Author Topic: Long-Term Travel - Recommendations and Advice  (Read 11970 times)

Stacey

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Long-Term Travel - Recommendations and Advice
« on: February 05, 2013, 09:32:51 AM »
After many years of dreaming and living frugally, and some extra belt tightening after being introduced to MMM a year and a half ago, my husband, toddler, and I will be moving all belongings into storage and hitting the road in a new (to us) Eurovan and camping around the country for an extended period of time.  We're not sure how long we'll be on the road - six months? a year? more?  Who knows... but when we end our travels, we'll be moving somewhere new and not so urban.  Has anyone on here done this before?  Any recommendations or advice.  And, any little-known spots that can't be missed?  We'll be leaving in April and starting through some of the southern states as we make our way west.  We're always looking for great parks, hiking trails, art museums, or fun towns to explore.  And really, we just want to get a good flavor of different parts of the country.  While my ideal town would be small, have easy access to beautiful trails, lean left, have a strong community, and get properly cold in the winter, we're excited to check out places across the spectrum.

Also, if there are any other mustachians currently on the road - it'd be fun to connect through here or elsewhere. 

jpo

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Re: Long-Term Travel - Recommendations and Advice
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2013, 09:37:53 AM »
As you travel it might be worth shooting a PM to Mustachians along the way about what's nearby - check out the Mustache Map in the Meetup forum.

Stacey

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Re: Long-Term Travel - Recommendations and Advice
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2013, 09:51:27 AM »
Great idea!  I see you're in NC - any recommendations for Western NC?  We'll be there in early to mid April.

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Re: Long-Term Travel - Recommendations and Advice
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2013, 10:46:33 AM »
Hi Stacey, you might want to check out Baker's website Man vs Debt (manvsdebt.com) -- I haven't read him lately, but he and his wife and young child sold all their crap (his words) and hit the road.  They have been all over the world.   I am not sure what he is currently posting about, I know he was working on a book, but you can read him and dig back through old posts and see what he blogged about as he did what you are about to do.  Good luck and have fun! 

jpo

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Re: Long-Term Travel - Recommendations and Advice
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2013, 11:06:47 AM »
Great idea!  I see you're in NC - any recommendations for Western NC?  We'll be there in early to mid April.
I haven't spent much time in the western part of the state. I can tell you that the parks around the Triangle are nice...

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Re: Long-Term Travel - Recommendations and Advice
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2013, 11:10:25 AM »
So many good places in this country, you will find that it will be difficult to move on from place to place, which is the great thing about having all the time in the world to do it.  Stay at a place a day, a week or a month - who cares if you are enjoying it.

Lake Powell was a place I would hit (basically the grand canyon filled with water) - although may not be a fit with toddler and without a boat/kayaks but it was awesome.

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Re: Long-Term Travel - Recommendations and Advice
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2013, 11:13:50 AM »
Great idea!  I see you're in NC - any recommendations for Western NC?  We'll be there in early to mid April.

As long as you're out of snow/ice season (April should be fine, I think), the only way that I know of that you can go wrong in western NC is to try to drive too far in one day on the Blue Ridge parkway -- it's a beautiful drive, but tiring over long distances.  With 2 drivers, though, you're probably fine even there.  Both Boone and Asheville, which are the two "metropolitan" anchors (only Asheville actually qualifies) are great, as is everything in between.

Other destinations I'd put on a list such as yours include the national parks in southern Utah, the coastal drive in CA, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Hunting Island, SC (except for a few small "grandfathered" private residences, the whole island is a state park.  It's also probably horrifically bug-infested in the warmer months; I've been there in the winter) and Columbus, Indiana (google it). 


Paul der Krake

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Re: Long-Term Travel - Recommendations and Advice
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2013, 11:40:40 AM »
Oh em gee, by all means, visit western NC. Aim for Boone and explore from there. That part of the state is gorgeous. I remember going to a waterfall place where you could jump into large natural pools, slide down the waterfall into a 30-foot drop, etc. It was maybe my third or fourth day ever in the US, and I fell in love with this state right then and there. If you love the outdoors, you will love NC.

spider1204

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Re: Long-Term Travel - Recommendations and Advice
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2013, 11:56:22 AM »
I'll of course recommend the Red River Gorge, KY for great hiking trails as well as some rock climbing if you're interested in that.  Also, 2$/night car camping at Miguel's Pizza, and if you want to learn to climb I'd love to teach new folks.  Sounds like a blast though, can't wait for a road trip!

