Our Decision to Hit the Open Road

What precipitated our choice to move in to an RV and hit the open road?  Well, we came to a point in our lives where we felt we were being called to make a change. How We Became Fulltime RVers in our midthirties

I have an autoimmune disease, and we suffered badly for over a year before we started to get the right answers and be able to rebuild my wellness.  Having an illness that affected our daily lives really changed our perspectives on how we were prioritizing our lives, and after two miscarriages we found out that having children was not part of the plan for us.  During the severe stages of illness, the things that we had clung to became a burden to us.  We had a house with 10 acres and a pool, and we realized that the upkeep was keeping us from sharing our lives with others.  We wanted more time for people, those we knew and those we didn’t.  We desired to let go of the to do list of our lives and intentionally spend our time being purposeful in the moment.

We are followers of Jesus Christ, and we began praying specifically for guidance.  If you aren’t a believer, I know that will sound weird to you and that is ok.  Our experience has been that as our relationship grows with God, we rely more and more on his guidance.  We do not always get the answer we want or expect, but we can hear his answer more clearly and usually his answer is even better than what we had hoped for.

At this point in our lives, God had laid an upcoming change on our hearts, but we weren’t certain how to proceed.  Chris felt led to leave his job at a structural engineering firm.  He loved the company he worked for, actually we both did.  We worked for bosses who genuinely put people before business.  It was a family to us, so this call for change came as a surprise to us.  We also loved where we were living.  We had obediently followed God’s plan for our lives in moving to that area (eventhough I had only visited the area once), and we were reaping the abundant blessings he had in store for us there.  We made wonderful friends, were a part of a church family like we had never experienced before, we were leaders in the community, and we loved it all.  But, we felt called for something else.

In the Bible, we read how so many of the faithful were called to do something, but God only gave them one step of the plan at a time.  That is how Chris and I felt.  We knew we were being called to move forward, but we didn’t know where.  After a lot of prayer, Chris decided it was time to leave his job.  As a first step, we sold our house and began downsizing.  We purposefully sought meaningful living, and we wanted to rid our lives of the things that were distracting us from it.  We put our house on the market and it took over a year to sell, in the meantime, we spent that year preparing ourselves for change and decluttering our lives.

We prayed about income.  How could we leave our jobs without another source of income?  God answered our prayers in the most amazing way.  Chris had a small side business of just one client that had sprung from an opportunity over ten years earlier.  Chris and I both worked full time and part time jobs in our twenties and always lived within our means.  There were several times that Chris wanted to stop doing the part-time work, but he kept going knowing that it was a gift.  A few years earlier, the work had dried up with our move to the new area.  As we had regular jobs, we were not concerned and never once marketed or offered the service to a single client.  We sold our house in October and moved in to a rental.  Two months later, in January, Chris was contacted by a new client for his drafting business.  It was a huge client, and we began to see how God was providing for us in this new change.  We were obedient and took the first step by selling our house, and now He was providing for the second step, an income.  Over the next few months, we would gain three more clients – each on no action of our own.

A new question arose – since Chris could do the drafting from anywhere, where would we want to live?  We quickly realized that there were so many places we wanted to see and we wanted our location to be fluid so that we could volunteer.  This is how RVing entered the picture for two people who had never spent a single night in an RV before.  We wanted to travel around America.  We wanted to put ourselves out in the world in new ways.  We wanted to make ourselves available for opportunities to serve in different places.  We recognized that we had become too comfortable in our situation and we wanted to learn to be ok with being uncomfortable.  We wanted to put people before things.  Freedom of time and place to accomplish these desires is what gave us the idea for RVing.  And that is how we decided to quit our regular jobs, say heart wrenching goodbyes and hit the open road.

Our story is probably different from most fulltime RVers.  It was never a dream of ours, but it was the right vehicle (forgive the pun) for reaching our dreams at this point.  Please know that we are not running from anything, and we did not make this decision to fulfill selfish desires of having fun.  Don’t get me wrong, we certainly have fun on the road; but our dreams are much more meaningful and lasting than some fun times in the present.  Also, we would never choose RVing over having children.  Now that we see the benefits of this lifestyle, I hope that I would have shared something similar with children; but the truth is, if we had had children, RVing probably never would have crossed our minds as a consideration.

