Road Read – Welcome to Spoken Compass

About the website.

The start. When the idea of getting a van to travel first came about I thought it would be good to document the process of the creation and then let the website morph into a documentary of my journey and a way to share the experience. But the start was long before the decision to get a van. I have a difficult time looking back and understanding exactly when my mental switch flipped and the whole idea of downsizing and travel became so much more important to me. It may have been when oil went below 30 bucks a barrel. That was when I knew with absolute certainty that that changes were coming with my career. I have been with the oil and gas industry for a long time and been through a couple of significant downturns. They are always rough. You see a lot of good people be faced with life altering changes. Often these people have no safety net. No alternative means of taking care of their family or debts.  I just began to think how much fun it would be to travel a bit in the even I was laid off. The more I daydreamt about it, the more of a huge challenge it became. And I do like a challenge. Then I decided I would pursue this even if I wasn’t laid off. I could have a daily driver that would allow me to take some local trips around the south and save money on hotels and meals. In my head, it actually started to sound like not only a fun idea, but a good idea. More on this later. Sounds like good podcast material.

Spoken? I have wanted to do a podcast for a while but never really had the content to make a sustainable series that would fit within a general topic. Now, with this endeavor underway, I think I may have a shot at it. So I am going to use both the website and the podcasts to share my experiences, accomplishments and inevitable challenges associated with my little adventure.

The compass. “A compass is an instrument used for navigation and orientation that shows direction” according to WIKI. Without it you can wander in circles. This is what I feel like I do a lot of the time. I am going to use this experience to find some direction. My interests are 30 miles wide and 6 inches deep. I need to find what is important.  I think a lot of things (and people) in my life have been pushing me in this direction for a long time.  Time to make some choices.

Interviews. I have met a lot of interesting people through my varied interests. And I certainly hope that the Spoken Compass will provide me with an opportunity to meet more. I want to use this trip / journey as a way to find those people I wouldn’t normally get a chance to talk to and use the podcasts to get them to sit down with me and share a story, a skill, an interest or passion or anything that they feel defines who they are and makes them different from the rest. I think that everyone has something that inspires them. Something that drives them to learn or pursue additional skills. I want to talk to people about those things in their lives and share that with others. I can mentally go through a list of friends and people I know and think of something for each one of them that they are really passionate about. Probably make some decent podcasts.

Pics. I am no photographer but I enjoy podcasts where I can see a pic of people I am listening to and see pics of places that are being talked about.

Timing. “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. –Chinese Proverb” There are a lot of reasons why I decided to buy a van, start a podcast, build a website and start planning this journey now. If I don’t do it now, I never will. It will be too late. I am in great health and young enough to enjoy the journey / adventure while being old enough to be mentally prepared and experienced enough to make good (sometimes) decisions. Maybe I am realizing a calling that I have had for quite some time. Seems like another topic for a podcast.

Sustainability. I am not rich. Not by a long shot. Not even really financially stable. And this is a helluva wager. This will not work if I don’t find a way to make it sustainable. Gas / maintenance  money, Food/ clothing  money, and a hundred other things that I have no way of even knowing about yet that will cost money are going to have to be dealt with.  How? Some experience and gathering knowledge form those that know more than me should help. And also be good fodder for podcasts.

Bottom line. I hate that analogy but it fits. Cause that is what we are getting close to. I wanted to let you know some of the things that you will find here in the future. I will do my best to show the ups and downs, the decision processes,  the installations, the results, and the trips that I am planning on taking. I hope that some of this will be interesting, some entertaining and some even educational .

Thanks for visiting,

JR