mlipps

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Re: Long-Term Travel - Recommendations and Advice
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2013, 12:11:42 PM »
After many years of dreaming and living frugally, and some extra belt tightening after being introduced to MMM a year and a half ago, my husband, toddler, and I will be moving all belongings into storage and hitting the road in a new (to us) Eurovan and camping around the country for an extended period of time.  We're not sure how long we'll be on the road - six months? a year? more?  Who knows... but when we end our travels, we'll be moving somewhere new and not so urban.  Has anyone on here done this before?  Any recommendations or advice.  And, any little-known spots that can't be missed?  We'll be leaving in April and starting through some of the southern states as we make our way west.  We're always looking for great parks, hiking trails, art museums, or fun towns to explore.  And really, we just want to get a good flavor of different parts of the country.  While my ideal town would be small, have easy access to beautiful trails, lean left, have a strong community, and get properly cold in the winter, we're excited to check out places across the spectrum.

Also, if there are any other mustachians currently on the road - it'd be fun to connect through here or elsewhere.
Athens, OH and the surrounding areas should check all your boxes. :)

Stacey

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Re: Long-Term Travel - Recommendations and Advice
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2013, 07:26:28 AM »
Thanks for the awesome recommendations!  I'm super excited to check out Red River Gorge.  I was just reading a book about places to visit in Kentucky, and I'm now going to add this to my list.  My coffee table is a sea of travel books that we've checked out from the library!  It's been fun to read through them each evening and compile lists of places we may want to visit. 


Stacey

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Re: Long-Term Travel - Recommendations and Advice
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2013, 06:18:39 PM »
Thanks again for the great recommendations.  Just wanted to check in and let y'all know that we've been on the road for two and a half weeks now and it's been great.  Living on the road as opposed to just traveling can have its challenges, but it is so worth it.  We're headed into Tennessee and Kentucky for the next few weeks and wil be sure to check out Red River Gorge.  Our favorite place so far was definitely the Boone area. 

Also, just wanted to let you know that I'll be blogging periodically about our travels if any of you are interested in checking it out: www.bottlingmoonlight.com.

Cheers!

spider1204

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Re: Long-Term Travel - Recommendations and Advice
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2013, 08:48:57 PM »
Awesome, I've subscribed.  Let me know when your heading through the Red River Gorge, I'm there camping out at Miguel's Pizza every weekend and love to meet up with you guys, and also check out your van setup, it looks pretty sweet.  Also would be a great place to have a Mustachian Meetup, if there are any others, I can think of a few.

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Re: Long-Term Travel - Recommendations and Advice
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2013, 05:53:44 AM »
After many years of dreaming and living frugally, and some extra belt tightening after being introduced to MMM a year and a half ago, my husband, toddler, and I will be moving all belongings into storage and hitting the road in a new (to us) Eurovan and camping around the country for an extended period of time.  We're not sure how long we'll be on the road - six months? a year? more?  Who knows... but when we end our travels, we'll be moving somewhere new and not so urban.  Has anyone on here done this before?  Any recommendations or advice.  And, any little-known spots that can't be missed?  We'll be leaving in April and starting through some of the southern states as we make our way west.  We're always looking for great parks, hiking trails, art museums, or fun towns to explore.  And really, we just want to get a good flavor of different parts of the country.  While my ideal town would be small, have easy access to beautiful trails, lean left, have a strong community, and get properly cold in the winter, we're excited to check out places across the spectrum.

Also, if there are any other mustachians currently on the road - it'd be fun to connect through here or elsewhere.
Athens, OH and the surrounding areas should check all your boxes. :)

Hell yea, you another OU guy?

mikefixac

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Re: Long-Term Travel - Recommendations and Advice
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2013, 08:48:32 AM »
I hitch hiked around the country back in the 70s.

I would spend one night on the road, then the next night in a hotel. I did it for the excitement and to decide where to live.

It ranks as one of the best experiences of my life.

Liked SoCal the most in my travels and that's where I've been for almost 40 years.

