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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A New Blog for the Culinarily Inquisitive Family

I know the posts here have been few and far between and I hope to change that in the future, but I wanted everyone who visits here to know that we have launched as a way to inspire the culinarily inquisitive family in helping choose best food choices and perhaps serve as a vehicle to get us on the road a bit faster.

Check it out and let us know what you think!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A New Dream -- How to live fulltime in an RV

We are Charter Members if Fulltime Families, have purchased this guide and are using it in preparation for our journey.  It contains a ton of useful information on getting started!

Is it time to dream a new dream?

This past year has been a tough one for a lot of Americans. Houses under water, millions out of work – and those still fortunate to have jobs are now doing the workload of three or four employees.

You’ve got a mortgage, car payments, taxes and credit card debt up the wazoo!
Is this working for you?

Maybe it’s time to dream a new dream? A dream of freedom, a dream of free time, of quality time spent with the ones you love. A dream of adventure, discovery, exploration.

Can you imagine a location independent lifestyle? The opportunity to go where you want, when you want?

Sounds too good to be true I know, but right now there are thousands of families on the highways and byways living as full time rvers. Yes, families! With kids! Lots of kids! Little kids, big kids, medium kids!

These families are not beholden to school schedules and don’t spend a minute in rush hour traffic. They aren’t counting the days to retirement and they definitely don’t feel like they’re missing their kid’s childhood.

They are no different then your family, with the exception of one thing – they dreamed a new dream for their family and made it come true.

Kimberly Travaglino has written a book to help you do the same. “How to Hit the Road” is a highly actionable step-by-step guide to getting your life off hold and on the road.

All the tools you need to make full time travel a reality for your family are expertly organized and detailed.

Each chapter is busting with the action items, true stories, and insider information that can save you thousands of dollars and months of valuable time.

This Christmas, give your family the gift of a new dream and get the one book that can show you how to make it a reality. This Christmas, learn “How to Hit the Road” !

Monday, April 18, 2011

Bigger Fatter Faster Cheaper

Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm uses the phrase "Bigger.  Faster.  Fatter.  Cheaper." to describe how Americans produce their food (and also what we should rail against), but I think it aptly describes American life in general.

I spent the past weekend at an indoor water park and watched the hundreds and hundreds of people (including me) pick up a tube, walk the stairs, slide down the slide and repeat that process all day.  But then I thought, is being contained indoors in a wet sauna with hundreds of other people worth $250+ per night (I didn't pay)?  Everyting about the park was designed to make you part with more money -- including walking past the arcade just to get to the pool.

I was thinking about all of the fulltime family blogs I am reading and I don't recall one family spending $250 on anything excepy maybe a weeks stay at a campground.  In fact, most of what I see them do (and I want to do) is free -- or close to it.  It's getting involved with nature, exploring wildlife, relaxing, reliving our history by visiting actual historical sites, or learning through hands on activities at museums or campround crafts.  It's being present and creating something fun rather than paying a lot of money to be entertained.

One of the fulltime families ( posted a video on the commercialization of our kids. I watched what only confirmed what we really all know and just need to think through.  We give our kids toys that talk, make sounds or move.  We sit our kids in front of DVD players and game systems.  We buy our kids stuff in hopes of finding happiness.  Simply, we try to buy their happiness and education.

On this same trip, there was an article is USA Today expressing concern about this generation of kids who are essentially being robbed of their childhood.  They don't get to create, explore and involve themselves.  Theirs is a world dictated by companies that rush them through their early years and into the tween years by age 7.

So, we reaffirm our commitment to minimize as much as possible and provide real learning for our kids to the best of our ability and look forward to joining some families who have found that on the road.

And to the fulltime families already accepting us, pre-travel, and providing valuable advice, thank you!  I'm envious that you can clean your entire residence in a half-hour!  Perhaps for some, the new phrase should be "Smaller. Leaner. Slower. Enriching."

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Progress in Small Steps

If you are like us and have come up with this idea of family life on the road (or any life on the road), you want to get started today!  However, the highs of the moment of decision immediately sink to the lows after a few days of wondering about things like income, health insurance, gas prices, the fact that your new home is depreciating and not appreciating, etc.

We are determined to find a way and have several options we are considering -- all of which will be a year or more in the making.  This certainly demands patience, or at least the quick learning of it!

