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Travel Decisions

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It’s been very slow for my husband’s construction company. If you recall, this was an intentional choice late last year when we all but shut it down and he transitioned to full-time parenting and homeschooling our kids. He works nights from home part-time and this set-up has been working well for us. We make about the same amount we did when he was working full-time since we no longer pay a nanny.

Our trip to remote South Dakota was delayed when my husband had several construction clients call him out of the blue asking about availability. Since I’m working from home, it’s a great time for him to be working. Those 3 clients evolved into 6. Good construction folks are hard to find and word spread fast that my husband was taking a few jobs. July into August is going to be busy. School starts for our kids the first week in September so he has a limited window to get as much done as possible.

As my husband finished outlining the route to South Dakota last night on our road atlas (yes, we still use paper maps. Get lost in a remote area once with zero cell service and you learn that lesson fast), he was more silent than usual. He was highlighting the route, double checking the trucker maps on his phone and calculating fuel stops.

Then he kept flipping pages.

He pulled out a pad of paper and started scribbling numbers, his face scrunched in concentration. I walked over and saw the great state of Kentucky. “Um. I hate to tell you this, that ain’t South Dakota!” I said laughing, catching his mistake. I stopped laughing when I looked at his pad of paper. Tennessee. Kentucky. North Carolina. South Carolina.

“What if we just kept going? I’ll earn enough from these jobs to take a trek to the East Coast. This is a rare opportunity to travel for months. You are working remotely and the in-person classes for the kids have been cancelled” he said.

I’m supposed to find out how long I’ll be working remotely by the end of this week but rumor has it, I’ll be remote until early next year, perhaps longer. I thought his idea was beyond ridiculous but the more I thought about it, the more it grew on me.

Oh yes, I am aware this is going to open me up to some fairly harsh criticism for considering full-time RVing in a pandemic. I’ve seen the comments every time Hope travels. But the reality is, this is a weird opportunity and he can pay for it with his side work. We couldn’t afford it otherwise. Again, we are a fully self-contained unit so we only stop for gas (yes, I am aware of the chance of a breakdown but did you know breakdowns happen at HOME too??? Gasp!). We stay at locations for long periods, no bouncing around. We shop bi-weekly for groceries and we take the same precautions that we do at home. We mask up. We wash our hands. We stay home if we don’t feel well. We stay further from people than we do at home since we camp in more remote locations. I can’t pass it up.

Has anyone else had some weird opportunities thrown their way? These are strange times.


30 Comments

  • Reply Alice |

    Oh my gosh! Do it! All those states you mentioned are GORGEOUS! So different from out west. You will LOVE it. Of course, I’m a fan, since I live in KY.

    • Reply Beks |

      We’ve been researching campgrounds and I can’t believe how STUNNING KY is! It’s gorgeous! I can’t wait!

  • Reply angie |

    Personally, I think it’s a bit selfish. But I also know of people doing it and have thought about it for myself. To each their own at this point. US is already in the toilets. It’s also way better than flying all over.

    I would just say, don’t advertise it. Social media or otherwise. There’s lots of people struggling financially and mentally. The last thing they need is someone showing how awesome their COVID vacation is.

    • Reply Beks |

      That’s a good point. I haven’t been on social media much these days but it’s a good reminder!

  • Reply Christopher |

    You should go for it. After working from home in a high-rise building in a very closed environment, I am now living in a small house in New Mexico, best decision of my life.

    Think further.
    1.) You could sell your home and many of your belongings.
    2.) Store your important items.
    3.) Live in your RV for a few months. Or longer.
    4.) Become a resident of South Dakota. You only need to live there for 24 hours for residency.

  • Reply Kay |

    I hope you verify your health insurance covers you outside your home state. Especially if someone ends up in the hospital. What would happen if you or your husband or both got really sick? It sounds like at home you have family members who could step in and help. In another state where you know no one.. that seems scary to me.

    • Reply Cwaltz |

      Haha! You think like I do. I’m fairly risk averse and all I could think of is what happens if one of their family contracts covid? It would be a nightmare scenario but with infection rates increasing, it could be reality.

  • Reply susan |

    I was thinking you could rent or VRBO your home to make extra income. You have relatives close to help you manage the process.

