Vicki Corona once wrote,
“Remember that life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away!”
or at least that is the earliest use of that well used cliché I could find. Even overused as it is, the saying still rings true to the ears of many. My wife and I are one of the ones that take this well-worn group of words to heart. We decided to live by it the moment we sold a big house and moved into a tiny one on wheels.
It was 2011 when the crazy idea to become full time RVers was born. We were on a road trip up the western coastline to visit my parents in Washington, hauling our 14ft travel trailer we used for camping. (If you have never been to that part of the country, put it on your bucket list, you won’t regret it!) Constantly mesmerized by the new scenery presented outside the windows of our truck, my wife finally asked, “What else haven’t we seen?” It was a simple question. Neither of us knew the answer, and we never verbalized it then, but we were each planning out how to go about seeing more undiscovered regions.
After the trip ended, we settled back into our regular routines, or sort of. My wife was hooked on the prospect of full time RVing. She read books, blogs, anything RV-related. We learned about work camping and eventually Workamper News. As the years past, our conversations went from what if to when we sell the house and quit our jobs to travel and work around the country. Some of our family members grew increasingly worried that we had lost our mind, but we knew we had carefully planned our escape. We paid down our debt, slowly sold most of our possessions, and dusted off our resumes in attempts to find our first work camping job. We bought a used 2011 Itasca Sunstar and officially sold and moved out of the house on December 19th, 2014.
We thought finding work would be the most difficult part; however, we have found ourselves booked at least a season ahead for two years now. Large companies such as the Sugar Beet Harvest and Amazon CamperForce appear to have no qualms or opinions about our age. Consequently, we have found that employers who are use to a much older work camping crowd have been surprised at learning our age (30’s).
This has been good and bad in my opinion. On one hand, many employers are thrilled at the prospect of a young couple at their business, yet some are cautiously optimistic because of a perceived work ethic bias. I have never been in a position to hire people, so I can’t comment on the validity of this idea. I can say that we have found it handy to have a couple of letters of recommendation and references on hand to ease any doubt.
Just as we sought blogs and information at the start of our RVing journey, we have decided to share our journey and information for others planning their own adventure. You can get RV tips, places to see, and reviews of our work camping jobs thus far at www.henleyshappytrails.com.
This website led to the idea of my first eBook. Everyone loves taking photos on their travels; not everyone knows how to work their fancy camera. Photography 101: A Beginner’s Guide by yours truly, Levi Henley, addresses this issue with user-friendly language and steps. In no time, you’ll know the ins and outs of your camera and how to enhance your photos. You can order it using the link on our website. We also have designed t-shirts and mugs which you can find on henleyshappytrails.com, as well.
We have been asked frequently if we are happy with our new lifestyle. We can, at this point, answer with a definite YES! Over two short years’ time and thousands of miles, we have come to realize that for the explorer, the difficulty isn’t finding the moments that take your breath away, but catching your breath when there are so many in your path.
Sometimes the RV park cat rides with you to work. Other times you get to take your dog for morning rounds as a camp host at Desert Rose RV Park in Fernley, NV
I don’t know if it is an “Unbeetable Experience” like their ad says, but watching the sun rise over Minnesota while piling beets is certainly an unforgettable one.
There are times, traveling between work camping, that we find ourselves in places we have no words to describe, which, I suppose, is why we have pictures. Photo taken at Haymeadow Falls, MI.