The Time Has Come

 Posted by at 12:01 am  Nick's Blog
Oct 302017

I sent out the new issue of the Gypsy Journal yesterday, which included the following announcement:

As I shared with you in the September-October issue of the Gypsy Journal, Terry and I feel like we have come to a crossroads in our lives. We started publishing the paper in the spring of 1999, when we were brand-new fulltimers, and the last 18 1/2 years have been wonderful. We have traveled to every corner of this great country of ours, we have seen and experienced things most people never have the opportunity to do, we have made many wonderful friends, and a million memories. But the time has come to close out that part of our life as we embrace the new path we are taking.

After a couple of health scares that made us stop and look hard at where we were and where we wanted to go, and what we wanted to do for the rest of our lives, we bought our house here in Florida a year ago. At that time our intention was to use it as a winter base and travel during the summertime. But we quickly realized that storing an RV for long periods of time poses its own set of problems. Every time we wanted to take it someplace we first had to spend a week catching up on maintenance items that occurred while it was sitting still.

Combining that with the fact that I just didn’t feel comfortable driving a big RV as much as I used to, and didn’t enjoy all of the setting up and breaking down every time we stopped at a campground, frankly, it had become more work than fun. We considered downsizing but just couldn’t see ourselves doing that. We still enjoy traveling but we’ve reached the point where we would rather do it in our comfortable minivan, stopping at nice hotels for the night.

And, as I shared in the last issue, in the last year our subscriber base has declined considerably since we are not out on the road promoting the paper at RV rallies and dropping off sample bundles at campgrounds. When I did a seminar at a rally, it was not uncommon for Terry to be swamped selling subscriptions and books in our vendor booth as soon as the seminar ended. But we have not been to a rally in over two years. And frankly, while I really miss presenting seminars, we don’t have the energy or the desire to go back and do the rally circuit again.

We’re not traveling around from place to place like we did when we were on the road, but if anything we are even busier. We put out six issues of the Gypsy Journal every year, and it takes about two weeks per issue, or twelve weeks a year. But at this point, it accounts for about 8% of our income. Meanwhile, my books are selling very well. I usually earn more in the first month of a new book release than we made on the paper in the last year. But it seems that as soon as I finish a new book I have to put out a new issue of the paper, and then as soon as that is done it’s time to turn around and start on another book.

Though we will never completely retire, we would like to have some time to just enjoy life. Yes, we could possibly reduce our publication schedule to quarterly or something like that, but to be honest with you, I’m tired and my heart just isn’t in it anymore.

Any businessperson can tell you that you should focus your time and energy on what makes you the most money. We both turned 65 this year, and having lost all of our savings and retirement when Terry had cancer years ago, that is something we have to consider.

We considered turning the Gypsy Journal over to somebody else, and I have had discussions with some folks about that. Friends and longtime subscribers all agree that a big part of the publication is Terry and myself. Its personality is our personality. That’s what our readers have come to expect. Could somebody else do things the way we did? Maybe, and maybe not. Talks with the two fulltiming couples that looked like they might be a possibility convinced me that they would not work out.

I have also been approached by a couple of big companies that are interested, but it quickly became obvious that all they really want is our mailing list. They would turn it into a publication filled with canned “buy me” press releases and spam the subscribers trying to make a buck. No, thank you. I never shared our subscriber information with anybody in all these years, and I’m not planning to start now.

So all that being said, after a lot of talk and a great deal of heartache on our parts, we made the decision that this will be the last issue of the Gypsy Journal. In the coming weeks we will be refunding the balance due on our unfulfilled subscriptions. If you are a current subscriber and have moved or changed mailing services, please e-mail us your current snail mail address.

I will still be doing my blog every day and the travel stories that would normally be in the paper will now be there. I hope you will drop in from time to time, or even every day like thousands of other readers do.

This is a disappointment for me in that I had hoped to make it a full 20 years. This will be the first time in most of my adult life that I haven’t been involved in some sort of newspaper publication, either in print or online, going back to the days when I was a young man, starting and operating a chain of small weekly papers on the Pacific Northwest coast, and later publishing newspapers in Arizona. But it’s a new world these days, and most folks get their news and their reading entertainment online or electronically.

