I recently came upon a great story in Yahoo Travel and just had to learn more about the young couple honeymooning in a 1994 Coachmen RV through fifty (50) states. I shot off a quick email with some questions and following is what I learned directly from Heath and Alyssa Padgett (who were in Ashland, Kentucky headed to Nashville on November 11th, 2014. They had already traveled in thirty-eight of the fifty states.)
Heath: We left Austin on May 28th (2014), four days after our wedding. I lived in the RV the month before our wedding and I kind of learned the ropes before getting started (i.e flooding it, poking holes in stuff, all that jazz). My underlying mission is threefold: I decided to go on this trip with my wife because I wanted to pursue her and really grow our relationship (build a foundation if you will). I wanted to work on my craft of writing while working on a meaningful project – Hourly America. And lastly, grow my faith.
However, I have to say that my biggest learning experiences have come from operating this 1994 Coachmen RV. Just ten days into our trip, our fuel pump went out on us in New Mexico. Ever since we’ve faced a ton of issues. There is always something wrong with an RV, and before this trip I didn’t consider myself to be a very “mechanically savvy” person. But having to constantly work on and fix stuff on our rig has given me confidence to know that I can actually fix things.
Living in an RV with my newlywed spouse has also given Alyssa and me an incredible foundation in our marriage. Yes, of course we fight a bit when the GPS takes us on a wrong turn or two or we end up in a dumpy RV park. But at the same time, it’s better than the alternative of being bored in an office job.
Alyssa: My goal was to go to all fifty states! What sounds better than a seven-month, fifty-state honeymoon? It’s been a joy to live with Heath 24/7 in such a small space. I’ve learned so much about him. For example, sometimes Heath won’t let me do the dishes and he’ll do them himself. The other day he stopped me in the middle of the dishes to take over. When I said why, he said “I get the dishes cleaner and wash them more efficiently with less water!” He’s adorable. (And I end up re-washing half of them when he’s not looking).
Family and Friends
Heath: Friends and family went through phases (after learning about our RV plans). First, shock. Second, telling us we’re crazy. Third, thinking it might be kind of cool. Fourth, seeing us on the road having the time of our lives and now they are RV shopping.
Alyssa: I wouldn’t be surprised if either of our parents buy RVs soon. I think they’re a little bit jealous of everything we’ve seen in the past few months driving coast-to-coast. There are still plenty of people who think we are crazy or just plain stupid, but we’re having a blast!
(Wow! Thanks Heath and Alyssa! Next is Part II of this interview.)