5 Things We Love About Traveling Full-time
Before setting out on a vacation it is typical to daydream about all the great things that will happen on your new adventure. While we are not on a vacation, we definitely did our share of daydreaming about our new lifestyle. Who wouldn’t be excited about setting out to see all the nooks and crannies of the ever so lovely USA? Now that we’ve had time to let the dust settle on our escape, we have been able to discern between daydreams and real-life advantages. Here are the top five (non family related) reasons we love traveling full-time:
Meeting New People From All Over the World
On our travels we have met some of the most interesting people. I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve had longer conversations with people in the middle of a hiking trail than I have with most of my old neighbors. I’m not sure if it’s the lack of adult conversation inside our camper bubble or if this great adventure has taken us out of our safety zone but either way, it’s awesome. Whenever the hubs is missing, he can usually be found striking up a conversation with someone that was out walking. Last month a quick hello lead to an engaging conversation about the Ford Company that we toured months prior. This conversation even brought us a vehicle to drive when our truck was in the shop. These people we just met willingly handed over the keys to their vehicle to help us out. Wow. We have also met people from all over the United States and as far as Scotland who have given us amazing travel tips for future destinations. Then there’s people that have contacted us through social media that are hanging out near our current location that we have been able to meet up with and bounce ideas off of. We’ve even met people who know where our hometown is! The amount of kindness we have experienced has restored our faith in humanity!
Experiencing the Culture in Different Cities
This aspect of traveling is huge for us. It is so easy to operate on your own little island and not have a clue about what is happening in the rest of the world. (Thank goodness Facebook keeps us updated on the really important stuff. Ha Ha!) While we are traveling we try our best to get out where the locals frequent. We don’t stop in a city just to see, we make a stop to be immersed in all that the city has to offer. There is nothing like hanging out with fisherman and catching your dinner or experiencing Mardi Gras in four different states along the Gulf Coast. Enjoying shrimp for dinner that was swimming earlier that day definitely has its perks as well. So often opinions are based on the opinions of others. I strongly suggest getting out there and forming your own opinion! Mardi Gras definitely surprised us. We never would have thought to bring our kids to a Mardi Gras celebration but now they have been to multiple and they love them. I don’t know of a single kid that wouldn’t love getting Little Debbie’s and Moon Pies thrown at them!
Chasing the Sun
Being from Minnesota you would think that we like cold and snow but we don’t. The boys do play hockey but there are so many indoor rinks that we are rarely ever outside in the elements. Chasing the sunshine and being warm (most days) has great benefits to our mental wellbeing. Seasonal depression is something that I have struggled with for many years and I have noticed a huge difference in my mood and overall happiness since we left the winter behind. We are more active without the snow-covered ground. A lot of our time is spent outside in the fresh air and we rarely miss a sunset.
Different Educational Opportunities
This is our fourth year of homeschooling and I can’t say enough about this change in our lifestyle. Traveling is like education on steroids though! As a licensed teacher I do love teaching my own children, but I also love handing the reigns over to someone with more knowledge and intense passion for a specific subject. While traveling our entire family has gained immense knowledge from National Park Rangers, community volunteers, fellow campers, and business tours. Logan is slightly obsessed with the Junior Ranger Program from the National Park Service. Honestly, we have all enjoyed the program in our own way. We have watched many informational videos, asked questions of impersonators, listened to history talks, read about different animals around the country, and participated in hands-on activities around the parks. Walking in these places, seeing, hearing, feeling, and even smelling brings the information to life. Factory tours have also quickly become a favorite way to learn for us. We had the opportunity to tour Burton, the snowboard maker, and then we were able to see those boards in action during the Olympics. (Not to mention win medals). So cool! We’ve also visited Tabasco, Turkey Hill, multiple creameries, farms, orchards, chocolate factories, and even the Ford plant.
A familiar place does provide a bit of comfort, but there’s nothing quite like waking up in a new place every week. I am in constant awe of the beauty that God has created all around us. From swamp lands to oceans, mountains to desert, there is so much to see in this beautiful country. We simply don’t want to miss a thing. We love exploring by truck, bike, kayak, bus, horse drawn carriage, tram, and foot. Exploring new landscapes also allows for new educational conversations. Science and geography at it’s best right here.
Maybe you’re debating on whether or not to take a week-end trip somewhere. If you’re crazy like us, you might just might want to skip town and travel the country for a year. Whatever length of time you’re capable of taking, DO IT!
Tell us why you love to travel in the comments below!