It was 2013, and Joel Holland should have been happy.
Holland had friends, a girlfriend, and was living the entrepreneur?s dream: his stock footage company, VideoBlocks, was profitable and doing $10 million in revenue, with dozens of employees. But despite having everything he wanted, Holland recalls, he “wasn?t feeling alive.” He’d drive to work, and as his car approached the office, he’d want nothing more than to just keep driving. He was burning out fast.
In October of that year, he went to a friend?s wedding in Manassas, Virginia. He and some friends were looking to kill time after the rehearsal dinner, so they stopped in a Dick?s Sporting Goods. Holland looked across the interstate and saw an RV dealership. “Let?s go look at some RVs,” he said.
They went over to the dealership, and his friends started to clown around, he recalls: “They were probably thinking, ?Let?s pretend to be hicks!?” Meanwhile, Holland buttonholed a salesman, and started to ask serious questions. How much was an RV? What?s the safest setup for a beginner? What was a “fifth-wheel trailer”? His friends, meanwhile, “thought I was being ironic.”
But the gears had started to turn. While his friends got hammered at a bar later, Holland fiddled on his phone, researching RVs. And the next day, through his friend’s wedding, he says, he was “dreaming of an RV.”
Still, the idea was ludicrous, and as he left the wedding, he passed the RV dealership by.
That Monday at work was difficult. Tuesday and Wednesday were harder still, “and by Thursday I was just going crazy. I left work, drove out the 45 minutes to Manassas, and put an offer on an RV.” It was a flatbed truck with a trailer unit that hooked onto the back.
Holland went home and sent his friends an email: “Hey guys. I bought an RV, dickheads. Let?s do a road trip.”
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