We didn’t realize that we were working towards a life of being somewhat free to roam as we were doing it, but we were unintentionally laying a foundation for that without meaning too. Lots of families travel these days, but it isn’t the norm, and takes a lot of preparation and thought to do it.
David had been blogging and podcasting at www.DavidSantistevan.com for years, consistently, with no compensation. Just because he enjoyed it, and loved the connections he found and people he helped with it. He still doesn’t get a lot of compensation from his blog, but it has helped him to make connections with other churches and worship leaders and lead workshops and work with those churches. This is “work” that he loves to do and we enjoy traveling place to place with him. Where he is asked to come to work with worship teams, is usually our factor in our route planning for each area.
I was a nurse for years, and could use travel nursing as a great route for travel if I want get back to that someday. This job helped us pay off any debt in our first couple of years of marriage so that helped set the stage for us to not have bills. When I had my two kids close together, I became a stay at home mom, and found a non-nursing related work from home part-time job that I loved. That job became a full-time job, and we realized that we could travel to meet people that David’s blog had connected him with, while I worked my fulltime job. It isn’t easy to find location independent jobs, but, I am happy I found one that is mostly location dependent. Things have changed a bit with my job requirements recently, so that we can’t travel as much as we would like, but I am thankful for my job!
We budget our monthly expenses, and try to use museum and national park memberships almost exclusively. We don’t often do the big expensive excursions such as Disneyland, LEGOLAND, expensive zoos, museums and aquariums, or stay at expensive, or even normal priced RV parks that aren’t on our memberships, because there is so much else we can do for free, or inexpensively, while in an area.
It isn’t easy to juggle traveling with a fulltime job, and being a mom. I have to structure each day so we explore, or hang out around the RV, take care of daily necessities, and then I get my set hours later in the day most often. My husband does a lot of work around the RV and takes care of the kids a lot, but I am able to be around a lot too, or can get away to Starbucks or a local coffee shop to work if I want! If we are ever able to travel without me having to work fulltime, it would be much easier to do, that is for sure! We also have found affordable ways to travel and set ourselves up to be mostly debt free besides our home, from early on in our marriage following Dave Ramsey’s finance teachings, which was a great foundation for us. Many people who travel work jobs of some kind while traveling to make this possible and that is the main gist of how we do this!