Hello my fellow RV-obsessed readers!! It’s that time again. Today’s Inside the RV features an amazing family of 4 collectively known as Exploring the Local Life!
This family has a very consistent and quickly-growing blog and YouTube channel. When first researching the RV lifestyle (ya know, that whole 5 days before I decided to go for it) I found their channel and was fascinated that this family was traveling so happily in such a small space.
Enjoy the interview and don’t forget to drop any comments for the below!
Tell us about yourselves. Who is Exploring the Local Life?
We are Robert, Jessica, Daniel (age 8), and Nadia (age 5) from Central Florida. Our 2 cats, Tiki and Bart also travel with us.
Yay RV family! I love that. How did you guys start this lifestyle? And how did the kids react?
We wanted something different. The typical 9-5, 3 bedrooms, 2 bath home, and shuttling the kids to and from school and soccer games just wasn’t for us. We wanted more time together appreciating the little things. I’m not saying this is the only path to that, but it is the right path for us to do that.
The kids were excited. They still are, when we get to a new place and make new friends and explore. If we stay somewhere too long they start to get bored, unless there are other kids around. I get it, I feel the same way too!! We do miss our friends and family back home, but we visit often.
Now to my favorite question: What kind of RV do you have and why did you pick that one?
We have a 2016 Forest River Grey Wolf 26DBH travel trailer. It has one slide, a master bedroom with a short queen, bunks for the kids, and a little bath tub. We picked it because the price tag wasn’t too shocking and it is 26ft…that can get us into pretty much any RV spot. We wanted simplicity and this travel trailer lets us have it. We really love it and don’t have any regrets. Sometimes we think maybe we should have gotten one with a separate room for the kids, but we make it work. It doesn’t faze us too much unless it is a rainy day or we drove all day and then we get in after sunset and the kids are running around like crazy and there is nowhere to go.
You said you had a 3 bedroom home. How the heck did you downsize to such a small trailer?
We only had about 1 month to get everything done – downsize, buy the RV, sell the cars, buy a truck, and get everything we needed. It was crazy!! The good thing was that we had family nearby and they were very helpful. Much of our furniture went to family and friends – some things they bought, other things they are storing for us. We did not rent a storage unit. That may change as our family members move themselves and can no longer keep our things. We kept mostly sentimental things – baby clothes, artwork, photos, albums, etc. Oh, and a telescope.
Very impressive! So tell us, how long have you been on the road and what are your long-term plans?
We have been on the road for about 19 months with no plans of stopping any time soon. There are talks of one day owning a tiny home and some land, but I don’t see our wanderlust being quenched for years, if ever!! It will definitely depend on how our family dynamics change (as the kids get older.)
Maybe they will want a more “normal” life or something. We will see how it goes. We are always trying to make sure the needs of everyone in the family are met. So just because mom and dad want to do it isn’t enough reason! The kids also have a say in their lives.
Alright, so no end in sight. That begs the question, what is the best thing about RVing?
The best thing about RVing is growing together as people. When you are in a tiny space, everything is amplified. If someone is crying or angry, there’s no hiding it, if someone poos and doesn’t turn on the fan, everyone smells it, if the kids want to hug you and you are in the bathroom, they barge into that tiny little room and hug you… This really makes you grow as a person. Some days are perfect with the campfire and hiking and washing the RV together and eating at our tiny table or snuggling on a tiny bed with the whole family and cats. Some days are crappy and those are really the days you grow…and you grow together. We are not the same people that left a house with a lawn and palm trees…and for that we are grateful.
Beautiful! So if hugging while pooping isn’t the worst thing about the lifestyle, what is?
Not having a laundry room! We survive, but miss having space (large space) devoted to dirty clothes and their organization. In the RV there is really no place to put the dirty clothes, clean them, or a good place for folding and putting them away.
Tell us more about what you’ve learned from RVing.
We have learned a lot about ourselves. We have learned that we don’t need much and that we actually have more than we need. We can go smaller. We can spend days upon days playing in the woods. We have gained confidence – we have faced fears. There is more to learn and overcome and we look forward to it.
Alright, so the big question on everyone’s mind… how do you make money?
Jessica works from home as a contractor for the government. She has been in the same position for nearly 8 years, 5 of them working from home. Robert is an aircraft dispatcher. He works 4 days and then is off 4 days. He does have to go into the office but has been able to take extended leave to make our dream of travel a reality. During his leave though, our income is slashed in half. We also make money from our blog, sponsorships, and YouTube.
I’ve heard you guys are an incredible resource for new RVers. Tell us about that.
If you are really new to the idea of RVing, but you really think this is something that you want to do, we recommend you take a deep breath and then start researching.
We have videos all about how to get started and we don’t gloss over the hard parts. We want you to be as prepared as possible. Click here to watch our Exploring the Local Life channel. If watching videos really isn’t your thing, we invite you to visit our blog here. If you feel like you have already watched and read everything out there and still need extra help, we also offer RV Consultation Calls. This is where you can come to us with your biggest problems or questions, and we will work with you to get the answers you need. Click here to schedule your RV Consultation.
How to find us:
Thanks for the awesome interview you guys!
Any questions for Exploring the Local Life? Drop them below and don’t forget to show them some love over on their YouTube channel.