.
  • The weather is generally very good then, not hot or cold.
  • Camp is easy to find, we’ll only be a few miles off I-40 .
  • Because we are so close to the freeway, we’ll have a very good Verizon Internet and phone signal.
  • The roads are good, any size rig can make it.
  • There are lots of campsites, but we may be scattered a little bit.
  • That time of the year it’s likely there will be a fire/burn ban in effect—bring a propane stove.
  • Flagstaff will only be a few miles away and is a large town, they will have whatever you might need.
  • The Grand Canyon is about 80 miles away and Sedona is about 50 miles away (and incredibly beautiful).
The circle in this map represents about one days drive fro Flagstaff. I hope you can join us!

The circle in this map represents about one days drive from Flagstaff. I hope you can join us!

As the time gets closer I’ll publish a map to my blog. If you want to get there early and stay later, you will be welcome to do so, I’ll be camping in the area anyway and you can camp with me before and after. Sometime in July I’ll leave AZ and go into Colorado and Wyoming to chase wildflowers. I can’t let a summer pass without getting a fix of wildflowers and mountains! Even in a social summer, I gotta have them!

I’m making Videos on my good friends James and Kyndal’s YouTube Channel. See them here:

Thanks for supporting this site by using these links to Amazon. I’ll make a small percentage on your purchase and it won’t cost you anything, even if you buy something different.



I've been a full-time VanDweller for 12 years and I love it. I hope to never live in a house again!

84 comments on “Plans Written In Jello
  1. Calvin R says:

    It’s good to know you are taking care of your spirit. The temptation to follow the will o’ the wisp called “success” can be dangerous.

  2. Mitchell says:

    Good for you, Bob! Doing only what you want to do. That’s the way it should be.

  3. Cae says:

    I once read that one should wake up everyday and ask themself if they’d rather be doing something else. And if so, do it.

  4. Mike says:

    Glad to see you came to your senses Bob, good post…, glad your finally getting SS, I started at 62. I figured the extra years at a lower amount is better, I think my math said I’d break even in my eighties….ha, I love tobacco, not much chance, according to the masses of going to far beyond that point. How old are ya? Thanks Mike.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Mike, I am almost 61 (just a kid right!) so I won’t draw SS until next year. But it will pay for my trip to Alaska IN June when it starts.

      I’ve never liked tobacco, but I love SUGAR! I’m afraid they will have the same impact so that’s why I’ll take SS at 62 and live today like there is no tomorrow.

      • Andrea Kovar says:

        I took SS at 62 – 8 years later NO regrets… sugar is lovely…hope to see/meet you this coming winter in AZ. Have a sun summer, Bob.

  5. Rob says:

    Doing what feels right is the way to go & Flagstaff is a great place in the summer! Warm days & good sleeping weather at night plus really close to the Grand Canyon makes Flagstaff worth the trip in the summer.

  6. Cindy says:

    I love that philosophy! I am working on doing it. Yes take care of yourself. Traffic is no fun at all.

  7. Lynn says:

    I always tell myself “The mountains will always be there.” If I can’t go to say Olympic Peninsula or Yellowstone now, it’s not going anywhere, it will be there next time.
    Well, unless the Yellowstone Caldera blows up! O=

  8. Sameer says:

    Having a Summer RTR is a fantastic idea…I am so happy, and so is Mr. Pico. Flagstaff is a remarkable town and the surrounding forest is perfect for Summer…7300 feet. We are very excited and looking forward to this gathering and seeing old friends…!
    Sameer recently posted…Plans Written In JelloMy Profile

  9. joe says:

    Sorry about your change of plans you know I too have had my plans written in jello lemon lime ( ha)shoot at least you will be with some folks you like in the area you will be in a good location as well glad you got your van going again

  10. Brad Maybury says:

    So glad you’re following your heart and true nature – being true to yourself. I’m also happy that there will be a summer RTR. There’s a chance I can make it, and am definitely planning for Quartzite in Jan. Thanks to your inspiration, Bob, I have a pretty solid plan to get out there full-time. I’m almost done converting my one-car garage into a studio which I’ll move into while renting out the house for break-even cash-flow and to save for early retirement – Hopefully in 3.5 years.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Brad, it sounds like you have a very good plan to move forward! I’ve gotta warn you though, once you come to the RTR it’s addicting, you just gotta have the free life!

  11. Carolyn says:

    I LOVE this post! Way to go on listening to your inner voice and realizing your heart wasn’t in your original plans. Why do we do the things we do sometimes? The ‘shoulds’ we carry with us through our lives that are hard to shed, I guess.

    I really needed to read this today – getting nervous about my own new adventure as I set out this week. This is a good reminder of why I’m doing this and that I need to just keep listening to my inner voice.

