It's been awhile since I've talked about our plans for traveling as a family. Initially we thought we would travel full-time. Kirk would take 3 month speech rotations, and I would continue to teach online for a university in Oklahoma. That was the game plan until we moved to Indiana to pursue the next stage and everything changed.
But now that the dust has had time to settle, we've really crafted a plan that feels right for our family and our situation. After meeting with two awesome full-time families (Ditching Suburbia and Huckleberry Bound) this past weekend, we feel inspired to get things back into gear. Here's the plan:
Pay Down Debt: One of the things slowing us down is student loan debt. We are in a position right now to rapidly pay it off, and we're trying to do it as fast as possible. It doesn't seem right to us to begin traveling while we still have debt. So while this means we can't leave tomorrow, we will be in better shape when we do.
Start Small: Our hearts were pretty set on an Airstream, but it's not realistic for us. We don't want a payment and our 4Runner has a towing max of 5,000 lbs. We are very close to paying off the 4Runner, so it would be very possible for us to own a trailer and our truck outright.
We also talk so much about minimalism, so why not practice what we preach? More about smaller, lightweight campers below.
Part-time Travel: We're going to start small with weekend and week-long trips. Our hope is for Kirk to get back into travel/contract speech work next year; not year-round, but on an as-needed basis. Which brings me to the last part of the plan....
More Online Work: Unfortunately, neither of us are web developers or write a top 10 blog. We're just normal people who love traveling and are trying to find a way to make it happen.
So last week, I applied and phone interviewed for another online teaching position. I don't know yet if I'll get it, but taking on more online work will make it possible for us to travel for a month or two at a time instead of only weekends.
So what campers are we looking at?
We found another beauty in Superior, WI, but it's an 8 hour drive for us. If it's still available in another week, we might try to make the drive up there. It even has solar panels. Eeek!
If we can't find one soon, we'll wait until next spring. I would rather not store a camper over the winter unless we can use it some before the cold hits.
So that's where we at: working toward part-time travel and part-time living by family and friends. As much as we would love to jump in feet first immediately, we know that it will be better in the long run to plan it out and do it right.