Looking forward to a motorcycle trip across country in a few weeks. Going to Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and LA. Maybe we'll bump into each other. Wouldn't that be cool.

mlipps

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Re: Long-Term Travel - Recommendations and Advice
« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2013, 11:58:06 AM »
After many years of dreaming and living frugally, and some extra belt tightening after being introduced to MMM a year and a half ago, my husband, toddler, and I will be moving all belongings into storage and hitting the road in a new (to us) Eurovan and camping around the country for an extended period of time.  We're not sure how long we'll be on the road - six months? a year? more?  Who knows... but when we end our travels, we'll be moving somewhere new and not so urban.  Has anyone on here done this before?  Any recommendations or advice.  And, any little-known spots that can't be missed?  We'll be leaving in April and starting through some of the southern states as we make our way west.  We're always looking for great parks, hiking trails, art museums, or fun towns to explore.  And really, we just want to get a good flavor of different parts of the country.  While my ideal town would be small, have easy access to beautiful trails, lean left, have a strong community, and get properly cold in the winter, we're excited to check out places across the spectrum.

Also, if there are any other mustachians currently on the road - it'd be fun to connect through here or elsewhere.
Athens, OH and the surrounding areas should check all your boxes. :)

Hell yea, you another OU guy?

First of all, I'm a girl. :) And second of, no, I'm one of those locals y'all hate so much :) I grew up nearby.

the fixer

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Re: Long-Term Travel - Recommendations and Advice
« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2013, 12:42:24 PM »
My girlfriend and I are also going to be doing this over the summer. Red River Gorge is actually our first stop, should get there around May 21. Our goal is to make it out west to get better at trad climbing and mountaineering. I'm also state highpointing and hope to knock out a ton of them: KY, TN, KA, NM, AZ, WA, OR off the top of my head.

spider1204

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Re: Long-Term Travel - Recommendations and Advice
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2013, 12:50:14 PM »
Quote
My girlfriend and I are also going to be doing this over the summer. Red River Gorge is actually our first stop, should get there around May 21. Our goal is to make it out west to get better at trad climbing and mountaineering. I'm also state highpointing and hope to knock out a ton of them: KY, TN, KA, NM, AZ, WA, OR off the top of my head.

Even though it's known for the sport climbing, there's still a decent bit of single pitch trad routes around here that you should get on.  What's the high point of a state like Kansas anyway?

the fixer

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Re: Long-Term Travel - Recommendations and Advice
« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2013, 01:04:59 PM »
Kansas is a tiny hill, not very interesting but also not far from the route we'll be taking through the state. I'm sure we'll get the more interesting ones like CO and UT but we haven't specifically planned those; our plan is to spend a lot of time in CO, UT, and WY (Tetons!). We'll also swing over to the Sierra Nevadas and up the coast to WA to do Rainier. While in WA we also want to climb Mt. Olympus in the Olympic Mountains. Then it will either be up to BC or over to MT to go to Glacier National Park.

I've already got most of the highpoints near me: MD, DC, VA, NC, PA, WV, NJ. The one missing is DE, and I'll get that one done before we depart. It's about as boring as KS: http://coloradoguy.com/delaware-highest-point/ebright-azimuth.htm

The gf is a much more competent leader and trad climber than I am. I hope to shorten her lead on me this summer.

Stacey

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Re: Long-Term Travel - Recommendations and Advice
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2013, 09:39:01 PM »
Awesome, I've subscribed.  Let me know when your heading through the Red River Gorge, I'm there camping out at Miguel's Pizza every weekend and love to meet up with you guys, and also check out your van setup, it looks pretty sweet.  Also would be a great place to have a Mustachian Meetup, if there are any others, I can think of a few.

We're aiming to be in the Lexington/Louisville area by mid-next week through the beginning/middle of the following week.  If you're around that weekend, let us know and we'll plan on heading out to Red River Gorge on either that Saturday or Sunday.  And we'd be totally down with meeting other mustachians in the area - if anyone can make it out there that weekend. 

I won't be checking this site too frequently over the next week or so since my internet access may be spotty at times, so feel free to shoot me a message through here or through my blog. 

Stacey

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Re: Long-Term Travel - Recommendations and Advice
« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2013, 09:44:56 PM »
Cool to see that there are some other fellow travelers on here.  If any of us wind up in the same places at the same times, it would be great to meet up.  The Fixer, I see you're from Maryland - that's where I was most recently living!  I looked at some of the states you mentioned you'll be visiting this summer - and I'll be in NM this summer (May/June) and Washington and Oregon in the fall.  We'll also be spending a fair amount of time in Colorado since that's where my husband's family is from.  If you wind up any of those places around the same time as us, shoot me a message.  We won't be doing much climbing (we're traveling with our two year old), but we love to hike and will be doing as much of that as we can.

