Reflections of two years on the road

2 years ago I left my steady, stable job as a CT Technologist at a hospital and Dan left his 27 year teaching career for a complete unknown. Reflecting back, we continue to have no regrets about making the change. As much as we have experienced in the past 2 years, it seems as if we have only scratched the surface on what our great country has to offer.

Mt Rushmore from Hwy 244

Mt Rushmore from Hwy 244

Sometimes I feel we are traveling at a snail’s pace, especially when I read others blogs and they seem to be all over the country. But then I remind myself that we, hopefully, have so much time ahead of us to continue going at our own pace. Eventually we will “get there”. It truly is the journey, and not the destination, that is important.

The past two summers, working in gift stores in major tourist areas, I have encountered many people who learn of our lifestyle, and then say “but you are so young”. Sometimes I wonder if we should have kept on working, and saving more money, but that thought quickly passes! After 2 years on the road, we are able to do just fine with our work camping jobs. It certainly helps not having to pay a mortgage, gas, electric, water, sewer and property taxes. And we make sure to find jobs where we are paid for all hours worked, as well as having our site paid for.

I really enjoy living in a small space. I still have too many clothes and other things, so another trip to Goodwill is in order. If it has not been used in 2 years, it is time to let someone else have it collect dust in their house!

Our current location, West Yellowstone, has dozens of hotels/motels/cabins. Watching people load and unload their luggage makes me appreciate the fact we have everything we need with us at all times when we travel in our 5th wheel.

THINGS THAT I MISS

  • A “real” oven. After our first year, I have stopped using our propane oven. Even though it is very small in size, it takes about 30 minutes to heat up, and significantly longer to cook anything. A small batch of cookies takes about 30 minutes. It just became too frustrating to use. In the past year, I have been using our convection/microwave oven, with slightly better results. An electric home oven has 220 volt power, versus 110 volt power in a recreational vehicle. As such, it still takes longer to cook, but I can do a batch of cookies in about 20 minutes, with better results. And things brown better than in a propane oven. Some people use a stand-alone toaster oven for their baking, and have better results. If we ever purchase another RV, it would not have a propane oven.
  • DVR. We do not have satellite, and we certainly do not miss the big bill! We rely on over-the-air television, which can be hit or miss. We have discovered a lot of excellent shows on the PBS channels, which usually come in when nothing else does. But I do miss the ability to record television shows when we are working. We have thought about going “old school” and getting a VCR! (that’s a video cassette recorder for you young folks!)
  • Washer/dryer. We opted not to spend an additional $1100 for a stackable unit when we purchased our 5th wheel. Although we do not mind going to laundromats, we have several t-shirts that are now “tye-died” as a result of using public washers!
  • Unlimited and fast internet connections
  • Family and friends events.  We have missed some big events due to having to work in the summer.  But there were also times with our regular jobs that we could not make it to certain things.  We do try to get back to Wisconsin to visit with family and friends, so this does help.

REGRETS?

  • Zip, zero, nada!!!!

BEST PART OF OUR JOURNEY?

The people that we have met along the road, have been the number one benefit of this lifestyle. As an introverted person, this has truly been a blessing for me. It is very easy to live in a house and not get to know your neighbors. It is almost impossible to walk around a campground and not strike up conversations with others. Work camping is also a wonderful way to meet others, share experiences, and make life-long friends.

Cedar Key 1/14

Cedar Key 1/14

lunch with friends

lunch with friends

Tom, Jack, Ruth Ann, me, Dan and Ellen

Tom, Jack, Ruth Ann, me, Dan and Ellen

We have had some wonderful experiences.

snorkeling with manatees

snorkeling with manatees

Crazy Horse Memorial

Crazy Horse Memorial

Disney after Dark

Disney after Dark

And driven through some beautiful parts of the country!

no problem!

no problem!

Encountering wildlife.

Big Daddy

Big Daddy

And trying new experiences

a small waterfall behind us

a small waterfall behind us

Looking back through our photos over the past two years make us realize how much we have experienced. And we have only scratched the surface! Some of you have followed along on our journey from the beginning, and we thank you for that! Others have joined along the way. We are humbled that people follow along with us.

Quote for the  day:  “The less routine the more life.” – Amos Bronson Alcott

7 thoughts on “Reflections of two years on the road

  1. My husband and I just retired are we are also young 56&62. Looking to working and seeing the country just like you are. Any suggestions for reliable websites to look for jobs. Also any suggestions on writing a resume. Thanks, Dan and JMarie

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    • We have looked at coolworks.com, which has a category for RV’ers. Also, if you are on Facebook, there is a workcampers group that you can join. Employers frequently post jobs. You can also look into joining work campers, as they have a bi-monthly magazine, and you can get daily e-mails with current job postings. I believe the cost to join that is $44/year. We did subscribe the first year, but no longer do so, as we get our job leads now from talking with others that we have met along the way. Networking seems to provide the best job leads. Good luck with your adventures! Perhaps we can meet somewhere down the road!

  2. Love following your blog! Looking back would you do it all over with a 5th wheel? Anything else with your RV setup you would change besides the propane oven? We are also from WI and currently have a travel trailer and when we make the jump to full time we are looking at a 5th wheel as well. Really liking the front living room setup. What about your thoughts on a generator or solar?

    • Julie we would still get a 5th wheel. It just works out better for us, since we spend more time ‘sitting’ then traveling because of our work camping jobs. We do not have a generator, and have not had any need for one yet. If we were going to do some boondocking/dry camping, then we would definitely get both solar and a generator. Thanks for following along!

  3. I’m with you on the propane oven. We’re looking to do a few updates in the motor home and replacing the oven with a cabinet is top on my list. Also I wasn’t sure about our splendie washer/dryer in the beginning but I would not trade it for anything. I absolutely hate laundromats.

    Your quote for the day is so true.

    Look forward to reading about your years to come.

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