    Maybe I’ll see you all in June.. I’ve been dying to visit the desert and it will be good to meet kindred spirits.

    Thanks for all the great info you provide. It’s been very helpful.
    -Carolyn Rose

    Thanks for all the great info Bob.

    • Bob Bob says:

      CArolyn, if you are nearby, you are always welcome in my camp in Cottonwood, AZ! Do bear in mind that in June we will be in the Coconino National Forest near Flagstaff, AZ–much too hot to be in the desert.

      Hope to see you then!

  12. GreenTiger says:

    who named the link that goes to an older post?


  13. Alan says:

    I am super excited about the summer RTR and your change of plans. First, I missed RTR in January, so I’m looking forward to meeting a bunch of ya’ll in June. Second, my plans to finish up all the Lower 48 National Parks have been “jello-ing” too: I probably need to pop back to Texas in July/August, I’m kind of tired of driving around on my lonesome, and I too was dreading the traffic and crowds on the Pacific Coast this summer. My jello isn’t set, but I’m strongly leaning toward putting off the Pacific Coast until off-season or even next year and visiting with ya’ll in Flagstaff. 🙂

    • Bob Bob says:

      Sounds great Allan! But Texas in July August sounds HOT to me!! Maybe you can spend some time in Colorado where it is nice and cool?

  14. Linda Sand says:

    It seems like several blogs I read have lately mentioned the importance of singing your soul song. It sounds to me like you are on the right track now. Just be careful to get adequate alone time before the summer RTR to be able to enjoy the gathering. Us introverts know what happens when we don’t do that.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Linda, you are very wise to catch that! It was a big concern to me when I made the decision and I intend to be very conscious of alone time.

      Thank you for thinking about it and mentioning it!!

  15. Ria Swift says:

    Hi, Bob, I love your blog. One of the few emails I get that I actually open and read. I really needed to hear Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s words today. I’ve been on the fence about leaving home and living in my mini-van camper; that I made. How about that. I am very proud of her. Anywho….been sitting on the fence waiting for the right time to check on out of her and get back on the road. Thank you I think your words rolled in right about the right time. I also appreciate your research and suggestions pertaining to the things to take along on the trip; solar, 12 volts chargers, etc. I know you will but keep it coming brother. I hope to cross paths with you one day.

    I do have a question for you from the left side of my brain that needs to make sure every little thing is in order. I need to keep working as I go and that work is Alternative Medicine. I wonder what people like you do for health care. Do you run into people doing Alt. Medicines? What if someone needs a counselor to talk to, or is that mute point once you are on the road???? I can imagine it’s really helpful to be in nature all day long. So as not to need any shrinkage in your head. No what I mean. Oh boy getting excited just writing to you.

    Hope you read this….I need to know what to do about internet access. I work on line; need to check email; upgrade website, etc. Do I need a hotspot ie making my phone a hotspot OR do I just need a signal booster? Keeping in mind I need to get in touch everyday.

    Thanks Bob appreciate all you do.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Ria, I’m very glad the Elizabeth Kubler-Ross quote came at a good time. Keep in in your heart and mind and let it motivate you!

      I have Obomacare and it actually is pretty available to most low-income nomads. Nature is so powerfully healing, I haven’t found any need for doctors or counselors since I’ve been on the road.

      For Internet I use and highly recommend Verizon. Once you leave the big cities they are dramatically better than every one else. Everyone says they are so expensive. Ask yourself how all their towers got out into the middle of nowhere so we can get on line there? They spent lots of money building many more towers than the other guys built and they want us who use them to pay for it. I’m glad too!!!!

      You can either use a smartphone as a hot spot or a MIFI like a Jetpack. I have both. I also use anamplifer because I’m often where the signal is weak and the booster helps.

    • Ladee says:

      ~wildly waves her arms~ me!! I use alternative medicine exclusively, so I’ll always be looking for practitioners on the road.

  16. Gunther says:

    I wonder how many people ever regret in their old age or on their death bed of the evil acts they have done to people in their climb to getting higher income and better jobs? To me, they are prostitutes for selling their souls out (if they have any in the first place)?

    Sometimes, I wonder how you find volunteer/temporary paying jobs at the campsites considering the fact that you have many people applying for those jobs even though the economy is picking up and the states and federal governments are cutting back on job openings due to the lack of revenue?

    • Bob Bob says:

      Gunther, I think their bigger regrets will be the time they did NOT spend with their family and were at work instead. No one will ever wish on their death bed that they worked harder and made more money.
      If you are willing to go to the more remote campgrounds without hook-ups, they are begging people to take them. The RVers won’t go there so they can’t fill the spots.

