Who are you and what is your backstory?
Hi, we are the Miners. I am Holly, my husband is Jason, my son is Jack, and our dog's name is Remi.
Jason and I met while working in health care. Before we started dating, we always talked to one another about Colorado and traveling around the U.S.A. We dated for about a year and then got married.
We followed the traditional path, we got married, bought a house, got a puppy, and surprise! We found out I was pregnant. We continued on our traditional path, Jason worked, and I had planned to return to work after giving birth to Jack.
I gave birth to Jack and noticed I didn't want to leave the house as much, definitely not usual for the Gemini adventurer. Jason was spending more time at work than usual, working up to 14 hours a day, six days a week. I found out later I was dealing with postpartum depression. I couldn't go to the store and didn't leave the house for the holidays.
"The community was one of the most surprising things about being on the road. We didn't know what to expect, but we were amazed. Every person we have met while traveling, especially at RV parks, has been more than awesome."
From the outside looking in on our life, I knew this was a path we wouldn't thrive on because we already weren't. I am an optimistic person and always see the silver lining in all situations. We were not thriving there, so I opened myself up to other solutions.
I wanted our life to be different in that we would spend more time together as a family and grow with one another and not apart. The traditional path was sending us all in different directions. I wanted us all to have more freedom from the items that held us to our house and that city.
We are big believers in living more holistically and feeling the sand beneath our feet and the sun on our skin and living a life to be a well rounded human being—mental health, physical, and spiritual.
As you can re-read above, we were far away from our beliefs, and we needed to find a way back.
Take us to the moment you decided to begin your RV life?
I (Holly) was the one who came up with the idea to move into an RV full-time.
My friend Jackie talked about how she and her family lived in an RV for a while with her son when he was six months old. Just know that my friend had lived the RV life and survived with a six-month-old was very encouraging to me. It was at that moment that I decided I wanted to propose this idea to Jason. I brought the idea up to Jason, and he was very quickly on board. He could also see that we needed a drastic change.
One of the many thoughts I had about the RV lifestyle was, the adventure would be right outside our door, so once work was over, we could immediately start and adventure. It was hard for me to leave our house, so I thought it would help encourage me to go more if I could see the beach right outside of my window.
"Drive days are challenging with kids, especially when they are younger and alone (only child). It's not easy for a toddler to sit in one chair for an extended amount of time. "
As I said above, I am generally pretty optimistic. I didn't have many fears, but the ones I had weren't my own. Our family members were anxious about Jack and how this would affect him. We received many emails and had sit-downs with family members. Phone calls came daily. Jason and I knew in our hearts that this life would help us all. We would grow into better people than we were, which is always a big goal.
Jack's childhood was our motivation. We wanted him to grow up outside and touch history. We didn't want to wait for him to grow up to experience the world but to grow up knowing it as home.
Jason's job was already remote, and we had already decided I wasn't going back anytime soon.
We got to work cleaning out our house. We had garage sales, craigslist and gave our stuff to neighbors. If we hesitated to keep an item, we got rid of it. We knew deep down past all the emotions about the thing; it didn't mean much to us. We did keep things special to us; if it had sentimental value, we kept it. All of Jack's baby stuff, wedding stuff, family memorabilia. We also kept essential house items, couch, table, bed frame. We didn't know how long we would be living this life.
Tell us about the advantages to the RV lifestyle?
One of the obvious reasons we decided to live this life is for more freedom to travel. Beforehand, Jason only got 2-3 weeks. We'd plan out a trip and wait for those small windows of time and then rush to "vacation." We'd rush to the vacation, and then we would rush around during the vacation because we didn't want to waste the small amount of time that we had.
Now, Jason still only gets that time off, but it doesn't matter. Since we park ourselves in the middle of these beautiful places, we can go whenever. After work, lunch break, before work, weekends, holidays, or vacation time to do something even more epic. We don't miss out on as much; our time has no expiration date on it.
A skill we have acquired during our time on the road is, we mold to every situation more easily and quickly. We also settle into unknown places easily.
Jack is not very shy and makes friends very quickly. As he's grown up on the road, he has met such a diverse group of people. He picks up on skills very rapidly and talks very well and a lot. I believe it's because of all the interactions he gets with adults to new babies. Jack wants to be outside, and with the ever-changing landscape, his playground is always changing.
"There is no right RV out there. Every RV will give you a different experience and as someone who had none going into this lifestyle. You won't know exactly what you need from this lifestyle until you have lived it."
