Amazingly, today marks the one-year anniversary of our full-time nomadic lifestyle. In what seems like the blink of an eye, 365 days have passed. What a year it’s been.
Initially, Kelly and I planned to quit our jobs and travel like bums for a year, the idea being that a break from hustle and bustle of work would do us well. Then, at the conclusion of our travels, we would find a new place to live in the Pacific Northwest and go back to work. In effect, this experience would be the post collegiate ‘gap year’ neither of us had. Better late than never we told ourselves.
Before going public with our intentions, we previewed our thinking with Brian and Leigh, who immediately went to work talking us out of that planning; their logic anchored in a theme of likely regret.
What Kelly and I could not fully appreciate at the time, but which Brian and Leigh knew for certain, was that one year on the road seems like a long time, but it is not. They warned that we would hate ending our travels and implored to us the importance of finding an ability to work from the road. That, they emphasized, should be our (long view) goal.
Kelly’s employer was immediately supportive of her working remotely, but mine was not. This dynamic was initially quite stressful as we struggled to solidify how I could – and would – earn income from the road. But then one day, seemingly out of the blue, we were thrown a curveball – the company I worked for was sold.
As part of the sale I was recruited hard by the new owners to stay on with the go-forward team. Sensing opportunity to write my own path, I held firm that I would entertain staying only if could work remotely 100%. The rest, as they say, is history.
Upon reflection, this year has been amazing, but not without challenges. Regardless of where and how we live, realities of life continue. Piles of dirty clothes assemble and groceries must be purchased – finding suitable locations for these and other daily routine matters is not always as simple as one would imagine. Constantly planning places to stay and predicting where to have mail delivered can also be a grind, particularly for Kelly as she has assumed the lead on these efforts.
And of course there is work. Like everyone else in corporate America, Kelly and I work way too many hours. Doing so while jostling for coveted, limited kitchen table real-estate for dueling laptop in the confines of our tiny home does occasionally lead to stress. Also, I don’t always enjoy taking early morning or late-night conference or video calls from the truck, so as not to compete with Kelly doing the same from within the trailer. (I am nothing if not a gentleman)
So while we often travel to amazing places, we regularly do not see or explore these places to the extent I would prefer. More, the downside of our remote jobs (mine in particular) is the need to embark on regular business travel, often originating from inconvenient regional airports, turning what would otherwise be quick flights into multi-stop, day-long journeys.
Finally, nothing is more frustrating than traveling to a location – and despite best efforts to confirm beforehand, arriving to discover the areas has insufficient mobile broadband to support our work needs.
The bottom line is this: life on the road has been pretty damn good to us. We are fortunate to be experiencing life this way, a truth which is not lost on either of us.
Since departing Half Moon Bay one year ago, we’ve towed our home 8,193 miles and in the process, have visited a variety of places – some good, some not so much. We’ve been able to visit a lot of family and have met a ton of people, many of whom we’ve developed deep friendship.
We’ve also learned that good planning can often be a waste of time – loose travel frameworks are a better idea. To that end, we do have a rough travel route for the remainder of 2016 and beyond, but likely there will be changes.
Whatever happens, we are simply looking forward to another year of life on the road and the diversity of experiences that accompany it.
Thanks to everyone who helped us plan for and enable this lifestyle to become a reality.