Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Top 10 Reasons We Couldn't Wait to RV Fulltime

Top 10 Reasons We Couldn't Wait to RV Fulltime

There were so many reasons we decided to sell it all and drag our family around the country in our travel trailer, but these ten (in no particular order) should give a glimpse as to why we chose to embark on a life on the road.

We Didn’t Have To Wait

No longer do people have to wait for retirement to enjoy a life of travel.  In this age of possibilities, individuals can create a new American dream by pursuing mobile careers on the road.  We live in the perfect time and place to follow any dream.  There are SO many more career options out there to hopeful nomads.  Every family finds a different avenue, but if your dream is to travel, there is no doubt that you can find a way with some planning.  It took us almost three years of planning, but we made our dream happen.  If you don’t believe me, than check out the countless blogs posted on this topic.  However, I think what most people find is that there is no one right path to follow (sorry, I know you were hoping for the big secret everyone is holding out on, but there simply isn’t one).  It takes coming up with your own path and planning accordingly.

To Live Out Our Family Values

My husband and I realized that we were going through the motions in our previous way of living.  All the good intentions we had to spend quality time as a family, give back to the community, pursue our talents seemed to take a backseat to our so-called “busyness.”  We weren’t living an inspired life or even stopping to smell the roses.  Instead, we were really living for the next vacation.  It became clear that we were the family we wanted to be when all the clutter was stripped away from our lives in moments like camping.  We needed to SLOW DOWN.  Simplicity would be the key to pursuing the things we felt were important.  It was time to live life as the people we felt we were meant to be.  In this newfound simplicity, we would have more time to give back to the community, more quality time with each other, and more focus on the important things in life.  It was time to leave all the other “stuff” behind.

Experience and Travel Shapes Us in a Way Nothing Else Can

Travel has a way of opening your eyes.  It changes you.  It affects you.  It makes you aware and conscious of something bigger than yourself.  This world is so big and few people have the opportunity to see beyond their four walls.  We knew our four walls were miniscule compared to a big, incredible world waiting to be discovered.  This would be something that would shape not only us, but our kids—their ideas, imaginations and develop perspective like nothing else. 

To Spend QUALITY Family Time

Our routine was exhausting in our previous life.  Get up.  Take the kids to school.  Come back to do homework or school projects, take the kids to basketball practice, rush through dinner, scurry through showers and off to bed.  At what point in the day did we have a chance to interact?  At what point were we learning who our growing tweens were, who they wanted to be, or who they were actually becoming?  How many hours were we even spending as a family?  When we were together, everyone was doing their own thing in the few hours a week we had together as a family.  This was not what we wanted for our family.  We were following along with this societal mindset that this was the only way—living a life completely tuned out—but deep down we knew better.  Family was always a priority and we were letting our precious moments slip away.  It was time to stop the madness and tune back in to what was important.

Showing Our Kids Their Untapped Potential

Previous to roadschooling our kids were in traditional school.  We realized there was more to our children besides them fitting into the mold and standardized testing that school had for them.  They weren’t able to discover and explore their creativity in the classroom setting.  This showed up in two different ways for our kids.  The oldest, Tyler, was clearly bored with school.  He wasn’t being challenged or striving for excellence; he was doing just enough to get by.  We knew he was brilliant and had so much untapped potential.  Our youngest, Haley, was missing large concepts and building blocks for growth.  In a classroom of 30 kids, you could say she was getting overlooked.  She has a brilliant imagination and mind, but she learns best hands on with one on one attention.  She was a perfect candidate for roadschooling, where school would come to life for her.  

We knew that roadschooling could challenge each of them to reach their potential.  We could cater their education to them.  For Tyler, we could allow him to learn at a faster pace learning with the sky as the limit.  For Haley, she could dig into the learning experience and touch it with her hands.  We wanted to see new passion for learning and see them discovering their passions and talents.  It was time for discovery, exploration and experience as a way to learn.  With this journey the underlying tone would be to teach our kids that they can accomplish anything.  There are no limits to life or the possibilities.  We wanted them to see that firsthand through us.

Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.

