Most people have the same reaction when we tell them we’re going to travel the U.S. in a trailer, homeschool our kids and not work full-time, possibly for an entire year.

“That is so cool.”

“I’ve always wanted to do that.”

“You are going to have so much fun.”

But there are also a few who think we are downright crazy, and that’s probably closer to the truth.

As we get deeper and deeper into planning this journey, the logistics of it all are overwhelming:

  • We’ve got to buy the trailer. Ideally, we’d like three separate sleeping spaces, a washer and dryer and, in a perfect world, a half-bath. So we’re basically looking for an apartment on wheels.
  • We’ll need a giant truck to pull that sucker and comfortably fit the four of us.
  • We’ll be bringing snow skis and winter gear, bikes, tools, clothes, shoes … and a cat. (Sidenote: Where do you store skis and boots in a trailer?) (Second sidenote: Where do you put a litter box?)
  • We need to plan a route, factoring in where we want to be during the different seasons, plus what we want to see along the way and places we want to check out as a possible permanent home.
  • We need a homeschool plan for the kids, who will be in 7th and 9th grades.
  • One of my kids takes daily medication for a minor condition and needs lab work every few months. Another has braces and has to see the orthodontist regularly. No idea how you do either of those on the road.
  • WiFi. We need reliable WiFi.
  • How will we get our mail?
  • Where are we going to store our car?
  • How much is all of this going to cost?

The list keeps getting longer, the questions more complex and the deadlines closer.

We came up with this idea in about five minutes, after I emailed my husband a link to a story about another family doing something similar. He emailed back with a quick “Let’s do it!” I replied with an even-quicker “I’m in.”

I don’t think either of us quite knew exactly what we were saying.

Whatever it is that we’re “in” is getting deeper by the minute.

9 thoughts on “How are we going to make this happen?

  1. Hey Jan! If you are in the Baltimore area…stop in! Good luck on your adventure- the journey of a lifetime. I could totally do it with my boys, but my cats are too high maintenance. 😉

    1. Thanks, Kim! We have lots of friends in that area so hopefully will at least swing through. We are trying to work on a tentative route now. Happy New Year!!!

  2. You have a place in Colorado to recharge, relax, and regroup! Looking forward to hearing about your adventures and potentially seeing you all.

  3. We have an extra garage if you want to leave your car here. Naturally, you should wait to fix all the European dings until after it’s been around my children for a year.

    1. And no way would I let you drive it. I’ve seen your car – ha! Seriously, thanks, but we are trying to figure out a way to get the military to pay to store it for as long as possible. This retiring from overseas crap is a pain!

  4. So I found your blog via the SSC board, where you posted a quick blurb about it, not realizing my husband knows yours (small SF world and all). Loving reading your retirement plans unfolding. Re school: we homeschool, albeit elementary, but I also taught high school. I’d look into one of two directions: an accredited home-study, so you could essentially take the graded transcript to the next school and be fine; or, an unschooling year with “great books” and history. Life of Fred math. Check out the Cathy Duffy curriculua reviews (the website is sufficient). For the former option, I’m not as familiar with packaged secular options, though I know some exist. I know an SF family who successfully used Seton home study. Very Catholic point of view. excellent program. I initially wanted to use it, but it was so dry for elementary that I cobbled my own together. The upside: help if needed is available via web. you send in everything. It’s all graded. You receive the report card in the mail. Strongly appealing to me on some days!

    1. Thanks for the tips, Anne! It is a small world – were we stationed in any of the same places at the same time? Right now we are leaning heavily toward the Florida Virtual School because it is all online with teacher support, and our soon-to-be freshman would get a regular high school transcript. I think if we were going to do this longterm we would look at a lot of different options, but I don’t think that in just one year we will become expert enough to do homeschooling with a less structured program. We will also be supplementing with at least one other program – probably BYU – for German language.

      1. I think a virtual school/accredited home-study is a wise choice, especially for the freshman. We have friends who do the GA version of it. You’re already planning on supplementing outside of it, which would be the next recommendation. I’d still look at Life of Fred math at the appropriate level–it’s not a traditional curriculum per se, but an excellent story-as-math which teaches highly abstract applications in a very approachable way. Short chapters, only a handful of problems. The series runs from elementary through college calc. I advise my friends whose kids are in brick-and-mortar school to give it a go because the chapters are short, and it covers math brilliantly in a way that’s both approachable for the struggling-with-math and challenging for those who want more. There’s not a lot of practice associated with it, so it doesn’t kill a kid who is already burdened with a heavy course load.

        No, I don’t think we were ever stationed at the same place. I would have gravitated toward another writer! I think your husband acted as the wise sounding board to mine a few years ago when a certain Gen R decided to go ape over something that his staff, not my husband’s company, did while in Mark’s footprint. Ha, good times. But my hubby holds yours in very high regard because of it.

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