Tell us about yourself and your travel companions
I travel with Larry, my husband, and Seva, our Zen Doggie. Larry is a retired IT director, now turned Santa Claus. I am a Massage Therapist, Yoga Therapist and educator who loves to share practices of wellness in beautiful settings. Seva is a connector. She loves to visit with all people and all dogs with unbridled enthusiasm so she makes the journey more friendly. We live full-time in our rig and split our time traveling the country and spending time at Van Skyver Lake where we have a long-term space. This allows us to be near our grandkids (and their parents) and have a home base.
How did you decide to RV?
We both loved tent camping with our kids when they were younger because we knew how important it was to spend time in nature. After a few VERY rainy trips and aging hips, we decided a bed, a bathroom and a kitchen on wheels was the perfect transition to see the country and still stay close to nature.
What were the reactions of your family, friends, etc?
Our families are very supportive of our choices (maybe envious) since this is our retirement plan (haha – we work harder now than ever before)! I am sure they were confused by our choice to sell everything and live a boon docking lifestyle when we first chose to stay out at the lake. However, they are also intrigued by our freedom to explore. Occasionally they refer to us as cousin Eddie when we visit and park in their driveway.
What kind of RV do you have?
We started with a Solera but once we decided to go full-time, we wanted something larger for when our grandkids visit so we now drive a Forest River FR3 35′.
What did you do with all your stuff? How did you downsize?
Six years ago, we held garage sales to start selling stuff we knew would not be missed. This really made the process easier; so that by the time we got to our collections and treasures, we had come to the realization that our things are just tethers, holding us back from our next adventure. We gifted things that were important to family or friends, then held an estate sale to clear out everything left. From listing our house to closing was 5 intense weeks!
Have you done any renovations on the rig?
So far, we have only completed small changes to the kitchen and our entertainment center. I would love to do more, but would rather be outside!
Just how long have you been on the road? Do you ever see a finish line?
We started seven years ago and spent six years taking long trips and returning to our house. Then about 18 months ago, we went full-time. As for the finish line, it depends on the day you ask the question. We still have many places on our list to visit.
What is the absolute best thing about full-time travel?
The friends and community we have made along the way. We have been so blessed to gather a strong tribe of friends and have been able to travel with many of them. Together, we are helping one another create not only a strong community, but also supporting one another in business endeavors to help us maintain our lifestyles.
What is the worst thing?
This is a tough question, but we would have to say planning where we are sleeping tonight. It is not easy to coordinate where and when we will arrive.
Have you found a favorite place yet?
We love Alcova Lake Wyoming. Larry grew up near there so we always love visiting Wyoming. We also enjoy Van Skyver Lake in PA. Our favorite spot, though, might be Acadia National Park. I love being by water and Larry loves the mountains and Acadia is the perfect blend of both our loves.
What are your favorite kinds of destinations? Do you travel for a certain passion or hobby?
We love to be on the water and have started kayaking. We got two new inflatable kayaks and love going out on lakes. One of the things I miss from our brick home is my water bed and being on the lake is the next best thing! We also enjoy bicycling and the mountains – really any excuse to be in nature. Since I am a yoga teacher and believe in nature as a healing force, we often plan trips around beautiful places so we can explore practicing meditation and yoga in beautiful settings.
What have you learned on this journey and what are you still seeking?
It didn’t take us long to realize that even if we are living what many see as a vacation lifestyle, we are not on vacation and still have plenty to do, especially since we are both launching new career paths so we can stay on the road and pursue our passions. We have realized how important self-care can be while you are on the road and want to help others. And we have learned to intentionally connect with friends and family to create community.
The big question on everyone’s mind, how do you fund your travels?
In part, we have reached the ages to tap into retirement funds. However, our focus is on creating virtual continuing education courses for wellness professionals and virtual yoga classes. As massage therapists, we missed touch and the connection to our clients during this strange COVID time. Realizing that others in the wellness community needed to transform their business and with our experience at being remote workers already, we hope to show the community how they can augment their work with tele-wellness sessions.
How do you live together in such a small space and not drive each other crazy?
We do have a few agreements, but have learned to adapt to each other’s needs. Just like Sheldon’s had his roommate agreement, we have created certain shortcuts that neither of us can argue over. The only choice when these topics come up is to do it. For instance, if I say *PLACE that means “pick your shit up and put it away” without the other needing to get defensive. And if someone says *I NEED A DAY TO MYSELF, it is not an insult or picking a fight, just the opposite. We each have an independent responsibility to recognize we sometimes need a stress break before an argument. Of course, we are also grown up enough to know that the occasional argument to let out stress never hurts. Basically it comes down to accepting each other’s idiosyncrecies.
What is the most exciting thing on the horizon for you?
On the travel side, we are excited to get to the other side of COVID and travel again. Our goal is to visit all the National Parks. On the business side, we are launching our new business and excited about helping others learn to live a more natural and healthy lifestyle.
What advice would you give someone new to RVing?
There is no right or wrong way to RV. Design a balanced life you love ~ work, play and travel.