Ep#49 RV Life with Freedom Frequency: How to Live a Courageous and Creative Life with Julie Tran
- The various events that led to Julie’s decisions to quit corporate, foster children, and live the RV life
- Finding freedom within, and not just without
- We cannot predict the future. We can only make space for magic.
- Decluttering and letting go of your most valued possessions
- Maintaining a strong relationship with your partner when living in a tiny space together
- The four steps to restoring your power between you and your significant other
- The power of trusting your knowing
What are you celebrating about yourself today?
Julie: I’m going to celebrate my courage—the courage it took to completely disrupt everything that I thought I wanted, and recreate my life from the ground-up. Now, I get to travel the country with my husband full-time. I get to create for a living.
How would you describe your medicine?
Julie: Stepping into being 100% responsible for my life. It’s a mirror for me to see what is unhealed within myself.
How has your ancestral lineage influenced your path today?
Julie: My ancestors are from Vietnam. My parents left when my mom was pregnant with me. I was born in a refugee camp in Malaysia and came to the U.S. when I was one. We were six kids and grew up in low-income neighborhoods in Orange County, California, and we were on welfare. My mom and dad hammered home education. I’m grateful for them being models for sacrifice, hard work, and responsibility. That’s what got me to where I did in corporate America. I ticked all the boxes: I got a great education—check. I could afford to build my dream home—check. I found a handsome husband—check. The other side of the coin, though, is what was on the inside. I felt as though I was running a race I could never win. I felt like, no matter how much I did, no matter how much I gave to other people, and no matter how much I achieved, I was still not at peace with myself. There was always something to fix. I thought I had no choice but to walk the path I did. But who says that my identity—my worth—was dependent on my job? That’s when I looked within. What was really fulfilling for me was disrupting the programming and who I thought I needed to be. I needed to step into my own voice and design my life in the way that makes me feel happy. I shifted to becoming a consultant and went from working 50 hours a week down to 20. I also started journaling and becoming clear on where I wanted my life to go and felt free to choose myself for the first time in my life.
Where did your journey of becoming a foster parent fit into your transition?
Julie: I was still in corporate at the time. The seed was planted when I started to question reality during my early 30s. My husband and I tried to get pregnant, but we were not successful. We did IVF, three rounds, but it just wasn’t working. We looked around for other options and considered foster care. There were a billion reasons why not, but we leaned into it because it felt so right and it wasn’t traditional. I was already really questioning what society tells us families should look like.
What made you decide to sell everything?
Julie: After our foster children were reunited with their biological parents, my husband and I just looked at ourselves and wondered what was next. We had an emergency date night and figured out what our values are: freedom, courage, adventure, and love. We started speculating what that could look like, and RV life came about. It was hard to let everything go, but really liberating at the same time. What helped was gifting or donating a lot of my possessions to people who we knew would take care of them. And I learned that I don’t need as much as I thought I did.
What are the benefits of selling your possessions versus letting them go for nothing in return.
Julie: We did a combination of both. But when it got down to the last few, most valuable items, we entered what my sister called “doomsday”. We just had to let the stuff go. There’s nothing wrong with selling your things, and of course it depends on your financial situation. Check in with what’s important to you, and if you have any guilt about selling something, just let it go. Donate whatever’s remaining. There’s no right or wrong way. Do what feels good, and make space for new memories.
What was it like to share a smaller space with your partner?
Julie: The benefit of living in an RV is that you get to work on your communication skills with your partner. The drawback is that you have to work on your communication skills. There’s an urgency to resolve anything that you’re holding because it’s going to carry over into the next day. Freedom is being able to move throughout the day in harmony with your significant other and feel completely supported and self-expressed. Learn to restore your power by refusing to be a victim in the relationship. Take 100% responsibility for 50% of your partnership.
What are you doing to stay grounded and what is it that you’ve learned to release?
Julie: When I don’t cultivate and tend to my rituals for two or three days, I’m a monster version of myself. After I wake up in the morning, I do yoga, journal for 15 minutes, meditate for ten minutes, and work out for 30 minutes.
If you could envision yourself as a future ancestor, what is it that she would say to present-day you?
Julie: I’m so proud of you for who you are and who you’re becoming. I can’t imagine being an ancestor to anyone else. Just continue to listen to that knowing. You know. You already know.
Conclusion: Rediscover that intuition inside of you—and really listen to it. In times of strife, slow down, take a breath, and simply wait to feel that nudge that will take you to the next step. You might not fully understand it, and neither will others, but just trust. This is a principle of life.
Action Integration: What is that next right thing that you feel you have to do but you have always lacked the courage to go for it? Minimize your paralysis by taking your eyes off the hundred or so things down the road that you need to do and just take that one, seemingly insignificant yet slightly uncomfortable step to the next thing that will inevitably bring you joy and peace. Believe and trust that everything else will fall into place.