What made you decide to travel full-time?
This is a big question. To answer it, I feel like you need a little background.
For the past few years we’ve been saving our pennies with plans of buying a newer, bigger, better home. We wanted a house with an office, more closet space, a bigger garage, a gourmet kitchen. . . .
We had saved a sizable down payment and we spent the last year touring beautiful houses in our area. Good school districts, offices, closet space galore, huge garages and gourmet kitchens. Dream homes, really.
But nothing felt just right.
After a solid six months of house shopping – thinking we would find the perfect house, we decided to take some time off from looking and get through the holiday season (busy work times for both Jeremy and I).
We needed to step away from the stress (and give our poor realtor a break).
During that time we had many discussions about what we should do. And both of us kept coming back to – is a big, beautiful house what was important to us?
The idea of a big pantry, an actual office space, a spacious kitchen with newer appliances – wouldn’t that make our lives easier? Wouldn’t that be amazing?
But it just didn’t feel right.
And then, that fateful day in January 2015, I read a post on Money Saving Mom about a family living full-time in an RV. I thought, “This is it.”
I pitched the idea to Jeremy. . . he loved it.
That was all it took for our conversations to shift from a house wish list to discussing all the ways that full-time travel felt like the right next step for us.
Here’s a basic list of why we are choosing a year of full-time travel:
We LOVE to travel – Both of us enjoy traveling. Before we had kids we spent many, many weekends on the road exploring new places. Travel really is one of our favorite things. But as life was getting busier travel was something we were currently squeezing into 3-day weekends, spring break and summer vacation. It was side-note in our life, when we wished it was a main theme.
We VALUE travel – Not only do we enjoy travel, but we believe it offers valuable learning opportunities and helps us appreciate the people and world around us. We value the opportunity to explore and the chance to see new things. We want our kids to value and appreciate travel, too.
More family time – This is a huge motivator for for us. Downsizing to 200 square feet would mean we wouldn’t have to work so hard and could spend more time with our kids. Our sweet babies, now ages 7 and 4, are not going to be young forever. We wanted to slow down and cherish these moments and memories with them. We wanted to invest more time in them. We want to travel WITH them instead of waiting until they leave the nest.
Less stuff, more experiences – Jeremy and I both felt burdened by a house full of STUFF. Things to clean, things to organize, things to store. For a short time we were disillusioned that it was just a lack of space in our home (a new, bigger house could solve that!) but we knew deep down it was more that. Although we saw great value in consuming LESS – we weren’t practicing this in our 2,000 square foot home. This life change is forcing us to PURGE our possessions and keep only the things that matter. That experience alone has been fulfilling and worth it – and we believe it will be a valuable lesson for our children. We’re trading in our stuff for experiences – and we can’t wait for that switch.
Our kids will BENEFIT from this experience – Not only will our kids have more time with us, but they’ll get to experience cultures and people from all over the country. They’ll have the unique opportunity to learn about history, plants, animals, weather, geography – first hand. They’ll trade in a room full of noisy, over-stimulating toys for hikes in National Parks, conversations around campfires, and visiting family all over the country. A family member disapprovingly made a comment about taking our backyard away from our kids. We don’t see it as a loss, we see it as simply trading our 1/2 acre fenced yard in suburbia, for a 3.8 million square foot backyard – and we’re going to explore it with our kids. What a gift that is!
An ACTIVE LIFESTYLE, with fresh air, sunsets and sunrises, nature – Although we enjoy being outdoors and being active – it had become a very small part of our day-to-day lives. Our kids play outside in the backyard almost daily, but the time Jeremy and I spent outside was mostly doing yard work. 🙂 With 200 sq feet of living space and miles of natural beauty around us – we know we’ll be able to GET OUTSIDE, PLAY OUTSIDE, EXPLORE – and breath in fresh air – daily. Good for our bodies and our souls.
Debt-free living – Instead of increasing our debt to buy a bigger, larger house (even if technically we could afford it), the idea of downsizing to live without a mortgage, debt-free sounds amazing. We hope to continue to save on the road for our next home – but I’m fairly certain it won’t be big and fancy.
Life is short. Adventure awaits. At the end of the day, we know life is short and life is precious. We could spend our whole lives saving for our someday – many people do and something happens between now and someday – and it never happens. We could put off travel and big dreams for another day. But we’re never guaranteed tomorrow. We want to follow our dreams TODAY with our sweet babies alongside of us.
What did we have to lose? We knew we’d regret it if we didn’t at least give it a try. The only real loss would be monetary if we decide to change our minds. And even that was nominal in the big scheme of things. We decided we want to give it a try and if we completely hate it, we’ll turn the trailer around, buy a house and keep up with the Joneses. They aren’t going anywhere.
So there you have it. That’s why we plan to ditch mainstream, to hitch up our Airstream.
Welcome to the road!
We’ve added your blog to our http://topfamilytravelblogs.com as a a source – hope to send some traffic your way!
Hi Boyink – Thank you for adding us to your round-up! We are in good company there – some amazing family travel blogs!
Dori Davis says
Sounds SO exciting!! I know a stranger’s encouragement might not equal or outweigh family naysayers, but I say kudos to you guys for sharing a dream and stepping out as a family. I pray now for your year to be safe and everything you guys are hoping for and more! Congratulations! I’m following so I can dream as you do!
Hi Dori – Your encouragement is much appreciated! Thank you for the prayers, too – so grateful for that. 🙂
Cynthia Rose says
I am wondering what you will do after the year. Even if you sell your truck and trailer you will have a lot of debt buying and furnishing a home.
Good question Cynthia! We probably won’t move into a typical house after we’re all done. We’ll have to see where the roads bring us. We have a savings account that we’re setting aside for when that time comes. We have discussed living in the Airstream on property while we build a house. Or buying a small condo in a downtown setting. Or? Who knows. We hope to stay as debt free as possible – so we can continue to travel in some capacity 🙂
We’ve always been frugal – most of our current house (the one we’re selling) has been furnished with second-hand items and furniture – all paid with cash – we’d do without before going into debt to furnish a house. I’m comfortable with mortgage debt, but any type of credit line for anything else – has never been our style. Hope this answer your question!
What do you do for income and what about the winter? This has been a dream of my husband and I for awhile also!! ?
Kimberly Norman says
We are trying to get to where we can travel full time. Since my husband is a preacher/ singer/ songwriter, God has called us to travel as missionaries. Not real sure where exactly we’re going, but we’ll go where ever He leads. We have been trying to raise enough money to pay off our house and buy a RV of some sort, and give our house to someone in need, but so far having no luck. Please keep us in your prayers as we try to do this. I have a blog set up through a link on our website so I can post as we go, and I have a Go Fund Me account set up explaining our needs. We need prayer and open doors! Thanks so much, reading about other’s success is so encouraging and I know we can do it if we ever get going!
Debra Bergmark says
It’s like you read the feelings from my heart & took the words right of my mouth. Every reason you listed is exactly why we are doing the same. We were initially going to downsize from our 3100 sq ft house (ugh the time it took to keep that clean), but within a 2 month time frame it quickly turned to let’s sell it all & get a trailer & travel full time. We have 3 kiddos & 2 pups & will hopefully hit the road mid September as we wait for the closing on our house. We got a small taste of the full time travel life 3 yrs ago when hubby retired from the air force & we traveled from IL to AZ for 4 months hitting up 11 states. Fabulous memories along with a few snags, but overall I’m so glad we did it & now we know what to expect. Cannot wait to do it all again!