On June 11, 2013, we hit the road with our house on our back and a long list of places to go and things to see. We had no idea we would get to meet the President, stay in an apartment in New York City, receive complimentary tickets to Williamsburg, tour so many wonderful museums, stay in a home 3 blocks from the beach, ride the rapids on the Snake River, or encounter so many friends out yonder, but sure enough those are just a few of the many highlights of our trip.
It was our goal to visit each of the 48 states in the Continental US and their Capitol buildings. Wow!! It is hard to believe we’ve made it.
Though our trip has ended we are left with memories and an expanded concept of learning, family, and home. In taking this adventure, we decided it best to sell our house and put everything we couldn’t part with (too much stuff) into storage. Now that we’ve decided to come home to St. Louis, (still working on the details of housing) we plan to hold onto the lessons we’ve learned throughout the year and of course continue to learn from them. It has been awesome to see how, independent of any one place, home is where we feel God’s love and express that love and support to each other.
Along the way, as we met with friends or made new ones, we were often asked why we did the trip and how it came about. For some, it is a crazy idea. Countless others have expressed that they too always wanted to do something like it. Most, never took the plunge. Perhaps they have more sense than we do, and most likely have a larger savings account, but we have no regrets and I get the sense from so many their regret for never having tried.
The idea for this trip took root almost 30 years ago with a trip that my dad and I never took. I grew up RVing with my family. In fact, I’ve heard stories about my first RV trip as a 6 month old baby, taking a bath in the kitchen sink. I think we were on the road for 6 weeks in a rented motorhome. The RV bug never left my dad. He had all sorts of different RVs, mostly motorhomes throughout his life. He never did get his dream rig though – a conversion bus Prevost. Back when I was in middle school, we had talked about buying a used bus and spending the 4 years of my high school converting it into a top-of-the-line rig that we would use to travel the US for a year.
It stayed only a dream for my dad and was quickly forgotten by me as I got busy with friends, school, and sports. But I guess the idea never truly left me. I continued to love RVing with my dad and Kim took to it as well after we were married.
Shortly after our second daughter was born, during one cross-country trek, Kim and I were talking about dreams. I mentioned the trip my dad and I never took, and we wondered if we could do it. Could we spend a year living on the road seeing the country? It was too crazy to be serious about, but we sure had fun exploring the possibility. At the very least, we thought through what would be the right time to make it happen: Natalie would need to be old enough to read independently and actually remember the trip; and, Mackenzie would need to still be young enough to not be so involved in school and friends where she would miss out on too much. We settled on 6th grade and 3rd grade. As it turns out, we were right :).
As the years went by, we continued to think about the trip and talked about how it might work and so on. As you can read in some of the posts, my Dad was instrumental in helping us take some of those initial steps, even finding us the truck we are using to haul our 5th wheel camper. Getting the truck was just the start, but were we really going to do this? Kim has mentioned several times how she knew I was “all in” when I packed up my home office one day.
It has taken a lot of faith and we had several hurdles to overcome, but what an adventure. We loved it! And we love sharing it with friends and family on the rest of this site. Enjoy our story and who knows, we might just inspire you to explore the country, or world, out yonder.