Back From a Week in Florida

We just had a nice relaxing week in Orlando visiting friends and family. The weather was perfect-80 and sunny most days. It cooled down to 60’s at night. We visited some of our other favorite parks, the Disney parks.


Epcot’s new Festival of the Arts was a lot of fun. There were food booths, art displays, artist signings, classes, Broadway singers and living statues. 


When we got back this O Magazine was in the mail! We are going to look at some newer RV’s soon and see the floor plans. I will post pictures of our favorites.

Quick Update 


2016 was an amazing year! Craig and I got to visit 4 new national parks (Glacier, Everglades, Biscayne and Dry Tortugas) and revisit 2 of our favorites (Grand Teton and Yellowstone.) We also had a great camping weekend with friends in Acadia National Park and hiked a must do-the Precipice Trail.


Our plans for full time RVing are a bit up in the air now with probable changes coming to the ACA. We will keep our eye on what happens and continue to save for an RV (hopefully an Airstream) and truck. We want to have a nice cushion to buy some land soon too. 


We had a wonderful time in Florida in October and are going back in January to see friends and family. We have no other plans right now for 2017. Our Alaska trip is being put off until we have more money saved. We will see what the new year brings! We know we want to see the Pacific Northwest soon. We also want to hike more of Yosemite. We hope you all have an awesome 2017! 

Vintage Bazaar

We went to a Vintage Bazaar today in Salisbury, Massachusetts. I was in Airstream heaven because a lot of the vendors brought their campers. 



We were looking for vintage camping gear, throws, old camp chairs and old kitchen linens. Not too many people had that type of stuff today, but we had fun looking around! I see a lot of the old Coleman camp gear and Pendleton blankets on Etsy now, but they are super pricey. We will keep checking antique stores and garage sales around here. Craig’s parents gave us their old Coleman camp stove, so we look forward to using that on the road. 

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Full Time RV Route Planning

RVMapRoute2017/2018

After we decided on a date of 2018 for full time RVing, I have been planning a route. I think I have a good plan for our first year! I have been using Road Trippers again since it is pretty easy to map out a route online. Then the info shows up in the app on my phone. It is a rough draft right now since campsites are still too far out to book in a lot of the areas. I have to fill in stops in between major stops as well. I would like to keep our driving time to 3-4 hours or less on travel days. We also have to firm up where we would like to work. Interviews for the summer season (April-October) in the National Parks usually happen in November and December of the previous year. We hope to work in Yellowstone or Grand Teton for our first summer season since they have a lot of options for Workampers.

Our plan is to head down to Florida in the fall of 2017. Hopefully the beginning of October. We will just have the truck at that point. We want to stop at Shenandoah, The Blue Ridge Parkway, The Smoky Mountains and Congaree National Parks on the way down. We would also like to see Charleston and Savannah since we have never been. Our cats Lotus and Bamboo have been on a road trip before from Florida to Massachusetts, and luckily several of the hotels are pet friendly.

We will stay the winter in Central Florida. My parents are there and Craig and I lived there for nearly six years. We hope to do some seasonal work at the parks and shop for an RV. 5-6 months should be plenty of time to find one we like (fingers crossed.) Towards the end of March/beginning of April we will head to Wyoming by way of Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico and Colorado. We hope to see several of the National  Parks in those areas on the way. I would like to get to Wyoming towards the end of April, so we will tell them that in our interviews or add that info to our resumes. 

After working the summer in Yellowstone or Grand Teton (hopefully), we would like to head down to Utah or Arizona again.  Zion and the South Rim of the Grand Canyon are open year round. If we can, we would like to work a few months at one of these parks. Then we could head to San Diego for a month and up the coast to Yosemite! I am hoping we can work the summer season of 2019 (April-September) in Yosemite National Park. If they would let us leave mid September after Labor Day, we could see Lake Tahoe, Lassen, Redwoods and Crater Lake.  After that we will have to decide! 

Again, we are pretty flexible since we will have to see what job offers we get and what is posted next year. Craig and I have both worked in retail, merchandising, front desk and concierge at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, waited on tables, bartended, etc. in the past. We have worked in travel, banking, library/archiving, IT, web design, marketing, PR and owned several companies. Both of us are good with computers. We used to own a pet sitting company so we can help out on farms. In the next year and 1/2 we plan on taking several AMC classes on trail work and building, wilderness first aid and  map and compass info. We already volunteer for several local outdoor organizations helping with walks, trails, hiking, etc. I think we have well rounded backgrounds for Workamping!

Wheelingits blog posts on Planning RV Travels are a big help. I have bookmarked and Pinned so much info it will take me a year to get through it all! A trip to AAA is in order so we can pick up some paper maps. I will also buy Benchmark Maps so we have paper maps on hand. 

Stay tuned for more planning!

   

List of RV Resources

 

Since Craig and I have been talking about full time RVing, I have been researching a lot online. There are some great resources out there that will help us along the way. I thought I would make a list of what we have found useful in case anyone else was thinking about RVing full time or even part time. 