And while this decision is bittersweet, we both feel that we have done a good job of bringing our readers entertainment and information over the years. And if we could roll back the clock and had it to do all over again, we’d do the same thing. Yeah, it was that much fun. Thank you for your support, for your encouragement, and mostly for your friendship and the love you have shown us. I hope if you’re ever in our part of Florida, you will reach out to us. Maybe we can get together for lunch and swap some stories.

Congratulations Tom Gallant, winner of our drawing for an audiobook of Blood Honor, the debut novel in my friend Russell Blake’s The Day After Never post-apocalyptic trilogy. We had 46 entries this time around. Stay tuned, a new contest starts soon.

Thought For The Day – A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life. – Muhammad Ali

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  41 Responses to “The Time Has Come”

  1. Happy for you. Kick back ,relax and do what you feel like doing no matter time/day…Now that is being RETIRED. From 92 yr. Del Alden

  2. I applaud you for not selling out to some outfit that just wants your mailing list. A lot of people don’t have you and Terri’s integrity and would have taken the money and run. I never subscribed because I’m just an armchair traveler due to physical limitations, but have been a blog reader for years. Keep on writing the blog and your fantastic books and enjoy every day

  3. Good for you! You and Miss Terry have given so much of yourselves to the world and now it’s time for you to rest on your laurels. I selfishly hope this means you might have more time for writing books, but you do what makes you happy.

  4. Glad to hear it Nick! I don’t know how you kept up the grind you guys did for so many years. Slow down and smell the roses. You both deserve this.

  5. Just like there was a time to stop hosting Gypsy Gatherings there is a time to stop publishing the Gypsy Journal. Selfishly I hope you continue writing this blog and your books but there will eventually come a time to stop doing those too. I say thank you for all you’ve given us over these many years and you’ve earned a break from the things that no longer provide what you need from them.

  6. You have been an inspiration to me and I hope you don’t stop your blog. We went from a popup camper to a beach house and skip everything in between. Your blog made me see that it is ok if you change your dreams. We kind of lost our desire to travel and love the beach. We still want to see icon in our great country but maybe by car or a bus trip and let someone else do all the planning.
    Looking forward to many years of hearing from you while I drink my morning coffee.

  7. Congrats on your decision to partially retire by stopping the Journal. I’ve mentioned a few types by email to you, that our lives seem somewhat parallel. We have been fortunate that Nancy’s cancer has been covered by our health insurance, but her continuous monthly infusion treatments and HMO coverage has limited our freedom to travel.
    After traveling and working on the road for 19 years, we retired from AGS in December of 2016 so that we could concentrate on her treatments and travel as much as possible without work commitments. We had planned to work until age 65, but so far have not regretted puling the trigger at 62.

    This is our first fall in 19 years where we can travel on our own, as long as we can make it back to Tyler,TX once a month for her treatments. Now our only job is finding where the trout are biting, hassling with insurance and medical billing offices, and finding the next place to camp.

    I think you guys will enjoy not having a publication deadline, albeit you’ll still have your blog and any self imposed book publication goals.

    Enjoy your extra time off, good luck selling the motorhome and get out and enjoy life.
    SKP Hugs
    Larry Chiuppi

  8. 65 this year, I hit that next year (4 months!). What are you going to do with the next 30 chunk of your life?
    Jut curious….

  9. Nick,thank you for what you have shared over the past years. I’m so glad you are in a position to be able to drop something that has become a burden. Your paper at first and then just the blog the past couple years has been an inspiration for us to Full Time starting a year and a half ago upon my retirement. I have followed many long time full time RV sages to get to this point of full timing ourselves and find many of those I have followed are now at the point they are making changes and coming off the RV road for health reasons or moving on to other adventures.
    I can only hope that Gretchen and I can see that time when it comes and accept it . We’ve all worked very hard all our lives and time is too short to not enjoy whatever we are doing by refusing to embrace and accept change.
    I look forward to continuing to read your blog and follow this new part of your lives and the new adventures to come

  10. Congratulations and enjoy the new found time.

  11. Time marches on! I don’t like it at all. Slow it down!!

  12. I don’t get your subscription but I could totally understand it’s time to sit back and smell the roses
    Maybe somebody could kick ass and bring bad mad Nick out of the dungeon for a breath of fresh air I’m sure he’s chomping at the bit

  13. Glad to hear you will continue the blog. Life goes through many changes and you and Terry seem to be in a place both physically and mentally where you are very happy. Continued good luck with your novels and taking time to enjoy life.