And that’s the true story of how we made the decision to become fulltime RVers.  But that is just the beginning of the story.  For the next step, click here for the logistics on how we found our RV.

What is your story or dream?

 

17 comments on “Our Decision to Hit the Open Road

  1. Jen and Chris thank you for sharing. Great idea to give this lifestyle a try at your age. My wife and I are approaching retirement age. Will have the time & money but unfortunately health issues primarily her illness similar to Jen’s might keep us from getting out on the road. Meanwhile hitching a ride with you all through our 65″ TV screen is pretty cool and a blessing. Steven Spielberg look out here comes Jen! Each video gets a little better. Looks good, sounds good on our set.
    Enjoy the journeys, the one on the road and the one on film making.
    AND if things don’t always go perfectly remember what the Pennsylvania Dutch say…”And so flops the mop.”
    Be Blessed.
    Brian & Jessica

    • Hi, there! So glad you reached out to us! I guess I have finally made the big screen at your house – ha ha! Thank you so much for the encouragement. We really appreciate your feedback, and we count it a blessing to know that we are able to share the open road with you. We hope that your situation will allow you to be RVers at some point, but you are always welcome to tag along with us! It is nice to know there are others out there who understand PA Dutch too!

      Thank you for you comment, and abundant blessings on you both.
      Jen

  2. Hi Jen and Chris,

    Thank you for opening up and sharing more on how you set about on this new path. Sorry for the loss of your babies and the struggles with your health, glad that you are feeling better now. When health issues arrise it really makes you think about what is important in your life and what matters. That was some big life changes you made when looking from that outside everything looked perfect.

    From hearing stories from others it seems like things just start falling in place. One thing may not seem like anything at the time, but it is really a building block to create the new path and life.

    For me my dream is the love for the outdoors and those quite places which just make me so happy, alive and in awe. Turning 45 this year I just don’t want to wait much longer, need to sell the house and stuff which will take time, but I’m on my way.

    Wishing you all the best,

    Tina

    • Hi, Tina! We always appreciate your thoughtful comments and insight. I agree, when you make the right decision, things just start to fall in to place; and all of those lessons we learn along the way are building blocks for what is to come! I am glad you have found your passion; not always easy to do. You are so close to hitting the road, and we are anxiously awaiting that next step with you! Our sincerest regards and well wishes to you! -Jen & Chris

  3. Hi Guys,
    We are too are followers of Christ and have also suffered the loss of a child, ours to Leukemia at the age of 2 1/2. Its been several years now as we approach 50, but Gods grace has always been sufficient! We appreciate your willingness to share Gods journey for your life with us! We are at the ” sell your house stage” as we transition to fulltime RV living. We actually had a contract and the day before closing the buyers lender pulled the plug and the deal fell through ( ok God. what are you doing? ) . This is what we are thing now 🙂 . At any rate, we have already given away most all our stuff and have been living in our fifth wheel (that we already had for 2 years) next to our house as it goes back on the market. Well, “our plan” was to sell the house and move into the RV and work one more year local before retirement. We are in the RV fulltime but just not traveling yet 🙂 guess its a good test period…we are loving it so far! So much so, I am probably going to retire as soon as the house sells and hit the road! God willing of course 🙂

    Prayers of blessing to you guys!
    Mario & Julie Rodriguez (Texas)

    • Hi, Mario & Julie! Thank you so much for sharing your encouraging story. It is so nice to learn how your faith has supported you in the past, and continues to do so! God is so good. I love how your faith gives you perspective, eventhough you are in uncertain circumstances. Our sincerest best regards to you both, and we look forward to hearing about your upcoming travels!

  4. you are braver than my wife &I.. We kept pur home.lol .We got lucky our rig is a 28 ft. triple slide.consider that when you trade up. I know it sounds crazy but seems much bigger. 2003 dodge 4×4 dually,quad cab long bed. longest outing 6 months,best ,6 month ever…..lol.you are right about California,loved the redwood forest then drove straight out of the state.lol.we have been inmaine,to florida,arizona to Washington. If you love the one your with you will always enjoy the adventure. We live in new mexico,4-corners area. we only stay in penn. a short time,tomany storms.lol.next time your truck shopping,Ada,oklahoma.Igave 31,800 for my truck new.chappel dodge dealer. maybe we see you some time.your very lucky

    • Hi, Rick & Cindy! Thank you for sharing your story! Sounds like you have already been able to see so much of the country, and have plans to continue! 🙂 Totally agree, when you love the one your with, everything is better. Hope to meet you on the road!

