Hey hey! It’s that time again! Another Inside the RV, an interview with full-timers on why and how they travel.
Today you’re gonna learn about Julie and Sean of Chickery’s Travels. I met Julie online through some mutual RV friends. Since our first conversation, I knew she was one to watch, and I had to interview her.
Tell me about your family a little bit. Who is Chickery’s Travels?
We’re Sean and Julie Chickery, Air Force veterans, empty nesters and perpetual nomads. We
have three young adult sons, ages 25, 23, and 21. Over our 20 year careers we lived in six
different states and 2 different countries. We’re now out traveling on our own schedule and
meeting up with our sons as much as possible.
How did Chickery’s Travels come about?
We have always loved travel. We looked at RVs on and off for probably the last 10 years, but
the timing was never right. Finally, when we were moving down to MacDill Air Force Base in
Tampa as empty nesters for the first time, we decided to go for it. We knew that would be our
last assignment, and didn’t really know where we wanted to go next. We figured we could live in
our RV there, and then hit the road we the tour was up. It’s been three years and we haven’t
What were the reactions of your family, friends, etc?
Sean and I have always marched to the beat of our own drummer, so our family and friends
were not the least bit surprised that we would do something crazy like live full-time on the road.
What kind of RV do you have?
We have a very large 44’ Heartland Cyclone Fifth Wheel. We choose a toy hauler to have the
garage space as a bedroom for our son who was in college at the time we started full-timing.
This allowed him to come “home” to his own space and bathroom during school breaks.
What did you do with all your stuff? How did you downsize?
This was pretty tough for me. I didn’t grow up with much in the way of material possessions, and
overcompensated by hanging on to things for far too long. I really have a hard time getting rid of
anything that is still functional. When we first moved from a large 4 bedroom 3 bathroom home
into the RV, my downsizing attempts left us with two large 8’ x 16’ storage PODS. After 2 years,
I was able to further downsize to a single 5’ x 10’ storage unit. It helped me to donate much of
the usable items, because I felt like they were going to someone who needed them.
Just how long have you been on the road? Do you ever see a finish line for Chickery’s Travels?
We’ve been living in our RV for 3 years, but 2 of those were stationary in Tampa. We don’t think
we will want to full-time RV forever, but we have no current end date. Our bucket list is so long
we have no idea when we will “finish” it. We are not in a race to see it all anytime soon, we are
just enjoying the journey.
What is the absolute best thing about full-time travel?
The best thing about full-time travel is the ability to go wherever we want, for as long as we
want. We are no longer tied to 1 or 2 week vacations. As a military family, we have lived in
many different places, but we still feel that we have only experienced a fraction of what this
beautiful country has to offer.
What is the worst thing?
The biggest struggle of living on the road full-time is that we are often far from our young adult
sons. We are a very close family, and always spent a lot of time together. Although we
FaceTime, text, and talk on the phone daily, I still miss seeing them in person. However, since
we’ve been on the road one of our sons relocated to a different state. So now having an RV will
actually make it easier to travel to them.
What have you learned on this journey and what are you still seeking?
The first thing we learned when we started traveling is to take the time to smell the roses.
Because we still essentially have 9-5 jobs, we make a conscious choice to stay in locations a
little longer to allow ourselves time to explore the local area. We typically stay in place for 2 to 4
weeks, and only move a few hours’ drive before stopping at the next place. We’re currently in
the middle of an 8-month tour of Florida.
The big question on everyone’s mind, how do you fund Chickery’s Travels?
We have been fortunate enough to continue our professional careers remotely. Sean, a Doctor
in Health Science, still works full-time as a Medical Research Study Manager. I’ve been working
remotely for years, even when we lived in a traditional home, so it was a simple transition to
working remotely from the RV. The main issue is that we need to have internet connectivity at
How do you live together in such a small space and not drive each other crazy?
Sean and I provide the perfect balance for each other. We’re best friends and work well as a
team. We also don’t mind doing our own thing. I’m an adrenaline junkie, while Sean is not. He is
often content to stay home and read, while I have no problem going out adventuring on my own.
I recently started recording my adventures so my sons can see what their crazy mom is up to.
What is the most exciting thing on the horizon for you?
We’ve been cast in a movie about the full-time RV lifestyle, RV Nomads. It will be released at
the first ever NomadFEST in October 2018.
(Hey! Liz will be there too!)