I created these terms and authored these definitions to describe difficult to understand principles that affect, govern, and control our lives.
Possession Overload is the process by which a person purchases a larger quantity of things than they can use or enjoy. They become sad, angry, depressed or frozen, unable to go anywhere or do anything new with their life. Each purchase becomes a weight hanging about their neck instead of a pleasure. The Illusion: John believes if he buys the riding lawnmower he will have more time to go camping with his kids because he won't have to spend all weekend mowing the yard. Reality: John has to pay for the lawnmower, repair it, clean it, and store it. He has to buy a trailer to take it to the shop when it breaks down. He gets fat from not mowing the yard with a push mower and doesn't feel like camping with his kids as much. John then embraces the second Illusion: if he buys a treadmill he will be able to get back in shape. Reality: John finds that riding the treadmill is no more fun than mowing the yard and that he is spending even less time camping with his children than ever. Now John is fatter, with less money in his back account, has less room in his garage because he stores the riding lawnmower there, has less room in his house because he stores the treadmill there, is spending less time with his kids, and buys a recliner so he can sit and watch television. John is too tired to do much else. From this soft boring seat he surveys the situation and realizes he has possession overload. Too much stuff that brings too little pleasure.
If the value of all your possessions is less than the total cost of ownership then you are in possession overload. People in this position are rarely ever able to Vanabode because the concept of admitting that all those purchases were mistakes and liquidating them at a further loss is too much to bear. So they stay put, do nothing, and make an even bigger mistake than the previous one. They cost themselves their life.
ABOVE: Don't worry, if you follow my strategies for healthy living you won't end up like this. In fact in Vanabode I offer proof that you can actually put more money into your savings account while camping and traveling all over the United States than you can by staying home doing nothing. I show you how to have more fun, eating better than ever, seeing more than ever, and working less, all the while saving more money than you could with the typical attend school 4 years, work for 30 years, then die mode.
Duped Consumer is a person tricked into a purchase they end up not enjoying because they did not understand the total cost of ownership in terms of time and money when they made the purchase. Illusion: when Tom bought the boat all he could see was his wife in the bikini on the bow and his children fishing happily off the stern. Reality: Tom got very tired very fast working the extra job to make the boat payment, pay the taxes, make repairs, do maintenance, pay for storage, buy insurance and make equipment upgrades. Illusion: Tom thought he would be able to take the boat out every week for a nice long weekend. Reality: Tom was too tired to go every weekend, sometimes the kids were sick, sometimes the wife had planned something else, sometimes the weather was bad, sometimes the boat was in the shop, and sometimes Tom had to work. Tom ended up using the boat for about 3 major holidays a year.
Analyze the Alternative is a thought process for analyzing the consequences of not proceeding with a strange new idea, like Vanaboding. You may come up with many excuses why you cannot travel for a year, but you may not realize that most of the time it is just a weak excuse without much foundation. Plus the very things you are hoping to protect by not proceeding are actually the ones being lost.
For example: You are afraid that if you leave your house, and go on the road in your van, that someone will break into your van and steal something. So you Analyze the Alternative and you come up with staying home right? Wrong! Someone can still break into your house and steal something. In fact you have a whole lot more to lose out of a house than you do out of a van. If you travel like I advise, you won't have more than $2,200 worth of items with you. Conclusion: living from a van does not put you at greater risk for theft than staying put in your house. So, fear of theft is NOT a legitimate reason for not traveling and staying home because staying home does not prevent theft.
Another example: some people fear not having enough money to take care of themselves when they get old so they save every dime they make and rarely do anything fun or worthwhile because it would be too expensive. Guess what? You probably won't have enough money to take care of yourself whether you stay home or not! Here's how it breaks down. Analyze the alternative to taking a chunk of savings and living it up for a year. Compare Vanaboding to huddling up in your house. As I demonstrate in the Budget chapter you will spend more money living at home than you do Vanaboding! That's a fact! The reality is you can live longer more happily while on a well planned Vanabode trip than you can by any other method. So staying home to save money is a mistake. People staying home don't save money.
Hasn't the troubling collapse of 2008-2010 taught us anything? People are losing everything they have; not because the economy is "bad"; but because they were living paycheck to paycheck NEVER saving a dime all along. They had no cushion. They were living an illusion. So, once they lost their job, within a month or two they immediately lost everything else. Conclusion: staying home to save money is an illusion. It is illogical. It does not work. You can save more money while traveling and living the Vanabode lifestyle.
Theft and running out of savings are just two in a long list of things people fear. I won't give examples of how to overcome every single one of them but if you use my analyze the alternative approach to facing fear, you may find that you have more to fear not Vanaboding than you do embracing a little adventure.
Romance Wasting describes what happens when you try to do something fun and romantic but because you do not have enough time to really settle in and experience everything at your destination, you instead come away feeling jaded, tired, and very unfulfilled. Time is the single greatest element to having a good complete time or experience anywhere.
Example: You plan all year for a pathetic 5-7 day vacation hoping to cram in a wonderful romantic cruise with our spouse. You scrimp and save all your pennies just to afford a one week cruise. You are rush to get to the airport and then to the cruise port eating up your first day entirely. You are still pinching pennies while on vacation because your normal lifestyle does not allow for much additional savings beyond the air and cruise tickets. Half way through the week it starts raining. Huddled up in a hotel room, with dumb programs playing on the television, it all of a sudden just feels like the same old story. Bored, and realizing this is it, there are no more fun days for another year, lovers begin to blame each other. Arguments brew, discontentment and a feeling of fear that life is disappearing comes over you both. Finally the sun comes out and you spend the last day hiding under an umbrella to keep from getting more sunburned than you already are.
You realize when you get back to the grind that most of the time you were not "present" on your vacation. You were either sleeping, going to and from the cruise, stuck watching television, fielding phone calls from the office, answering emails on day to day nothings, or posing for awful pictures you will later upload to Facebook to show all your friends the great time you had. Everybody knows it is all a lie though. Because most of us have been down this road before. We have all wasted the romance because we thought we could buy with money from a travel agency what only extended periods of time can give us.
Prioritize Your Pleasure - You must prioritize your pleasure in order to have FUN because the world is too complicated and our lives are too busy to expect fun to take care of itself. Having fun is one of the most important issues in life. God did not create this world as a hardship but rather a playground. Many marriages end because the fun stops. Relationships of all kinds dry up when life becomes a drag and joy is no longer on the menu. Identify what you like to do and do it. For example: if you would rather spend each morning hiking regardless of how bad the weather is then go to bed early, get up early, dress and get on with it. Do not let anything stop you. Otherwise your day will drag on and your time will be spent on miscellaneous activities that mean little, and you will feel like your day was wasted. That goes for any activity that has preference in your life over other activities. It is what I call prioritizing your pleasure.
Most people put what they really want last. Take sex for example. Most couples leave this fun and intensely wonderful activity until the end of the day when both are too tired, or too hungry, or too distracted to give it a chance at being exceptional. If you were looking forward to making love under that big oak tree you saw the night before on your sunset scouting trip, then say so when you first get up. Plan for it. Share your idea with your mate and enjoy yourselves before you do anything else. Then you will be very happy with how the rest of your day goes. Do what you want to do first. Pleasure for most people is illusive; but it does not have to be. Simply make it a priority. Don't put your job or career or other activities that you don't enjoy first.
All of these concepts are covered in Vanabode. Order the book today to get started on a real journey where you are in control and every day is your adventure.