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  • Shelby Dominski

Why Did I Decide to Break the Mold and Move into a Vehicle?

In October of 2019 I found out that the company I had worked for since graduating college was moving their offices to the East Coast – the New Jersey/New York area to be exact. Since moving to Seattle, WA in August of 2015 (from New Jersey), I fell in love with the nature, music, and community. I could not imagine myself back on the East Coast living a similar life to one I had lived four years prior. The West Coast/Pacific Northwest has my heart, for the moment 😉.

At that time, I was given two options – move to the New Jersey area and keep a similar role or take a severance for my work with them for the past seven years. The decision was an easy one for me as I wanted to transition into living a life that I felt more passionate about. I opted for the severance package and I was fortunate to have a paycheck for several months after my separation from the company.

Then came the question of what to do when my time was over. I could have just gotten another corporate job, but I felt like this was my chance to pivot in my life and make some changes to create a new abundance of happiness for myself. I wanted to find something that I felt passionate about. I almost applied for grad school to pursue a new career and then almost went traveling in India for six months and to get my 200 HR YTT but unfortunately COVID put a stop to that.

Van life was always something that interested me and although I traveled as much as I could, I never really had enough time to truly explore at my own pace. I will let you in on a little secret – one of the reasons I waited so long to do this because honestly, I was afraid to do it alone. I was waiting for a partner to come along that I could travel with. When that did not happen, I decided to take the plunge and do it solo. And you know what I learned? Doing big and scary things is so rewarding and worth it. YOU CAN DO BIG THINGS – I believe in you.

Life is short!! Take the trip, try that thing you are afraid of, and take risks because as cliché as this might sound, you do not know what tomorrow holds.

Something that really brought life into perspective was the unexpected death of my dad in 2014. That event changed my life dramatically and altered who I am. My dad was such an important person in my life and when that happened, I honestly have to say I was pretty lost for a while.

I had just graduated college with a business degree a few weeks earlier and was about to start a corporate job on the East Coast. I went through the motions of working a 9-5 for seven years including a move to the Pacific Northwest for another role in the company even though I knew I the job did not align with my views or passions. I was good at it, but I just did not feel like I was being true to myself or meeting my full potential. My extended family are all very successful and even though I am sure it wasn’t intentional, there was pressure to maintain the status quo – to make my family proud. There is still a stigma with following what society wants you to do but I am here to tell you to break that! You can and should take a chance to be the person you have always dreamed you could be. I must warn you that it may not be the easiest, but I will be here to root you on along the way.

I am now trying to connect with my authentic self – to figure out what I am passionate about and what I ultimately want to bring to the world and how I want to live. I am so fortunate to have this time to reflect on what is important to me.

My reasons and goals for the journey itself are numerous:

  • Traveling solo to learn more about myself and becoming completely self-sufficient

  • The ultimate freedom of having a home wherever I park it!

  • Exploring new places – both nature & cities

  • Making new connections to like-minded people

  • Understanding different perspectives and ways of living

  • Learning about new and unique hobbies

  • Opening myself up to new opportunities & increasing my interpersonal skills

  • Improving my self-confidence and decreasing my social anxieties

  • Potentially finding a new place to live more permanently (in the future)

  • Figuring out what I want to do next in life

  • The new & unexpected!

If you feel like these reasons interest you, living out of a van and traveling could be a good option for you too!

Interested in van life? I am here to help/support you in your journey!

  • I am available to answer any and all questions. I also offer project management services if you choose to go that route. I have been a project manager for over four years and would be happy to take you step by step into the process. Please reach out to me for more details on how to get started!


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