This next month marks 4 years together. And as much as it feels like just yesterday and forever all at the same time, it’s still crazy for us to look back on all that we’ve been able to experience together.
In the past four years we have:
Quite literally showered in blessings yesterday. Officially Mr & Mrs Jones! ???? Tonight, we’re sitting here soaking it all in and thinking about how grateful we are for family and friends who embraced the storms with us, all smiles and soaking wet. It’s crazy to think that we never would’ve asked for a downpour.. and yet our wedding was more than we ever could’ve imagined. If yesterday taught us anything it’s that putting your trust in the Lord is the answer to everything, and that His plans will be more amazing and incredible than you ever could imagine. God is so good!
Not only does today mark our official first month of marriage (WOOOO!), but it’s also our final countdown for our next big adventure: full-time RVing.
It’s no secret that we’ve had the travel bug for a looooong time now (sorry mom).
And as much as we loved our backpacking trip and our road trip back in 2015, it still felt like a vacation of sorts. Yes, we were working during both, but our work definitely wasn’t at a point where it was sustaining us. Both of our trips also had a pretty defined time frame (four months for our backpacking, six weeks for our roadtrip). Oh, and money – not spending all of it was a big factor in those time frames too 🙂
Our goals for both trips were really exploration – of ourselves and the world around us.
We’ll be the first ones to tell you that travel is the best way to spend your money (we wrote a whole post about why you should travel long-term in your twenties!) and if we’re being perfectly honest, our backpacking trip radically changed our lives. In short, our long-term travels shifted our mindsets, helped us learn more about ourselves and each other, and showed us that we’re not the only crazy ones out there who want to pursue more purpose-driven lives. For the long answer about why it was the best decision we ever made, you can read our blog post on the lessons we learned.
So why did we decide to start our marriage in an RV? Great question. We’re glad you asked 🙂
Sooooo here’s the thing – Pete and I have never RV’d before. Which means we’re slightly crazy to go full-time as our first time, but if we’ve learned anything from our previous travels + starting two businesses it’s that sometimes you just need to jump all in.
Considering we’ve never RV’d before, you may be wondering how in the world we decided to start off our marriage living in 200 square feet on wheels.
About a year ago, as we were planning our wedding and figuring out where we wanted to settle (ha!) we started looking at which city we wanted to live in.
We started asking some questions like: Did we want to rent or buy a fixer upper in Philly? Did we want to live in the Midwest or West for a few years before we have kids? Did we want to travel more? Live tiny? Make a cool Airbnb guest room to meet people from all over the world (this way definitely a big pro of buying a place for us… we love airbnb + would LOVE to do this in the future!).
The problem was, the more we talked about it, the harder it became for us to choose one place to live.
Then Pete came up with the brilliant idea that we should buy an RV and travel full-time.
…and I immediately poo-pooed it.
You see, as much as I loved our backpacking trip, I got tired of living out of a backpack. I missed having a place of my own, somewhere that was mine. I’ll blame this one on my short-lived career as a consultant who lived in a hotel and on flights for 9 months straight.
That kind of travel just gets exhausting.
I also knew that there was no way we could continue to grow our businesses if we were off being digital nomads (or at least that’s what I thought!).
Plus… have you seen what RVs look like inside?!
Nope, we were not going to be living in an RV.
As we promptly dismissed the RV idea and resumed our Trulia searches for Philly, I discussed our little living dilemma with the career coach that I was working with at the time (she’s amazing + would be happy to share info!).
My coach recommended that I check out an amazing couple who was doing very similar work to Pete and me – and who just happened to be living and traveling full time in a travel trailer.
Scott and Elise Grice of Hey, Sweet Pea were the first people to show me that it was possible to live in an RV, make it a beautiful home, and still grow an amazing and profitable business together. I mean, how stinking cute is Finn the Camper?!
It also showed me that all RVs are not created equal – and that making them into a real home was not just possible, but really awesome.
