We are two adventurous seniors who love life and want to see new places and meet new people so we began searching for a way to fulfill our dreams.
First, there’s Roger. He comes from an IT background, and worked with FEMA and Texas Task Force One doing search and rescue in disaster situations for several years. He also retired from a major school district here in Texas as Director of Technology (without a degree!). He does ham radio, develops software, networks, and anything related to computers. He also loves to cook and has worked for many different types of places from short order cook to developing recipes for major restaurant chains. Then he decided to go back to school, to finish his degree that he started back in the 1970’s. He got his Associates (with high honors) and really enjoyed it. But it wasn’t enough….so he went back to get an Associates in Criminal Justice. He was involved with the Masons and was a Shriner for several years. He drove the children to and from the hospitals in Galveston, Houston and Shreveport when they needed treatment (along with their parents). While all this was very rewarding for him, he knew that he wanted to experience more! He had visited his daughter in Europe (while she was in the military) and stayed for about a month, traveling around wherever they wanted to go, seeing whatever they wanted, and he loved it! He had found another passion!
Around 2009, we met online while I was recovering from a broken knee. This was a different experience for us both! We talked for several weeks before ever meeting in person and it was well worth it! We found we had mutual interests (travel, food, helping others) and also a curiosity to see what else was out there waiting…
My background is varied: I was a licensed deaf interpreter (self taught), worked in data processing, and finally spent over 20 years in retail management and customer service but I was unable to go back to this line of work after my recovering from my broken knee. I transitioned into call centers and worked that until I ended up in therapy due to the stress of dealing with people facing foreclosures on their homes. I was not happy so left that work and stayed home for a couple of years. We needed (wanted, really) more of an income so we looked around at options. First, we tried a few multi-level marketing companies, thinking this would provide us with the income we needed to travel. WRONG! Nothing but stress! It was horrible! Then we tried going back to work….to save money, to pay off bills, and to travel. Well, it didn’t quite work out that way unfortunately. Our next adventure was going into security work in 2015. Roger had gotten his Criminal Justice degree and we thought this would allow us to work when we wanted and travel, perhaps consulting. Boy, were we wrong!! Security is a tough business and very demanding. I have since retired again as of October 2018, after working as Area Manger for one company and then as an unarmed security officer for two others. Roger is still working as an armed officer at his third company (we moved companies together, along with my son.) and it’s afforded us the financial ability to pursue our new adventure! Traveling! WHEN we could get the time off, of course! Sigh
What prompted the search for something better? A solution to issues we faced when we traveled! We visited Roger’s son in Missouri for his granddaughter’s birthdays, but had to stay in hotels which was very costly, or with family which can be stressful for their pets and children (having strangers in the house). We traveled to Illinois to visit Roger’s family in 2017 after Roger’s mom became ill. We had to stay in hotels during that trip and they were far from what we dreamed of, even though they were costly. It just wasn’t an ideal situation. We had just returned to Texas in July of 2017 when we got word that Roger’s mom had passed away. We knew we were going to head back up North and wanted to be able to do it on our terms. So, we bought a new truck (wrong order!) and then a new travel trailer, a 24 foot Keystone Cougar. We were in a rush due to the time crunch for the funeral so the very day we picked it up, we headed out to Illinois and Missouri! (We managed to survive!) We knew very little about travel trailers, even though we had been watching YouTube videos for almost a year. We had no practical experience! Roger had pulled horse trailers while in New Mexico, but no travel trailers! We knew about some apps for finding campgrounds, dump stations, etc but it was a whole new world for us. It was a bittersweet trip due to the funeral, but we also got to experience the eclipse in Missouri with Roger’s son and granddaughter. We met many nice people along the way and had a good time. We were ecstatic! We had a way to travel, not pay for hotels, and go where we wanted. Or so we thought….
We worked, and planned, and bought things to set up the trailer for living. The only problem was, we were NOT living in it so many of the items ended up being wrong for storage: the wrong size, or not needed. And then, there was the dilemma of getting time off work if we wanted to take a trip. It seemed we had many roadblocks to overcome! Another one was where to store our trailer? We didn’t want to have to pay for storage and wanted to be able to stay in the RV if we had time. So, our trailer is parked at my son’s house on his land when we’re not traveling so we can stay there on the weekends or longer if work permits. We have electric but no sewer or water hookups. There is a park about ½ mile from his house where we go to stay over the weekend when we are dumping our tanks (same cost as just dumping thanks to our Passport America membership!) and we have full hookups. We have learned a LOT more from watching thousands more videos, going to RV shows, RV stores, and talking to people at the park or friends who have begun RV life. We also attended the RV Nomads gathering in Wellington, Texas for the premier of the RV Nomads Movie in October 2018!! We were amazed at the number of RV’s there and the feeling of community that we had as we interacted with the other attendees. It’s like one big, fun family! We also got to meet many of the YouTube celebrities that we had been watching! We were so excited to talk to them and see that they are just real people (like us) who were living their dreams! We knew we had to make it happen….and SOON!
So, we are in the process of downsizing (that’s a whole other blog!)and getting rid of our years of “stuff” that we have accumulated, remodeling and selling the house. Roger also just finished a major solar install on the trailer to facilitate boondocking when we get on the road. Our goal was October 2018 but we still have a lot of work to do. We are now aiming for Spring 2019 to be out of the house and traveling full time!