Just a few days ago we celebrated our 3rd Anniversary of full time (almost) RV Living. We have grown and learned so much as individuals and as a family that we plan to continue for as long as possible. Traveling is quite possibly the greatest education one can receive and the fact that we are able to do so is not lost on us and we are eternally grateful. Keep reading as we describe what the last 3 years has given to us.
On May 10 we celebrated our 3rd anniversary as a traveling family. The past three years seem to be the fastest years of our lives. But you know what they say about time and having fun, right? Time sure does fly!!!
And having fun is an organic aspect of this life journey we are on.
I’ll have you know, friends and family were making bets on how long we’d last. They obviously don’t know us as well as they think they do.
Everyone was shaking their heads saying we were crazy. Yep, nothing new there, crazy in love with each other, our kids and life.
Then they tried to make us think our kids were going to suffer, “Well,” they pushed, “What about sports, friends, stability?”
We weren’t going to the moon, we tried to explain to them. We were simply taking our lives on the road. Traveling and sports, friends and stability all complement one another and all are mobile. Besides, even back then, our kids were each others best friends!
Any way you looked at it, RVing stood only to make our lives better. It was a way to travel affordably. And traveling was something we knew we had to do with our family.
You see, traveling enhances the kind of sports we are interested in, whitewater kayaking, snowboarding, climbing and caving, RVing literally opens up the entire continent as our backyard!!
Traveling offers the opportunity to make new friends from all different backgrounds. Today, our kids have friends in every location we’ve been to! Grady and Brody have dated girls in almost every location we’ve ever visited. I’m not worried about them.
Finally and most importantly, travel invites you to find stability in your family, in love and in yourself.
Aside from providing a firm belief in God, siblings and all the love in our hearts, travel is our greatest gift to our kids.
Independence, adaptability, self-reliance, self-esteem, family and the ability to find stability in these and not from a net worth. The opportunity to see different cultures, to realize they don’t need all their “necessities”, that they are stronger and more resilient than they ever thought!
Traveling opens our eyes and we cease to judge and begin to accept as we gain the knowledge that there are so many different ways to live and thrive. Travel teaches us to be grateful, that we are all the same, regardless of skin color or religious beliefs, you learn compassion in a way that far surpasses what mainstream society deems passionate.
Travel rounds out homeschooling and laughs in the face of the naysayers who bemoan the lack of socialization they perceive to be the case. Oh I tell you, socialization happens out there in the world, there is no denying this fact.
Real socialization, however, doesn’t take place in a classroom, it takes place when you step out of your comfort zone and into the real world, when you are not surrounded by people your own age, from your own socio-economic background.
Travel also presents us with opportunities to unearth our passions and our talents. A single minute, one chance meeting can change the course of our future or enable us to change the lives of others.
Since hitting the road, our priorities have changed. Our world view has been altered and even how we interact with people has greatly improved.
I can only assume this is due to the fact that we have weeded out all the distractions in life that have no real meaning to us as a family. Our lives, while amazing and full of adventure, fun and love before, are now solely focused on God, family, and making memories that will ensure we remain close and relevant in each of our lives.
We are happier than ever, we are closer than ever and we are smarter than ever.
Smarter in that we all have a renewed faith in community. Where we once thought that every living being was a self-absorbed, money grubbing, greedy, back-stabbing, jerk, we now know that 1) that isn’t true and 2) that we are each in control of who we let in.
Smarter in that we now know how to travel. It’s not about how many miles or how many places you’ve been, but rather how much time you’ve spent exploring each place and how much closer you’ve become to those you love in the time that has passed. And, equally important, it’s about the people you’ve met and invited into your heart and the people whose hearts you have touched.
I pray daily that we are making a difference in the lives of the people whose paths we cross. I hope that sandwich or that $10 bill given with a prayer moved someone to rekindle their love for our savior.
Or maybe someone was at the river and they saw us paddling with our kids, I’d love to think we inspire people to give something like kayaking a try because it’s transformed our lives greatly and kayaking continues to be a driving force in our philosophy of life — and it too is always changing.
I hope that our blogs and our videos make families aspire to be closer, to love more and to live more.
What I do know is that we’ve done something profoundly different and the very people who were the most vocal, “I would never do that”, are now the same people who are in the market for an RV or trailer. Most plan not to live in their RV full-time, but plan rather to make the family vacation something a bit more personal, exciting and less stressful.
A little Warning: From experience, it will make traveling easy and you will never want to take your regular car anywhere again. It will spoil you for having everything you need at your fingertips forever. And you very well make RV Living a reality as well … tread lightly!
Living in close proximity to each other and our things has spoiled us but it has also made us better spouses, better parents and our kids, better siblings. When we are in the RV we live a relaxed, educational, fun and God-filled life and we appreciate everything … from the sunset, to the sunrise and everything in between.
We control every aspect of our days. Of course, we have to work, that goes without saying. Dan busts his tail working as a software developer. He’s up with the sun so he can get a full day in before noon and free up the afternoon for adventure.
The kids, they have to do math, reading and writing … these subjects are part of our daily routine. All the rest of their learning is organic and traveling has transformed their education. Hands down, our kids are smarter at their age than I was graduating from VA Tech. They know more history, science, space, geography, math, government … everything! World Schooling has peaked their interest for information and made them eager to learn.
After work and school are behind us, we spend our lives engaging in the things we love to do together, as a family. Our motto is to have fun every day and to do something extraordinary every day. As such, we all wake with anticipation for the day – no hitting the snooze button, no grumbling, no moaning. More like jumping out of bed like it’s Christmas morning.
I can’t imagine a better way to live, I really can’t. And so this year we are discussing a Southern caravan into Central America. Depending on the kids’ schedule and whether anyone makes the US Freestyle Kayaking Team, we may be heading down in October.
It’s a dream that began to take hold of our hearts 2 years ago and there is no time like the present to put that dream into action. And to do it with the people we love.
After all that is what this life is about … LOVE.
This is absolutely amazing! WOW! I wonder how much better all of our lives would be if we all would spend even HALF the time you spend with your kids being genuinely dedicated to their lives and helping them experience the world.
Thank you Kim!!! There is nothing comparable to spending time with your kids!! I read your blog, you know!! 😉
This was nothing short of amazing. I was one if those people who thought you were crazy, maybe a little selfish, but crap, girl, you have it going on. You snuck in freedom and philanthropy and your kids are going to hit life out of the park. Jealous and very much inspired to get an RV. God bless you all. Jordyn and Pat
You truly are inspiring! My husband and I follow your blog and think you are amazing! We too homeschool (I only have 3 kids though :)) and recently started taking long rv road trips. No full time rv living yet…but it crosses our minds. Met your husband today standing outside your rv and felt like he was a celebrity :). You guys are definitely an inspiration!
Hey Stephanie!! Thank you so much!! We are gushing!! LOL. Isn’t homeschooling amazing? The freedom and then couple it with some extended travel and it’s so conducive to family life!!