  5. Hi Chris and Jen,

    I was wondering how you two embarked on your travels. So glad that I found this post to give me some background. It was very informative and enjoyable to read.

    Thank you for sharing. I was truly blessed by your words. May your travels continue to be safe.

  6. I’ve been watching your YT channel for quite some time & really love watching you explore the USA. Being an Aussie it’s likely we’ll never see all the parts you take us to, even if we did visit; so I really appreciate you taking us along. Your recent video on Andersonville was so amazing!
    You & Chris remind me a lot of my husband & I & each time I watch your video’s, I find another small thing we have in common. The Andersonville video revealed another when you mentioned your father was part of the Vietnam conflict as was mine. We also cannot have children & a good deal of that is due to an illness I’ve suffered from for many years (ironically, I’m also a lot better now after a genuine focus on wellness, but alas the damage was done).
    Now we are in our mid 30’s we decided on a career change for my husband & a step away from my corporate management role to do less stressful contract work which has also allowed us to travel & work in our caravan with our two dogs.
    We don’t do it full time, but we really love it & as you mention, if it wasn’t for the hand we had been dealt we may have never made the decision to stop focusing on ‘building our empire’ & appreciate that we struck the soulmate jackpot so we should embrace that gift & focus on time together.
    All this rambling was really just to say thank you; for sharing your lives in the videos & all your amazing info on this website. Even someone on the other side of the world is getting a whole lot of value (& entertainment) from what you do.
    Plus it’s always nice to know there are other people our age who have similar interests. If someone says to me one more time that we bought our caravan 30 years too early for retirement I might just burst!
    Best wishes to you both.

    • Hi, Callista! Thank you so much for sharing your story – all the way from Australia! We are so glad to hear that RVing has been a way for you two to shift your priorities – we certainly do have so much in common. I am so grateful that you reached out to us, and that you are enjoying all of our content. That means so much. Our sincerest best wishes to you, and many safe, happy travels to come! (If you do make it to the U.S., please let us know!)

  7. Thank you so much for sharing your lives and insights on the world of full-time RV living. I just returned from a 3 week RV trip with my wife and children. My wife and I are in our 50’s and retirement options are on the horizon. Every time we return from an RV trip we appreciate how much we improve the quality of our lives in terms of daily routine, time talking with each other, playing cards at our campsite table, not to mention the exciting places and scenery associated with our travels. I found your youtube channel and have thoroughly enjoyed listening to your adventure and I really appreciate your sharing the why’s and how’s behind the decision making you have faced with the RV lifestyle. I am very impressed with the thoughtfulness and maturity you and Chris use in establishing your priorities and goals for the future. You both have an excellent sense of humor about the life lessons you have encountered in your travels. I can imagine this experience has been a huge benefit in your relationship with each other. Sharing your insights has opened our eyes to the possibility of a semi-full time RV lifestyle that may not have to wait until full retirement.
    Best wishes and “keep on truckin”

    • Hi, Kent! Thank you so much for sharing with us! We appreciate your insight on how you are able to more intentionally connect as a family when RVing – at the end of the day, that is what it is all about! 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement, and we hope that semi-full timing is right around the corner for you!

  8. While I no longer call myself a person of faith there are a few people of faith that shine like a light on a hill and whom I think make my world a little better. I think you guys would be on my short list. Two years ago my amazing Dad died a little faster than we anticipated. I seized a window of opportunity and took my 13 year old on a 22 day trip. Since then I’ve also taken my other three kids on their own amazing trips. Life is beautiful and at peace when I can be on an amazing hike in the Tetons, rafting in Colorado, or climbing in the Black Hills. Fifty two years of life have taught me that materialism is not living. Way to seize life and plot a different path for yourselves. PS- you can teach an old dog new tricks….I had never been in a national park until two years ago!

    • Hi, Scott! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us. I think the only thing better than travelling is travelling with children and sharing the world with them. Well done. And thank you so much for the kind words, it brought tears to my eyes to read what you think of us. Thank you. May you and your family have many more trips to look forward to and enjoy. Your friends, Chris & Jen

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