Morning doesn’t come with an alarm clock. 7am or so typically finds itself ringing in via the sounds of my boisterous youngest son, Wylder. He’s a morning smiler and eager to crawl into our bed, a handmade contraption built by my dad in the back of our Ford van. A master bedroom if you will. We pull down the blinds and let morning’s glow roll all over the two of us and the mamaLady of our family, Renee.
Meanwhile, in our 31′ 1976 Airstream, only feet away, our two year old, Winter, is all rise and shine and waking up Nanny, Renee’s mom, looking for his yogurt, strawberries and Cheerios. Not whole grain, not honey nut, and not “Whole Foods Organic O’s”. Just plain old Cheerios.
I wake our oldest boy, Tristan at 11 years and counting, to walk the dog. Teeth brushed, babies fed, I go to work on a nearby picnic table or some currently unoccupied bed in the Airstream.
My work consists mainly of designing, developing and writing content for websites. It pays well, is completely mobile, and I’ve been doing it long enough that there’s rarely a lapse in available work. It’s actually become pick or choose at this point. So my work days are about 4 hours long, 4 days a week.
Meanwhile, Renee and the babies run errands like grocery shopping and playground examination. Tristan meets kids from all over the world, some become lasting friends and others just monkey bar competition. Nanny cleans up a little around the house and everyone takes a little time to figure out how we’ll spend the afternoon.
Come 1 o’clock my laptop is closed, lunch is served, and we’re out the door. We might hike a mountain or tour a museum or just walk around a new town.
By 6pm we’re usually home. If we haven’t already eaten out at some local restaurant, ideally housing the key combination of good beer, great food, and family-but-not-Applebee’s-family, we’ll do dinner on a picnic table provided to us by whatever campground we’re staying at the moment.
By 8pm the babies are sleeping. Nanny’s tucked into the Airstream reading a book or a trashy gossip magazine (news that matters is important!). Tristan will roam, invited to a cookout or just to hang with other travelers’ kids due to his phenomenal social skills. That’s not bragging, none of my children are angels, but polite they are, each one. And Tristan in particular is a real catch, having not only met most of the kids who’ve ever RVed in Texas, Arizona, the South in general, Colorado, Wyoming, the Dakotas…well, you get it, but also has managed to meet celebrities ranging from Rick Harrison (bald guy from Pawn Stars) to George Bush (43rd President of the USA).
Renee and I will take whatever leisures we please to wind down the night. Sometimes a campfire and a pipe. If we’re in a town, we’ll walk to a bar for a few drinks, preferably IPAs. Rarely, an episode or two of Arrested Development (or whatever catches our mood) will drown out the night.
Many full-timers say they have no “typical day”, but we do. With young ones, organizing your time is essential to keep them from breaking down, everyone from growing bored. It also ensures that we’re out hiking or exploring via the van instead of lazing around growing fat and reading the Internet.
I have to say, it’s a wonderful life.