Living in a van sparks curiosity in others, that’s for sure. I have never had so many people interested in my life before – online or in person. I see it first hand in parking lots. People will walk by and they stare into my van. They want to see what features I have. How it works.
There’s a special class of people who will actually just walk right in without me inviting them at all. Let’s be clear: that’s not ok. Even the chicken that jumped into my van in Key West understood what “dude, you don’t belong here” meant. You, as fully developed humans, should recognize ‘the look’ and back up. FYI: The polite thing to do is to wait for me to exit the vehicle. Say hello, ask questions, and then ask permission to stick your head inside.
The curiosity from people like you, people I know from LinkedIn and life, is different. You don’t care about the details as much as the dream. You ask me things like “where are you today?” and “how is it to work on the road?” or “do you feel better?”
It’s coming from a place of wondering if you can have a dream like this. Something that feels wild. Something that makes you feel free. A balanced life – what is that?
You’ve watched other people do it, like the people you don’t know in a YouTube video or the couple that you follow on Instagram (you should follow me on IG, too). You’ve read articles about it. You’ve wondered out loud if it was possible – stamped that passport in your mind.
But you never really imagined that someone like you could do this. Someone with a full-time job. Someone with a routine. Someone with a plan.
Then I took this leap and your curiosity was piqued. I get it. For the first time, you saw someone like you living a dream. You let it cross your mind that you could, too – whether that dream is van life or something entirely different like living on a beach or taking that vacation to Spain.
We both know the next thought is “oh, no way I could do that.” White lies and whispers powered by fear telling us we can’t possibly break the “rules.” You know the ones – about working from 9 to 5, about climbing the ladder, about earning this much in a 401k… the list of rules goes on.
I know. My rules were hard-wired into my routine: an alarm that went off at 4:45 so I was at the gym by 5:15. A well-timed routine to have me showered, dressed, and writing by 8:30 every day. The rule that said I didn’t take time off. The rule that said I couldn’t be a speaker without going to events.
I can go on. I loved me some rules. They made me feel powerful. Like I was doing it all right. I didn’t realize it was at the cost of having no time for doing anything else.
Then a pandemic came along and shit on every one of my rules. I started wondering – wandering into unknown territory.
I live today to say curiosity did not kill the Kat.
Curiosity won’t kill you either.
But do you know what will? The rules about not dreaming until you have enough – money, time off saved, etc. The rules that you have to “earn” rest? Deadly.
Dream the big, crazy dream. Let your mind wander. Get curious. It won’t kill you. It’s all a lot more possible than you think, and if there’s anything I can do to help you get to your dream? Don’t hesitate to reach out.
PS: Curiosity wouldn’t kill those recruiting emails either. That’s what I wrote about in this week’s blog. Read more.
Katrina (Kat) Kibben [they/them] is a keynote speaker, writing expert, and LGBTQIA+ advocate who teaches hiring teams how to write inclusive, unbiased job postings that will get the right person to apply faster.
Before founding Three Ears Media, Katrina was a CMO, Technical Copywriter, and Managing Editor for leading companies like Monster, Care.com, and Randstad Worldwide. With 15+ years of recruitment marketing and training experience, Katrina knows how to turn talented recruiting teams into talented writers who write for people, not about work.
Today, Katrina is frequently featured as an HR and recruiting expert in publications like The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. They’ve been named to numerous lists, including LinkedIn’s Top Voices in Job Search & Careers. When not speaking, writing, or training, you’ll find Katrina traveling the country in their van or spending some much needed downtime with the dogs that inspired the name Three Ears Media.