This is the conclusion to my interview with Heath and Alyssa Padgett, the couple that is honeymooning through fifty states in their 1994 Coachmen RV. See Part I of the interview here
Financing the Trip
Heath: We found an online job board called Snagajob that helps hourly workers find jobs. They thought our adventure was unique and a great story so they help contribute around half of our expenses (gas). I do consulting work for an author and we’ve both contributed some paid articles to RV-related sites. We really like talking RV stuff.
We set up a GoFundMe before our trip, and every now and then some generous friends will lend a few dollars towards a meal. Alyssa keeps us on a really tight budget. If it were up to me I would order pizza a few times a week, but we cook nearly every meal in the RV. It saves a lot of money and we’ve gotten pretty good at living cheap while traveling. I’ll let Alyssa tell you about our “blessings journal.”
Alyssa: Best idea I’ve ever had. Back in August, our money was gone. We were dipping into our savings earlier than we thought we would and completely stressing out. The same day I had been freaking out, someone offered to let us park on their land for free because they had RV hook ups. It came at the perfect time. Since then, we recorded everything gifted to us on the road–free meals, places to stay, hot showers, RV maintenance.
It’s amazing how much we’ve saved because of the kindness of others. I’m waiting to tally it all up when we are done with our trip, but we’ve been given thousands of dollars in meals, t-shirts, lodging, even a dozen farm fresh eggs. I swear, since I’ve been diligent about recording the kindnesses given to us and expressing our gratitude, we’ve continued to be more blessed. (Or maybe we’ve just been getting further south and into the kindest part of the country!)
Heath: You need about half as much possessions as you think. Don’t unscrew any screws that you don’t know what they go to. You shouldn’t play a game call “Let’s see how long I can go without dumping my black tank”, the black tank wins every time. It’s a lot of fun, seriously. The RVing lifestyle isn’t just for older people who are retired and want to see the country. More and more young people are seeing it as a cheaper alternative to a giant mortgage (also a lifestyle that promotes and offers travel).
I never imagined I would live in an RV. But it’s helped me detach myself away from a lot of the material possession I used to enjoy. I don’t know if I would consider myself a “minimalist”, but I certainly feel like I value experiences much more than anything physical. The RVing lifestyle has also given Alyssa and me an opportunity to see the country and create a financial stream of income outside of “day jobs”. I also learned that buying our twenty-year-old RV off of Craigslist for $11,500 is basically what a one bedroom apartment costs in Austin for one year of living! Now my home has wheels we have the ability to up and go whenever we please.
Alyssa: RVing is the best thing to ever happen to us. They say you don’t know someone until you live with them. I say you don’t know someone until you live with them in a moving toilet, which is how our RV felt when we had a clog a few weeks ago. RVs are always giving you character-building problems. Together, we tackle everything head on. It’s strengthened our marriage significantly.
Heath: I love learning and talking all things RV! If you do also, would love to have you follow along our journey at HeathPadgett.com or we have a Facebook page called Hourly America that you can check out here!
Alyssa: Drive through the north eastern part of America during October. Maybe it’s because I’m from Texas and I’ve never seen this whole season of “Fall,” but upstate New York, Vermont and New Hampshire blew me away this October! I also blog at AlyssaPadgett.com where you can read about all of our crazy times on the road.
A great big thank you to Heath and Alyssa for corresponding with me! Happy Trails you two love birds!
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