Howdy we’re the Bergmarks, Kurt (46) & Debra (42). We have three children, two small dogs and we took the plunge in September 2016 and hit the road full time in our Jayco Eagle 5th wheel. We’re just like many others who thought they were living the American Dream, but the stress of a big house and a disappointing full time job just didn’t seem very fulfilling. Kurt is retired USAF and I’m a stay at home mom so moving every couple of years is what we know. I felt it was time for a change so I suggested downsizing so Kurt could look for a different job that was more enjoyable, but he suggested us moving to Texas to be near my family. I was all for that and we put our house on the market. The idea of getting a trailer to slowly make our way to Texas then living in it until we found the perfect spot was what we initially planned; however, my mother in law put a better idea into our heads.
She said we were in a perfect position to just travel full time. Our children are young enough that I could homeschool them and we could live off Kurt’s military retirement pay. We briefly did the full time travel thing after Kurt retired 3 ½ years ago so we had a little experience. I was all for it, but it took a little more convincing on Kurt’s part. He was concerned about the cost of traveling full time on the road, but I explained how it was possible if we were debt free. He was on board and after three months our house sold. We had a one day estate sale & everything else was gone that wouldn’t fit into our new 5th wheel. We were making it happen fast.
My mother in law told us about her friends who did Workamping then she got us a one year subscription to Workamper News. I decided to work at Amazon in KY over the holiday season to get us started and get some experience. I hadn’t worked in 10 years since having our first child so this was exciting for me. Kurt became the stay at home dad and I became the “bread winner”. Talk about a flip flop shock to both our systems, but it was a good thing. We both appreciate the other more now.
The best part about workamping is definitely the people you meet along the way. I have met some great friends of all ages and backgrounds and I know we’ll keep in touch for a long time. We share ideas, places to stay, where to travel and more. In fact we got our current job thanks to a friend I made at Amazon. She was hired on at a Jellystone park and told us we should apply and here we are working at a great park alongside our new friend.
I would say the hardest part about workamping is choosing a job. There are so many to choose from. We are blessed because we don’t have to work as we go, but if a desirable position presents itself then we take it. Of course we want to travel & not stay put for long periods of time so short term workamp positions are on our radar. What’s also a challenge is finding a job where Kurt and I can work opposite shifts because we can’t leave our children alone just yet. If we can’t both work then we simply take turns. I don’t feel that our age is an issue, at least not so far. We may not be able to get into 55+ workamping positions or campgrounds, but I don’t worry much about that.
It’s only been 4 months since we hit the road, but I don’t see us going back to our old lifestyle for at least a couple of years because this is real living. We get to see the country and all it’s beauty while doing small jobs along the way. I don’t know why more people aren’t living this lifestyle. Why wait until you’re 65+ years old to travel? Forget the so-called American Dream you have been sold on your entire life and enjoy the freedom of rv living and traveling. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring and we don’t know what our health will be like 20 years from now so living minimally and traveling is the real dream in my book.
Debra Bergmark & family
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