Guest Article Tuesday
Note From Stephen: I get a lot of requests for guest articles. I’ve decided to create a new feature called Guest Article Tuesday where readers or other bloggers can express their ideas to my readers.
Hugh DeBurgh, The Passionate Warrior, has dedicated his life to the achievement of the ultimate family lifestyle. You can find him writing about Creative Family Lifestyle Design over at his blog, The Way of Passionate Warrior. Currently he is on the second leg of a worldwide travel adventure with his wife and four young children. Follow Hugh on Twitter or sign up for his RSS feed and don’t miss an update!
Where do you call home?
With my family, things can be a bit different than for most. You see, we are road warriors. Digital nomads. Call us what you will. For us, home is wherever we are.
We live most of the year in a 35 foot diesel motor home. All six of us. Me, my wife, and four young kids.
And during the time that we are on the road, that motor home is our home.
Friends have asked us how we do this. Are we independently wealthy? No. Do we live on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? No. Don’t we miss having roots in a community? Not really, because we still have those. Are we insane for living so close together for such long periods. Perhaps.
I’ve also heard comments to the effect that a motor home can never have the feeling of home. When folks say, “There’s no place like home,” they aren’t seeing a rolling box on wheels in their mind’s eye.
I guess what all these folks are asking is, “What do we sacrifice by living a mobile, nomadic lifestyle?”
First, we aren’t always on the road.
We do drive a lot. We have circumnavigated North America (Canada and the US) one-and-a-half times. And we have zig-zaged all over the interior as well. We still do.
Yes, our motor home is our house. But our community is wherever we choose to stop and experience for a while.
And we stop from time to time. Often it is to visit an interesting place. A museum, or a historical site, or a science center. Or perhaps just somewhere that’s fun.
At other times we casually stop somewhere and just get that homey feeling. When I feel that, I want to stay. Not long enough to build a house, but for a week or two.
To me that homey feeling is when you feel it’s OK to let down your guard. Where life’s affordable, the natives are friendly and sparse, the weather is nice and the scenery is pleasant. And where all of your principle needs can be easily met.
We just found such a place. In Champaign, Illinois. It’s a little campground outside of town, in the middle of cornfields (what isn’t in the Midwest!). The scenery here is very pleasant, its quiet, shaded with a lovely grove of trees, and yet five minutes from all the amenities you could need. And the Internet here is awesome! Finally I can get work done and backup my files online. That’s a big deal for me.
Which brings up another issue.
Mobile Lifestyle Needs
When you live on the road, your needs are quite different than when you are just “camping.” As a result, we have little in common with the casual campers who surround us at most campsites, especially in the summer months.
When you camp, you may be prepared to accept a certain amount of “roughing it.” But when you are “home,” you have fairly consistent needs that now need to be provided for on a mobile platform.
There are the basics, like, food and such, there are comfort needs, and you may also have business needs – typically technologies that allow you to work on the road.
For me to be able to call a place “home” I will have to satisfy all of these needs wherever I happen to be.
A lot is written about lowering your needs “threshold” before heading on the road. That is, reducing the number of things that you think you need so you can pack a bit lighter. We did that when we started traveling. And it feels fantastic to get rid of all of that stuff that you thought you couldn’t live without.
But there are some things that we are not prepared to part with, and yet are difficult to carry with us. We have to scavenge to satisfy these needs as we go along.
One of those scavenged needs is high speed Internet. Without it, we cannot carry on our business. And without that economic engine, the road trip is over.
The Internet Makes Our Lifestyle Possible
Without the Internet and cell phones, we could not live as free a life as we do today. To ensure that we keep connected, we carry our own Internet technology with us.
One of my big gripes when we’re on the road is the Internet quality, or lack of it, that we find. So we do the best that we can. Outside of major metropolitan areas, Internet signals are poor or inconsistent all over North America.
In fact, this is a serious problem for anyone who wants to live life on the road but needs world-class communications at the same time.
There are very few entrepreneurs who seem to be addressing this problem. And those who are trying are using technology that’s getting a bit long in the tooth (cell technology and satellite Internet).
As more and more folks discover the freedom and beauty of the mobile lifestyle, this lack of Internet infrastructure means that North America is loosing its traditional advantages over parts of the former third world and Europe, where the Internet is often much more ubiquitous.
Anyway, even with these minor issues we sacrifice very little to live a mobile lifestyle.
You can buy most anything you need on the road.
Nice campsites in quiet and safe communities are available for $25 to $50 a night (water, power and sewer included), and we tow our car along with us.
And the scenery is always changing. When the weather is hot, we head north. When it gets cold, we let the snow line chase us south. All the while we run a business and write posts like this one. The kids play and life goes on.
If you’ve ever wanted to chuck your current lifestyle and hit the road, just do it!
Give it a try. Consider renting an RV or other more affordable means of travel. Vacations are usually way too expensive to maintain as a lifestyle. Yet you can live quite comfortably – even luxuriously – while living mobile. It just requires that you reconfigure your life so that your dollars buy you the maximum possible return, and no more.
I hope that you will take this post as your wake up call to live the life you’ve dreamed of!
And let me know what you decide to do. I’d love to hear about your adventures!
All the best,