As I’m creating the first few posts for this blog, along with all of the cool things I’ve learned that I want to share with you, I feel like I should share a bit of our personal journey with you. Who we are, what we’re doing, where we’re going, when it all happened, why we’re doing it, and a bit of the how – though really, this whole blog is about the how.
For starters . . .
I’m Cheryl Woodhouse. That’s me over there – on the right. This is reminding me I need new headshots. Anyway, that is me and I am the co-founder of the Wandering Entrepreneurs community and the Founder of theadmin.co (the digital agency whose growth this blog is chronicling, along with our travels.)
I’ve spent far too much of my life in marketing and technology, from designing websites at 12 to discovering WordPress way-back-when and spending more time advising clients on marketing strategies and tech tools than anything else, even when they hired me for something else. Don’t worry, they got what they paid for, but so many clients over the years told me that my systems thinking, my software and automation skills, and my marketing skills were even more valuable than what they had hired me for. I should have listened sooner.
Outside of my love/work, I’m a wife and mom of 3 beautiful children (7, 5, and 2 – or at least, they will be within 2 weeks of writing this.) I wouldn’t be an entrepreneur if it weren’t for my constant, undying desire to spend more time with them than a 9-5 grind would allow. I owe them everything, even though they think I’m terrible because I don’t let them eat candy every day.
The wife part I mentioned – I married my soul mate and best friend Darren just over 8 years ago now. He’s not the driven, type A, born entrepreneur I am, and that’s good. He slows me down and helps me enjoy things when I’m trying to cram as much life as possible into life. We balance each other. I help him remember oil changes, he helps me relax when we’re late for one.
I like hiking and trail running and yoga and books. I know how to crochet, and do it when I’m bored. I eat kale and quinoa and beet chips and try to be healthy, but I secretly love chicken McNuggets, too, so there is that. In general, I’m probably a pretty average millennial woman just trying to find her way through life, with one major exception:
I live in an RV with my husband and 3 children, and I’m growing my 3rd successful company from scratch while we travel North America. <<That’s probably why you’re here.
So, what exactly does that mean?
Well, our house is on wheels. We own it, and we tow it around to whatever campground or nature area (if we had a generator or solar, anyway) we can find that suits us. We then live in that spot for as long as we like before moving on to somewhere else. It’s like having a tiny house, but we move around more often. While we’re doing that, I’m growing my new company theadmin.co in a location-independent way, so I can run it no matter where we are or how long we’re there.
Our travel plans . . .
Right now, we’re considered “stationary” – that means we’re not technically traveling right now. We’re still living in an RV, in a campground that is not meant for full-time living (not like a trailer park – this is a resort.) We’re stationary for the time being because we’re waiting for our new RV to arrive from the factory in October, and then giving it a few months to break things in close to the dealership in case of warranty repairs. We’ll have a few short road trips (sans RV) and one airline trip (Texas in November), but otherwise, we’re here until New Years Day. After that, we set off to travel again.
In January, we’re headed to Palm Springs. I don’t know why – I literally just pulled that out of a hat in my mind as some place a lot warmer than Canada in January.
Why are we doing this?
Well, we’re trying to get more life out of living. For years and years we had the big house on the hill, the nice newer car, we were doing pretty okay financially – but we spent so much time just keeping up on the house, the bills, the to-do list, that we never got away. When we did get away, it was in our RV – at first, a popup tent trailer, then a travel trailer. We went to a campground that I’d been visiting since I was a kid. The more time we spent there, the less time we spent at home, and the less time we wanted to spend at home.
How do we manage to live full-time in an RV and travel?
Well, for starters we run a business that we can take with us anywhere – it is not dependent on clients in any single location (or any physical location, for that matter.) We’re still in the process of selling most of our possessions to fit in 425 sqft. Yes, it is hard. Yes, it is emotional. No, I don’t regret it.If it isn’t important enough to make room for in 425 sqft, how important could it really be?If it isn't important enough to make room for in 425 sqft, how important could it really be?… Click To Tweet
If we move back into a sticks and bricks house in 2 years, we can buy new furniture with the money we saved not storing our old furniture. Really. $2400/year. We can sit on camp furniture in the living room until we buy it. And we plan on living this way for closer to 5 years, anyway – which is over $12k saved. Not to mention any new home we get will be smaller, which means we won’t need all of this stuff anyway. 4 beds, a couch, and a dining table. Everything else either fits in the RV or doesn’t matter.
Do we go crazy sometimes, all being cramped in such a small space? You bet we do. Does it bring us closer as a family? Yes, yes it does. I feel closer to my kids, like I have more time to spend with them and see more of them every day than I ever did in our 3000 sqft house. If we ever go back to a normal life, I’m going to miss being able to reach out and hug them almost any time of day.
That’s our story. Our journey is just beginning – we’re only 3 months in to actual full-time RV life, still selling off our old things and getting passports and such organized, our new fifth wheel arrives in two months and we’ve got a million things to do to prepare. We just take it slow.
One big thing each day, I say. Whether that’s a fun family trip or a walk to the swimming pool, down to the passport office or bringing home a new RV, we do one big thing each day and I don’t feel guilty about living a little bit slower than the rest of the world.
How about you? Tell us where you are in your journey!