  14. Nick and Terry,

    Thank you for your wisdom and encouragement in our quest to join the full-timing family. The five years we traveled our beautiful country were the best years of our lives.

    We , too, have sttled in Florida so our paths might cross. Enjoy writing more books and more weaving projects!

    Clairese and Ray

  15. Totally understandable, Nick. Frankly, as you’ve concluded, the Gypsy Journal isn’t the same without the “Gypsy” part. You have made the right decision to go out on top and I respect you for it.

    Now, just up the pace of your book writing! I thoroughly enjoy and anticipate your books. 🙂

  16. Enjoy your retirement.You were fortunate to have the blessing of able to help others and enjoy your life in travel. Most people work there whole lives to retire to travel and live like you have. They dream of travel, you lived it. Relax, write more and continue your blog and keep writing as you have a gift.

  17. Perfectly reasonable decision … and I fervently hope that you enjoy every single minute of “relaxing time” that this decision affords you. I admit, however, that I am fervently glad that you will continue your blog! It is a great dose of your “stories” in itself … and, for some reason, I am strangely addicted to beginning my day with some tidbit about your lives!

    Best to you, and thanks for all the great nuggets of useful and interesting information that you have passed my way!

  18. Congrats Nick for all the great stories that I have really enjoyed. Glad your finally taking some times for yourselves and enjoying this short life we have.

    I know you said you was returning monies from subscriptions but as far as I am concerned no need to do that for me. Consider it a tip from us.

    Please keep the books coming though 🙂

  19. Makes perfect sense both from a financial perspective, and a lifestyle perspective. Pretty darn cool that your books are doing so well too (I do enjoy them). Continued good writing to you!


  20. Thanks Nick and Terry for all you have done for the RV community. You have more than earned the right to hang up the keys and slow down a little. My both of you enjoy a healthy semi-retirement. Just keep those fantastic books coming! We have enjoyed every one.

  21. Thanks for the memories….we are so happy for y’all! Now, enjoy every minute. We’ll see you along the way! ???

  22. If I had subscribed I would tell you …. keep the balance. My enjoyment reading your blogs and info well worth it!

  23. As we all know, our lives all change for one reason or another, and you have kept us informed and entertained for many years through Gypsy Journal. Now it’s time for you and Terry to enjoy whatever the future holds, do more writing and weaving and whatever you feel like when you wake up in the morning. God speed, good health and much happiness to you both.

  24. I want to thank you for all the help you’ve been to people like us on the road. Your knowledge and generosity in sharing it has been invaluable. A new chapter begins!

  25. Well, have to admit I am sad to read this for purely selfish reasons. Don’t get to comfy in your part time retirement, we still need your blogs and books. Enjoy your somewhat simplier life, Nick. The days fly by too quickly. If I have any refund coming, just keep it, too much added work. Take care

  26. I don’t blame you for one minute! You’ve both worked really hard all these years, and, yes, no one can take your places. We love your blog and it’s our way to keep up with you. Enjoy your retirement. We’ll never get to Florida, but if you ever get back to the Oregon coast, we will want to look you up. I’m so happy you’ve found what you’ve wanted and are enjoying so much. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!

  27. I read the blog everyday and love it.I am glad you will continue and include your travel stories that would be in the Gypsy Journal.

  28. Best wishes to you and Terry! We will continue to follow you on your blog. You and Terry were a great influence in our beginning years. We still talk about the Gypsy Journal Rallies and the information we learned. When we get to Edgewater, FL we will stop and visit, my cousin lives there.

  29. Enjoy!! I met you guys at a Life on Wheels rally many moons ago and have enjoyed your writings. I am also starting a new phase of my life; looking to buy an RV lot at Willow Lakes near Titusville. I think you recommended them at one point. I’m still going to travel some, but for now I am going enjoy the warm winter down here.

