Inspiration in life comes in many forms: a coffee mug, faith, a picture or even other people. In our case, we were inspired by a TV show that has been off the air for over 10 years.
Sometime in 2013, while our small family of four was stationed in Singapore, we were enjoying a Sunday night in front of the TV watching the 90’s show, “Touched By An Angel”. The episode that we watched that evening changed our lives and the future of our home and family (literally).
I bought the entire show on DVD on a whim – I loved watching the show when it originally aired and thought it would be a good fit for our family. On this particular night, we watched the first episode of Season 3, “Promised Land”, starring the usual cast and guest-starring veteran TV star Gerald McRaney (Major Dad, House of Cards, Mike and Molly).
IMDb database describes the episode:
“A family is down to its last dollar, traveling by trailer to a new town, hoping for a job and home. The angels try to restore the father's faith and inspire him to help others who are down on their luck just like he has been.”
At the end of the show, angel Tess essentially asks and tells Russell (McRaney), “whatever happened to your dream of traveling the country? You have the means to do it now, so do it with your family.”
What a concept. Travel the country in an RV with your family? Full-time? Who does that!?
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I turned to my husband and exclaimed, “We should do that!” Four little words with profound meaning that would ultimately change our lives. He looked at me with a questioning face, not fully understanding my meaning until I explained, “After you retire from the Navy, we should travel the country in an RV”.
Ramie and I have been married for 14 years and since the time we were dating (circa 2000), we have talked about driving around the country and summer vacations in an RV – even though NEITHER OF US HAD DONE THAT BEFORE. With his post-military pension, we would have more than enough to support our family of four living in an RV and traveling the country.
Is it realistic, responsible or normal? No. Is it an opportunity of a lifetime? Yes.
The road to getting on the road has been bumpy. When I made this first proclamation and the idea was merely theoretical, we anticipated another Navy tour and three years of savings to support our year. Once we arrived to our former military duty station – Norfolk, Virginia in 2015 – my husband discovered how much work no longer fulfilled him and his time in the Navy needed to end. Whereas we assumed we had three years to prepare, we were down to less than one year…and counting.
Neither Ramie nor I knew the first thing about RVing, with the exception of one week in a Class C in southern New Zealand (that’s a story for another day). How did we know we would even like this kind of lifestyle? How do we know what we need in an RV, how we would spend our days, school our children on the road…anything!?
The answer has been research, determining what is important to our family and making the financial and personal commitment to the undertaking, and in our case, a whole lot of prayer, discussion and reflection.
We have been on the road and living in our RV full-time since June 18, 2016. It has not been easy, actually, it has been far from easy, but we persevere.
Stay tuned for next week: RVing New Zealand
*Portions of this article are previously published on ramiesontheroad.com (here)
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