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RV Life One The Road Reflections: Year One

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Well hey ya’ll!!!!  Gee have I ever missed you! 🙂 But I took a much needed sabbatical from writing and blogging to fully enjoy the summer and to get the kids started back with a new homeschool year in a completely engaged and un-destracted way.

We are still parked in Charlotte, NC and have enjoyed the mild summer and all that the Charlotte area has to offer both in the bustling city and also the more leisurely lake life where we are parked. Over the past few months we’ve made several trips to Wilmington, NC as well as Gatlinburg, TN to get our fill of the mountains AND the beach as we have come to adore them both.

So with that we have officially wrapped up a busy and fun-filled summer. Also, right along with it, year one of RV life on the road is also in the books!

In totally honesty 2013/2014 was by far the fastest and most amazingly beautiful year of our lives. Doing it together as a family, RV life has afforded us the opportunity for rich experiences and the freedom to be fully present and intentional about our lives.

For the first time in a long time, it felt like we really LIVED rather than merely surviving. As my husband and I laid in bed last night reminiscing about the year I looked over at him and said, “And we didn’t miss a thing.”

Here’s to year number two and lots more conscientious and intentional living where that came from!

Live intentionally. Live light. Live free.

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How To Travel Often With Children & Navigate New Cities

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Since I last posted a personal type post we have packed up and left Front Royal, Virginia and headed to Charlotte, NC! Pictured below is what we left and we arrived at!

To put it in perspective, this makes our 4th move & new state in a nine months of being on the road which gives us an average so far of a little over two months at each new place.

If you read my past post entitled, “How we Make A Living On The Road” you not only know HOW we make a living while traveling, but it’s also important to note that my husband’s work is one of the major reasons we decided to hit the road together in the first place.

And with that being said, we do get asked two particular questions pretty often that I’d love to address for anyone who might be wondering the same! Here they are:

  1. What is it like to move around so often?

One word, GPS. I literally don’t know how we would live without our trusty GPS systems. We each have one that sticks on the windshield of each vehicle as well as on our iphones. For about the first month or so we use them to go almost anywhere, and then just about the time we start to learn where everything is enough to not need them anymore,

WE MOVE AGAIN!

Our most favorite “new city apps” for smartphones –

  • Around Me
  • Google Maps
  • Gas Buddy
  • Urban Spoon
  • Any local city apps
  • Parkmobile
  • Starbucks
  • (please comment below any apps you’ve found that you would add to our list!)

Traveling and moving around often does have it’s pros and cons just as everything in life does. First off, when we signed up for this lifestyle, we also re-adjusted our mindset to know that this is just the way it would be! And although no one place is “home” and yet in another sense, no matter where we are in the world, we are always home because we are together and our house just goes where we go!

Personally, I am truly enjoying the new way of life for so many reasons. But being a girl who had barely ever left her home town just under a year ago, this has already been a pretty freeing and amazing journey in many ways.

   2. Do you, and if so, HOW do you establish a local routine with the kids not knowing how long you’ll be in one place?

This is a really, really great question. And honestly, before we started doing this it’s something that I would have literally have had NO idea how to answer.

Now, keeping in mind that we are a family of four who homeschool, we do establish some sort of local routine and we also have our own unique set of priorities upon arriving in a new area, as every person/family will have their own based on their life/family situation.

Here is our top ten local must finds!

  1. Starbucks (yes, this is literally one of the first things I look for! 😉
  2. Campground/RV Park (I’ll be writing a post on “How To Find A Campground” next week.)
  3. Decent grocery Stores
  4. Laundry Mat
  5. Library
  6. Nearby local attractions (which we always try to take advantage of)
  7. Parks/Nature trails
  8. Fitness Center or YMCA
  9. Farmer’s Markets
  10. Music teachers/Homeschool groups/ Sports leagues

Even though we don’t always know how long we’ll be in any given area (sometimes we do have a general idea) we have found that it is still extremely important for the momentum of our family to toss over-analyzing to the wind and just go ahead and dive into whatever local activities, sports and groups we would be interested in if we were in a permanent city living a more “regular” kind of life!

Especially with having kids it is important to us and them that we not forgo the opportunities to experience outside extra-curriculars even though we are a mobile family.

We do try and stay away from signing up for anything with yearly contracts unless of course we know for sure we’d be in an area for that long. However, we have found that most fitness centers, ect. are happy to work with us when we explain our situation!

  •  Joining local groups

can be extremely helpful to a family with children. Even if there is a small yearly membership fee such as is the case with some homeschool groups, because it gives us access to their email groups – which is how we get to know people and find out about meetups, co-ops and many local events that would be of interest to our family.

Sure, there are days that I miss the stability of “life in one place.” as it does make some things easier and more predictable. But would I trade this adventure and this season in for what we had before? Not even a chance.

Everyone’s journey is different! And your journey is what you make it.

We’ve chosen to make ours an adventure that we will look back on one day and say, “You know what? Those were some of the BEST days of our lives!” They will surely be the most memorable of all.

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