  30. Best wishes in all your togetherness. You have a blog reader forever. cc

  31. Keep the money, Nick. There is no way it could compensate for all the good information and advice you have given us through the Gypsy Journal and your blog (I hope you will keep the blog.). Though we haven’t even hit the road like we want to (about one year to go!) your information has already been so helpful to my husband as he fulltimes in our motorhome for work. Thank you!

  32. Best of luck to y’all. Enjoy your retirement.

  33. You and Terry have done a fantastic job of putting out the Gypsy Journal for many years. Time to relax, enjoy your new home and do the fun things you like to do. Let me know when would be a good time for a visit and I will be up. Tim and I were blessed to have met you two so many, many years ago. We had some fun times.

  34. Wishing you all the best. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do with your writing.

  35. I’m glad you’re going to continue your blog, because: a) I’ve enjoyed, and benefitted from, reading your travel stories and advice; and b) I’ve often smiled and nodded in appreciation of your logic and common sense. Case in point: you analyzed your situation, realized you spent 23% of your time to earn 8% of your money, and concluded that the trade-off just wasn’t worth it. Good for you! I hope you and Miss Terry have a great time enjoying those reclaimed 12 weeks a year together — and thanks for sharing your thoughts with us for all these years.

  36. Nick and Terri, Thank you for all your years of publishing the Gypsy Journal. I think I discovered it shortly after you began and devoured most every issue since. I lived my dream through you until 3 years ago when we began full timing. You made us want to see so many places! We only got to meet you once, at your last Gypsy Journal Rally, but we are so glad we made it to at least one. We learned so much. And we winter in Arizona now, visiting so many places you wrote about.
    I guess all things come together for a reason, since I found I did not enjoy reading the journal on my mini iPad as much as the paper edition, (and I could keep up with you antics on your blog), I was debating whether to renew. You made that decision for me. I have very much enjoyed your writing style, so now I guess I’ll just have to get your books.
    Thank you again for all the information, entertainment, and inspiration you have provided to so many. We pray that the future brings good health and more adventures in your new lifestyle.

  37. You’ve both been a wonderful influence on us, personally, and the RV community! We’ve missed seeing you out on the road and at rallies, but you’re ever-present here on FB and always just a phone call or email away!
    Best wishes for a happy, wholesome, and healthy semi-retirement! We hope to see you this winter!

  38. Life stages change. Enjoy a new stage. I read your blog and feel like I know you and Terry. My husband and I sold our motor home last year. It was a very difficult adjustment from me to come off the road after ten years. We did get a travel trailer and I hope to continue traveling. I look forward to reading about places to visit.

  39. Nick & Miss Terry, You’ve done a great job over the years of informing RVers young and old, experienced or not, of whatever they needed to know and where to get more information.And Nick< you're always so entertaining, whether on the stage or just in a group of friends. We'll miss that. But you can be proud of a job well-done and a well-deservered retirement. Keep whatever is left of our GJ subscription and add it to others' for a nice dinner out. We know how we value your friendship. Love you guys!
    Sharon & Don

  40. Hey Nick! I did reply to this earlier, but I must have forgotten to hit the post button because it’s not here! Anyway, I was reminiscing about when we were newbies a LONG time ago (15 years, can you believe that?) and I had read and enjoyed several issues of the Gypsy Journal. Then one day when we were in Livingston, I recognized your bus parked across from us, and I ran home and said to Barry, “The Gypsy Journal guy is here!” He said, “Well, let’s go meet him!” And I got all shy and said, “Oh, he’s probably busy!” I felt like I was meeting Paul McCartney or someone like that! Barry dragged me over to your place, and I’m happy to say that we’ve been friends of you and Terry ever since. Terry probably doesn’t remember she helped us install a new water heater in our trailer! Well, buddy, this is indeed the end of an era, but we wish you and Terry the very best. We love your books, and we are so glad Terry has a nice big room to store all her yarn and looms! Love you guys!

    Jan and Barry Kessler

  41. Hi Nick & Miss Terry,
    Just got a moment and read this day of the blog. Phil had told me about it but just got to read it for myself. Hurray for you guys. You are two of our dearest friends. I miss seeing you “around”. We are in AJ again. If and when we ever make it to FL again we will definitely give you a call. Keep in touch just to say Hi. Love you guys.

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