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Re: Long-Term Travel - Recommendations and Advice
« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2013, 10:33:55 PM »
Congrats on embarking on a life of long-term travel! Have you considered Mexico with your kids at all? A few American bloggers I occasionally read spend quite a bit of time there, even had their children in Mexico so they have dual citizenship:

http://Bumfuzzle.com
http://www.therebelheart.com/charlottes-blog/
http://almostfearless.com/blog

the fixer

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Re: Long-Term Travel - Recommendations and Advice
« Reply #22 on: April 19, 2013, 07:34:33 AM »
We'd love to meet up! We'll try to keep track of where you are, though our Internet will also be extremely spotty. Colorado sounds like the most likely place to meet up.

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Re: Long-Term Travel - Recommendations and Advice
« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2013, 09:11:20 PM »
I echo Lake Powell and the Utah parks near there - Bryce, Zion, All near Moab. Grand Canyon too. Bisbee, AZ is a great town and one to consider for a move. As you head west, San Francisco is a must. Farther NW, of you get that far, do not miss the San Juan Islands. One of the most beautiful places in the USA. Also great camping for the EVC (we have one too - so fun!). Check out West Beach Resort on Orcas Island. http://www.westbeachresort.com/mobile/index.html. Great for kids and the campsites are grass. I could go on and on. Have fun!

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Re: Long-Term Travel - Recommendations and Advice
« Reply #24 on: April 19, 2013, 09:20:25 PM »
If you go through Tennessee, pretty much have to go to the Great Smokey Mountains. Then you can head south-west and hit Fall Creek Falls. Another 1.5 hours or so south would have you in Chattanooga (check out the Tennessee Aquarium, go in summer and play in the water features just outside; then spend another day around Ruby Falls). Or from Fall Creek Falls head west toward McMinnville, there's a cave where they sing bluegrass music on a monthly basis (sadly, though I lived less than 30 minutes away at one time, I never made it there).

Did anyone mention Disney World yet if you're heading to Florida? They have a campground there called Fort Wilderness; bit pricey as far as campsites go, but darn cheap for staying on Disney property.

Texas, head to the Houston Space Center, lots of stuff for kids to do (there's even a playground that has nothing to do with space, but whatcha going to do?). Galveston is a short drive south of there, I dunno about the quality of the beaches (we did walk along one, didn't really wade out), but we had a good time. San Antonio has Sea World (if you didn't already hit one elsewhere) and Incredible Pizza Company (actually there's some in Houston, even one in Memphis TN I think); pizza's so-so, but there's lots of it and...ok, imagine a Chuck E Cheese got slightly better pizza, some other types of food too, and the play area was jumbo-sized with bumper cars, mini-golf, and electric go-karts, all indoors.

Oh, if you want to go on a really long cross-country road-trip, get your passports now. You'll need 'em on the way to Alaska. Unless you take the easy way out and take the ferry system.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2013, 09:26:53 PM by josetann »

olivia

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Re: Long-Term Travel - Recommendations and Advice
« Reply #25 on: April 19, 2013, 09:22:14 PM »
Very cool!  I would check out White Sands, New Mexico.  My now-husband and I took a road trip from VA to AZ and that was one of the coolest places we stopped for sure.  Doesn't seem like a bunch of white sand will be impressive, but it is AWESOME. 

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Re: Long-Term Travel - Recommendations and Advice
« Reply #26 on: April 19, 2013, 10:05:48 PM »
The New River Gorge in WV is awesome.  Great rapids, bungee jumping off a super high bridge, rock climbing... just tons of outdoor stuff to be done there.  I attached a jpeg from near the bridge from when I went rafting down the river back in 2010, it is pretty cool.

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Re: Long-Term Travel - Recommendations and Advice
« Reply #27 on: April 19, 2013, 10:24:01 PM »
That sounds awesome! Best wishes for your journey.

Here's a reddit thread about cool places to go that might be helpful:

http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/1c7bs3/where_are_some_of_the_nicest_parts_in_america/

the fixer

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Re: Long-Term Travel - Recommendations and Advice
« Reply #28 on: April 22, 2013, 09:15:00 AM »
My parents have been to the Great Smokies and that's why we're going through Tennessee (Clingman's Dome, the state highpoint, is also nearby). We'll probably spend a few days to a week backpacking there before continuing west.

