Rocio and I were living together in Puerto Rico for some time, and we were considering a move back to the mainland (US). After Hurricane Maria hit the island, it really put life into perspective for us, and we knew wanted to experience something new and exciting. We were also done with hurricanes, so we started looking into moving to a handful of cities back in the states, but we couldn't decide which one. So, we decided to visit and explore a bunch until we found the right city to call our new home. We went to an RV show in Ocala, Florida, bought an RV during that trip, and within 2 months we had sold everything to fly to Florida and start our adventure.
Our Comfy And Cozy Van, Vinnie
We went through two 5th wheels and two 3500 dually trucks, but we now have a 2021 Thor Sequence 20L. It's called Vincent Van-Go or Vinnie for short. He's a class B van. Vinnie has been perfect for us because he is spacious enough for us to be comfortable with all the amenities of a home on wheels, while being small and nimble enough to go so many more places than a large RV.
Our New Jobs Traveling Full Time
Gabe - I ran a mental health corporation in PR, and I was able to turn that same job virtual. So, I still run a mental health corporation in PR. I was CEO for a while, but I have taken a small step back. I'm now the CFO. I have also recently started an online e-commerce store that I hope to have fully up and running within the next 3 - 6 months. Finally, I write articles, help Rocio where I can, and I oversee contracts and the financials for Our Mixed Journey LLC.
Rocio was a high-level events manager for 2 big corporations, where she oversaw events that could see upwards of several thousand visitors and customers. From contracts to talent and venue amongst several other aspects, she pretty much did it all in these roles. She took all that experience, and she is now the brains and CEO of Our Mixed Journey. She puts in countless hours analyzing numbers and data while planning shoots, photography, videography, editing, and more for our social media platforms and to provide our clients with the highest quality content. She wears so many hats, that it amazes me.
Crazy Experiences All Around
There are so many examples of why this was an amazing choice for us. Too many to put a number on it, but the people in this community are the absolute best. The RV/van-life community is so amazing, helpful, and kind.
I'll say that having our truck overheat and start smoking from under the hood while towing the 5th wheel up a huge mountain pass in Colorado is one of the scariest and craziest experiences so far. We basically had to stop on a crazy incline, where there was no real shoulders to speak of, as the mountain was on the right of us with the one other lane to our left, and then a straight drop for thousands of feet. It was nuts. We called for a tow or help, and they said it was impossible there. So, we had to figure it out. Luckily it was just the coolant overheating and overflowing onto the engine. We let it cool off, topped it off with some extra coolant we had, and then we went slow as molasses the rest of the way.
Our Dogs Love This Life Too
We travel with our dogs Wilson and Journey, and they love the adventures when they are able to get out and run around in new places. They aren't too crazy about travel days, but they are used to it, and they're happy if they get some lap time or attention. It has been great and really easy with them. If you have 4-legged kiddos, don't hesitate to get out there and let them run around in nature.
The More The Better With Internet Options
Internet and Phone Connection is a must for work, entertainment, and safety. We have all 3 major carriers now, as we work from the road and internet is essential. We did 2 for most of our travels though, with AT&T and T-Mobile combining to work well in most of the country. We also highly recommend a Wi-Fi booster like WeBoost or something similar, as they definitely help. Each carrier has different areas of the country where they shine, so just look into cell signal prior to hitting remote areas. Look at some of the travel apps like iOverlander, Sekr, Roadpass, or others to see if they mention anything about signal in areas you plan on visiting.
Enjoying the Rural Life
We are definitely team boondocking whenever possible, as it puts you right in the middle of nature and all its wonders. And let's face it, its the reason we chose this life. Campgrounds and resorts can be really cool and obviously way more convenient. It honestly boils down to your preference of travel and what amenities you need or can live without. If you do boondock, it will require more preparation and supplies, as those spots tend to be farther away from any supplies.
RV The Way You Want To
As with anything, this life can be as expensive or cheap as you make it. If you have a paid off rig or setup, and it is boondocking ready, you can save a lot of money by going slow to save on gas, buying groceries to cook as much as possible, and staying in free boondocking spots. It can also be really expensive if you travel often and far while staying in campgrounds and resorts, eating at nice restaurants. It is what you make it. Oh, and definitely expect things to break. So, budget for that as well.
Always try to have a reserve or emergency fund, because things will inevitably happen. You are also going to want to make your own changes or upgrades, so always calculate and budget for projects. Then increase the budget by about 15% to 25% for unforeseen issues. If you stay at or under budget, you're great, because you have money left over. If you are over budget, it helps when things come up.
Full-time work is definitely possible, and workcamping can be a great way to stay somewhere cool for free as a home base with facilities and amenities. Again, things always boil down to your style of travel and budget. Regardless, the most important thing is to realize that this is your life now, and you are not on vacation. You just work and live from cool places. So, take your time, budget accordingly, and enjoy the ride.
Don't Rush Your Adventures
The biggest adjustment is probably the fact that everything is amplified, because you usually don't know anyone or anything about the area you're in. You have to rely on yourself and significant other for most things.Our best advice is to stay in your comfort zone and slowly push those limits until you are more comfortable doing new things and adventures. Patience is key.
We Found Our Homebase
We actually just stopped full-timing, as we bought a homebase in North Carolina. That said, we full-timed for almost 4 years, and we still plan on traveling most of the year. We simply have a place of our own to come back to and regroup after long trips now.
Follow our adventures as we continue to travel at Our Mixed Journey.