Living A Life More Traveled : Janiece And Paul Smith

We met a couple that worked and traveled and loved it. Having gypsy blood running through our veins and moving around a lot ourselves we started discussing the idea of us traveling full time. Once our youngest daughter graduated high school we hit the road. We still have our youngest son traveling with us but he enjoys it, unlike our daughter, so we had to figure some things out with her. With my job being remote, only one child left in school, we decided it was the right time.

Why We Picked Our Travel Trailer

We have a 32-foot travel trailer pulled by a truck. We had our truck already so we wanted to find a camper we could pull. We wanted space but our truck could only pull a small 5th wheel, we also didn’t want a small camper so getting a travel trailer allowed us to get a bigger camper.

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Our New Jobs While RVing

Paul was a sales manager with a bread company. He was working all the time and we knew we needed a change. Paul now picks up workamping jobs. Our 17-year-old son also helps workamping in areas where we spend some time. I, Janiece was a traditional high school teacher for 13 years then transitioned to a full-time online teacher. A great perk with my job now is having our health insurance through my job as well.

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Our many Experiences RVing

Seeing new places is our favorite thing about RVing! We are from Mississippi and it gets hot and humid in the south. To spend the summers where it is cool is absolutely amazing! Being able to spend time really exploring the area keeps us active and excited to see what’s around the corner.

When we RV we try to split our camping in between paid sites and free sites during our travel period. We love to boondock when we can and we try to do that for part of the month. We use several resources to find the free camping and when we went to Moab we were following the GPS directions to these coordinates for this BLM (Beuro Of Land Management) land. This was our first time in Moab, our first time trying to locate camping off the roadway on this BLM land. We did this in Arizona but they had forest road numbers so it was a bit easier to find. So, we were following the GPS and it said to turn right. It was a very narrow dirt path and we are pulling our huge camper. Do we go down it or not?we asked ourselves. We won’t ever know if it’s a good spot if we don’t, so we did. Well, not long on the dirt path we figure out that we were not on a roadway but on an ATV/off-road vehicle trail. It gets more and more narrow and now we have to try to turn around. Needless to say, shovels and digging were involved trying to get turned around. When leaving another camper was pulling in and we had to tell them there’s no camping back there! We go down the road less than a mile and see the camping spots! Fun times!

How Things Work For Us While RVing

Since I work online I have to have internet and phone connection. Our travels consists of looking for camping spots (free and paid) with good Verizon service. We use the jet pack and our phone’s hot spots. We also have a we-boost for the weak signal areas, I personally have to stay connected and so far so good. We also try to travel on days I’m not working just in case we run into dead spots with no service.

The things we have noticed we needed improvement on are having a reliable generator and solar panels, it’s a must! Learning how to conserve water is something I’m horrible with but do understand it’s importance. Spending a week or even a month at a campground saves money! Research, research, research, sometimes it takes time to find what we are looking for but it’s worth the time to search for it!!

I work full time while traveling, my job is a 40 hour a week job. It’s flexible enough to travel, however, it is our main income so it’s the top priority. Traveling on the weekend and spending afternoons/evenings exploring the area is how we work around my job. We plan our routes around workamping jobs that Paul and Josh pick up. We chase the 70’s, doesn’t always work out but we try! The workamping jobs usually pay for our spot and at least some of them provide income that goes into savings.

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Getting Used To The Traveling

The biggest adjustment for us is working on the road. Sometimes we move from place to place a little too fast (trying to get to a destination) and it always takes time for me to settle into a routine. Also, when we stay a short period of time in a place, I feel like I’m not settled in. Finding that balance of how often to move and route planning is the biggest challenge for us and takes time to figure out.

Our Plans For The Year

We have no plans to stop at this time. We have the summer and winter planned out and will plan the spring and summer shortly after that. Right now we are making our way to Glacier National Park where Paul has a workcamping job as a security guard there. We will stay in St. Mary, Montana, and Josh our son (who is 17) will work in the cafe in town. My teaching job goes through the end of June and I’ll teach summer school as well, so I’ll be online about 4 hours a day M-F. We will explore on our time off and plan to go into Canada eventually. In October Paul and Josh will do the beet harvest and then we will start moving south for the winter. We will be camp hosts at Goliad State Park outside of San Antonio, Texas for the winter. This life is well worth the adventures we have as a family, that’s for sure.

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4 comments

  1. I love all the options you set your family up for. It’s inspiring to see you three so happy and eager for new adventures.

  2. Who is your teaching job through? Was it difficult to get an online job? My husband is a retired band director and also has a degree in English. We live full time in our RV and we are looking for income sources when I retire in a couple of years. Our goal is to travel .

    1. They aren’t particular on what system they go through but many people use VIP kid and love the flexibility.

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