  17. Gunther says:

    If we had the basic income program that worked on a trial basis in Canada back in the early 70s, many of us could go on and do what we want to do. From I heard, President Nixon was trying to get it pass, but he couldn’t get enough support in Congress to get it pass plus Watergate was coming out in the open.

  18. TequilaSunset says:

    Good reads Bob…
    I hope to make it the last Friday night, will have to take off Sat if I do… short and sweet will be better than not at all 🙂

  19. Tina says:

    Hi Bob,

    Glad you decide to change your plans and do what you want! I’m really excited and hope I can make it for a few days. How soon will you be in the Flagstaff area? I looking to pass by there the beginning of May.

    Take care,


    • Bob Bob says:

      Tina, right now I am down in Cottonwood, which is just south of Flagstaff and if you pass through stop on by down here. Spring is a tough one because it gets hot in the desert just as the high country is warming up. But you never know when a snow storm will blow through Flagstaff.

      So, as soon as it gets too hot here I will move to Flagstaff, and I have no idea when that will be.

      • Tina says:

        Bob are you still in that area and off FR 361? I may stop by this Tuesday or Wednesday on my way to Phoenix. Hopefully the road will dry out from the rain, I’m just in a rental car.



  20. Doug Rykerd says:

    Good for you Bob, Like you I sometimes get caught up – or pushed into the flow of the herd. But I’m trying my best to not do what people expect just because that is what they want of me. I’m bummed that I won’t be able to make the summer RTR – will probably be in Montana about that time. Hopefully we can catch up later in the summer. Enjoy your summer!

  21. JIM PETERSON says:

    I put this together some time ago . . . thinking I would share it here eventually. I suppose now is as good a time as any?
    From Jason Odom’s Ebook about “vanaboding”:


    Perhaps it’s worth noting that Jason quotes his $20/day budget as “per person.” That would give Annie and I $40 a day between us but we’re finding that our ‘easy budget = no sacrifice’ is closer to $30 a day total (for both of us) as long as we aren’t buying lots of fuel and driving too much. Then again, we kinda’ like being off the beaten trail and we don’t care so much about museums and all the other tourist traps in the city. The locations and scenery we enjoy the most are FREE and quiet = not too much traffic or too many people. We both had lives and jobs where ‘suffering fools gladly’ was almost the job description. It’s not that we no longer know HOW — we just don’t HAVE TO fake it anymore so we try not to.
    JIM PETERSON recently posted…Wrapping Up Our First Winter — Part 2, Lake Havasu City (Continued)My Profile

    • JIM PETERSON says:

      Dang it! Forgot that ‘greater than’ and ‘less than’ symbols do NOT work in this format. Here are the two missing paragraphs:
      The truly rich are NOT those with lots of money, but rather those with ENOUGH TIME TO DO WHAT THEY WANT TO DO. They are TIME RICH, which ultimately is everything.
      One of the greatest benefits to this lifestyle is you will be able to “travel at will” go anywhere, for as long as you like, whenever you want. The costs associated with travel in the U.S. typically run $60 to $200 per day. Vanaboding allows you to have it all: food, lodging AND transportation, on $20 a day. The lifestyle saves you money by completely eliminating things you once paid heavily for. Many people actually INCREASE the size of their savings account WHILE TRAVELING and end up with more money in the bank than they would have had staying home and doing nothing.

  22. Tammi says:

    I’m glad you changed your travel plans and are following your heart. Speaking as a person who loves the coast, I am not one bit disappointed that someone who doesn’t enjoy the coast is choosing to travel to areas he really enjoys. Just keep sharing your beautiful photographs!

  23. Roxy says:

    Bob, I’m glad you didn’t let the herd push you into doing something that isn’t in your heart. If it’s meant for you to visit the Pacific Coast, you will know when the time is right, and it will be on your terms. That being said, if you do come to Colorado, and happen to be around the Estes Park area (my base camp), I hope you’ll get in touch with me. I’ll be in need of some nomadic company after being in one spot for several months. And anyone else who comes to this area, I hope you’ll say hi! ~ Roxy ~ A Nomad for Nature – – ‘Some people are so rich, all they have is money.”
    Roxy recently posted…Travels ~ December 2015–Part 1 ~ UtahMy Profile

  24. Marshall says:

    This post was funny. I say that because Allison and I got caught up in that same mentality our first year out.

    We were always planning this and that and driving to meet other vandwellers/RV’ers. Spent a lot of money, saw a lot of places, but didn’t enjoy much.

    Now we just tell people that we’ll see ya when we see ya and that our “plans” change so much you really can’t count on us. We are not being mean. We are just so caught up in our own life and reality that nothing else really matters, right?

    Is’nt that really the name of the game of life here on earth? We love our own drama. Peace!