I've been to Houston before. The one thing in Texas I'd still like to see is Big Bend, but I don't think we can justify that far of a detour south.

GF went to school in AZ and I went there for a week ~10 years ago, put about 1000 miles on the rental car so, yeah, we saw a lot. Neat places are Lowell Observatory, Kitt Peak, Sedona, Meteor Crater ($$ IIRC), Organpipe Cactus National Monument, and the Sonora Desert Museum outside Tuscon. We're going through just so I can highpoint the state. We might do something for a day at the Grand Canyon, we'll see.

The Alaska trip is next year! We're pondering taking the ferry up, then driving back down through Yukon and BC. And yes passports are important. In general, I'm trying to get everything done now that requires receiving and responding to mail.

Stacey

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Re: Long-Term Travel - Recommendations and Advice
« Reply #29 on: April 23, 2013, 09:28:27 PM »
Loving all the suggestions!  Thanks everyone.  And yes, we do have passports because we'd like to head up to Canada near Glacier and again up to the Vancouver area (at a minimum).  We haven't given Mexico much thought, but we very well may if we really get into life on the road.  We just finished a fascinating day through coal country.  A few friends of ours teach college courses on coal mining in Appalachia and recommended some great places to check out.  We went to Benham and Lynch and poked around the Lynch coal camp.  We also did some back road driving to see some strip mining sites.  It was a seriously excellent day!

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Re: Long-Term Travel - Recommendations and Advice
« Reply #30 on: April 23, 2013, 10:07:34 PM »
This being the MMM site, I'm wondering if you'll share about the financing part of the trip.

How are you funding it?  Are you FI and will be using a SWR, withdrawing from your stache?  Do you have sources of passive income (dividends, rentals, online income streams, etc.)?  Are you funding it by drawing down savings, and then you'll go back to work after awhile?  Do you have jobs you can do remotely (ala 4 Hour Work Week)?

What estimates do you have for your budget?

I'd be curious to hear any of your money thoughts on this. :)
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the fixer

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Re: Long-Term Travel - Recommendations and Advice
« Reply #31 on: April 24, 2013, 05:41:49 AM »
Here's my financial situation:

Our estimate of monthly expenses on the road this summer is $800/person/month. That includes 1500 miles per month of driving in the van, $75/month for van maintenance, 10 days per month of paying for camping (other times we'll be sleeping at rest areas, friends' places, Wal-Mart parking lots, free campsites on federal land), a $75/month expense for "gear," and individual health insurance (based on my current HDHP which costs me about $140/month). We'll each have $10/month Airvoice plans for our cellphones and use libraries or free WiFi hotspots for Internet access. From browsing some of the rv living sites, it looks like our budget is on the high end of spending, which is to be expected with all the driving.

It's also important to note that we will have no ongoing housing or storage costs. Most of our stuff is getting Craigslisted and the few important things we want to keep that aren't coming with us will get stored with parents.

I have enough of a Stash that a year's worth of this spending would be ~5% SWR, so technically I'll be barely FI for the summer. My girlfriend is a lawyer who just paid off her student loans a couple months ago, and is now able to quickly amass savings for the trip. She'll be drawing down that savings, then getting a job at the end of the summer when we move back in to an apartment. Since my expenses will go back up I'll also have to go back to work, but I figure I'll come out of this trip with a totally different perspective on things so it's hard to predict exactly what I'll do.

Stacey

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Re: Long-Term Travel - Recommendations and Advice
« Reply #32 on: May 06, 2013, 03:09:56 PM »
Hi all,

For any of you following my family's travels on bottlingmoonlight.com, we have run into a pretty big road block.  The short story is that our VW Eurovan broke down yesterday and we're stuck in Memphis with a current recommendation from a VW dealership that we replace the entire engine.  We're looking at our options - and one is to get a second opinion from a reliable mechanic in the area.  Does anyone have any good recommendations - particularly for individuals/garages that work on VWs and (if possible) Eurovans in particular?  Also, we're not opposed to freighting it somewhere else given the costs involved in staying here while we sort this out - so we're possibly thinking of frieghting it to Colorado (that's where my husband's family is located) but are trying to talk things through with folks who are knowledgeable about VW eurovans.  If you happen to have that knowledge (or know someone who does) and wouldn't mind chatting with us, please shoot me a message. 