I then started frantically pinning any and all posts related to full-time RVing and RV makeovers. I came across posts from Brittany and Jordan Griggs and realized that there weren’t just people who lived in RVs, there were people who lived in RVs, ran businesses from those RVs, and who were still happily married (and had not killed each other in such a small space).
After an email exchange with Brittany, she recommended that I join a Facebook group called Make Money and RV. And that’s when everything really clicked.
Not only are there people who live and work full time – there are other Millennials (and a heck of a lot of them!) who are actively choosing this lifestyle and making it work in ways I never would have imagined.
After stalking pretty much every full-timer online (huge shout out to Heath & Alyssa for some MAJOR inspiration + the best Facebook group there is), we decided that Pete is actually a genius and we could totally make this happen.
Enter: a year of planning + preparation.
Since we were having these discussions in the winter of 2016 and were getting married in August of 2017, it gave us a little under a year to make it all happen.
Not only did that require us finding the perfect rig (that makes us sound like full-timers, right?) but it also meant that we’d need to make some significant changes to our business.
At the time, we were working with a lot of local small businesses. We knew we needed to transition our 1:1 locally-focused work to a business model that would allow us to work remotely. We were also working at full capacity and were pretty much glued to our screens if we wanted to make any money. We knew that we wanted to shift our business model to allow us to actually enjoy more of our lives, especially as we hit the road.
I just kept thinking back to when we hiked Mount Washburn in Yellowstone and I was freaking out because I couldn’t get any service to post an Instagram for one of our clients.. crazy I know. I was in a beautiful National Park, at the top of a mountain, with the love of my life, and all I could do was worry about logging in for my client.
Well, I was pretty determined to make sure that was not the case this time around!
I mean – look how AMAZING Mount Washburn is!
All in all, there were a few different reasons why we decided that full-time RVing was the best way to start our marriage.
It may sound crazy to some, but we actually really love spending our time together. The fact is we are just better together – both in our lives + our businesses. The other fact is that we moved home with my parents to build our business and save before we got married, and now it’s time for us to actually have us time – to be together as husband and wife, and to start our own life together.
We’ve always been intrigued by the tiny living movement (Gabriella + Andrew Morrison of Tiny House Build were actually one of our first interviews!) and minimalism. After living out of a 65L pack for 4 months, we have experienced firsthand how freeing it is to simplify. It’s amazing how much stuff you can accumulate when you’re not paying attention, and we knew we didn’t want to start our marriage off with a lot of stuff. We’re choosing to start small and simplify.
In a lot of ways, living in an RV can be a great way to save money. We’ve been working hard at not just building a business that we love but a business that gives us time + financial freedom. A big goal of ours is to pay off our debt by the time we’re 30, and we know that living simply and not taking on a huge rent or mortgage payment will help us get there!
It’s easy to set goals for our business – it’s a whole different thing to make it happen. We’ve learned from experience that one of the best ways to make things happen is just to start – or to jump in the deep end if you’re us 🙂 By going on the road, we are taking a chance on ourselves, our business, and our dreams. Living out our dream together will give us daily motivation to keep working our bums off to make it all work.
Plain + simple: the United States is so stinking beautiful. When we were backpacking South and Central America, we realized just how little of our own country we’ve actually seen. That realization was a huge motivation behind our 2015 road trip. We knew then that the road trip was just the beginning. Now we’ll have the opportunity to not just explore more, but to live and experience more of these places on a different level. We want to know the local coffee shops and dog parks. We want to find off-the-beaten-path hikes with our pup. We want to meet people from all over and come together over a campfire.
Since this post wound up being a whooooole lot longer than I intended, I’ll leave it here: if you’d like to follow along this journey (+ see if we can actually live within 200 sq feet of each other at all times) then we’d love for you to stick around!
Stay tuned for a few more exciting details coming soon 🙂
So what do you think – are we crazy?