Escaping your every day life to create freedom and space doesn’t have to mean jumping on a plane and going abroad. This week’s guest, Anita Kaiser went a different route. She and her family packed up their worldly possessions into a campervan and explored the country already around her. For twelve months the three of them circumnavigated North America, delving deep into the ups, downs and roundabouts of life on the road.
The journey opened Anita’s horizons, not only physically but emotionally as well. Now she’s been back home for a year and looks back on her experience and the lasting impact it has made on her life back at home.
For anyone considering taking time off to live in your car for a bit… this is essential reading!
MHL: What does freedom mean to you?
Anita Kaiser: So many different things but really freedom to make choices that work for me
When I need to get in touch with my freedom I will always start by creating space – I make sure that I start my day doing things that set me up for success. I don’t fill up my time with things that aren’t lighting me up…..I’ve also been very careful not to overschedule my daughter.
We’ve also often made the decision as a family to have more time together and sharing evening meals is a non-negotiable.
MHL: What was your life like 5-10 years ago?
Anita Kaiser: Five years ago my husband and I ran a brick-and-mortar retail store supplying eco versions of everyday items, back before grocery stores stocked all these sorts of things. My husband also worked full-time in another job, while I was hands-on in the shop and also teaching kids yoga on the side. Both were things that I loved doing but it was a lot on my plate and life felt really busy.
We started to toy with the idea of moving back to my home town. When my husband lost his job, we thought now would be the time we made that move.
We looked around for a buyer for the store and ended up selling off most of our inventory and then received a small sum for the name, email list, FB page and website.
But once the store was gone, the plan got a little bigger… We decided to move in to an RV/campervan and take a travel break for a year. My daughter was being homeschooled, we had both had the space, it just felt like the right time.
MHL: Where did you go? What were the best bits?
Anita Kaiser: We circumnavigated much of North America and blogged our way around. The entire trip was incredible! I’m really at a loss to even give any specific highlights…..each place had a different experience – the opportunity to see the land – to hike it, to cycle it – amazing!
By the end we had traversed 18 states in the US, 9 provinces of Canada, and thousands of miles! We got to see the US and Canada from a totally different view than if we had flown point-to-point. We met many other people living the same way and we got to really see what was necessary in terms of needs – it also really showed me that I do need a base and too much movement creates a lack of grounding.
Probably the best thing about taking a year out of the regular routine is all the things you learn along the way. I’ve learned so much about happiness and what I truly need to be happy – both emotionally and on a more materialistic note. When we got back we purged a whole lot of the things we had in storage that no longer seemed necessary – but interestingly, now that we’ve been back for a year I see the house filling more…. It doesn’t take long to fall back in to the sedentary life!
MHL: Taking a year out is a big challenge! What were the biggest obstacles you had to navigate to put your life on the road?
Anita Kaiser: When we started telling people we were going to move into an RV for a year people thought we were crazy! In fact, my father almost disowned me! He was so upset by my behaviour. People just didn’t understand what brand of crazy we were following.
There was also another small, tiny problem…. We knew nothing about the campervan life! Neither my husband or I had even slept in a trailer before! We had to learn everything right from the very start. What kind of an RV do we want? Do we need a truck? So many questions, all of it was brand new to us….
Our very first stop in the RV where we unhitched we nearly lost the trailer off the back end of the lot! We got crystal clear on our procedure after that incident.
The biggest challenge though was some of the loneliness that can come from being on the road…it was way more challenging than I thought it would be to connect to people. I would have loved more support and direction around that piece.
But it was so worth it!
MHL: How has your experience shaped your life these days?
Anita Kaiser: These days we are back in our house – we’ve been home just shy of a year. I work from home and love the flexibility of this lifestyle. I love being able to create a crystal grid or put a piece of art up, and not have to take it down every few days. That was one of the biggest things that I missed being on the road – art!
The travel experience was a real unveiling for me – coming back I have really stepped into myself more meaningfully.
Taking time out of routine really gave me the space to review my life and career to date. When I had the shop I fought to overcome the challenge of reconciling the need to make my business successful with being a deeply empathic and sensitive person. The two things appeared to be polar opposites and I had to build my business while still staying true to myself. When I stepped away from the shop I realised just how valuable that work has been.
Now that I’m back in a settled down life I mentor and coach sensitive and empathic entrepreneurs, people who are facing those same struggles. I help people align their intuitive, compassionate personalities with the business concerns that appear to be at loggerheads with their true selves. My coaching deals with issues like making money and sales, time management and effective boundaries.
My travel experience made me brave enough to share myself with other. I am so grateful for the experience. My coaching business is the work that I was born to do. I work with clients all over the world using the magic of the internet, our discussions incorporate a mix of tapping, breath work, energy work, meditation, oracle cards and chanting so I’m definitely not your run-of-the-mill business coach. But for a certain brand of entrepreneur I’m exactly what they need.
My life now feels full, I am full of optimism, I feel like so much is possible.
MHL: What advice would you have for someone who is feeling trapped and uninspired in their life?
Anita Kaiser: Take a small step towards something that lights you up….. make a list and then start trying things. Don’t let resistance or fear hold you back. Say ‘yes’ more than ‘no’ to new experiences. My fave modality is definitely tapping for increasing that sense of ease and spaciousness in our bodies.
I have a free membership available through my website. On there I have a range of videos providing some of my tapping and coaching. You’re welcome to try these out if you’re feeling overwhelmed or unsure as to how to trust your intuition. They’re great, regardless of if you’re a business owner or not. My passion is getting people to a place of emotional brilliance and I use tapping to get you there. So many empaths have ended up cutting off from their feelings because it’s all so overwhelming. I want to help naturally sensitive people realise that not feeling is NOT the solution!
MHL: Your life is a bit out-of-the ordinary, who are your role models? Who do you look up to?
Anita Kaiser: I look up to people who are questioning the norms. People who have decided that they don’t have to do the things like everyone else just because, people who are stepping outside of the box and creating their own space.
MHL: What is your next adventure going to be?
Anita Kaiser: Right now, the adventure of creating a thriving business is all the adventure I can take! My daughter has just started high school so we will be stationary for a few years… then I’m sure the road will beckon once again.
I had so many breakthroughs putting this interview together. Anita’s story is not your average ‘I had an awesome roadtrip’ story. It goes deeper than that. It’s a reflection of how the experience of long term travel has shaped and informed the trajectory of Anita’s life. I love the way the experience empowered her to see the struggles she overcame professionally in a new light. So often we internalise the struggles we encounter along life’s journey. While we might not specifically think that no-one in the world has gone through what we’re going through – we also don’t always naturally look back and realise that our life experience is valuable.
You have experiences that are of value to other people. There are people out there starting out down roads you’ve already taken. Now that we are connected to the whole world through the internet, there are always other people experiencing similar challenges.
We are never alone.
You can connect with Anita via Facebook, Pinterest or her website, www.anitakaiserwellness.com. Be sure to join up her free membership page to access her library of videos on tapping, great for anyone dabbling in learning tapping and those looking to address specific issues with their tapping.
ead more of the Locked On Life interview series: