We didn’t realize that we were working towards a life of being free to roam part of the time 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. The main benefit of the blog is that it has helped him extend his reach in helping other worship leaders and churches. It has also assisted 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. He also more recently works with an organization that helps churches find Pastors and worship leaders, so he visits churches and serves them find the right worship leader when they are needing one.
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 sometimes to meet people that David’s blog had connected him with, while I worked my job.
We budget our monthly expenses, live with family at home, 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 often with a full time 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 full time, it would be much easier to do, that is for sure, but I love my job! 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!