Thanks everyone!!  Should make for some interesting blog posts. 

By the way, arebelspy, I was going to post to you about finances this evening, but it looks like I may need to do that once we figure out what's going on.  May change the finance equation.  Ugghh.  But - it's only money.  I'm trying to look at this like an adventure. 

arebelspy

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Re: Long-Term Travel - Recommendations and Advice
« Reply #33 on: May 06, 2013, 03:46:04 PM »
By the way, arebelspy, I was going to post to you about finances this evening, but it looks like I may need to do that once we figure out what's going on.  May change the finance equation.  Ugghh.  But - it's only money.  I'm trying to look at this like an adventure.

Cool, I'll look forward to that.

I've been greatly enjoying your blog, read every post and have it on my RSS feeds.

Sorry for the troubles.  =/

To look at the bright side, the more struggles, the greater the stories!  :D
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

the fixer

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Re: Long-Term Travel - Recommendations and Advice
« Reply #34 on: May 07, 2013, 01:35:55 PM »
Good luck, Stacey! Major mechanical breakdown of our home is my biggest worry, but it's reassuring to know you're dealing with it in stride. Worst case, you might check out Memphis Craigslist ads, I saw lots of conversion vans for sale in the DC area when I was looking to buy and I'd suspect it will be a similar situation there. The trick would be registering it...

I was just reading your blog and found out about general delivery mail, we definitely need to look into that.

I've put up our blog, but there's not much there yet. http://lifeoffroute.com

arebelspy

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Re: Long-Term Travel - Recommendations and Advice
« Reply #35 on: May 07, 2013, 04:13:09 PM »
How much will the new engine cost if you did go that route?
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

Stacey

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Re: Long-Term Travel - Recommendations and Advice
« Reply #36 on: May 07, 2013, 05:07:43 PM »
I just checked out your blog, Ben!  I'll definitely be following along.  And best of luck to your gf while she studies for the bar.  Not sure if I mentioned it, but both my husband and I are attorneys.  Not so rare in the DC area.  ;) 

Details on the van to come...

Stacey

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Re: Long-Term Travel - Recommendations and Advice
« Reply #37 on: June 29, 2013, 09:45:26 PM »
Sorry for taking so long to respond to your questions, arebelspy.  Regaring our finances, no, we're not FI.  We've spent the past five or so years paying off our massive student debt (mostly from law school), paying for our wedding, saving up a substantial college fund, maxing out our 401ks, and saving up additional funds for retirement, a house downpayment, and travel.  We're using funds in savings for the traveling and anticipate working again once we find a new place to call home.  However, given how we've set ourselves up, we will not have to work in the same type of of high paying, long hours jobs that we had more recently.  We're still in the process of figuring out job stuff, since that will clearly come into play regarding where we move, but we're confident that if we like a place, we'll find a way to make it work.

I would like to work towards being FI once we settle somewhere.  Clearly we could have gotten there a lot more quickly if we stayed in the high paying jobs, but that would have also meant working crazy long hours when our son is young, which we didn't want to do.  We'd rather work for a longer period of time but have more manageable hours and be in a place that is more in line with our values.  So, the search continues! 

As for our costs so far, we've had three very different months.  The first month was the most normal (no van issues and no staying with family) and cost us about $2,500.  This includes our monthly storage fees, health insurance (high deductible), and our costs on the road. Once we're on the road longer and have more normal months to work with, I'll update you on whether we bring that number down or if it winds up going up due to not having a van to sleep in during really bad or cold weather.

As for the engine, we were cursed having a van with an engine that is notoriously difficutl to work on.   A complete rebuild, which was necessary if we didn't get a brand new engine, would have run at least $8,000, but could have been more.  A used engine was a similar cost, and a new was slightly more.  There was no way we were going to sink that much into the van, so it's now been sold to a guy in Colorado who can use the van for parts or sell it to someone who wants to rebuild the engine in their spare time.  C'est la vie!

arebelspy

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Re: Long-Term Travel - Recommendations and Advice
« Reply #38 on: June 29, 2013, 11:51:16 PM »
Thanks for the update. I've been following your blog via RSS, enjoying it very much.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

maya80

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Re: Long-Term Travel - Recommendations and Advice
« Reply #39 on: August 02, 2013, 01:26:26 AM »
hmm its really the nice one, i just join it....:)