We had the gigantic 55” flat screen smart TV.  We had all the choking monthly bills that come with “normal” life.  There we were, working ourselves into an early grave at multiple jobs attempting to fund this typical American lifestyle.  At some point we started to ask ourselves, “Is this the American dream—becoming a slave to things that we don’t even have time to enjoy with the thought that having the next best thing will somehow make us happier?”  We tried to play along with this idea and it just wasn’t working.  I can honestly say that going the route of buying happiness doesn’t in fact make you happier.  If anything you become more trapped and further away from any true peace of mind. 

There is something incredibly liberating about selling 95% of what you own and downsizing everything.   Our best moments on this adventure haven’t been centered around our things.  What they have been centered around are irreplaceable memories and moments of pure simplicity and joy.  Moments we rarely took time for in our past life.  Life can be found in the smile on your kids face as you roll down 200 foot sand dunes together in the pitch dark, the excited screams of chasing each other through a corn maze, seeing the sense of accomplishment as your kids work together to build their very own tee-pee by hand, your daughter catching her first fish, or watching your son’s eyes light up as we stand in the control room at NASA where history was made on the first visit to the moon.  No person can put a price tag on these moments for our family.  This is what we traded it all for—being present in the moment.  It is not always perfect, but after experiencing it, we wouldn’t trade it for anything.

We’re Still Young!

Or, so we’d like to think.  We have been blessed with good health and a passion for life, why would we wait to retire to live this life?  We want to explore and enjoy the youth that we still have.  Now, I know that many people stay young and vibrant as they get older and won’t let their age hold them back, but for us there was no reason to take the gamble that we will feel good enough to do all the things that make a life on the road fun and exciting to us.  If we could do this, we wanted to do it now, and as a family.

Meeting America

Our life is more than just rolling around in our trailer.  The communities we have come across while on the road have taught us many lessons.  This journey is about reaching out and touching the real America.  The relationships we have built and incredible people we have met have rekindled the notion that good still exists in this world.  Some of our new friends have encouraged us, others have inspired us and many have made us feel like part of their family.  We are certain that many of the relationships we have built will remain lifelong friends. 

Outside of meeting people along the way, there are those moments we dive into the area’s culture.  Whether it means jumping into judging at a BBQ Cookoff in the Texas hill country or touring the Acadian French history of Vermillionville, we LOVE this part of travel!  We enjoy every moment of experiencing the uniqueness of our nation and the people who make our country great!

Exploring God’s Wonders

We are nature junkies.  Sunsets.  Sunrises.  Waterfalls.  Oceans.  Forests.  We’re not picky.  There is something to be said for the serenity nature provides.  I think God gives us nature, because we need it!  We need time to let it all go and nature provides that perfect outlet.  It doesn’t really matter how we experience it, whether hiking, biking, kayaking, swimming, or just sitting in it.  The great outdoors is a special place and we find ourselves drawn to it.  Taking a walk under the starry sky or a nature hike to the top of a peak is more than just exercise for us.  These moments create time for our family to enjoy each other, create fresh conversation and allow us to fully unplug from everything else.  In these fifty states that make up our great country, there are countless places to explore.  The freedom that we are given with a home on wheels gives us the perfect opportunity to see a glimpse of each state’s treasures.  It is our home base as we roll through some of the most majestic and beautiful places this country has to offer.

To LIVE an Amazing Life

Ok, so the truth is, we have one chance to do life.  My husband and I honestly feel that God was pulling on our hearts to live bigger lives.  We were letting our lives pass us by, instead of embracing our opportunities.  We could have chosen to stick with our busy life in the suburbs.  We could have let fear keep us there, but we knew we were cut out for something different, something more.  As we researched this lifestyle, there was no doubt that we wanted on board.  It became clear pretty quickly that we were ready to jump into adventure and leave it all behind with no looking back.  It was time to enjoy the uniqueness of each day and new place.  There was an undeniable pressing on our hearts that this was going to be the next step in life.  It was time to risk it all in order to trade it in for this incredible epic adventure of a lifetime!  It came down to one simple question, “If we do this and we follow this urge, what’s the worst that can happen?”  And with that simple thought, the rest is history.