Posts Tagged With: full time travel

More Random Thoughts

It’s been quite a while since I first posted some random thoughts about life on the road. You can view that post here:¬†Random Thoughts about Life on the Road. I figured it’s time for an update now that we’ve been on the road for a little over 2 years. I usually only post about destinations we visit, but I think some people like to hear what it’s like to live in an RV fulltime.

I’ll start with some funny things that have happened. Living in campgrounds and RV parks means you get up close and personal with neighbors sometimes. I remember one time sitting at our kitchen table eating lunch while I watched our neighbor out the window in his bathrobe letting his dogs take care of their business. Still in his bathrobe after noon? Sure why not? I sometimes stay in pajama pants all day!

Another time we had one of the only campsites with a porch swing. One day Chris left to go somewhere, and I guess our neighbor assumed we all left with him because he used that time to make himself comfortable on our porch swing. I thought it was cute and hilarious! I didn’t want to embarrass him by letting him know the kids and I were still inside, so I just took his picture out the window so I could show Chris when he got home. ūüôā

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Then there was the time our GPS took us down a dirt road on the way to a campground in Idaho. Oh boy was that a mistake! If I hadn’t been so nervous at the time I might have thought to take some pictures, but you’ll just have to use your imagination. This was a long one lane dirt road up and down hills and over a narrow wooden bridge. There was no way for us to possibly turn around so we just had to keep going and hope for the best. Thankfully we made it to the campground safely, although with a very dirty truck and RV. At least the campground let us wash the vehicles there and they let us know of a better road to take when we left.

Another funny thing happened in Dodge City, Kansas. We were on a very long drive and needed a place to spend one night before we continued on the next day. We pulled into a cute little RV park right off the highway in Dodge City called Gunsmoke RV Park. The lady that checked me in was quite interesting. She informed me that checkout time was at noon sharp! If we planned to stay until 12:01 or later we better pay up or get outta “dodge”. I suppose that was supposed to be a funny play on words since this place was in Dodge City. Anyway, since we were just passing through for the night, she didn’t have to worry about us overstaying our welcome, we were on our way bright and early the next morning. Besides the strange welcome, she read me a super long list of rules for the park. One of the weirdest rules was that our truck must be perfectly lined up in front of the RV. It could not be parked sideways or diagonal; it must be perfectly lined up. What?!? I wonder if they come out with a yardstick and make sure everyone’s RV and truck are perfectly in line? There were so many other weird rules that I don’t remember now, but that was definitely not the most welcoming place we have been to.

I spend countless hours trip planning and trying to book us into the best possible campsites with lots of space, privacy and amazing views. But every once in awhile we end up in a very crowded RV park so close to neighbors that you don’t even want to sit outside unless you enjoy sitting beside your neighbor’s sewer hose. Yuck! We were recently at a campground where a truck camper pulled in next to us as close as he could possibly get. We still can’t figure out the logic behind why he did that. He had to squeeze himself in between us every time he needed to get something out of his storage compartment. I could see the top of his head every time I looked out the window and I could have handed them ketchup through our windows if they needed any. Talk about being up close and personal!

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I definitely prefer a view more like this one.

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I’ve learned that I absolutely love the west, but I miss friends and family in the east so we end up doing a lot of back and forth. Whenever our truck and home take a turn onto an interstate going west I get super excited!

Some people assume we are on a permanent vacation, but that is just not the case. When people we meet at campgrounds realize we fulltime RV they think we won the lottery or are somehow independently wealthy. No, we still work and it’s a constant balancing act between getting our work done and fully enjoying our current location. And trip planning is like a second job for me. Imagine having to find where you’re going to park your home every single night of the year. And I’m picky! I don’t want to park at some junky run down RV park. I like amazing views and space and kid friendly locations. And of course I have to make sure wherever we go that there is Verizon coverage.

Some days are just regular days; we’re not out exploring and doing exciting things every day. We have real life like everyone else. We work, we do school, we clean and do laundry, etc. We just replaced all 4 tires on the RV, had annual maintenance done which included re-sealing the roof, and we had to replace our refrigerator. There seems to be no shortage of things that need fixing or replacing in a house or an RV, so in that respect it’s not all that different from living in a house.

The #1 question people ask me is “how do you get your mail??” Good question, and I wondered that too before we embarked on this adventure. The RV community has already figured that out for us. There are several mail-forwarding services that cater to fulltime RV’ers and boaters. We have a mailing address in Florida which is the address we use for our driver’s license and registration. All of our mail goes there and when we receive mail the service scans the envelope and sends me an email so I can view it online. I can select the option to have them open it and scan the contents, or hold it until I can have it forwarded or have them shred it. Most RV parks allow us to receive packages so when I’m at a location that will allow that I can have the mail forwarding service send our mail to us there. I also make heavy use out of my Amazon Prime membership when I’m at a campground that allows deliveries.

