Our First Month of Nomadism

Well, we did it! We survived a whole month of life on the road. And I think survived might be the best way to describe it (kidding, it was awesome 🙂 ). Jaime and I both agree it was an amazing month, but also exhausting and a lot of needed learning for how to make everything flow well while on the road. A good way to describe our life while on the road is chaotic (hence, why we have been so absent on IG & the blog, sorry!) And not in a bad way, a good chaos. But since we are new we are not sure if it is chaotic because we just need more time to find our groove, or if that is simply the name of the game. Time will tell. None the less, we had a blast and cannot wait to get back on the road while applying everything we learned and seeing more of our beautiful country.

So, here are some of our biggest take aways for life on the road:

1. Avoid the crowds. Just like everyone else in the world, we wanted to be in the mountains during fall. This resulted in way too many hours of looking for camping spots and then hearing they had no availability. When we finally found availability, it was usually for 3-4 days and we had to take it, even though we are not fans of moving that fast. Hence, why it was chaotic and exhausting!

2. For us, traveling without solar power kind of blows. We were on the east coast, so boondocking opportunities were few and far in between, but there were a few that we could have done but chose not to, because you can only listen and smell the exhaust from a generator for so long without going crazy. We ended up putting 1 solar panel on top of our minivan (I follow behind currently) and had a small makeshift solar setup. We used that twice and it helped, but could not get us through a whole night.

3. Not all dogs are camping dogs. I feel like this needs to be talked about more. All you ever see is that traveling with your dog is amazing and both of you will have a blast and don’t dare think of leaving them behind! Well, no this is not true. Some dogs are great travelers, but not all. And this is very hard for us to do, but we have decided our dogs will be staying with family when we leave next. We have 2 rescue dogs, one has major anxiety, and the other we call our grumpy old man. Boomer’s anxiety made walks miserable. Then add on the troubles you inevitably have while on the road, and Jaime and I were simply in over our heads. With a baby, a toddler, 2 dogs, a full time job, and not knowing where you were sleeping the next night, it was just too much.

4. Our bus is too big, but then also not. Let me explain, we could not be happier with our bus. It is our home that we built, it is our safe haven, our adventure mobile and we are all very comfortable in the space. But travel days can be stressful because of how large it is. Some days we do not mind it and the traveling flows well. Other days, we struggle finding a comfortable route, stops along the way, and then getting into our site is a stress fest. If we were struggling with the square footage, it would not be a big deal and we would deal with the travel day stress, but since we could easily go smaller, it makes it a little more frustrating. But for now, we are not trading it in to go smaller. We love it too much! (Tip: If you are looking to buy a bus or a rig, go in a lot of them and try to visualize your day to day. Remember, you can easily live with less and will probably realize you love it in the end. So don’t assume you need a 40 ft or a big fifth wheel if you are a family, look at all your options).

5. Making friends while on the road is the best. We joined fulltime families right as we were hitting the road and that has probably been our best decision yet. Meeting other families who live this lifestyle and have the same mindset is a blast, and reassuring! Especially since we have 2 kids, this was almost a no brainer for us. They had a week of endless friends to play with and it was so great to make lasting friendships. And we can’t wait to caravan and see them again in our travels!

6. Flexibility is the key to success. If you are rigid in your schedule and expectations, you are setting yourself up for heart ache. Being flexible means you can caravan with newly made friends, take a detour to an unexpected attraction, align your route to see time sensitive things (Elk in rut for example). Also, “life” will always happen. Your slide won’t go in, your engine won’t start, you don’t have cell signal at your new location (& you realize this after you just set camp up & have a work meeting in 30 minutes) . Simply put, you have to just learn to roll with the punches.

7. Be prepared for issues. Things will happen, regardless of if you have a new 2019 Momentum or a 97 bus conversion, so have some tools and know your rig. I have talked about this a lot in the past, and it will make everything easier if you are at least a little prepared.

8. Medical emergencies can happen and you can survive them. It was a bit of a whirlwind, but I ended up in the hospital for a night while on the road. Thank goodness it happened during our fulltime families hangout and everyone rallied around us and helped us get through, but it was not easy! Jaime had to manage the kids, dogs, take time off work, and deal with the stress of worrying about me too. Needless to say, it was stressful. But looking back it is rewarding to see that when the worst happens, you can get through it. Don’t let the fear of “what if” stop you from taking the plunge into life on the road.

I am sure there are other big take aways, but these are the ones that stand out to us the most. We have discovered the beauty of life on the road and how rewarding it can be to say no to fear and just go. We have learned so much and want to help those around us who are considering this lifestyle. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

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