When we first bought the Alpha 1 we only intended to go on weekend trips around Oregon. Maybe we would take a longer trip once a year when we had some vacation time. We are reasonable, responsible adults with jobs, but we also like to have a little fun now and then. It made perfect sense. We were just going to be weekend warriors and cram as much as we could into our 48 hour blocks of freedom.
It didn’t take us long to realize that this wasn’t what we wanted. We wanted to see more and do more than 48 hours allows. We also wanted to travel much farther than we could possibly do in a weekend.
It started with jokes. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just run away in this RV? Drive all the way to Alaska or Florida? Ha ha ha. But responsibilities, honey, remember those?
Then hypotheticals. If we did take off in the RV, where would we go? What would we do? Cue impressive brainstorming session of places we’ve always wanted to see.
When we both started researching how we could actually make this happen, running budget numbers, etc., we knew that this cat was never going back in the bag.
The finally leap was made during our trip to the Redwoods with our friends Cody and Jaz. They had just returned from a six month trip to New Zealand during which they hiked across the entire country. Impressive, I know. We told them what we were thinking – We want to spend a year traveling the US in our RV. Their reaction – Do it! That’s awesome. They told us about some of the people they met traveling in New Zealand, young people just out of college or taking breaks from their careers, but most notably, older people who wished they had traveled more when they were younger. I specifically remember one story about an older man who told Cody and Jaz that they “had their priorities straight.” We were encouraged and somewhere about midway through our hike to the Boy Scout Tree we made a decision. We were going to take a year off and travel the country in our RV, we would figure out the details later.
We were really nervous when we started proposing the idea to our families. We expected them to tell us it was an irresponsible plan, that we were being silly, it would never work. We got the opposite reaction. They loved the idea and were incredibly supportive. In fact, we have yet to get a negative reaction from anyone. Logistical questions, yes, but no negativity. I am starting to think that people universally like the idea of a grand adventure. Maybe they went on a grand adventure when they were younger. Or wished they had. Actually, one of the most common reactions we got was along the lines of, “Do it while you’re young because it gets harder as you get older and you will wish you had.” My favorite reaction was probably my parents when I asked if they thought we were crazy – “Well of course you are! But so are we and we’re having a great time!” We love you guys.
Along the way, Brandon proposed, we set a date for the wedding, and a timeline began to emerge. This wasn’t just a grand adventure. This was going to be our epic honeymoon adventure!
The planning thus far had been a lot of work and a little stressful at times but has also been one of those beautiful experiences where everything just falls into place. There is still much more work to do (both planning the trip and planning the wedding) but we are both very excited to finally announce our plan.
This is tentative but thus far the plan is as follows :
We will both quit our jobs at the beginning of March and spend the next two weeks or so doing some final packing and preparations. We intend to keep our house here in Oregon so we will need to get the place into “vacation mode” and finalize everything with the person who will look after the place in our absence. We are currently working on getting the RV mechanically ready for the long distance road trip so by that point it should just be a matter of moving the last of our belongings on board.
Once we are packed we will take off in the RV (along with our dog and two cats) and drive to Texas. This will probably be a quick trip rather than a scenic drive. Our last experience driving cross country with two cats was not pleasant for us or the cats. We don’t plan on taking any of our pets with us for many reasons. Thankfully, a family member in Texas has offered to keep all three of them for us while we are away. You know who you are and thank you a million times over. This truly would not be possible without you.
We think we will get to Texas in about a week. After that we will park the RV at my parent’s house while we work on last minute details for the wedding. Hopefully wedding planning won’t take up too much of our time because we also plan to spend some time visiting all of our family and friends in Texas! We have already thought of tons of great places to take the RV while we’re there.
And then the big event! On April 23rd we get married! After the wedding we take off for our grand adventure! We are still working on a route and don’t want to over-plan the itinerary. We do know that we want to visit all of the friends and family around the country that we just don’t see often enough. Just to sweeten the deal, many of you also live in some very beautiful places.
We intend to travel for about a year, covering the entire United States and parts of Canada and Mexico (specifically Baja). You will be able to follow along though this blog. I have just added a feature that allows you to get updates of new posts direct to your email inbox. You can find it at the bottom of the home page. Welcome aboard!