about a month ago we met blogger friends ayo & yair when they visited us in denver… it’s such an amazing thing when you can connect with people online, but so much better when you get to actually hang out in person. ayo & yair are some of the few we’ve met online that are also young rv’ers. they’re very down-to-earth and community centered and we had the best time with them. yair and i made a date to do a Q&A to share and just finished… thanks for taking time out of your schedule to share a little about your life on the road. pop over to their blog here.
1. How was the idea to travel full time born?
It started out less of an idea to travel full time and more of an idea to leave behind the corporate life. When we had both left our jobs we realized that there were lots of places that we wanted to explore and live. That’s where the full-time travel came in. We decided to start off RV’ing and will probably transition to longer-stay (6 months to a year) traveling in a year or so.
2. What preparations/changes did you make to be able to hit the road full-time?
We made sure to have no debt and to keep our expenses low, avoiding ‘lifestyle inflation’ as we each started working and bringing in a paycheck. We saved diligently and were surprised at how easy it was to live a comfortable life while putting away serious cash for the future. Ayo left her job in August 2009, and we made sure by that time to have a date set for my resignation. That avoided the “Maybe just another month and we’ll be ready…” phenomenon.
3. What was the hardest thing to leave behind in your brick & mortar life?
It really hasn’t been that huge of a transition, but high on the list are seeing family in person and taking long baths.
4. How did you decide upon what type of rv to purchase?
RVs depreciate rapidly, so we wanted a used RV that would have a long life ahead of it. We decided on a 1999 Tioga 23B. The RV had only 25,000 miles when we picked it up, and everything was in good condition. In the last 13 months we haven’t had any major problems with it (fingers crossed!), and I don’t expect any issues down the road. We also wanted an RV that was small enough that we could park anywhere unobtrusively, but that was large enough that we wouldn’t go crazy if it was raining for a few days. (Right now we’re parked next to a park minutes – walking – from downtown Eugene, OR.)
5. What do you love about your Tioga? What would you change?
I love the size of the rig, which strikes the perfect balance between comfort and inconspicuousness. Giving up a “master bedroom” for a larger kitchen and bathroom was a great decision, as was our installation of a large solar array on our roof.
We’ve talked a few times about things that we might change and haven’t come up with much. Two things do come to mind, however. First, we’d prefer a door that opens and folds back on the RV body. Ours opens to 90 degrees. Fully functional and pleasant, but a door that folds back completely would be ideal. Separately, an overcab with a higher ceiling would be great. As with the door, our overcab is very comfortable as is. Just a ‘wish list’ item.
6. What are the benefits/challenges you’ve found so far having a motorhome (& no tow car) versus travel trailer?
We love having an RV as compared to a travel trailer. If we RV again down the road we might mount a small scooter on the back, but we’re happy to not have a towed vehicle. Our RV is maneuverable enough to use as our primary vehicle, and it would be very difficult to “stealthily” park in a city with a travel trailer. We carry two bicycles on a bike rack and try to use those for local trips.
7. What advice do you have for those thinking of hitting the road full-time?
No debt. Low expenses. Save hard. Pick a date.
8. Yair, you have an Astronomy gig that you do while traveling, can you tell us about that?
I run a program called Astronomy On The Road, whose mission is to share science with people across the country. I want to get people excited about science through free telescope viewing and fun classes.
9. What have you learned about yourself throughout the journey thus far?
That I don’t like big cities as much as I thought, that I really love the natural beauty in the west, and that there are all kinds of awesome people out there.
10. What is a “typical” day like for you?
No such thing! But nowadays…
(yesterday): Rock climbing, making lunch, biking to a volunteer opportunity, stopping by an outdoor market, filling our fresh water tank, and going with Ayo to a hooping / fire spinning meetup.