Search This Blog

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.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Are we the only family with this crazy idea?

Hardly.  Actually I was a little disappointed to see so many doing this.  I thought I had this great wacky idea all to myself.  But then I was grateful for the trailblazers ahead of me because I have found great advice and inspiration from their blogs, some of which I have listed in my blog list section and encourage you to read.

Additionally, I found two web sites that connect full-time traveling families: and -- both of which inspire and instill confidence in the adventure.

Check them out and begin your dream.  I received an e-mail from Full-Time Families today that encouraged us dreamers to set a launch date and then do it.  We don't have a launch date yet, but I would guess it to be about two years out, but perhaps sooner if we can swing it!  Until then, we prepare.

Are there other great sites designed for traveling families?

Have I ever driven a motorhome?

Nope.  Never.  In fact, I wasn't certain I had ever been in a motorhome until I went to see them this past Thursday.  I went to one dealer (Midway RV) and was hooked.  Have you seen these things?  My three-year-old son described it as a house on wheels and busted out laughing when he opened a door to find a toilet.  And how about the slide-outs!!!!  Amazing!  The more the better.  They certainly make you feel like you are at least living in an apartment -- and in some cases a downright palace.

I loved a new motorhome at $122,000 for retirement but would be satisfied with the 15-year-old motorhome for $9,999 for our family experience -- though the Golden Girls' mauve would have to go!

I was so pumped by the decent living conditions that I told my wife what the kids and I had discovered that day and I brought her back to the dealership the next morning.  All said, we found a 2006 Damon Daybreak, gas-fueled motorhome, heavily geared for family, that had built in bunk beds for $50,000.  "That's the one!", exclaimed my wife.  If and when we do it, that's what we need.  I assured her, if I knew how to provide a good income on the road, we would surely buy it.  But there will always be another somewhere.

And frankly, I think we owe it to ourselves to explore other brands and other dealers.  This could be a long process, or a short one if a miracle drops.

I have learned so much already about an industry I knew nothing about and will share my information as I acquire it.

The American Dream

I remember in one of my college classes that we collectively determined the American dream to be owning your own house along with having freedom and opportunity.  It stuck, and that is how it was defined for a group of young collegians.  It evolves and everybody will come to a different definition.

Now, nearly 15 years later, I see a house (even if paid off) as a tremendous burden.  And the bigger the house, the more the burden.  It ties you down -- sometimes permanently.  How many families today are upside down in the mortgages?  Stuck?  We have 3,300 feet of living space and I would give 2/3 of it away if I could.  We wanted big when we bought it.  Now I want to run from it -- perhaps even rent.  The constant cleaning and maintenance sucks precious time away from what I may deem as much more important matters in life.

So the idea:  Rent (or sell) the house, obtain an RV that can nicely accommodate a young family of four or five, and travel the United States.  This would allow us to be where we want to be (my son abhors cold winters), when we want to be.  The size allows for maximum forced efficiencies and with so little space to maintain, will allow for better building of relationships with our immediate family and friends and allow the opportunity to explore new places, new people and cultures, and truly be free.  Free from debt and place.  This is my/our new American dream.

I had this thought on March 24, 2011.  I am a stay-at-home Dad.  To make this a reality, we will have to find a way to produce an income on the road and a way to obtain a motorhome.  My initial thoughts are toward writing and blogging about our experiences.  I'm willing to take on sponsors, so if an RV company, a travel magazine, communications provider, camp ground, etc. want a writer for hire to blog/brag about their great product/vehicle, you can let me know.

The Same Hour

It has occurred to me at various times -- but always as a fleeting thought -- that the one common denominator amongst all people on this earth is time.  We can be divided into this group or that group (usually biased based) based on religion, color, sexuality, income level, social status, geography, interests, friends, degrees, etc.  But, everybody shares the same hour.

So then the question becomes, how can you make that hour -- every hour -- be the best that it can be for you, your family, your friends, your community, the environment?  There is no correct answer.  The hour is yours.  How many hours have there been in your control lately?  In the last day, did you control 12 hours?  Six?  Even one?  When do you decide?

Stuff dictates how we spend our time.  Over the past several years, my wife and I occasionally lament how a purchase we made requires additional money and additional time -- both of which are very limited.  Some examples for us have included, dvd's, cd's, books, cars, and so much more.  We still have older television sets, the largest being 19 inches (crazy, I know!).  But one of the biggest reasons we don't upgrade is the importance we then place on that item and the additional services and equipment needed to fully utilize it.

Example:  It has been suggested by many that we get a Wii.  "They are so much fun!", they say in excitement.  I won't deny the fun aspect, and I have enjoyed playing Wii games at friends and families homes, but it requires time and more money.  If I got a Wii, I would also have to get an additional controller (+ cost), the racing wheel (+ cost), Wii fit (+ cost), and additional games (+ cost).  Then, and perhaps most demanding, is the time I would inevitably waste on such a device.  But that's me.  I would rather be doing something else.  Perhaps you get 100% enjoyment out of an hour of video games.  I'm just suggesting that perhaps we fill our lives with too many options instead of the best option or two and waste a lot of our money and time because somebody said we should have this or that.

Have you ever known anybody who had so many toys/options that they felt bad they had to neglect one or more of them on a regular basis?  How many pools, houses, motorized toys can you use?  And then to have them all costs storage, maintaining, insurance, and TIME.

So we have decided to purge again.  It seems like an endless process.  I wonder how we accumulate so much stuff.  We rid ourselves of piles of clutter several times each year, yet it always seems to return.  Sigh.

How will you spend your hours?  How will we spend ours?  We all have the same hour.  And what some of us do with it will make us far richer than others -- if you know what I mean...