Traveling for an extended period of time sounds like a dream, sounds like fun, right?
We thought so to and so we went and turned it into a reality. And it is everything we thought it would be and then some!
But, with reality comes real life obstacles that you need to deal with. And, if you have kids, fulltime travel can be slightly more complicated..
But, as they say, nothing worthwhile is ever easy and so over the past three years we have learned so much about RVing that we consider ourselves actual experts!!
There’s tons of information for baby boomers and retirees who are interested in fulltime RVing, but very little for families deep in the throes of raising children.
I think most families believe it sounds a bit impossible, but when you have a dream, nothing is impossible! When Dan and I found ourselves in the mountains of Tennessee in the summer of 2012, it didn’t seem so impossible. In fact, it seemed perfectly dramatic and intense and adventurous and … yes, crazy.
Of course, as we started making the dream of extended travel a reality the actual complications of traveling full time with kids came to light. The fears and worries could have sidelined our adventure, and quite possibly would have if it weren’t for our kids determination to make full time travel a reality. Kids are free-spirits, they have no baggage and see nothing but potential. Adults? Well we worry and over think; we have responsibilites and obligations and the what if’s can kill us.
My three biggest concerns were what we were going to do about doctors, dentists, orthodontists? Here’s how all that went down…
We easily managed the doctor issue. I spoke with our family doctor, explained our plans and he honestly seemed as excited as we were. He’s old school and doesn’t prescribe to the electronics era and the standardized testing … he thinks kids should be outside and that education is best served organically. I agree! 🙂
Today he’s available to talk and even prescribe little medicines for small issues like pink eye and random viruses. We also make sure to drive through town and visit for check-ups and shots every time we are in the area.
What’s more is that across the country there are Urgent Care offices should the need to actually see a doctor present itself. We’ve had to utilize an Urgent Care a couple times, once for strep throat and for two cases of extreme poison ivy. I’m not a big fan of Urgent Care facilities, although I must say we received great care and they are sure better than the ER!! The other good thing about Urgent Care is that they will see everyone, even new patients. We have friends all over the country and all of them love their doctors, however, very few of these doctors would see us, Urgent Care sees new and established patients!
And, then for emergencies, there is the ER, which unfortunatey we have been to twice in the past 3 years … once for stitches for Maddy and again when a boulder fell and crushed Grady’s hand.
We make it a point to be in Colorado at least twice yearly so preventive care and cleanings are easy, which is great because we totally love and trust our dentist.
Of course emergencies can happen and seeing that we are the poster family for Murphy’s law, a dental emergency has, of course, landed in our laps.
We were in Guntersville, AL and Rowdy developed an abscess! One day I was helping him floss and I saw a white spot on the side of his gum and so I Googled it. Within 3 minutes I was on the phone with our dentist in CO and then 5 minutes after that I immediately called a local friend who referred me to her dentist, in Soddy Daisy, TN.
It was a haul, about two hours, but she swore by this man, Dr. Richard Pritchard. Unlike doctors, dentists don’t turn away patients who aren’t established so we were able to schedule an appointment for the next day! Turns out Dr. Pritchard was a Saint. He was gentle, thorough and very inexpensive!
Point is, you can keep your dentist and go “home” every 6 months or you can make an appt at a dentist near you for those cleanings. Dentists are EASY!!
Now, the issue of orthodontists is the toughest! I’m not going to lie to you, we’ve had to make some concessions and some sacrifices.
We had three in braces when we first started traveling and now have two new kids in braces. It’s a slow process for a traveling family as the only option at the moment is to make every attempt to drive through our hometown as often as possible. Obviously when we are out East or in Canada or on the West Coast we don’t see the ortho for a couple months, but when we are within a few hours of our hometown, we make sure to schedule a visit.
Our current ortho isn’t terribly flexible with scheduling, so you can’t call even two weeks ahead, you have to schedule a month in advance, which for us is a near impossibility. But somehow we’ve managed to keep them moving forward. All this means is that it takes longer to get them through, and as a result, it is more expensive, but that’s a trade-off we are more than willing to make!!
Small adjustments have to be made when choosing such a dramatic and adventurous life. But these adjustments pale in comparison to the big picture. This is a chosen life, this is a life without compromise, this is a life on the road with kids. Would I ever change a thing? Not in a million years!
What’s stopping you from making your dreams happen? Feel free to email us with any questions, we are more than happy to help!! 🙂 Have fun and happy dreaming!!