1. Why did you decide to move into an RV?
Chris and I have always talked about living full time on the road since the day we got married. We've always gone to RV dealers to tour them, check them out and to dream. In the end, we just never thought it was possible to be able to live our dream until we actually saw others doing it and then that got us thinking.... why not us? Chris and I were not made for the typical wash and repeat cycle in this thing called life. We are adventurers and love to see the world, we are explorers and love to experience, we are minimalists seeking out the simple life and most of all we are setting out to create our own memories of what we think is important in life by spending quality time with our kids learning, experiencing and playing.
On top of wanting to live this kind of lifestyle, we've both experienced alot in the past nine years that have shown us just how short life truly is. On Nov. 16, 2007 our son, Montana, was diagnosed with Leukemia at 2.5 years old and on Aug. 19, 2009 my brother, Sgt Paul Dumont Jr. was killed while serving in Afghanistan. His motto was "Just livin the dream". It's because of those experiences that it has opened our eyes to what is really important and none of those are "things". The simple life is what we crave and it is our goal to share that with our children. We've also come to the realization that if we don't do this now, we know what we will return to. However, if we go ahead and do this, then our future is unwritten. Having a fear of the unknown is the greatest fear of all but sometimes you just have to go for it... trust in the Lord and know that His plan is much bigger than ours.
"Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes." - James 4:14
2. How did you downsize all your belongings? Was it easy?
Have you ever just looked around your house at all the "stuff" you have accumulated? Do you use all of it, need any of it, or just store it? I've done lots of traveling and we are one of the only countries who keep, hoard and buy things we don't really need. We have 3 kids who have tons of toys and yet never play with over 75% of them. They would much rather be outside riding their bike, playing at the river, running, swimming in the waves and climbing trees. The memories we have created don't include materialistic things. They are experiences that we enjoyed and sights that have been seen. So, we decided to sell, get rid of or trash 90% of our belongings to live a more simple life. We sold items on Craigslist, had yard sales (they didn't work too well here), gave away, trashed and donated things for the past 12 months. There is still a little left and all of that we will either take with us or store until the future. Once you begin to downsize and live without, you realize just how little you actually need in order to survive and be happy. In all honesty... it's very little.
3. What about your kids and school? Is this something they will enjoy?
We have been un/homeschooling for the past three years and will continue to do so as our life on the road begins. We tend to use a mixture of different programs as well as unschool. Experiencing life and actually using it first hand is when our kids learn the most. Our children have been fortunate to travel to roughly 31 states as well as other countries. They do great traveling and love the life of learning while on the road.
YES, this is definitely something they will and do enjoy. They ask every single day when we will get to travel to more states! :) We went on a road trip for three weeks living out of hotels, cabins and friends' homes... they cried when it was time to come back. They all love the road, sightseeing, making friends at campgrounds and enjoying the outdoors... We as a family are drawn to the open country.
4. What kind of RV do you have?
We used to be the owners of a 2001 Monaco LaPalma. It was 34 feet, had two slideouts, and only 22,000 miles. It was the biggest disappointment and because of that, we purchased a 1971 Sunline vintage camper and said good bye to the LaPalma. It's been amazing!
5. How do you fund your lifestyle?
We've decided as a couple that we are after excitement and working in hands on environments. So far, Chris has worked at Ron Jon Surf Shop in Cocoa Beach, Fl and at American Adventure Expeditions in Buena Vista, CO. It's been an amazing experience that we've all loved so we know that we'll continue to travel where there is work. I also have an online children's hair boutique that is on Etsy. You can see it at www.etsy.jessoatbowtique.com. We would love to travel continuously but we are not rich and need income just like everyone else, so that means settling down for months at a time in order to make this lifestyle a reality.
"Oh, and when the kids are old enough
We're gonna teach them to fly"
- Dave Matthews Band