We were chatting the other day about life and our dreams on one of the beautiful drives we take here in North Carolina. We both agree that we’re happiest when we’re on the road, traveling, seeing places, exploring new areas, etc. Adventures are exciting and (to us) are what make life worth living. I had recently come across this awesome blog about a couple who live on a sailboat almost full-time. They also have three little girls ages 3 and under. Yup, reread that. Three little girls 3 and under…on a sailboat. I mentioned to John on that drive how it would be really cool to live in an RV for a year or so and travel all across the US. I didn’t think he would agree to this idea, but he actually thought it would be really fun and when we got home he started looking at the cost of used RVs and all the different types.
And so an idea was born…
Our lease is up in January 2016, so we discussed how we could put our stuff in storage, trade in our SUV for a truck with better towing capabilities and purchase an RV (specifically, we would get a fifth wheeler). Ideally, we would spend a day or so driving and then 1-2 weeks at different campgrounds across the US. Tell me that wouldn’t be awesome?!
Of course, there are many MANY details to work out before (if) we make this dream a reality. For starters, we would need to save $10K minimum between now and December. We would pay cash for the RV with the plan of selling it when we got back to NC. We would have to come up with a specific budget on what it would cost us to live each month and figure out ways to make money while on the road so we didn’t go further into savings. We would have to plan out our route and so on and so forth.
The two biggest concerns of ours are as follows:
1. John would be putting his career on hold
I would continue to freelance and grow my business from the road, but being real I know it would be harder to work when we’re exploring and traveling. Also, internet connection in certain areas could be finicky, which would make it impossible for me to work. John’s career, though, is the one we’re more concerned about. He’s been doing very well in the past 5 months of him working for himself. If we left for 6-9 months next year, he would basically have to start from scratch when we got back. Not the end of the world, but it’s probably not the smartest decision financially. If we stayed here and continued working and growing our businesses, we would be able to save more money for a down payment on a house, keep the girls on their regular schedules, contribute more to retirement, etc.
2. We would be RVing across the country with a 3-year-old and a 2-year-old
Part of me can’t help but wonder that this would be a death sentence for us, by choice, haha. Just kidding there, but in all seriousness traveling in an RV with kids would be extremely difficult, especially with the girls being so young. They go to bed at 7:30, but living in an RV would be similar to living in a hotel…if they go to bed, we essentially have to go to bed. I don’t want to go to bed at 7:30…nor do I want to tiptoe around not being able to cook or bake or eat my nightly bowl of ice cream without waking them. I don’t know. This is a BIG concern for me. Most people who do long-term RV traveling are retired and have grown kids. Part of me thinks that it would be much easier to live out this dream once the kids are grown.
While this idea just came to be about a week ago, I’m actually losing sleep over this. Part of me thinks – we’re young, we wouldn’t be going into debt, we have our whole lives to make and save money (what’s a 6-9 month break?), we’d be giving the girls an awesome experience and we’d get to see the U.S. now! And another part of me thinks we’ve completely lost our minds and there’s no way we would actually have fun living in an RV for 6-9 months, with or without kids, haha. I like space, I like my big kitchen, I love taking baths at night and I just really like being comfortable (don’t we all, haha). I’ve never liked camping (in a tent), so I don’t know why I’m so drawn to the idea of traveling long-term in an RV.
While deep down I don’t think this is something we will pursue, you never know. We don’t actually have to “decide” anything until September-ish, which would give us plenty of time to plan our route, shop around for trucks and RVs, put our stuff in storage, etc. It will also allow us to see if we met our savings goals and if this is even something we can financially afford to do. I’m torn…but I’ve always been a big dreamer and I’m happy that my husband is almost always on board with my crazy ideas.
Readers, what do you think? Are we nuts or is this something we should go for?
photo credit: Flickr via Abhimanyu