One of my favorite memories I think about often is when we went to Destin, FL for the first time in our RV. I had always heard about how beautiful it was. The white soft sand and emerald blue water. As we drove over the hill and the big Destin sign revealed itself, I cried. When I was younger I didn’t know if I would ever make it there or how long it would be until I finally made it there. Something I had been dreaming of for a long time and I had finally made it. It was all because we started this journey.
Tell us about the biggest challenges and downsides to the RV lifestyle?
Drive days are challenging with kids, especially when they are younger and alone (only child). It's not easy for a toddler to sit in one chair for an extended amount of time. Drive days wear everyone out, so we can all get cranky on those days.
Something challenging about living on the road is keeping up with registrations and inspections on vehicles. For our county in Texas, we have to go back to that specific county for updated stickers. We always have to plan on coming back to that particular area every year.
Another thing is blow-outs. You never know when they will happen, so you must always be prepared. We have only had one blow out. It happened on our long weekend drive back to Houston from Durango. I was driving behind Jason with the truck while towing the Jeep and Jason was driving the RV. I heard a loud noise and saw a chunk of tire fly towards the truck. I also saw Jack's helmet and toys. We pulled over easliy because no one was driving near us. We worked with what we had, using the stabilizers as jacks. We called all the shops close by to find a tire to replace the one that just popped. Luckily, we found one. A shop had one tire nearby and we had to hurry because the shop was pretty much closed. Everyone packed up and we headed over. The man was kind and stayed late, by the time we had made it to the shop it had been 3 hours since the popped tire. When the tire was done, we quickly drove it back and with out any issues put it back on. It was dark when we finally started driving again.
How do you find a sense of community when you’re always moving? How do you maintain and build relationships on the road?
The community was one of the most surprising things about being on the road. We didn't know what to expect, but we were amazed. Every person we have met while traveling, especially at RV parks, has been more than awesome. We all find a sense of community within one another because of the different path we choose to take.
What's great is that our new lifestyle encourages our old friends and family members to meet us in these new places. It gets them out and a reason why to come to a town they may have never thought about.
How do you support yourself financially?
Jason works in cardiology. He has worked remotely for a long time now, even before deciding that we wanted to take this path.
My job is Instagram. I have worked hard to create a community of like minded people. Travels who think outside the box and live life for their own. I work with brands that help make our community and my nomadic life easier. Occasionally I work with brands that make things a little more fun. I am a writer, a photographer, a videographer, a mom, a wife, and a nomadic traveller.
What is your one piece of advice for people who want to do what you do?
There is no right RV out there. Every RV will give you a different experience and as someone who had none going into this lifestyle. You won't know exactly what you need from this lifestyle until you have lived it. Find something you think will work best for you and your family.
What have been the most influential and helpful books, podcasts, blogs, websites or other resources?
We have loved three apps while living this lifestyle: Campendium, AllTrails, and Audiobooks (or Audible). Campendium for finding the best spots to camp, dry camping, or full hook ups. AllTrails for find some of the most epic hiking or biking trails in the surrounding area. Audiobooks for helping me grow and encouragement to keep living this lifestyle.
Two of my favorite books are “The Tao of Fully Feeling” by Pete Walker and “Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis. Highly recommended for those long drive days.
What does the future look like?
We do not see an end to this lifestyle. We may end up buying some land to call ours or if we want to stay stationary for a little bit while a pandemic passes. We are currently trying to work out a deal for a new 2021 rig. We will be switching from a Class C to a fifth wheel.
Is there anything that you need that you can’t find or anything you are seeking help with?
What are some of your best resources? Where do you get all your questions answered? If you have any book recommendations, blogs, or videos, share them with us below!
Rapid fire questions
What are the top 3 RV essentials that you couldn’t live without?
- Solar Panels
- Large Propane Tanks
Top 3 favorite places you’ve visited?
- Durango, Colorado
- Evergreen, Colorado
- Rocky Mountain National Park, CO
Where are you now?
We are currently in Texas. We are in the middle of switching from a Class C to a Fifth Wheel
How long do you usually stay in one place?
We have found that 2-3 weeks is good for us.
When did you first start RVing?
We started in March 2019.
Are you full-time or part-time RVing?
We are full-time.
How many weeks have you spent in the RV in the last 12 months?
About 80-85 weeks. We don’t stay in other places much besides now. We don’t have RV to stay in.
What kind of vehicle/rv/trailer/setup do you have?
We used to have a Class C and would tow the Jeep behind it.
Now, we have a Ram dually with a fifth wheel (soon) and I will drive the Jeep behind it. We off-road a lot.
Where can we go to keep up with you and your adventures?
We are primarily on Instagram @TheMarvelousMiners
Youtube: The Marvelous Miners
Facebook: The Marvelous Miners