A question from a reporter the other day REALLY threw me for a loop. I don’t get tongue tied very often, I don’t get caught off guard, I mean most of the questions we field have been asked and answered ad nausea, right? Seriously when is the last time anyone read anything surprising, shocking or new about us? 2012?
The question was this: “WHY?”
I know it’s a simple enough question, a loaded one perhaps, but simple. I know why. Dan knows why, the kids know why, but do any of you know why????
I thought, maybe you all deserve to know our why. Maybe you all who have stuck with us through the good times and the bad times for the past who knows how many years, maybe you would like to know?
Maybe it could help you, inspire you, empower you … I dunno. I mean it’s our Great Life Story. But then, maybe not, but I’m going to share with you our why … but first …
Table of Contents
Everyone knows WHAT we do, right?
We travel nearly full-time with our family of 14 in a 36’ RV. We are adventure travelers seeking the locals experience everywhere we go. We homeschool our kids, we kayak, climb, bike, snowboard, etc. Ok?
Some know HOW we do it.
Dan is a self-employed software engineer and together with our kids we are building a health and wellness company that will be our bread and butter family business. We serve, we get families healthy, fit and active. We help people get their own businesses off the ground. We want to make a difference and God is calling us in a HUGE way right now, in a direction we never saw coming and one that is completely outside our comfort zone!
And that leads us to WHY?
We do this because of a vision that we had for our lives, that got forgotten and then remembered.
We started our lives together gung-ho on living an extraordinary life, but we struggled financially, we were young parents who came up short every month, and so we made the conscious decision to join the rat race, the 9 to 5 scene.
We got sucked into the 1.5 hour commute, the two weeks vacation, TGIF, the Monday grumble. Dan worked his way up the ladder and was making a comfortable living. We bought a house when Brody was born, our third beautiful child. We had nice cars, our kids attended a private school, we dressed to the nines, but we were living what we swore we would never be. Apart.
We sought change. In 2000 in a 30 day time span we made the decision to move, sold our house in Northern Virginia and actually moved across the country, to Colorado. It was an amazing adventure, and the craziest thing we had done to date … outside of getting married and having children!! 🙂
Our vision was freedom. It was to never ever in one million years say the words, “TGIF” or have a case of the “Mondays”. Oh how I loathed that mentality. 5 days per week … just waiting for them to pass. “What a waste of a life”, I thought!
Our vision, our idea of a dream life, was to live in the moment and for everyday to feel like a weekend. It was to not conform to dogma, but rather to live our own lives, go after our own dreams, whatever they may be in whatever fashion that may take. Our vision, boiled down to our desire to make the most of our time … to be together, to parent together, to experience life together, to be crazy together and to grow old together.
In 2012 we found ourselves kayaking and, in truth, it was a life changing experience. Suddenly, the kids no longer wanted to go to football, hockey, or soccer practice. And suddenly, we no longer wanted to take them. We pulled our kids our of school, to homeschool them so we could spend more time together on the river. We then bought an RV to facilitate traveling around the state with our brood, to kayak. And then …
After an RV trip to TN was coming to an end in Sept 2012, we found ourselves, all of us, unhappy about the prospect of returning home, and it is in that moment that we unconsciously rekindled the vision. We decided to travel fulltime. Literally in a span of 5 minutes, we made the decision to go home and sell everything we owned, the house included, and travel fulltime.
And we did. Until the house wouldn’t sell because the timing was bad and the housing bubble, although seriously delayed, hit our Valley. Truth be told, I thankful it didn’t sell, but at the time, it was a bit of a bummer. Specifically because we found ourselves in the financial position of having to rent in order to afford a fulltime travel lifestyle and a mortgage to boot.
The funny thing was, we had sold almost all of our belongings so we actually had to go out and buy furniture in order to rent VRBO, which is where the money is at!
Dream Life: Our Great Life Story
Suddenly we weren’t living a life that was set up for us by people who were no smarter than us! We weren’t “paying our dues”. We were living our lives, by our rules, in our crazy spontaneous fashion. It was amazing.
We are rebels at heart. Everything we do, we do because we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in doing things differently than what has been laid out before us.
And the way we challenge the status quo is by breaking down the walls that society has built and living unconfined, unrestricted and completely free.
We’ve made a beautiful life refusing to conform … we hope and pray our children find the courage to follow their own dreams, in their own fashion, on their own terms …
We hope and pray you do to! 🙂
Saw you on Global BC News this morning and loved your story!! I am a retired professional photographer, living in a Seniors’ mobile home park. I kayak the Campbell River estuary, and my best friend is a Mute Swan who I feed every day. I bought a wonderful 33 year-old 29ft Triple E Leocraft diesel motor-home a couple of years ago, which is now ready to go, but haven’t gone anywhere with it yet. Joan and I have considered selling out and hitting the open road. We did a motorhome trip across Canada in 1995 and have often thought of doing it again as a lifestyle change. Your story has renewed that dream! Maybe we will cross paths out there somewhere. As the oldest (now 78) of 5 siblings, I can identify with your ark-load of kids, and the babysitting that might be needed to give you a break!!! Thank you for your story!
What an incredible life story you have!! So glad our story has inspired you, we would love to meet you out on the road!!!
When you first started on the road, what did you do for health insurance? How has that changed over the yrs.?
Tricky, tricky issue, with Obamacare destroying the healthcare system … we are selfpay. We also use sites like amwell.com and take great strides in keeping ourselves healthy by eating well and taking vitamins!!
“… we were living what we swore we never would be. Apart.”
This. This is the reason we are taking our three kids out of a private school and community as absolutely adore. I’ll admit, I’m planning (and hoping) it’s just for a year, because it’s truly bittersweet. But I feel like I don’t even know my older two, and time with them just goes too quickly.
Thanks for echoing the words of my heart, and giving me a little encouragement.
Whether it’s one year or more or less, I’m sure you will do what feels right for you!! Hope our paths cross out there …