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.
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.