An RV trip: it’s on!

Dear friends, family, colleagues, and random internet visitors,

As some of you already know, my family and I are planning a bit of a lifestyle change later this year by taking life on the road for a year in an RV. Even though we’ve been thinking this through for well over a year now, there remains no shortage of hurdles that could derail our plans at any moment. Some of these hurdles, like renting the house, are so big they become ironically easier to face. It’s the seemingly smaller but more sinister hurdles like fear or complacency that I believe pose the greatest threats.

Which brings me to the purpose of this first post here. I’m not creating this blog because I assume anyone will be interested in the escapades of our family life, but rather, I’m pushing this out to world believing that “going public” with our intentions creates some sense of accountability to carry out what has thus far been mere crazy talk. Knowing that a few folks might be watching our progress will be a source of motivation and inspiration.

So let’s start with some questions, shall we?

Who?

The whole fam: Jon (38), Amy (38), Carrie (11), Emily (9), and Natalie (7).

What?

Take family life on the road full time in an RV.

When?

We’ll wait until this school year ends, and then hit the road early June 2011.

Where?

Not sure yet, but right now we’re thinking of starting in St. Louis and heading West, loosely following the Louis and Clark trail for the summer. After that, who knows.

How long?

That will depend on a number of things, such as how long we can rent our house, but we’re planning on traveling full time for one year.

What about work?

We need to eat, and gas ain’t cheap, so I’ll be working full time as I normally would. But most of the work I do for my user interface design company doesn’t depend on any particular location, just an internet connection. Assuming this internet fad holds up for the 12 months we will be gone, it should be business as usual.

What about school?

We’ll do some combination of home school and online school and plan our travel destinations to be one big field trip.

Why?

This can be answered in a number of different ways. There’s the pragmatic “to see the country,” the ambiguous “it’s just something we gotta do,” and the reckless “why not?”. In truth, it’s a little bit of all of those.

Why now?

We’re in a parenting sweet spot right now: our oldest is not yet consumed by the complexities that the teen years will bring, and our youngest is old enough to benefit from a trip like this. But this window is closing (especially with Carrie, our oldest). It’s now or never.

I feel like there are 1000 steps between now and actually departing, but getting this blog up was step 1. Feel free to check back here for updates, follow our tweets, or subscribe to the RSS if that’s your fancy. Thanks for reading…there will be plenty more to come!

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