The Geeks

We both hope to contribute to this blog – Tricia will provide more of the travel commentary, and Keith will weigh in on technical decisions & maintenance. We can be reached at geekyexplorers(at)gmail(dot)com.


The Geeks with Two of the Kids

Update to Our Story (2013)

When we hit the road, we had visions of staying in the RV and being mobile. Things don’t always work as planned. After our dog Samantha’s expensive bi-lateral FHO surgery and our paid off vehicle dying at the end of 2011, we formulated a new plan as money went faster than we anticipated. We chose Portland as our destination and planned a 3-5 year work stop to pay off all of our debt & save for a larger adventure. I got a full time position, and Keith got a contract, we rented an apartment downtown & bought furniture.

Then life happened in 2012 – my father passed away at the age of 60, and a few months later an uncle passed away at the age of 61. Keith & I both started thinking about our life span and what we wanted to accomplish.

Yes, it was great that we downsized and kept things minimal. Even though furniture was purchased, it consisted of only enough to live in a 700 square foot studio.

Yes, we loved Portland and our jobs didn’t suck. (Portland will always remain a draw to come back & work – this city is fabulous!) It was great that we still had adventures & travels around the PNW. But our wanderlust and need to explore, coupled with the reality of life is too short made us update our plan…again.

I gave my company 3 months notice that I was leaving, as did Keith. We both didn’t plan on such a short stop & wanted to provide enough notice to be replaced with minimal impact to the businesses.

We are currently back in the RV and getting ready to set off in May for more travels. We know that we will need to get back to work in the fall. This time, we will abandon any plan of permanency and know that contracting is a more viable option for both of us. We just have too much to explore & exploring is what makes us both happy!

Our Story (2011)

It started with a paid relocation by a company in November of 2009. When we realized we filled up an entire semi truck with our stuff, even after throwing out a curb full, something clicked. We have to get this under control!

When we made it down to Georgia, we immediately started downsizing our stuff. Craigslist and garage sales, we managed to get rid of a lot (or so we thought). We donated a truckful of items to a local organization which included two bedroom furniture sets, a desk, a flatscreen tv, and 10 boxes of various items, among other things.

A year later, another move, this one because the house we were renting went into foreclosure. We thought we had done a great job downsizing, but then ended up still having to make 2 trips with the largest uhaul we could rent.

I remember telling Keith I just couldn’t go through another move like this and his line was: Remember how I thought it would be cool to travel the country in an RV(or live out of a boat)? I was finally on board.

Because of our animals (and more specifically our German Shepherd Samantha who has bad hips), a boat was out. But an RV sounded like something that just might work. We dove in, looking at all different models and configurations trying to find the perfect fit – within our budget. For awhile it looked like a 5th wheel was going to come out as a clear winner, until we had to factor in buying a truck that could haul it. Our little shopping cart of a chevy wasn’t going to cut it. I also had some…struggles with the décor in many of the used models we were seeing. After ripping down wallpaper, and painting over mauve walls in homes we’ve owned, the last thing I wanted was a project.

Amazingly, we found a Class A that not only fit our budget, but didn’t need any major work. Low mileage, and a couple that was selling it at trade-in pricing. They just wanted it to be used more than the twice a year they were using it. Done!

So how are we doing this? We are not retired, or wealthy. No inheritance or a huge savings account begging to be spent.

What we did do is position ourselves in the IT market to easily accommodate the ability to work remotely, or to contract. We have about 50 different paths we could travel, depending on what comes our way. Contract for 6 months, then travel for 3? Work remotely and travel around the country, spending a few months in each area? Find a job that we can work 6 months in the ‘good’ weather & travel away from the ‘bad’, returning to the same ‘good’ spot each year? Contract a year, take off for a year? We have a few concerns regarding weather, as we found our two AC units don’t quite keep up in the southern summer heat but we will cross that bridge when we come to it. There are always options.

What we are looking forward to is the opportunity to get back to the basics – back when we first started out our life together over 15 years ago. Not owning much and doing active things outdoors. Back when we weren’t buying a house to fit our things, but just excited to have a job and each other. We know we want to travel overseas but before we do that (and while we have furry monsters) we want to see our country – as much of our country as we can while we are healthy enough to do it.