My Home on Wheels Pinterest Board

RV Shopping:

RV Trader

RV Registry

Pop RV’s

Trailers.com

Search Tempest (search all of Craig’s List)

Vintage Campers/Trailers

Airstream Classifieds

Working From the Road and Workamping:

Workamper News

Workamping Jobs

Camp Host Jobs

Workers on Wheels

Cool Works

Working Couples

Help Wanted for RV Parks and Campgrounds

Escapees/Xcapers

USA Jobs/National Parks

National Park Volunteers

Western National Parks Association

Xanterra Parks & Resorts

Delaware North

Aramark

Setting up a Domicile State:

Picking a Domicile State: Getting Mail and Voting as a Nomad

Big RV Questions: Residency, Mail and Health Insurance

Setting up Domicile in Florida as a Full Timer

How to Move to Florida in 1 Hour

Saint Brendan’s Isle

Mail Service and Domicile

My RV Mail

RVer Insurance-Auto/RV and Health :

RVer Insurance Exchange

RVer Guide to ACA Open Enrollment 2016

eHealth Insurance

RV Insurance

Explorer RV Insurance

Good Sam

Progressive

Geico

Esurance/Allstate

Nationwide

National Interstate

National General

Roadside:

Family Motor Coach Association

Coach Net

AAA

Spots to Stay:

Go Camping America

Recreation.gov (Federal Sites)

Reserve America

Public Lands Info Center (Western States)

RV Park Reviews

Good Sam RV Parks

Thousand Trails

Harvest Hosts

Worldwide Opportunities For Organic Farms USA

USA Campgrounds Info

Camping USA

US National Forest Campground Guide

Ultimate Campgrounds (Public Campgrounds)

Allstays

Boondockers Welcome

Boondocking.org

Free Campsites

Campendium

 

Apps For RVers:

Mobile App Essentials for RV Travel

Internet/Wifi:

Overview of RV Mobile Internet Options

Vinli

Stay Connected On The Road

How We Keep Online

Discover The Best RV Internet Service Option

Security/Locks:

Tiny House Security

MegaHitch Lock Coupler Vault

How to Keep Your RV Safe From Theft

RVing With Pets:

RVing With Cats

RV Traveling Cats

5 Tips For RVing With Cats

RV Traveling With Dogs

RVing With Dogs

Tips For RVing With Pets

Maps:

Roadtrippers

Benchmark Maps

RV Forums:

RV Network/Ecapees

Air Forums (Airstream Forums)

RVillage

Full Time RVer Blogs:

Gone With The Wynns

Technomadia

Top RV Lifestyle Blogs

live. work. dream


Future Goals

As we get older, Craig and I have been talking a lot about what we would like to do in the future. I grew up in New York City- one of the most expensive places to live in the world. When I met Craig, I moved to Massachusetts. Where he grew up was much more rural and quiet for me. It was also a lot cheaper! Then, house and land prices started to go crazy here too. We were not sure we wanted to settle in MA, so we never bought anything. When we got priced out of the MA market, we decided to move to Florida. We had been traveling there for years and liked the weather much more than MA. We bought a condo in a great area and had a blast working at Disney World for nearly six years. 

                           The Boss

We wound up working a lot of temporary and contract positions in Florida though. Benefits were not as good as up North. So when a good job offer came in for Craig back in MA, we decided to take it. It offered really good health insurance and we had been paying a lot for that in Florida. This was right before the ACA happened.  It was really hard giving up our Florida life, our cute condo and our friends. We had a tough time adjusting- do not even mention snow and ice to us! 

Since homes here have shot up even more in price, we will never own here. That is fine though because we know we never want to! We did not even plan on staying in MA  for the six years we have, but the economy was not great, and we were grateful for Craig’s job. Anyone we do know with a home in MA bought it before the 90’s, was given a hefty down payment from family or was given the home outright.    

We have some money saved and zero debt, so we plan on full time RVing for a while. If you read the blog, you know we love to travel! We want to work and volunteer in some of our National Parks.  Eventually, we would like to buy some land and build a small/tiny cabin. After renting for a while now, and growing up right on top of other homes, we want several acres. Things like solar, chickens and a garden to grow some food would be wonderful. We have not seen enough of the country to decide on a place yet, so that is where full time RVing comes in. The land will most likely be out West. We do not want to be near millions of other people on the East Coast.      

Since we are not getting any younger, we have set a goal of January 2018! We will have to Workamp for a while as well as work for ourselves. The ACA helps since we will not have to worry about having health insurance tied to a job. We have a rough plan on timing right now. Research has been ongoing for the past few years. Of course a lot depends on savings and stock rates when we decide to cash out. We have to time it right for taxes, etc. We will keep watching for good prices on trucks and RVs. Hopefully, we wind up with an Airstream-we have loved them for a long time. We have looked at some other types of RVs though.   

I hope you will follow along on our journey. I will do a post soon on all of the RV resources out there in case anyone reading is planning on this lifestyle too.

dont-be-afraid

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Airstream Travel Dreams

After taking a trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks in 2014, Craig and I realized how much of the US we had not seen yet. The amazing parts. I used to be a travel agent for many years, so we spent a lot of our vacation time at all-inclusives in Mexico and the Caribbean, on cruises and at Walt Disney World. At tourist spots like New York City and San Diego. I needed to experience the places I was selling. While we have loved all of our trips and do not regret taking them, we do regret waiting so long to see our national parks. Seeing a place like Yellowstone for the first time can be life changing. To know places like that are out there will change you. The only other trips that have come close are sites we have seen in Europe and the ruins in Mexico.

Our national park trips have made us long to see so much more of the world. It is frustrating to have a small amount of vacation time, but we are grateful for what we do have. Still, our dream is to save as much as we can, retire early and full time travel in an Airstream. We would love to travel for a few years, see everything we want to see and find some land to build a small home or cabin on. By small we are thinking under 750sf. We love the 25 foot and 27 foot Airstreams. An older one that is in good shape would be great too. Hopefully we will have one soon!

What are your travel dreams?