It has been about 8 months since Em and I finished renovating our RV and headed out on the road to visit all 50 states. We started out in Florida and are now in our 15th state, Idaho. In this post, I thought I would just share some of our experiences and what life in the RV has been like so far! (If you want to read more about how and why we are doing this trip, about our RV renovation, or about how we met, Em did a great job of explaining those things in other posts.)
So what is it like to live in the RV and on the road full-time? Size-wise, the best way that I could describe it is like going back and living in my college dorm on wheels. (Although I would have to say that Em is a way cleaner roommate than 3 guys bunking in one room =) Before we bought our RV, Em and I had never ridden in a motorhome let alone drove or camped in one before. So for us at the beginning, everything was a new experience! We had to get used to things like limiting our water, planning out when we were going to charge our electronics, or even just figuring out where there was a big enough parking space for our mammoth. Something as simple as where we are going to sleep can sometimes be a real chore. So far, we have been to 5 hotels/vacation rentals, 5 campgrounds, a couple of friends and families homes, and a whole bunch of Walmart, Cracker Barrel, and Home Depot parking lots!
It was a little scary heading out on our trip at the start. After all, Em and I had no idea how we would really like living on the road full-time. (But a great way to get over that fear is to quit your jobs, buy an RV, and sell your stuff =) But we have been loving our adventure together and the memories that we have made so far.
Of course, that’s not to say that every moment has been completely amazing on our trip. We have definitely had plenty of awesome moments, some less-than-awesome moments, and a lot of laughs and lessons along the way!
Many awesome moments include trying things that we wouldn’t get to experience in our normal 9-5 life. We have had a lot of fun this trip doing things like swimming with sharks, attending the Billboard Music Awards, and freefalling from 120 feet in the air.
But we have found that some of our favorite memories of the trip have come from some spur of the moment experiences. Things like traveling on back roads that we will probably never get to see again or meeting new people! Just keeping our schedule open and trying new things has lead to some pretty unique and awesome experiences. That is how I found myself riding in a Corvette passenger seat through a time trial course!
We were walking around the football stadium of Baylor University when Em spotted about 20 corvettes from all different years. We stopped to watch them as they raced through cones and sometimes spun out on the course. Em and I both thought that it was pretty cool and were curious to find out why the Corvettes were racing in the Baylor stadium parking lot, so Em suggested that we walk down to the cars and talk to some of the people. But it was lunchtime, and at the time I was a little more interested in food than talking to strangers in the middle of a parking lot. =)
Fortunately I listened to my wife and not my stomach, and we ended up talking to the president of the Corvette club, who told us that a couple times a year the owners of the Corvettes come from all over to test out their cars and try to beat their own times on the course. Next thing I know, he asked me if I wanted to ride in the passenger seat on his next time trial. I thought he was joking until he brought me a helmet and a safety waiver to sign!
Next thing I know, I am buckled in and swerving around the cones on the course. At one point, I thought for sure that we were going to spin out, but the driver did an awesome job of navigating us through the course! They were the nicest people and I had an awesome time! Which is a great reminder of why I should always listen to my wife instead of to my stomach. ;)
But of course, there are also sometimes those not-so-awesome experiences on our trip. I mean after all, what could go wrong with a 39 foot home on wheels? ;) Em and I like to call some of these moments “once in a lifetime experiences.” As in we hope that these experiences only happen to us once in our lifetime! =)
One of these “once in a lifetime experiences” happened to take place right as we were stopping by the World’s Largest Ball of Twine for a “quick” picture in Cawker City, Kansas. Now, for those of you who aren’t too familiar with the World’s Largest Ball of Twine or Cawker City, the main thing you need to know for this story is that it is almost smack dab in the middle of the U.S. and about 85 miles away from the closest Walmart or RV service station.
So Em and roll into Cawker City, population 451, and jump out of our RV to take some pictures next to the world’s largest ball of twine and add some twine ourselves to help extend its 8 million foot length by an extra couple of feet. =) But when we hopped back into our RV to head to our next destination, we couldn’t go anywhere. Our parking brake wouldn’t disengage and our air suspension light was on. So we spent the rest of the day trying to find someone who (1) worked on air suspensions and (2) was willing to drive out to the World’s Largest Ball of Twine to come fix it. The good news is that Em and I got to sleep about 30 feet away from the World’s Largest Ball of Twine, which I imagine not too many people can say that they did =P. The next morning, our RV was fixed and we were on our way!
Em’s sister often quotes the saying that everything in life is either a good time or a good story, and we have had many great times and great “stories” so far on our trip. In a way, that is kinda the coolest part about this trip: not knowing what lies ahead and getting to go through it all together and find a way to make the most of each situation and enjoy the journey along the way! Although we definitely hope that we don’t have too many more “once in a lifetime experiences” on our trip, we are excited to see what lies ahead in our journey to the next 35 states!