Life on the road can certainly be challenging, but it is so worth it! I absolutely love waking up to new and exciting places and adventures every week or so. I love that we have been able to see so much of this beautiful country, places we never would have seen if not for living in an RV, including some hidden gems that I would never have even known about. I love the priceless memories Chris and I are making with our children. I love the close family bonding we experience living in such close quarters 24/7. Okay, so maybe I don’t always love that when the kids are fighting, lol! But I honestly would not trade this life for anything! I feel so incredibly blessed to be able to live this way.

If you have any questions, send them on. I’m happy to answer questions people have about this lifestyle.

 

Categories: Fulltime RV'ing | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

One Year Nomadiversary

It’s hard to believe that one year ago today we moved out of our house and into our new RV home to begin our traveling adventures. ¬†I wanted to share this video with you of the highlights of our first year on the road as we celebrate this milestone.

In the past year we have visited 15 states and 12 national parks/monuments.  We have absolutely no regrets for having made the decision to sell our house and just about everything we own to travel this beautiful country.

I love this saying: “Childhood has an expiration date so squeeze out every second you can.” ¬†I am more aware all the time of how quickly my children are growing up. ¬†This traveling lifestyle is giving us the opportunity to squeeze out every second that we can before they grow up. ¬†I will be forever grateful for the memories we are making as we travel.

Happy Trails!

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Categories: Fulltime RV'ing | Tags: , , , , | 7 Comments

Random Thoughts about Life on the Road

We just spent a week in Kansas and since there really isn’t a whole lot to do in Kansas, I had some time to reflect back on the time we have spent on the road.

It has been a little over 7 months since we moved into the RV and started traveling. ¬†It has been quite an amazing experience so far and I am so grateful that we have been able to do this. ¬†It’s not all perfectly exciting days like my blog and Facebook might look. ¬†It’s real life, and sometimes real life has inconveniences and problems like blown tires, things in the RV needing to be fixed, grumpy kids, grumpy mom and dad, etc. ¬†Some days are just regular days that involve working, doing school, laundry and cleaning. ¬†Some days are long driving days. ¬†We’re not really on a permanent vacation, although sometimes it feels like it and I have to remind myself that I have work to do and it’s not time to play. ¬†Here is a picture of the kids doing their morning Bible study before we start our school day. ¬†Yes, we really do school on the road. ¬†ūüôā

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And a couple of random Fat Cat pictures. ¬†She has really adjusted well to life on the road. ¬†She has become an outdoor cat. ¬†She is always meowing to go outside so she can explore the new sights and sounds, and see what kind of trouble she can get herself into. ¬†ūüôā

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One of the things I love best about this life is the constantly changing scenery, seeing new places that I would otherwise never have seen. ¬†I have a serious case of wanderlust, but I’m also an introverted homebody. ¬†That probably sounds a little contradictory, but taking my home everywhere we go helps to bridge that gap. ¬†It means I am always at home, yet able to travel and see the country like I really want to do. ¬†I can always retreat into my cozy little tiny home when I need some downtime, or go for a nature walk, or just sit outside by the campfire. ¬†I also love that I don’t have to pack and unpack to go on a trip. ¬†I don’t have to worry about forgetting something I might need since everything we own is always with us on the road.

And that brings up another point, less really is more. ¬†I realized I don’t need as much as I thought I did. ¬†Downsizing from our house to an RV was hard and it was hard deciding what to keep and what to get rid of. ¬†Since we’ve been living in the RV I realized I don’t even need all the stuff I took with us and I’m still getting rid of more stuff as we go. ¬†We haven’t been in many houses since we hit the road, but the couple of times we have visited someone in a “sticks and bricks”, I am amazed at how much space they have. ¬†It’s amazing how quickly I have become accustomed to living in a small space. ¬†By the way, “sticks and bricks” is what full-time RV’ers call the homes we used to live in.

I’ve realized that having the whole country for our backyard is better than having a big house. ¬†I know it’s not for everyone, and I’m sure many people would never want to live this way, but for us it’s working.

Being an introvert though, I have really had to get out of my comfort zone. ¬†I have met many new people on the road, RV parks are great for getting to know your neighbors. ¬†Some RV parks have spots that are so close together you can’t help but get to know your neighbors really well! ¬†For the most part I have really enjoyed getting to know so many new people. ¬†Strangers aren’t really as scary as I thought they were. ¬†Most people are really nice, normal people and I have enjoyed getting to know them. ¬†We have met people from all walks of life — from other families traveling like we are to older couples that are retired and living their dreams. ¬†Everybody we meet has their own unique stories to tell, and I’m enjoying having the time to slow down and listen and get to know people.

