This little journey's pace is quickening. It's almost as if, by me letting go of the search for a job and focusing on the living of a life, the universe has risen up to meet me, to support me, to hurtle me forward along my way. So I'm just going with the flow. Within a week of coming up with the idea of buying an old motorhome, I'd found a solid rig and a reasonable price. Within a day of setting up my crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo, money was flowing in. And now, the work begins.

On the practical front, the motorhome needs quite a bit of work. Thankfully, I have a couple of guy friends who are experts at all things guy – like fixing engines and building floors. Even more thankfully, they are willing to help and teach me. With my housemate Mike's tutelage, I replaced the switch on the driver's door window so that it goes up in addition to going down and also performed my first oil change the other day. Man, did I feel macho! Flushing the radiator and changing the spark plugs are next on the mechanical agenda. Then comes the solar panel and battery bank set up. (That Erector Set I had as a kid is paying some dividends right about now!)

A car built out of an Erector Set. Photo credit: David MW. Used under Creative Commons license.

For the interior, I pulled out the nasty, 25-year-old carpet to find that the sub-floors needed more TLC than I could handle on my own, even having done some home renovations in the past. Not to worry. My carpenter friend Chris was just a call away. We're redoing the floors and a patch of one wall that was rotted out from water damage. Shimmying under the rig to unfasten carriage bolts … macho. But, even more important than that, the feeling I get is a wonderful blend of self-sufficient yet supported. What more can anyone ask for, really?

The flip side of the work to be done is my contribution of volunteer hours to my chosen non-profits. I'm already connected with two of the three and coming up with a game plan for where to best focus my efforts. They both need to raise several hundred thousand dollars in the coming months, and I'm going to do everything I can to help that along.

The pay-it-forward aspect of this whole project is incredibly satisfying and when it flows over into everyday life, it just feels right. Last weekend, another of my housemates (who happens to be Mike's lady friend) was pretty seriously injured. Mike's been helping me so I, quite naturally, stepped up to help her. That's just how we do … or how we should do. That sort of circular support system would surely make the world go 'round just as well as money does.

Money, busy making the world go 'round. Photo credit: Tyler. Used under Creative Commons license.

A few of my IndieGoGo contributors have said the coins they tossed into the hat were for me, no strings – or volunteer work – attached. That's a fantastically generous gesture, and one that I won't abide by. It's just not in the shareable, pay-it-forward spirit of this campaign. As wonderful as the notion might be, I'm not in this to get something for nothing. Instead, I'm keeping a running tally of volunteer hours for each organization plus the non-delineated sums so that I can apply those where they may best be utilized. That just feels right to me. Besides, if I can use my time to turn their $20 or $60 or $100 into $100,000 that may very well help save someone's life, that's when I'll know that I'm truly in the flow. Then, and only then, will the work be anywhere near done.

Kelly McCartney


Kelly McCartney |

Having won prestigious literary competitions in both grade school and junior high, I attended college with a Scripps Howard Foundation scholarship, earned a BA in Journalism, and interned at Entertainment

Things I share: I seek. I write. I think. I roam. I listen. I care. I wonder. I help. I flirt. I try. I dream. I grow.