Early in our full-time RV life – mid 2010 – I caught up with another full-timer. Nick Russell, Editor of Gypsy Journal and his wife Miss Terry had just pulled into Pony Express RV Resort in North Salt Lake Lake City, Utah where he was doing a bit of genealogical research.
I had lots of questions for Nick. Here’s what we talked about.
Levonne (L): Hi Nick. So you are a full-time RVer?
Nick (N): I’ve been full-timing eleven years and publishing the Gypsy Journal all that time.
L: What kind of rig do you have?
N: We have a forty-foot Ultimate Advantage Winnebago Motorhome diesel with two slides.
L: Why are you RVing?
N: (From his website.) We had all of the toys that come with success – a nice home, complete with redwood deck and sunken hot tub, a minivan and four wheel drive pickup, and even four classic cars in our huge new custom-built garage. But at the end of one exhausting day we looked at each other over the kitchen table and asked ourselves “why?”
Miss Terry and my dream was to someday buy a motor home and take to the road. But, at age forty six and with one heart attack under my belt already, one has to wonder just how the good the chances of making it to “someday” really are.
So, late in 1998 we found ourselves standing on an RV dealer’s lot in Mesa, Arizona, and within days we were the proud owners of a 36 foot motor home, complete with all the goodies, including two slide-outs, an on-board washer/dryer combination, a side by side refrigerator/freezer and a satellite TV dish on the roof.
L: How do you financially support yourself on the road?
N: When we started out (over a decade) ago, we knew there were many people who traveled full time and earned some or all of their money as they went. Miss Terry and I sat down, listed all of our talents and skills and discussed how those abilities might be able to help us earn a living as we traveled around the country.
We make our entire income from the Gypsy Journal, my blog and website ad commissions, and speaking fees. We’ve been at this a long time and have over 15,000 subscribers. It is a fulltime business and we make a very comfortable income.
L: What is the Gypsy Journal?
N: The Gypsy Journal is our record of our travels. We’ll share with you the places we go, the people we meet and the things we see. As we learn more about the full timers’ lifestyle, we’ll report on our discoveries. When we find some neat little out of the way town that interests us, we’ll share it with you. And maybe someday another overworked couple out there will look at each other over the kitchen table at the end of a long, stressful day and say to themselves “If they can do it, we can too!” When that day arrives, we hope our experiences will help you make the decision to escape to the freedom you so very much deserve.
L: Would you tell me how you got started with your business? What prepared you for your current business?
N: I’ve owned several small business, and had spent years as the editor and publisher of small town community newspapers. We were confident my experience in crunching words, advertising, and newspaper production could be put to use somewhere – hence the Gypsy Journal.
L: Nick, What is the biggest lesson you have learned as a fulltime RVer?
N: First, don’t wait if you want to be a fulltime RVer. Live your dream today. Second, if you do fulltime RV, slow down and take time to enjoy where you go.
L: Is there anything you would like people to know about you and your RV lifestyle?
N: I’m the luckiest person in the world. I’m excited to get up and do what we do each day.
If you want to learn more about Nick Russell or the Gypsy Journal, you can read more on Nick’s blogs:
Nick’s Blog http://gypsyjournalrv.com/category/nicksblog/
Bad Nick Blog http://badnickblog.com/
Gypsy Journal Home page http://gypsyjournalrv.com
(Note: Since we talked Nick has added royalties from eleven books to his income stream, including the Big Lake mystery series. “Big Lake”, the first in the series has sold over 140,000 copies and last year it made the New York Time’s bestseller list for Kindle books.)
Author Levonne Gaddy’s book “This Restless Life: A dream chased through California parks in an RV” chronicles her relocation adventures from the Southwest to Central Coast California during the Great Recession of 2008-2009. They encounter many twists and turns including a dead body found near their camp hosting camp site, problems finding work and multiple threats of floods. @Levonnegaddy
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