F A Q
What inspired you to do this?
We're starting with the big one. Honestly, the list could go on forever, but I'll try to be brief. We did this for the freedom. We saw a huge potential in our abilities and passions (climbing, photography, growing a business) and knew that potential was untapped when we were living in an apartment in Texas. We could tell we were just scratching the surface with our multiple trips a year. Most importantly, we realized we could sustainably do this (as in, spend less money than we're making) if we were willing to make sacrifices. We did it because we knew we could, and we knew we'd never regret it. When we were considering this lifestyle, so many wise people in our lives encouraged us, helping us realize we'd never be old people wishing we had bought a house sooner, or wishing we had "settled down" sooner, but that even if we crashed a burned, we'd be glad we had tried. Also, choosing between a cheap house near Moab and a cheap house near Yosemite was (still is) damn near impossible, so we went with both ;)
How long are you planning on doing this? Do you ever want to have kids? And other variations of Will you ever "settle down."
Callen's favorite response to this question is "it could be two more weeks or 10 more years" and I completely agree! We have no plan. All we know is that we love this lifestyle, we can't imagine giving it up, and as long as our life stays somewhat level, we'll probably keep at it. We do both want to have kiddos one day and we know life will look so different then. We'll probably choose to live in a stable home when we have babies, and will consider going mobile again after that. As of right now, there is only room for one kiddo (sweet pupper Charlie) in our camper and our hearts, so that's all we're thinking about! Note for concerned parents/hopeful grandparents: we are saving money and do realize a kid can happen unplanned. We'd be ok if so...
How do we handle such close quarters, do you ever hate each other, + other variations of how do you avoid killing your spouse when you live in a tiny camper?
You'd be surprised how much we get this question. Unless you're married...then you've probably wondered the same thing. While I'd love to say everything is sunshine and rainbows, the reality is we are both easily irritated people. We get hangry, tired, cranky, and pissy. But...we don't have any doors to slam. We normally can't leave. When the grumpies attack, we are forced to work things out. Honestly, it's been amazing. But, more importantly, we've learned ways to avoid the grumpies! A huge one is p e r s o n a l s p a c e. I'm an introvert who NEEDS chill alone time every day, like an old dog. Callen is an extrovert that NEEDS some form of exercise/adventure/activity every day, like a 6 month old puppy. When those two needs clash, we both melt. But! Now we know it's important to fit those needs in, and when I get to go sit in a coffee shop and work or chill for a few hours and Callen gets to hike or kayak for those hours, we're both SO much happier! At the beginning of every day, we make a plan and if I'm hoping to work all day, Callen knows to plan an activity. If we're doing something all day (like a big climbing or hiking day) I know to plan ahead and get work stuff done so I'm not stressing.
What is your favorite thing to do together?
Okay the last question wasn't the most fun (but it was real - so definitely good!), so I love that someone asked this one. Honestly, there isn't much we DON'T love doing together. We're best buddies and we get each other, so things come easy and hanging out is fun. We love to do a lot of things together (like rock climb, hike, take photos, scope out gear shops, find hot springs, etc) but I think our favorite thing is finding and exploring new places. That feeling of driving or hiking through a new spot, pointing things out, heads whipping around and that excitement of knowing we've discovered a new favorite. There's nothing like it!
Do you make friends on the road?
YES! This is possibly the best part. We have made some amazing friends through social media and by chatting with people at campsites or crags. We have friends all over and thanks to Facebook, we stay pretty well connected!
Do you miss your friends and family back home?
While making new friends might be the best part of this lifestyle, missing friends and family at home is the worst. Callen and I are both extremely close with our parents and our siblings. We absolutely love spending time with them. I grew up in Austin and went to college in Austin, so moving to Houston was hard enough. I missed my parents all the time then, so leaving Texas to live on the road 20+ hours away at all times pretty much ripped my heart out (and does every time we leave). We also left an amazing community of friends in The Woodlands that we miss so so much. It's hard to see these friends and family having babies and living exciting lives that we chose to leave. We rest peacefully knowing that none of these people would choose to hold us back in order to keep us in Texas. They have showered us with support and, thankfully, we have social media to keep up with each other. That being said - it's important to us to maintain personal relationships with those dearest to us. We FaceTime, call and text with our families and friends often, and when we are back in Texas we do our best to spend quality time with those we love.
How do your parents feel about this?
Alright - just putting this out there, Callen and I have THE BEST parents. Honestly, both sets of parents are completely supportive (and thrilled by) what we are doing. Much like that time we got married when I was barely legal (jk I was 20), our parents know our hearts, know our abilities, and know we're not just taking the easy way out. Callen's parents knew from a young age that he'd be adventurous and pursue a life outside of the norm. My parents saw early on that I am fiercely independent and have the ability to execute just about anything I set my mind to (their words, not ours!). We are so insanely thankful for their support. We often talk about how different this would look for us if they didn't support and encourage it.
When did you know you wanted to do this?
Honestly, Callen lived in a tent in college. He was always destined for this. I, on the other hand, thought I'd graduate, marry Callen, get a teaching job, and we'd start saving for a house in San Antonio or Austin (I laugh at this now). Thankfully, Callen patiently introduced me to a life of adventure. It started with little trips, but eventually we were both on the same page and agreed that buying a house in Texas was not for us (no offense to friends who have done so - we're different and that's ok!!!). I think it was on our big Canada trip, after I learned to skydive (which taught me to run toward my fears), that I realized I no longer had a desire to follow the norm. Suddenly having a nice kitchen in a pinterest-perfect home seemed foreign to me. I wanted adventure in the form of the great unknown. I wanted to go to Yosemite more than once a year and I wanted Moab to be a place I felt at home.
Honestly, you guys blew me away with these questions, so this is going to have to be a series! It's too much for one blog post. That being said, all of the topics above feel so huge, and I could expand on them individually if I had all the time in the world! If you want more, and want to read more about some specific questions - let me know! I'd be happy to write individual blog posts about any of them! And as always, ask more questions! We love answering them!