One thing I have learned since we started traveling is that we need to slow down. ¬†We have been traveling at a pretty fast pace this year, moving every week or two which doesn’t leave us a lot of time to fully explore an area. ¬†Next year I’m hoping to slow down our travels a little and have more time at some locations. ¬†I have also learned that living on the road is a lot more expensive that I expected it to be. ¬†It’s still cheaper than living in our sticks and bricks with a mortgage payment and all, but campgrounds are not cheap. ¬†I’m trying to learn from some other Fulltime Families how to find cheaper campgrounds and state parks. ¬†We haven’t been brave enough to try it yet, but some families do a lot of boondocking which means they camp at free or cheap public lands. ¬†They don’t have any electric or water hookups so they need to be self-sufficient, but some of the locations they find are truly breathtaking.

One of the hardest and most time-consuming things has been trip planning. ¬†I had no idea how hard that would be! ¬†It takes me hours to figure out where we’re going, where we’re going to stay and what we’ll do when we get there. ¬†Maybe if we didn’t move so often I wouldn’t have to spend quite so much time doing this.

A real benefit of this life is spending so much more quality time together as a family. ¬†Back in the sticks and bricks we used to spend most weekends cleaning the house and doing yard work. ¬†With no yard work and a much smaller house to clean, weekends have become a lot more fun. ¬†We are usually out hiking and exploring a beautiful national park on the weekends now. ¬†I love that we are getting out and seeing amazing places, rather than just reading about them in a book. ¬†We are experiencing life now while we have it. ¬†There are no guarantees in life and we are not even guaranteed tomorrow. ¬†So, I would like to encourage you. ¬†What is it that you want to do? ¬†You may not have a dream to travel and see the world, but what is it you want to do? ¬†Get out and do it! ¬†Don’t wait, do it now while you can.

 

Categories: Fulltime RV'ing | Tags: , , , , | 11 Comments

A Tour of our RV

Many people have asked me to post some pictures of our new home, so here you go.  The first one of course is us in front of the new rig and truck:

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Categories: Fulltime RV'ing, Our Rig | Tags: , | 5 Comments

Why are we doing this?

Earlier this year, Chris and I got this crazy idea to sell all of our stuff, hit the road in an RV and travel the country with our children.¬† Now we are just a few months away from our launch date, and it looks like that crazy idea is getting closer to becoming a reality.¬† Why… you ask?

The #1 reason we are doing this is because “blink and they are grown”.¬† I remember when my first child was a newborn and many people told me to enjoy it, he will grow up quickly.¬† I did not believe them then because after so many sleepless nights with a newborn I could not imagine that stage of life ever coming to an end.¬† But now as I look back and miss those precious days, I realize how right those people were that told me they grow up quickly.¬† There is truth in the saying “the days are long, but the years are short”.¬† As a homeschooling mom of 2 boys the days can definitely seem long sometimes.¬† But the years are flying by.¬† I am realizing I only have a short time to enjoy these precious years while they are young and I want to make the most of it.¬† I used to think Chris & I would travel together later when the kids grow up and then we thought “why wait?”¬† Let’s do it with them while they’re still young.¬† We want to have incredible adventures with our family and make memories that we will cherish forever.

Another reason we want to do this is to live life more simply because we no longer want to be controlled by our stuff.  We are selling it all to live life more simply and experience more of life together as a family.

Just prior to this crazy idea, we had been spending several months getting some much needed upgrades done to our home.¬† I was so excited to finally be able to get all this beautiful work done on our home, like new tile floors, new granite counter tops, new carpet in the bedrooms and new paint on the walls.¬† Our house was really starting to look nice, and during my morning quiet time with God while I was praying and thanking Him for blessing us with the ability to get all of this work done, I would hear a still, small voice saying to me, “you are doing all this just to sell it.”¬† I would immediately disregard that thought because I love where we live and I love our home and had absolutely no intention to sell it.¬† Silly me to try to ignore God speaking to my heart.¬† What I didn’t realize at the time was He was planting a dream in my heart and Chris’s heart, a dream that is getting closer to becoming a reality.¬† Once we got the idea in our heads to sell it all and travel, I realized we really did do all this work to sell our house.

As we started talking more seriously about doing this, I wondered if there are any other families with kids that do this sort of thing?¬† I imagined we would be out there traveling with only retired people except for summertime.¬† I began to search online for other families that travel and found a wonderful group which includes hundreds of families that are doing this.¬† I was so encouraged to find FullTime Families!¬† I have learned so much from the families that are already living our dream.¬† We already homeschool our kids, but I learned from FullTime Families that there is a new term for that for families that travel, it’s called “roadschooling”, thus the name for our blog.¬† One thing I’m so excited about is the awesome hands on education that our children will get while we travel this beautiful country and visit national parks and landmarks, museums, aquariums, zoos, etc.¬† It just so happens that the theme for our Sonlight curriculum for the next 2 school years is American History.¬† What better way to supplement their learning than by visiting all of these historical places they will be learning about?

So, there it is, that is why we are doing this.  I welcome you to subscribe to this blog and hear about our crazy adventures on the road, wherever God leads.

Categories: About Us, Fulltime RV'ing | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

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