And we’re off! Our First Week as Full-Time Travelers

As of writing this, we are winding down our first week on the road. It’s been a hectic week – on top of just trying to settle in to this lifestyle, we planned the busiest travel section of our “planned route” right at the very beginning. So far, we’ve gone from DFW to Lubbock to Santa Fe and landed in Denver. Tomorrow morning, we take off for Rapid City, and hopefully things will slow down a bit once we get there.

We’ve learned so much already, and we want to use this space not only to keep you up to date with our family and the places we’re going, but also just how this full-time lifestyle really is, physically, emotionally, financially, etc. So we’ll be using this space to share those kinds of things as well. We hope you’ll hang around and be a part of our journey.

For this installment though, we’d like to just share where and what we’ve been up to this week! Normally we’ll break these out into multiple blogs, but this week has been so hectic, we thought we’d just combine it this time.

Day 1 – Lubbock!

I know you’re thinking, “Ah, the glory and splendor of Lubbock, Texas.” Well, maybe not. But it does hold a special place in our hearts. Harlan did his undergrad at Lubbock Christian University, and during his time there, we met –> started dating –> got engaged –> and a week after graduation, we were married. So when planning our route, it seemed a natural stopping point, even if only for one night. 

Even though we had been living in our camper full-time since March, two weeks prior to our official launch we went on a cruise (which we planned before we even planned to go on the road!), then stayed at Harlan’s parent’s house. Ginnie the Winnie was stored away at Harlan’s uncle’s house while we were away, meaning we had to remove all the food, bring all the clothes and everything we might need for two weeks away from home. That just meant that once we got to Lubbock, the inside was a bit of a disaster. There was a lot of cleaning and unpacking and reorganizing that needed to be done. So, naturally, instead of doing that, we decided to go see friends! Priorities! Our motto is: cleaning can always wait. Well, maybe not, but it sounds like a good one.

We still have friends in town, so it was nice to be able to see some familiar faces. Our first stop was Cassie and Curtis Thomas and their three boys. Two of their sons are close to Baron’s age, so he got some good play time in. Their newest bundle of joy was less than one week old so Yvette got to soak up some baby snuggles while we caught up with these sweet friends.

After they pried the baby away from Yvette, we went to the home Kristopher and Cassandra Schmitt (or as we like to call them, Krissandra). We got to tour their beautiful home and recording studio where Baron played drums and a harmonium for us. Then Cassandra introduced us to their friend Ember, a leopard gecko. Baron was in LOVE and even got to hold her. Then we went to dinner and got to visit for a long time. It was so nice.

The next morning it was time to head off to Santa Fe. After a minor fiasco in which we lost a set of keys (we have backups!), we were on the road!

Days 2-3 – Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe from Lubbock is not the most scenic drive, but as you get into the mountains, you’re treated to some beautiful landscape. The drive was mostly uneventful, and we found ourselves pulling into our second stop during the afternoon.

Now, we have to stop for a second, because this part needs its full recognition. Yvette has been talking about this stop in Santa Fe for months. MONTHS. We stayed just outside of Santa Fe on a fully functioning alpaca farm. Yep…alpacas. While we had expected them to be surrounding our camper in a sort of “one of us” chant, we had to accept that they were behind a fence just beside us. We fed them grass and had staring contests and it was lovely.

Santa Fe was gorgeous, the weather was gorgeous, and we had the best time. It was our first experience with “boondocking” – meaning no hookups – no electric, no water, no A/C, nothing. We still had battery power for the occasional light at night, but other than that, we were roughing it. Well, as roughing it as you can get in a 30 foot Winnebago travel trailer. 🙂

At any rate, we spent the day catching up on some emails and work and trying to settle in more before taking an afternoon break to explore the plaza and city. We ate at The Shed – thanks Donna for the recommendation! – and Harlan thought he might die of spicy food asphyxiation. (That’s not a thing. Right?)

Like Lubbock, our stay in Santa Fe was short-lived, and we were back on the road toward Denver just two days later.

Days 3-7 – Denver!

If you’re ever camping in the Denver area, we have just the spot for you. Chatfield State Park is about 30 minutes south of Denver in the Littleton area, and is stunningly beautiful. We had a couple of the most amazing sunsets, and just generally the nicest time just hanging out around the camper. So much so, that we didn’t even make it into the city of Denver at all during our time here.

We spent more time settling in, catching up on work (REMEMBER…this is NOT vacation. Just a really cool commute!), and just enjoying family time around fires and food at the campground.

We did make it out to see more friends, Joel and Ashley Wood, and their wonderful four (FOUR!) kids. Baron is making new friends endlessly. It’s so great. Joel and Ashley pastor a church in the Denver area, so we got to visit and have dinner with them. We haven’t had the chance to be lonely yet, even though we know some of that will happen eventually.

We’re winding down our time in Denver as I’m writing this, and we’re honestly a little sad to leave. That said, our journey slows down a bit more over the next few weeks, and we definitely are excited about that.

So that’s it for now! We are already experiencing and learning so much, it’s hard to share it all in a blog. Like we mentioned in our Instagram story, we DO plan on launching a YouTube channel eventually, and will share more of our experience on there. But for now…keep hanging around this blog, and follow us on Instagram and Facebook. We’ll also be sharing practical things about living on the road, working on the road, and just the drastic lifestyle change this has been already and will continue to be. Until then…bye for now!

See you in Rapid City!