Risky business

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Jaclyn and Heidi business on the road
A typical campfire chat?

Dear Jaclyn and Heidi,
Ever since we started travelling five months ago, my husband Terry and I have found ourselves embracing new things.  Terry is a hale and hearty bushwalking, birdwatching man of action, and I am more of a reader, a chatter and – as I am just discovering – a crafter.  While Terry is away doing whatever he is doing, I love to sit under the awning and knit, sew and embroider. It’s something I used to do as a child with my mother … but I have re-discovered it.  Fellow travellers are always admiring my work and many suggest I start selling what I make. Up until now, I’ve been giving things away or sending them to family and have enjoyed just seeing other people’s pleasure.  I hadn’t planned to turn this into a business … but should I?

Interesting question, Rose. You haven’t really mentioned what you and Terry’s financial situation is, but I am imagining that if you are travelling long term you could always do with a few extra dollars. Certainly, it is not unreasonable to want to cover your costs if you are giving a lot of your items away. There are many grey nomads who successfully turn an interest into a bit of a moneymaker, whether it be welding, painting, hairdressing or whatever.  That’s all well and good as long as you remember your primary purpose in hitting the road in the first place, and don’t overcommit your time or money to run the business.  I am sure a lot of grey nomads would prefer to give you a few dollars than think they have taken advantage of your good nature. A little friendly business sounds like a win/win to me.

Oh, the dangers of blurring the lines, Rose. You love making things, you love the positive interaction your hobby brings with fellow travellers. Yet, you want to change that! Once you start trying to make money from something you love doing, it is very easy to stop loving doing it. Unless you are wondering where the cash to fill up the fuel tank is coming from, I would approach this with caution. You enjoy people popping under your annexe to say hello and admire your work, so the last thing you want is for them to start taking the ‘scenic route’ to the amenities block to avoid you. Life – and particularly life on the road – doesn’t have to be about making a dollar. Up until now, you have taken great joy from giving pleasure to others. Perhaps that should be reward enough.


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