  25. Cindy says:

    Hi Bob, well I got my van. I have one gear. Just wondering where to find someone to hook up inverter, deep cycle batteries, solar.
    I was also wondering how I will prevent not feeling too alone out there. And I would go to some more remote campgrounds. What do they pay?
    Thanks so much for all the info.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Cindy, if you come to the RTR, someone there may help you with your solar. Of course there are shops that will do it for you.

      I am creating a large community of vandwellers so you don’t have to be alone. Two ways to become part:

      1) I’d strongly suggest you join my forum, you’ll get all the ideas, help, encouragement and friends you could ever need. Find it here:
      2) Come to the RTR. There you will meet hundreds of other nomad a make friends and connections that endure through time and space. Most of us travel together for awhile then seperate to be alone. More info here:

      If you are asking about campground hosting, then the best way is to work in the National Forests where you get a free site and paid for every hour you work. It’s almost always minimum wage of the state you are in. So in California, that would be about $10 an hour now.

      Here are job openings in the company I used to work for right now:

      • Cindy says:

        Thank you for all the info! Yes I want to come to the RTR. I keep re- reading all the posts. This helps with all the questions. Hope to get there soon. If I could swing June RTR, that would be wonderful.
        Thanks again for all the help.

  26. Cindy says:

    Sorry above comment I meant I have some gear. Lol

  27. Laurie says:

    Hey Bob so glad to hear the news! After seeing you at the winter rtr, I just kept hoping there would be another summer rtr in flagstaff. Whether you call it the law of attraction or inspired thinking..
    I am thrilled that this will be manifesting!! Even though Lisa and I are Ocean folks and we were considering spending the summer exploring the Oregon Coast we would much rather connect with our vandwelling friends and kindred spirits in the balmy mountain air in Flagstaff!
    We are so grateful you are following your heart!

    I also look forward to having the opportunity to reconnect with you and some of the others of us who were in the ‘Without Bound’ documentary.

    Now that my subaru is out of commission, We are looking to attend in a van that would be able to tow my 17ft camper and are offering a $100 finders fee to whoever points us in the direction of a good van…in turn key condition being offered at fair market value.
    So please let me know at [email protected] if you run across one.
    Until then, celebrate life!…Laurie

  28. wheelingit says:

    Absolutely love the basis of this, and you are so right to follow whatever it is that feeds your soul…and happiness. Sounds like you’ve got the perfect summer lined up! One of these days I truly hope to meet-up. You are my van-dwelling soul-mirror 🙂

    wheelingit recently posted…Back In Our “Happy Place” – Brookings, ORMy Profile

  29. allalnb says:

    good call Bob. Was going to respond to your last post, but just getting to this. Like your sons girlfriend, I too work construction for long hours, for more time off during the year.
    The or, and wa coast as well as olympic nat park are all extremely crowded and very weather dependent. Your best bet for the olympics would be to enjoy the cascades in may or sep- oct, until you saw a good weather window. Than boogie over for a week or so to enjoy, than pull out when you have had enough rain.
    Just my 2 cents

  30. Moon Dancer says:

    Could you put an Amazon link on your website for these MIFI like a Jetpack…I have no clue otherwise what they are 😉

    • Bob Bob says:

      Moon Dancer, go to the local Verizon store. They are the size of a pack of cards, usually black and they receive the 4g LTE cell signal and rebroadcast it as 5-10 wifi signals. Your laptop, tablet, phone and kindle can then all connect to it by WIFI.

      • Lucy says:

        Bob, I have a question, is the MiFi jetpack to be bought & to be kept by the buyer, or you just rent it from Verizon??

        Thank you for all this information Bob, you are a terrific van dwellers’ guru & guru to us sticks-and-bricks dwellers s well; I have learned SO much reading your blogs !!


  31. Tracy says:

    Woohooo! Serendipity! I was heading out the 40 toward Florida that week. Guess my family will stop and see some favorite people at the summer RTR! Yay.


  32. Bob, how wonderful there will be a summer RTR, I know everyone who can attend is happy the event has manifested. I will read the posts about it and hopefully you will post some more videos about the many important subjects you graciously cover. My husband and I are one step closer to doing the thing ya’ll are doing….in the meantime you have inspired me to start a blog! here it is, give it a read if so inclined. I am so much your fan, Ruthie

    • Bob Bob says:

      Ruthie, it looks like you are off to a good start! Can I make a suggestion? I couldn’t tell what your blog is about, which is the one thing that should always be very clear.

      • thanks Bob, it is not about anything, just writing and art, which I hope to make clear after I get all that arm chair philosophy out of my system. LOL. You are such a marvelous pragmatist, I have my head in the clouds. HUGS!
        Ruthie Rocchio recently posted…Artist InvincibleMy Profile

  33. Beth says:

    …means you should probably take a day and drive up to Colorado… just saying. 😉

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