Big Plans


It’s either the most ridiculous or the most brilliant thing we’ve ever planned. It’s Karen’s idea (Karen is my wife, if you’re just starting to follow), but it didn’t take me long to agree.

2019 was a busy year. I slept somewhere other than my own bed roughly 160 nights, so Karen and I were apart more than we cared to be. It’s all a part of growing A Peace of My Mind as it continues to evolve in new and exciting ways, and we are gown-ups so we found a way to make it work, but it’s not sustainable this way. We got married because we kind of like each other—we still do—and being apart that much doesn’t make sense.

My dog looks at me with a sad mix of worry and resignation every time I walk toward the door or stage a suitcase in the entry. It’s hard to maintain a house when you’re rarely in it.

So we’re ditching it.

Karen is quitting her job at the end of the school year. We are putting the house on the market late summer, and when we buy a new home, it will have wheels.

We are going mobile. Digital nomads. Modern drifters. Full-time RVers.

We are not retiring. That usually implies being a little older and having more money in the bank. We will still be working—maybe harder than ever—but we will do it from the road. We will follow A Peace of My Mind’s exhibit and programming schedule across the country, but now when an engagement is done and it’s time to go home, we will already be there. Or rather, home will be with us.

You probably have a lot of questions. So do we.

How will you get your mail? Where will you park such a big thing? How will you cook a Thanksgiving turkey in that little oven? Are you going to sleep in a Walmart parking lot?

So many questions. But it will be an adventure. And we will be together.

I’m hopeful it will allow us to do some spontaneous programming in small towns across the country. Maybe gather stories from places we otherwise wouldn’t see.

A Peace of My Mind’s mission remains the same: to use storytelling and photography to understand one another in new ways and help bridge divides, real or perceived.

We will continue to explore the wisdom and the beauty that is all around us, but now we will do it from the road full-time.

I’ve often described this journey as walking down a foggy path, where you can only see two steps ahead of you and no farther. But when you take those two steps, the next two are revealed. And this moment is no different. We are going to take these next steps and then see what reveals itself.

We know we are going to do this, but we can’t be sure what it will be like. We will try it for a year and see how it feels. If we are having fun, we will keep going. If not, we will settle down again.

For now, we are thinning out our belongings, shopping for the perfect RV, getting the house ready for market and trying to patient, like a kid waiting for their first trip to Disneyworld.

We will post occasional updates here. We may start a whole new blog about life on the road. We will see…we will see.

Come on along for the ride. We’ll see what we discover.

15 thoughts on “Big Plans

  1. You will love it and anytime you are near Seattle I will have a place for you to park it on
    Whidbey Island – talk soon. Andy

  2. Enriquecer la vida con bellos recuerdos….es el camino para una vejez feliz…..yo también a fin de mes viajare de Perú a Bolivia, para visitar la tumba de mi amiga Luzi Linther , ella fue una voluntaria y apoyo a los migrantes, en la casa de la solidaridad..Bressanone-Italia…….inspiro mi camino de voluntariado …..cuando retorne al Peru, después de vivir tantos años en Europa.

  3. So cool, John! I just read this to my husband and we both said, “Sounds exciting!” It’s awesome that you’re in a position to be able to do this and that you & Karen still kinda like each other! haha My husband & I love to travel and we both still kinda like each other too so this is like GOALS for us! Have fun!! Maybe we’ll meet up with you on the road in a few years! 🙂

  4. Here’s to many more good adventures on the road! Look forward to your stories. Mary in Alamosa, CO

  5. Wow, John and Karen! This is so exciting and quite frankly, it doesn’t surprise me in the least. Those of us who aren’t positioned in life to travel much can live vicariously through your updates. I know you have family close to Madison you will visit but I do hope you will be here often enough to stop by for a home cooked meal and a hot bath if your home doesn’t have a bathtub and you’re pining for a bath! Safe travels! Helen.

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