We are looking forward to some grand adventures, interspersed with some rewarding jobs.

41 thoughts on “The Geeks”

  1. Just found your blog, great site! We’ve just returned from an RTW, but we’re dying to do a big camping road trip across the U.S. Can’t wait to read more about your adventures. Thanks for all the details!

  2. Hi there — so great to have found other geeky explorers out there! We are about to get started on a cross-country trip in our effort to become location-independent. We will be watching your travels and website with interest!

  3. Tricia and Kieth,

    What an awesome adventure! I am so jealous! I look forward to catching up on your travels and to hearing new posts!


  4. Thought I’d already left a message but don’t see it so I’ll just mark it up to old folk forgetfullness. Love keeping up with you and I do both here on the blog and on FB. You’re traveling some of the territory we traveled last summer. We had torrential rain in Redding. One of the Redding Chamber of Commerce brochures noted it was the sunniest cities in the country. Ha. I think I saw on FB that you’re working for a while in Portland. Money is good. Enjoy and keep up the posts.

    1. Thanks for the note – hope you are enjoying your new beast, although I admit I haven’t read many blog updates these past few weeks. Yes, money is good & needed, unfortunately. On the plus side, we dig Portland & can’t wait to catch our breath & start exploring this area. Safe travels!

  5. So sad to hear about the loss of Ariel. Our son and his wife had to help their dog Over the Rainbow Bridge last week and like you, they are having a really difficult time. They’d had her 15 years.

    Enjoy your time in Portland. Have you seen the gay billboards? Hold on to Keith!

    Save those dollars and we’ll see you again soon, I hope.

    1. Thanks and sorry to hear about your son & his wife. It’s so hard losing a furry kid, especially one that has been such a part of your life for so long. I’ll hold on to Keith – lol. We love the city so far, but definitely look forward to the open road as soon as we can!

  6. Interesting story. I know that I really need to go that hard exercise of downsizing as well — how do we accumulate so much stuff?

    1. John – isn’t it crazy? What’s good is we really don’t miss the majority of the crap even after all this time. It is a hard exercise but so worth the results. Good Luck!

  7. Our 7 1/2 month old yellow lab is scheduled for bilateral FHO surgery this Thursday (4 days). I happened by your youtube videos of Samantha and had a few questions regarding rehab. Would you be willing to email me and I could ask you a few questions?

  8. Hello, we have a 1974 Coachman Motor Home which apparently has a rusted hot water tank. The original manufacturer of the tank was Mobile Temp and I think they are no longer in business. The cost of a new tank is at least $300 and then there is the matter of removing the old one and installing the new one. Do you know if we might be able to find a used hot water tank and also do you know if you have to take out cabinets in order to remove the old one and install the new one. I am on soc sec disability and we have limited finances. Thank you very much for any advice/suggestions Btw we are in upstate NY near Albany and the RV repairs places around here charge a min of $117.00 per hour for labor. Thank you and many blessings, Debra

  9. Have you written anything on here about traveling with the dogs. We LOVE our dog and are planning to head out full-time, but when I read the “rules” for various parks and campgrounds, it sounds so IMPOSSIBLE (especially when they say you can’t leave your dog unattended in your vehicle). We plan to do a lot of exploring on this adventure….so how does that work? Thanks so much! :)

    1. Thanks for your comment! I responded on our facebook page since I saw you posted the comment there first – but I do plan on writing a post detailing further how we traveled with our dog, and how we plan on doing it again this summer!

  10. Tricia & Keith,

    Wondering if you could provide a bit more info on living in PDX. I am looking to relocate there in a month or so in a 26 ft class A morpheme.
    I prefer to not boon dock and I would luv to be in the Alberta neighborhood and pay someone a couple hundred bucks for water and electric a month to stay on a lot, in a driveway etc. Any ideas where to post for this type of thing/ Craigs list?
    If I do boon dock where is a good place as I thought I read there were strict city laws regarding RV parking there.
    I did a bit of scouting there about two weeks ago. I also like the Mississippi avenue area.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.