We submitted a proposal for me to work from the road for the college from which I graduated and received notice that it has been met with interest and is going up to the next level of consideration.  I never bank on any one thing and certainly do not want to get my hopes too high, but this is a good step in this journey -- and a tiny bit of positive news for the day.

If you don't have work you can take with you (and not many do), find the work to take with you.  My lesson of the moment.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Spend Out

The journey toward full time rv'ing  has given us a new goal, sorting and clearing out the extras and simplying our current home life.  We have been busy the past many days trying to decide what can stay and what should go.  Most of the STUFF in our house can fall into two categories, love it or use it.  If it doesn't fit a category it must go, regardless of how much it cost, who gave it to us, or what memory it can be attached to.  Things that always seem important to keep, but never make it out of storage boxes year-after-year are either being discarded or about to be on a garage sale.  After all, in the end it is just stuff.

It's relieving to release.  We find it clears the mind and soul.

We also continue to reference a book we recently read, "The Happiness Project", that has encouraged us to do only the things that truly make us happy.  One of the principles the author suggests is to "spend out".  How many things do we have that we don't use because we are saving it for a special occasion?   So while some of our things are being added to the ever growing garage sale piles, others are being pulled out to use.  The nice bottle of perfume is now being used everyday.  How many people die with their bottle -- full -- still sitting on the shelf, never having been used?

This will be a long process and will need to be done several times before we are truly RV ready- but we are enjoying the process of prioritizing what things we want to be in our home and life.

RV dreamin'

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Working on Income Options

Our next step in this journey is to figure out how to pay for the trip without incurring debt and have health care while traveling.  If we are lucky we will find a single source of pay during our trip, if not, we will piece together from several different resources.  While the planning is good, and of course responsible, the fear we have is too much planning might mean that we never dive in.  Is anyone ever really ready and prepared to leave everything behind and hit the open road for months or years?  It is kind of like having kids- your never ready, but what a wonderful adventure they are!

I have done Internet research on working from an RV and even found a library book on the subject, but they offer vague and similar advice:  freelance writer, blogger, photographer, repair man, temporary nurse, multi-level marketing, online business, workamp situations (, looking at for short-term opportunities, etc.  The best I read about included working at a National Park and volunteering for Habitat-for-Humanity that sometimes included a free or discounted parking space -- both of which I want to do, but are more for the fun of it.

The first avenue to explore is online consulting or short-term fill-in work for non-profit organizations in need of fundraising support.  (My pre-SAHD career) I could either offer an on-site fresh set of eyes or offer temporary leadership in-between their former chief fundraiser and the next.  I figure these assignments would last from one week to several months.  Regardless, the pay would be sufficient and we could just relocate and explore along the way.  I don't think there are any fundraising consultants currently practicing in this unique way.  I've also contacted my alma mater in the hopes of working with them as an on the road representative.

If these ideas don't pan out, our other options include my wife working on curriculum for people who travel and educate their kids (she is an early intervention specialist in our local school), scrapbook consulting, take and sell awesome photography along our journey, develop our Send Out Cards distributorship ( that we have largely ignored for several years, write & blog, teach online, tutor online, etc.  I think we may have enough to piece together our finances.

It seems there is much to plan and get ready for and we may be a few years out.  So for now we will keep exploring, and keep cleaning out our house.  It is amazing what our small family has accumulated.  Just the act of slowly cleaning out our belongings will help us stay on track.  Our new motto when faced with purchases big or small will be "would we rather have this or the RV?"

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Why would we choose this?

Why not!?  But really, here are a few very quick things that came to our minds in no particular order:

1.  Tighter family bond (focus on each other and not the distractions of life while working better with each other).
2.  Spiritually grow as a family.
3.  Reduced stuff (learn what we really need) -- live simple.
4.  Successfully produce an income on the road and save.
5.  Love our country and environment more deeply.
6.  Meet new people and learn their stories.
7.  Be physically active and fit.
8.  Determine where we might choose to live someday.
9.  Do the things we want to do.
10.  Stay better connected to friends.
11.  Experience different cultures.
12.  Fill Passport books with National Parks and Monument stamps.
13.  Be happy!

I am sure there is more, but this is what we scribbled down last night and a very good starting point.

This is really a good exercise for any family (or anybody) whether road-living or not.

Will keep you posted.