Joy, true joy, comes from the hope we have in our Lord Jesus. Happiness, however, is a little bit different. You might be searching for happiness in hobbies, friends, or a particular lifestyle. For us, we have always been joyful, but our happiest moments are when we can be together as a family, relaxed without a million obligations.
But, our typical American lifestyle naturally led us to a million obligations, mostly self-imposed: sports, music, meetings, mortgage - you know, “the American dream”. Those are all good things. But, they still require a great deal of time and money to manage and maintain all that goes along with those “good things”. Time on activities and time making money - time taken away from our family. It’s often said that “good is the enemy of great.” We kept thinking, how can we do things differently? How can we make things great? Maybe there is a better option for us for right now.
Juan and I have always dreamed of traveling with the kids. Since we homeschool and Juan works from home, we have always said that we could go anywhere. We decided to experiment by renting a cabin in the mountains for a week. Juan brought his computers, and we enjoyed escaping the heat of the Arizona desert for a short time. Then, the summer of 2013 came, and I was enormously pregnant with baby #4. I was fed up with the brutal 110+ degree temperatures. Luckily, my family has a vacation home in Cambria, California, and we decided to escape to the central California coast. The internet at the house had never been great, but the family had just recently been able to upgrade the service, so Juan was finally able to work from there. We packed up a small amount of clothes, a couple toys, some books, and lugged all of Juan’s computer gear with us. We lived by the beach for one glorious month. We had wonderful adventures, Juan was still able to work, and we didn’t miss a single thing we had left at home. A seed was planted. We continued this summer escape for the next four years.
As the kids were getting older and learning about the world around them, we wanted to start taking them to see, in person, many of the things that they were learning about. American history, science and nature, art, geography, and cultures will have a much richer meaning to our kids if they can experience them firsthand. Since our summer vacation house stays had gone so well, we started researching VRBOs in different locations we wanted to visit. Yikes!! The cost of plane travel plus house rental would be crazy for six people for all of the different places we wanted to go. Then, somehow in January 2015, I stumbled across a youtube video of a family of eight that had lived full-time in their RV for a year traveling the country. Juan had always suggested we RV for a vacation, but in the midst of being pregnant, nursing, and raising babies, I just couldn’t even go there. But now, our youngest baby was one, and I was starting to see the light at the end of the non-stop baby train tunnel. As I watched this family’s videos showing how they organized and lived in their RV, I started thinking, we could totally do this.
I decided to ask Juan what he thought about not just taking an RV vacation, but making a huge life change and hitting the road full-time. Without a second thought, he said, “Yeah, let’s do it!”
As we started talking through it, we decided that we would wait until the summer of 2017 to leave. Our youngest would then be nearly four years old and our oldest would be twelve. Kind of the golden years of kids ages. We very slowly started researching, falling deep into this crazy world (who knew there was this whole world of families doing the exact same thing?).
Since we have had almost two years to slowly research, plan, and watch other traveling families from afar, our excitement level about this journey is now overflowing. So, here we are. Dreaming, planning, ready to start an adventure. We’d love to have you follow along as we get ready to hit the road in June 2017.