    1. Hi Jennifer,

      We actually spent the majority of our time in Portland in a high rise downtown, so we don’t have too much information regarding stays in PDX with an RV. We chose to store ours (and now have a flooring project because of it!) The east side is fun & quirky and craigslist would probably be the best bet to advertise and look for a spot to park. We are currently at Roamer’s Rest and while it’s the burbs, it’s a decent spot that only lets people stay 3 months at a time. You will love Portland as a city – we sure do & know we will be back after some more travels. Best of luck & sorry we don’t have much info to pass on.

      Tricia & Keith
      PS Gotta love spell check. :)

  11. I just found your blog and have read all the way back to where you visited Charleston and Savannah. You commented that Keith grew up in Beaufort so i had to comment. I was stationed there in the early 80’s and two of my daughters graduated from high school there. Dont know you ages but my daughters were born in 1971 and 1974…….are you possibly near in age? My oldest Cretia Hamilton married Craig Myers also from Bft. My other daughter, Shannon still lives in Bft and married a Pennsyvania transplant, Brian Nagel.

    Anyway just wanted to see if you might know them.

    1. Hi Pete – thanks for reading & commenting!

      While I was born in ’74, Keith was born in ’67 so a bit older than your daughters. He doesn’t think he knows either one of them. Hopefully you get back to Beaufort every now & then to visit – I thought it was a great little town.

  12. I have traveled all over this Country as a Trucker on both major Hwys and Back roads ( much to the annoyance of dispatchers who always wanted to “Route” me) Since being disabled I have decided I missed my Nomadic life and have started RVing this time with hubby in tow. It’s a lot of togetherness…LOL But since he loves Astronomy and computers he has his diversions while I find mine in Art and volunteering as we travel.
    It is a whole different world now that I don’t have delivery dates and deadlines to adhere to and am loving it .
    Using your blogs and maps to find interesting places when we travel Thank You for that

    1. Thanks for your comments! I imagine that once you are used to a life on the road, it’s hard to get out of your system. I know that I get antsy a lot quicker now. :) Glad our posts have helped!

  13. Hey guys!

    Love what you’re up to and I noticed you all are living in Cincinnati. I work for and we’d love to connect with you all sometime (we’re a startup based out of Cincy and building out the “crown brewery” north of liberty into our office space!).

    Would you be free for a drink next week sometime? Happy to try someplace new or hit up the old stomping grounds of OTR.

    Let me know!

    Happy 4th :),


  14. I’m def not a geek by any stretch but your story is heartwarming and honest.
    With the tiny house movement in full swing it’s appropriate to question ‘ why am I living in a house with stuff I look at once in five years’ or — in my case—- I want to stop being reminded of the way things used to be and press on to seeing our country while I can still climb and walk well… lol !
    You are refreshing and encouraging…. we love geeks and nerds !

  15. I was reading your review of the camping clubs. Do you have any updates on them? In the article, you said you were looking for more data and wanted to stay at a few to get an idea of what they were like. Did you like any of them?


    1. Ben – we really never embraced the clubs much at all and even though it was our intention to try some of them out – we didn’t. Mostly because when we could, we stayed in state parks. When we couldn’t and our travel changed to staying in places longer, we opted for weekly or monthly rates which are cheaper. Best of luck in your travels & research!

  16. My husband retired in July and I will by the end of the year. Looking to buy a 2000 Dutch Star with 48,000 miles and head across the southern US during January, February and March. We have never traveled in an RV before and are very excited for the adventure. Love your blog! Thanks for all your knowledge. I will continue to follow!

  17. We are a few months behind you on completing the 48 contiguous states (Alaska maybe next year). Our last of 48 will be Illinois. It should be much less stressful than your 50th. How much was the ferry to get your RV to Hawaii? :-)

    Last year, North Dakota struck us as much depressed by the drop in oil prices. Hopefully it might be a little bit recovered by now?

    1. Congrats on being just a few months behind! That’s impressive and I know represents a lot of travels. To be fair, I didn’t say ALL states were visited in the RV – we admit to ‘cheating’ a bit by visiting Hawaii and Alaska via a cruise. :) Bismarck didn’t seem to bad, there were a lot of people out eating and drinking the nights we made it out, but we didn’t venture to a lot of towns outside the capital.

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