First and foremost, it is actually hard to believe that a whole year has actually gone by. It really does not feel like we have been gone more than a few weeks. But, when we look back at the maps and all the photos it is
obvious we have covered some serious ground. When we set out, we had no intention of seeing every single thing in our path. The plan was to visit areas and enjoy all we could and stay until we felt the urge to move on. Of course we had a rough plan of our route and main destinations on our radar. In fact we did manage to squeeze in all the things we had in our minds….and then some.
That brings me to our first realization, we had way to many “hard date” events. Here is a rough list of the types of things I am referring to: 2015 Daytona 500, Disneyworld for Spring Break with the kids, Richmond
Internation Raceway for a Nascar Race, National Police Week in Washington DC, Dover International Raceway for a Nascar Race, Eldora Speedway for a Nascar Race. While each and every one of these visits was totally amazing, it really affected our travel process. Our feeling was that we would like an average stay a minimum of three nights at each stop and try and drive no more than 150-175 miles between locations. Due to scheduling of many of these stops, we often found ourselves rushed from place to place. This meant we would have to either string together single night stays and drives of 150-200 miles for many days in a row, or stay in a place for 2-3 days and have to drive 300-400 miles from stop to stop. We did a little bit of both. In our minds we know this is a “lifestyle” we are living and not a vacation, but our decision to pick so many events spread across the
country often gave it a vacation feel. Having visited all 50 states with our three sons via RV prior to them turning 18, we are VERY familiar with a constantly moving RV trip. Those vacations were awesome, but not what we wanted for our fulltime living style. Going forward, we are going to give much more thought to particular events and what it means to get from one to another. No need to try and do everything in one year, after all, we have our entire lives!
Distance is another factor. If you review our travel map you will see we covered ALOT of ground. From our start on 9/1/2014 thru 9/1/2015 we drove the RV a total of 14,204 miles and visited 33 states. That is ALOT of ground in our opinion. Excited for our new lifestyle we set out to visit all the family we could. Spread all across the country it really packed on the miles. Family stops included Salmon, ID – Boston, MA – Charlotte, NC – Cleveland, OH – Well, MI – Oklahoma City, OK. Again, would not trade any of the visits for the world, just alot of miles involved. In future years we will not make it to everyone all around the country, but we are glad we managed it this year.
We learned not to worrying about details of traveling. As we suspected, reservations arer not necessary most of the time. Our preference is to boondock, followed by state/county/city park locations. Other than places like Florida in the winter or holidays, locating a spot to stay has been easy (at least for me as the driver). Toni spends quite a bit of time searching out potential places to stay and does an amazing job. In the entire year there have only been a couple of spots we stayed that we would classify as terrible or scary. We are also happy to report we accomplished our goal of NOT staying at a Walmart overnight. No particular reason for this goal,
other that we just did not want to do it. BUT, that is not to say we have not taken advantage of free overnight stays at businesses and such. We HAVE overnighted at Cabelas, Gander Mountian, Roadside Diners, Visitor Centers, The RV Hall of Fame and even Cracker Barrel. By FAR our favorite way to overnight on the road is with Harvest Hosts. Thru their program we have stayed at family farms that raise everything from goats to fruit, diners, museums, wineries and breweries and farmers markets. Our only complaint is that we have not made even more stops along the way. The location to park overnight is free, but that does not mean it ends up being free. The whole idea is that you support local businesses in exchange for their hosting you for the night. We have meet amazing people and enjoyed countless wines, beers and local farm fresh food. Without a doubt we would much rather spend our $$ to support a local business than at an RV park. There will be many more Harvest Host nights in our future.
An area we have struggled is meeting other full time travelers. Part if this comes from the fact that we “did it all wrong” for about half the year. While intelligent RVers were headed to nice mild climates, we started our adventure heading into Idaho in the winter! Most all the state parks and boondocking locations we had all to ourselves. Amazing places, but not a good way to meet people. Another issue is me. For whatever reason, I
have always been sort of an introvert and not great at meeting people. I have been focusing on “getting out of my comfort zone” for a while. Still a long way to go, but I really plan to make it happen this next year. Toni on the other hand is terrific at striking up conversations. Good thing or we would never meet anyone! Through blogging I have meet quite a few other full time travelers and love following along on their adventure as well. For one reason or another we have not meet up with many yet. We are looking forward to an upcoming event where we hope to change all that. We are part of the Xscapers, which is a part of the Escapees club that is focused on younger working age full time travelers. At the beginning of October, we are attending the first even “convergence” at the Balloon Fiesta in New Mexico. Many of the others I have followed along with will be part of the group. We hope many others like ourselves looking to meet like minded travelers will be there as well. I have promised myself make the most of our time and step outside my comfort zone and participate fully.
As we roll into our second year we do have some things we would like to see change. One thing Toni has always loved doing is volunteering. On the road we have not had too much opportunity to volunteer. We are actively seeking ways we can volunteer this next year. Along the same lines we are wanting to do a good deed for someone each day. Not each other, but people we encounter in our lives each day. This will take some training, but we are confident we can in fact make it happen.
Bottom line, we are LOVING this lifestyle. There is only so much time to enjoy life, you have to follow your dreams. By no means is it easy, but we have proven to ourselves that all the hard choices and decisions we made to get where we are right now have been TOTALLY worth it. We want to thank everyone that endures my writing and choses to follow along on our crazy adventure. Our hope is that we inspire others to listen to their hearts to follow their dreams…..This entry was posted in Blog and tagged fulltime, gorving, kuhl, kuhlodyssey, livingthedream, nomadiversarry, nomadlife, rvblog, rvlife by Kurt Kuhl and comments are open.