Understanding our Unconventional Lifestyle.

Traveling full-time is not about vacation; it's about living the dream of a lifetime!

Understanding our Unconventional Lifestyle.
Photo by Mulyadi / Unsplash

In 2020, we decided to give up the American Dream for our dreams.

We sold our home of 14 years and downsized our belongings to a 10x10 storage, bought a pickup truck and packed it up with the essentials, then headed off into the unknown, traveling to places we always wanted to see.

There was no real plan or agenda. Just a thirst for a new and exciting adventure.

People couldn’t understand why a couple in their early 50s would voluntarily choose to sell almost everything they owned to live a life from the road in a pickup truck. It just seemed SO CRAZY for us to leave everything behind. 😜

But the truth is we’ve always been a bit unconventional.

Donetta and I decided a long time ago to follow our own path even when it went against the status quo, and even though it’s not always easy to do and comes with it’s own set of challenges, we’ve never regretted our decisions to break the rules.

We are digital nomads who absolutely love our lifestyle.

Unfortunately some friends and family still can’t seem to wrap their minds around our passion to travel full-time. For some, we’re either taking extended vacations or going through some sort of mid-life rebellious phase. It’s understandable though because this lifestyle is different, and after four years of doing this, it’s OK people don’t get it.

What bothers us are the snide remarks or negative comments about our decisions for pursuing our dreams, which can be quite hurtful.

For example, sometimes it’s directly or indirectly mentioned that we should:

  1. Spend less on travel because it’s expensive.
  2. Help take care of family and be there for friends.
  3. Get a real job with a paycheck and benefits.
  4. Stay home to work. Which is ironic because we’re homeless! 🤷‍♂️
  5. Save all of our money for retirement and old age.

While we appreciate people’s concerns and sentiments, is it not for us to decide how we should live our own lives?

Yet being the kinda person I am, and the need to debate the questions we’re usually asked, I decided to share my thoughts on these things below.

How are you going to make a living?

Well, since the invention of the internet, people have been able to earn money doing things they’re good at or enjoy. In today’s modern world, you can now sell your services or products anywhere with a WiFi connection.

Since 2004, I have been paid well to do creative and marketing work for clients all over the world, most of whom I’ve never met in person. Donetta has also been working her business for 14 years, now mostly online. We also have a few digital properties that make us extra money.

There is no need to have a “traditional job” in an office these days.

Success is not dependent on the old school way of doing things and there are millions of people who make great money by working remotely. And even if the internet came crashing down, there are ways travelers can earn an income without it.

What about your responsibility to family?

My mother has talked about how much she gave up to feed, clothe, serve and support 15 siblings (and sometimes their own families) since she was 12 years old. That’s 73 years of taking care of people in her family! 😮

These lifelong responsibilities have come with a high price and regrets, especially when it relates to being a caretaker for dying parents and siblings.

So naturally my mom is our biggest fan, encouraging us to travel and live for ourselves, while constantly reminding us how quickly life passes by. We also have a couple other family members who tell us to GO before it’s too late and appreciate it.

That being said, I truly love my family and deeply care about them all, but my responsibility is to Donetta and myself. And as harsh as it might sound, we’re not living for others and do not feel guilty for doing so.

How can you afford to travel?

Traveling can be expensive depending on what you do and how you do it, and the cost for everything has increased the past several years, but our situation is different.

We don’t have a mortgage and we’re not paying for all those associated expenses like property taxes, home maintenance, utility bills, internet, and lawn care. Yea!!!

The biggest expense is hotel rates, but it’s still usually cheaper than home ownership or renting — and we often get deeply discounted rates or free stays by using our Hilton Vacation Club or Choice Hotel points.

Additionally we use our Capital One credit card to pay for all of our monthly expenses, earning thousands of points which result in free stays, air travel, and other perks. The balance is paid off weekly so we don’t carry any debt.

Our new rooftop tent also provides us with cheap or free sleeping options.

Ultimately we’re mostly frugal as we travel, making our own meals and avoiding the tourist traps. We invest in experiences and not frivolous stuff.

What about safety in the crazy world out there?

This has been a new concern recently and I don’t blame people for asking, especially with all that you see in the news or on social media.

In all the years we’ve traveled, it’s been rare for us to feel threatened or concerned about our safety. Even when we recently visited the border between the United States and Mexico, we never felt in harms way.

Our near death experiences so far have come from other stupid drivers and their vehicles, mostly in Florida, California, and Texas, where the worst drivers happen to live. BTW texting while driving will kill innocent people. STOP IT! 😡

Regardless we must also remember there are no guarantees in life.

No matter where you are, where you go, or what you do, you cannot control everything and there is always a chance something bad can happen to you.

We certainly take appropriate safety precautions in everything we do, but we also choose to not be controlled by fear because that’s no way to live! So we try not to worry and just enjoy every day.

How will we prepare for retirement?

You got us there! Honestly we have no clue about this or what our future will look like. Probably dying while greeting people at Walmart unless Artificial Intelligence takes over that too. 😝

Hopefully we’ll keep saving money and invest in something worthwhile down the road that will provide for our old and crinkly asses, but we could do everything to prepare for those Golden Years and never live long enough to enjoy it. Unfortunately we’ve seen this happen with friends and family.

Anyways, the answers aren’t always easy or clear. We just know we have no regrets.

Hopefully more people will begin to understand the importance of taking every opportunity to experience the ride of a lifetime. There might not be a tomorrow. Sometimes it’s better to take a leap of faith than to not take it at all.


We don’t know how long we’ll keep truckin’, but for now we’ll keep going until we can’t go no more. 🛻