The variety of responses to our travel plans have been pretty entertaining. Most people have been very supportive and excited for us, but there are a few that think we have completely lost our minds. Perhaps we have haha. We've been asked a lot of questions and people seem quite curious about some of the details, so I thought I would answer a few of them!
Q: Are you really selling everything?
A: We will be storing a few boxes of keepsakes and sentimental items, plus our ski/snowboard and winter gear with my parents. Other than that, we will be selling anything that doesn't fit into our truck. At first I was a little nervous, but now that I've started the process, it feels amazing. It's like that feeling you get when you clean out a closet, times 1000. I'm not a very sentimental person and I don't get attached to many things so it's just been fun so far.
Q: Are you living in an RV?
A: The first several months that we looked into the idea of traveling full-time, we were thinking about an RV. Once we calculated the cost of a 5th wheel, the truck to pull it, the fees for staying at campgrounds with hookups, repairs, and gas, living in an RV wasn't as affordable as we originally thought it would be. Plus,you have the hassle of towing, parking, things breaking, hook ups, water to empty, generators to run, etc.... we aren't "fix it" kind of people, and it seems like you really have to enjoy solving the many problems you'll encounter on the road because they are inevitable.
Q: So where will you be staying?
A: We will be renting vacation rentals through websites like VRBO and Airbnb. We've found that if you are willing to stay during an entire month, especially during off seasons, you can really talk people down on their prices. By the time we calculate our current mortgage, utilities, and upkeep of our house, it isn't much more to rent a house on the beach or maybe next to a beautiful lake. We also prefer smaller towns to cities or resort towns so that helps keep costs down.
Q: What will you do for work?
A: Mark currently works as an account manager for a software company. He often works from home and was able to get permission to permanently work remotely. I'll be leaving th job I love at my charter school to teach ESL online to students in China. I've recently started, and so far it's been amazing. Not only do I enjoy doing it, but I can set my own schedule and choose to work at night or early in the morning when my kids are asleep.
Q: Where are you going?
A: For now we plan to stick to the western side of the United States staying in each location for one month at a time. International travel or going across the country is something that would be really fun someday, but with little kids we don't want to spend a lot of time driving/flying. And although we've been to many of those states, there is still so much we haven't seen!
Q: What will you be driving?
A: We were very set on a lifted 4x4 van. It's big enough to hold everything, but still able to go off road. Just recently we've decided to get a truck with a truck camper on top instead. It's more affordable than converting a van or buying one with a pop top and built-in storage. Plus, we can remove the camper and throw our kayaks in the back of the truck for day trips which is a lot easier than tying them down on the roof every time. The camper is mainly to hold our stuff, but when we are traveling from one state to another, or want to get away for the weekend, it will be nice to be able to camp comfortably. We've never done anything but tent camping, so I'm very excited to have a mattress and sink!