Four months ago, our family embarked on a grand adventure. We’d moved into a 37-foot motorhome with the intent of of traveling all over the continental United States. All five of us—two adults, two school-aged children, and one 90-lbs dog—were fully committed. We’d sold, given away, or trashed nearly everything we owned. Our house. Our minivan and car. Tools. Clothes. Toys. Electronics. Our house, holy shit, our house. What little that remained and couldn’t come with us was put in a storage unit. We were in this for real, a family living full time in an RV while we travel around.
Now, normally, this is where there’s a big “but”. You know… things didn’t go as expected. The life isn’t what we wanted. Everything blew up in our faces. This all sucks and we want to Ctrl+Z the whole thing.
We’ve been having a great time.
We didn’t give up everything. I still work. Heather still has freelance. The boys still have school (we’d already been homeschooling for a bit by then). Bowser still plays and goes on long walks. We all still keep in touch with our friends. We even keep up with our martial arts training (most of the time). Despite being effectively homeless, we’re pretty high-functioning. That’s really where the whole “Functionally Homeless” name came from. Our sights may be on the horizon and we’ve shed a lot of extraneous things, but we’re still engaged with the world… maybe even more than we had been in the past.
See, here’s the thing. We started this trip at the end of the year. You know, right there around holiday time. So a lot of those months was traveling to places we’ve been before to see family and friends because, well… it was that time of year. Of course, we saw a lot of interesting things along the way. (The map at the top of this post is interactive; you can click on each of the location markers and they’ll take you to a photo post of that place where we stopped.) Ruby Falls and Rock City in Chattanooga. Surprisingly cool trick-or-treating in the North Carolina mountains. Yorktown and Colonial Williamsburg.
What we found that was even more incredible was that even the places we’d been to many times before—Raleigh, Richmond, Northern Virginia, Atlanta—we were seeing them with new eyes. We discovered and experienced things in these places that we’d never even thought to check out in the times we were living there.
Of course, not every day was filled with smiles and unicorn farts. No adventure worth taking is easy. Things broke. Children cried. Words were said. Internet troubles. Adults cried. But these things happened before we went on the road, too. Sure, in a house you don’t have to worry about having a pyramid plug (look it up… it’s gross) or a broken motorized bunk lift. But maybe you do. Houses aren’t immune to plumbing problems and there are all kinds of interesting ways that traditional beds can break. In the grand scheme of things, the troubles are about the same. It’s the same life, just amplified. The dips might be lower, but the peaks are much higher.
It’s been an incredible ride… but really, it’s barely even begun. Like I said, most of our trip so far has been to places we’ve seen before. It was a good test run, but now we’re stoked to venture out. We can share places that only one of us has been to before. Or, more exciting, experience places that none of us have seen! This, in my mind, is where the true adventure starts.
So here’s another map. This is our route. Our plan for the next year.
Not all of it is booked and we reserve the right to completely change it for any reason whatsoever. However… maybe you’re located somewhere along that route. Or maybe you want to see one (or more) of these places, too. Give us a shout. Maybe we can work it out so we meet you there. If you can’t make it out, maybe you know a thing or two about these places and have tips for things to do and see. Tell us about them!
This site is meant mostly as a record of our adventure that we’re keeping for ourselves. That said, it’d be awfully cool if you were part of it.
See you on the road!