  • Reply Kasey |

    I hope you come up with plans for what to do if:
    Someone catches COVID
    Both parents catch covid
    A hospital stay, someone on a ventilator
    Health insurance coverage

      • Reply Beks |

        We thought about that! Our worry is that we’d have to empty the house and we’re not sure it’s worth the hassle especially since people aren’t traveling a lot right now. We’re still researching.

    • Reply Cwaltz |

      Haha! You think like I do. I’m fairly risk averse and all I could think of is what happens if one of their family contracts covid? It would be a nightmare scenario but with infection rates increasing, it could be reality.

  • Reply Andrea Denny |

    Some of the states you listed have the worst increases in cases/deaths. I love the idea, but I’d think hard about which states you go to and try to stick with ones with better trends (which may mean making some adjustments on the fly).

    • Reply Beks |

      Absolutely agree. We have rerouted a few stops since I wrote the post and we left a few open spots to move on the fly. That’s essential to RVing.

  • Reply Lindsey |

    YES! GO! I’m a homemaker/ blogger/ homeschooling mom and my husband works remotely thanks to Covid….so….I’ve been thinking we should do the same thing! It would be a blast and you can totally social distance!

  • Reply Nancy |

    A couple things, don’t you have debt you need to pay off? I’m not totally familiar with your situation but I would use any extra money you or your husband make to pay off debt, especially during these uncertain times. Another thing, we have just completed 2 road trips and unless you only want to see scenery, almost all activities and cool historical sights are closed. Lots of parks were closed, or had limited numbers allowed in, swimming areas closed many places. My teenages got seriously bored, we didn’t even browse the stores that were open because of not wanting any extra exposure. Quite frankly, a terrible time to travel or vacation. I’m not trying to be a downer, but we are committed to staying home now.

  • Reply Reece |

    Take the trip! You can be exposed by choosing an unlucky time to be at a grocery store at home, to be honest. If you have the cash for the trip and it’s all about family time and you have a safety plan, then take the trip.

    • Reply Angie |

      This type of logic is very counterproductive. While technically true it isn’t taking everything into account. Of course, you could contract COVID on your first outing our of your house. I think the part being considered here is the frequency of which you are opening yourself up to exposure. At home you can get your groceries delivered, stay home, use toilets that don’t need emptying, skip gatherings. On the road you have to go out more times than you would at home. It’s just the nature of it. You’re thereby increasing the likelihood, just because you’re increasing the number of trips.

      Think of it like driving. You could very well get into an accident the absolute first time you take out a brand new car. But the more you drive it, the more chances you have to get in an accident. If you drive it 100,000 miles you’re likely to have an accident or fender bender at some point in time. Meanwhile, if you never took the car out of the garage you have 0% potential.

      • Reply Lisa |

        Not to mention it’s not just about you. You catch it, you travel and keep spreading it before you even know you have it.

  • Reply Shanna |

    I agree that now is not the time to travel any distance. Especially with small kids. If something happens to one or both of you, you are now putting it upon strangers to expose themselves to help your kids. Covid can go south very quickly. We cancelled 5 trips this year-both international and domestic. A few were big long planned ones, a few smaller ones. We even one to a remote family property where we would have no interaction with others, we felt that if we got sick we were using resources in that town that weren’t ours to use. It is a bummer and boring and hard for all of us. But to ever come out the other side, we need to hang tight. What about taking the camper to somewhere more local for a change of scenery. Or even somewhere in CA, you will be close enough to home to get back if need be? Hang in there!!

  • Reply Katie |

    Also, please consider the infrastructure of where you’re going. I’m in Montana and we have a ton of people coming here to escape. Our numbers are increasing at an alarming rate, and frankly we don’t have the hospital capacity to stay on this path.

  • Reply Laura |

    I can only begin to describe how selfish this plan is. You’re not thinking logically about all of the places you’re putting extra stress on to simply because you feel you earned looking at landscapes. RV parks are filled with older and lower income people and are in rural areas with fewer resources. With evictions looming for literally millions of Americans, places like RV parks will be one of the few places evicted people can go to. Your children won’t want to spend 24/7 inside a small RV, especially when they can see other kids outside. By traveling from place to place, you’re exposing every person in each park to all the kids in the last 2-4 parks you were at. You’re exposing grocery store And convenience store and park support staff in towns that likely don’t have their own hospital. If you truly believe that you’re going to be only looking at landscapes and not stopping at any sort of educational, historical, cultural, or “tourist” sites, then turn on aerial America and see nature instead of risking the lives of other people in order to change your scenery.

So, what do you think ?