Ever since we hit the road full-time, I’ve had numerous people ask me why my family chose this lifestyle. This is a great question, but not one I can answer easily. We chose this life for so, so many reasons that putting them all into words would take hours.
That said, I can certainly scratch the surface and give you an idea of why we made the decision to sell our stuff, hitch up a trailer, and head out on our roadschooling adventure.
Seeking Out Knowledge
Perhaps the biggest goal we had in mind for this adventure, and what we continue to strive for most, is seeking out knowledge. I was homeschooled and then unschooled for my middle and high school years. This led to a deep love of learning and a hunger to see more, do more, and know more. Of course, travel is the ultimate way to gain new experiences and new knowledge, so the full-time lifestyle definitely appealed to me personally.
However, we didn’t set out on this journey for me alone. In fact, this adventure is more about our son than anyone else. We want him to have the freedom to explore his world. We want him to meet new people and try new things so he can find the thing that lights his passion fire. Most of all, we want him to have the same love of learning that I was so blessed with thanks to my homeschooling and unschooling background. I think it’s working.
All that said, roadschooling isn’t about one student gaining knowledge. It’s about a whole family exploring and expanding their knowledge base together. It’s about showing each other the cool discoveries we make and discussing our adventures to learn new points of view. It’s about growing and blossoming as a unit, and in that way, we all benefit from our decision to roadschool.
Traveling means meeting all kinds of new people. Sometimes we spend time in snowbird RV parks surrounded by financially secure, retired seniors who want for nothing. Other times, we end up in poverty stricken communities. We’ve met people from other countries, people who don’t speak a word of English, and people with every kind of accent, belief, and sexual orientation imaginable. Coffee shops are great places to meet new faces, and our coffee stops have led to conversations with world travelers, motorcycle enthusiasts, performers, politicians, and many, many more.
Why does this matter? Well, I believe that exposure leads to acceptance. In other words, if we expose our son to people of all races, income levels, sexual orientations, political stances, and beliefs, he will be more willing to accept others for who they are. He will understand that he may be different than others, but that is no reason he can’t be kind, accepting, and helpful to everyone.
That, my friends, it what life is really about, and if I can instill that in my son, I’ll be feeling pretty great.
Finding Our Tribe
When we were living in a house, I felt isolated, like the walls were actually holding me captive, preventing me from finding the community I so desperately wanted. It’s not that I couldn’t go outside and say hello to a neighbor, but it felt odd to do so. Nobody in our neighborhood talked, and there certainly weren’t neighborhood events.
I did try to join some playgroups and I would meet up with other moms from time to time, but nothing ever clicked. Nothing felt right, and I wanted that real connectedness that comes with true community. I was beginning to think what I wanted was gone from existence entirely. Wiped out by the busyness of modern life and the strange faux communities and friendships brought on by social media.
This was very difficult, especially for me. In fact, this lack of community was leading me into a depression. I knew that I needed friends. I needed people who I could relate to, girlfriends to chat with into the night, other families to help us when the going got rough, and friends—real friends—for my son. I knew what I needed, but had no clue how to get it.
Then, shortly after presenting the idea of RVing to my husband, I discovered that other young families were living my dream of full-time travel and it clicked. If we could find a way to get out there and meet these like-minded people, we might be able to find some sort of community for our little family. While it took a while for this to happen, thanks to Fulltime Families, it did eventually, and we couldn’t be happier to finally be a part of a tribe. To have people to share dinners with, enjoy campfires next to, and turn to in times of trouble is magical medicine for the soul, and I certainly recommend it to everyone.
The final major reason we choose this lifestyle is for the simplicity of it. Our space is minimal, meaning our shopping has to be minimal, and our bills are minimal, meaning our work is minimal.
Basically, we live with the mindset that less is more. We don’t own a television, and we keep our electronic devices until they die before we replace them. For clothes, we each have a few shirts, a couple pair of pants, and a couple pair of shoes, and we’re fine with that. Our son has about 10% of the toys most American children have, and still doesn’t play with them all.
We live this way not because we have to, but because we want to. Living simply removes stress from our lives by reducing clutter and reducing the amount of work we have to do. This gives us more time to spend together and more energy to spend on bettering ourselves and the world around us. It also reduces our footprint on the planet.
We hope that by raising our son in this simple manner, we can help him see how unnecessary the excess is, helping him feel more grateful for what he does have. We also hope this helps lead him to be more thoughtful about how he spends his time, money, and resources as an adult.
These are our reasons for RVing full-time and homeschooling on the road. That said, everyone has a different set of reasons, meaning yours may not reflect ours at all. So tell me: Why did you hit the road? Or if you’re not traveling yet, why would you personally consider this lifestyle?