Why does someone choose to become a nomad, and how do they go about achieving it? These are the stories of several people who not only chose to become nomadic, but figured out how to break away from what society considers to be “normal” life. It’s easier for some than others to achieve. Some people are able to make the transition quickly while others spend years in preparation.
Regardless of the path taken, or long it took to achieve a nomadic life there’s a common theme among nomads. We didn’t enjoy “normal” life and we knew there had to be something more out there. There had to be a lifestyle that made us actually want to get out of bed in the morning.
What in our history led us to where we are now?
What was the breaking point in our journey that made this lifestyle seem so appealing and why?
How has the journey been so far, what do you love/hate about it?
RvChickadee – Kelly Beasley
Mortons On The Move- Tom and Cait Morton
Chickery’s Travels – Sean and Julie Chickery
We feel like we’ve always been nomads. We both grew up moving a lot, and then we both served 20 years in the military where we moved just about every three years. During the time we were in the military, we raised three boys who were very active in sports and scouts. We were a very busy, but happy family always keeping active and spending a lot of time together. We considered getting an RV over the years, but never found the right time.
Julie had already completed her 20 years in the Air Force, and our youngest son had just started college when we were relocated to what would be Sean’s final military assignment. At this point we were contemplating what we wanted to do in the next chapter of our lives. We’d be empty nesters, and no longer in the military. We decided that we wanted to live and travel full-time in an RV.
We are absolutely loving our experience as full-time RVers! We spent a lot of time educating ourselves and planning beforehand. We even spent time stationary in our RV at Sean’s last duty station, so we were very prepared when we hit the road. We’ve been fortunate to not have many problems, and the ones we did have just became part of the adventure. We love being able to take our time at each location and fully immersing ourselves in the local area. We have not really found any serious drawbacks to the life for us. The biggest struggle is being in a different location than our sons, but we’ve flown them out to visit us on several occasions. In fact, they will be visiting us at different times over the holidays. And when we travel to their neck of the woods in the RV, we can stay as long as we like.
Dan and I never considered ourselves, our marriage or anything for that matter, ‘typical’. There was nothing cookie cutter about us. We were worldwide travelers before the age of twenty one. We’d seen death, foreign poverty, rescued many lives and battled forms of Mother Nature that can never be explained all before each of our 19th birthdays.
We married young and had only one child. We were empty nesters at age 39. We both rode Harley Davidson motorcycles to work. Instead of going to the beach, on cruises or to foreign countries for vacations, we rode our Harleys on cross country trips. We’ve always owned a sports car, always a spotless house, two cats that acted like dogs and we preferred not to be ‘home’ (except to be with our cats). Though we had a beautiful property, we loathed its upkeep and rules and requirements of home ownership.
We lived the typical American family life until our son graduated high school in the early 2000’s, after which he’d gone to college and then joined the military. Dan continued his military career for 10 more years to financially and strategically enable ourselves to follow a different path at still an early age.
We satisfied our nomadic spirits by taking frequent cross country motorcycle trip; loading everything we were to wear for two weeks into a bag that sat on the backs of our bikes. The only things that kept us going back home was to mow our lawn, sort through the mounds of mail and to love our cats. But we seemingly were fooling ourselves into thinking being rooted was going to work for us. Though we finally owned our ‘forever’ house, it just didn’t feel like ‘home’. We yearned to find something else out there but we didn’t know ‘what’ or ‘where’ that might be.
We were tired of conforming to the HOA’s requirements and were unhappy with others telling us how to live.
We were also dissatisfied with public chaos, disorder and lack of society’s self discipline (remember, we both came from strong military backgrounds). We oftentimes, found it difficult to fit into the preconceived notion of what society deems it should be.
We wanted to enjoy life while we were still young and able. We wanted to travel; see the Country we protected and defended. We wanted photos we’d seen in magazines and books come to life and be at our feet.
We were ready for something new. We were ready for adventure. We were ready for the unknown. We wanted to live by our own rules.
We bought an RV to escape it all; making our own rules and living on our own terms.
We have always been nomads in our adult lives. Both of us having military careers, we were accustomed to constant moving and change. Most times, our suitcases and duffels were packed and ready to go. It was already our life so this thought of tripping the light fantastic in a box on wheels was certainly in line with our discipline and tendency.
Our only challenge from the RV lifestyle is missing our families in Minnesota and Pennsylvania however, it’s no different than when we were stationed far away. “Distance” is just an attitude. Though we’ve been accustomed to being away from family, it’s seemingly getting a little harder to deal with as we get older especially now that we have a grandchild.
Hebard’s Travels- John and Laura Hebard
Before Laura and I met we’d spent a fair amount of our lives moving around, so the nomadic lifestyle wasn’t a far stretch. She grew up spending summers in her grandparents RV traveling the country, and my 20’s were spent in the army traveling the country and the world. So it’s no wonder that when we tried to grasp the American dream and settle down after we met that we were miserable.
Early on we knew that we were unhappy, we just didn’t know why. Society said that it was either us, work, college, etc. So we did the normal things that society says you should to destress, we took vacations. In two years we had two amazing week long Mexico vacations. We had so much fun together away from the stress and terrible schedules that normally ruled our lives. Sadly, when we returned we picked up our miserable lives right where we left off.
Nothing was really going right until one day shortly before we both snapped (I’m sure it was about to happen) Laura was introduced to the full-time RV lifestyle. We were so enamored with the idea we fell in love overnight. Within two months we bought a diesel dually, a 41′ fifth wheel, and we were scheduling an estate sale to offload 95% of our possessions.
Fast forward two years and we’re now living on the road and traveling full-time. We’ve now walked out our front door to see mountains, white sand beach, towering evergreens, rolling prairie, endless desert, calm lakes, and the milky way.
We’ve felt all four seasons in a week, even though we attempt to “chase 70.” (That’s migrating with 70 degree temperatures.) We’ve met some truly amazing people that became instant friends. Along the way we’ve experienced campfires with smores, breakdowns and repairs, hiking, kayaking, biking, swimming, snorkeling, long hauls, flash floods, and some angry pugs.
Being nomads has allowed us to grab life and make it what we want. We wouldn’t go back to a “normal” life if you paid us. The nomadic life is just too exciting