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R. V Travel Tips

My boyfriend and I have been traveling in our R. V for about four months now; there have been many challenges and mistakes that we have learned from this new experience and we’ve realized that living in a house on wheels is much different.

Here are some tips to help your R. V travels go a bit smoother, these are the resources that we took advantage of while living on the road.

Boondocking:

Boondocking is a term used for overnight parking for free in many areas. National Forests are the best places to boondock, as it is completely legal to overnight park in National Forests for nearly a month as long as your not disrespectful to the forest. Other things we looked out for were abandoned parking lots, or any lots that had no signage saying that they’re is no overnight parking in that area.

Some stores such as Walmart and Safeway were useful to us often, we spent a total of two weeks in an R. V park during our four month travel and saved a ton of money doing it.

Finding Internet:

During our travels, we shared a pay-as-you-go phone, our internet was limited, which we needed to look for work, email and my blog here! We’ve found that you can find WI-FI without a password in a lot of unexpected places. If we were parked someplace near a store, we would find internet almost every time.

Starbucks was a common place to go and use internet. We had tried other places, but found that Starbucks was consistent, with plugins, reliable internet and a coffee every time.

Sewage:

Many cities will actually have a free area to dump your sewage, make sure to look up if any city your traveling by has it, an extra $10 adds up if you’re needing it every week.

Water:

We ran into many situations where we had no water in our tank. In some ways, this is good; it did not weigh us down when we were driving and saved us gas money. I recommend emptying your tank before driving a long distance.

We made sure to keep our one gallon jugs we bought previously and refill them whenever we could for usually only about 40 cents. If we couldn’t get water in our tanks than we would use that water to drink, wash our hands, brush our teeth, give to our pets and any way we found need be.

Craigslist:

Craigslist was our number one resource for finding work on the road. We could find one day to a few months worth of work all in one area where it is easy to communicate. A few times we would put up posts asking for a place to park our R. V, we got a few responses that led us to other helpful resources and even met some amazing people along the way.

Showers:

Because we didn’t stay in many R. V parks, our showering situation was a little different. We are quiet the naturalists and for the most part would cleanse ourselves in natural waters, but we took advantage of free trial gym memberships often. Every new city we entered that we knew we would be in for a good amount of time, we would get free week trials, where we would use their equipment, pools, steam rooms and showers every day while we had it.

Not having it for so long would allow us to appreciate it even more when we finally got our free trial.

Road Atlas:

During our entire travels, we only used maps. Beforehand, we had gotten a state map for every state and an atlas. The atlas is what I most recommend for finding roads, but every map will show something that another doesn’t and goes unnoticed on a GPS. I recommend maps in general, rather than a GPS, as you can see where the next National Forest will be and any other natural areas to visit.

When we entered a new city, we would visit the visitors center with magazines on attractions and city maps as well. There are so many things that you can discover at a visitors center than you never knew existed.

R. V Travelers App:

There are some extremely useful apps to help travelers find the cheapest gas near them, let travelers know if a Walmart is okay for overnight stay or not. Not all Walmart’s are overnight stay like people say, but as long as they’re are a few other R. V’s there, that was enough for us to stay one night.

A few of these apps are GasBuddy and Walmart Parking App. There are plenty more useful apps as well, depending on what your looking for.

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Blessed To Live In The Pacific Northwest

Every state we’ve explored has been so different from the last, and each one is beautiful in it’s own unique way. But traveling further south through the hot, empty and beautiful roads of Nevada and to Idaho, I can proudly say that I am happy to live in the Pacific Northwest.

Once we entered southern California, towards Nevada, it was like a fight against the heat. The water really didn’t taste the same and the water crisis was even more severe.

We begged for a river, a beach, lake, anything to cool ourselves down, but all around us were dried up creeks and salt flats.

I am grateful to have experienced these areas, especially to drive all the way up Nevada on 93N with absolutely nothing but rocks, wildlife and mountains around us. It was our most peaceful drive yet.

The central Nevada area is hot during the day, but rains and storms with rapid lighting and thunder all night, it’s really quiet beautiful.

The heat may have caused us to flee from entering Arizona, but we shall be back in the future.

If there’s anything I’ve learned from these travels, it’s that nothing goes as planned no matter how much you plan it. But that’s what makes it exciting, that’s what allows you learn.

It’s not about reaching a destination, because there will never be one. It’s about realizing the beauty of the moment with you now. We could have turned off the road every five miles and explored something amazing because this Earth is truly magic wherever you turn.

But for once, I’m grateful for the rain. I’m thankful to lay on cold, green grass and be surrounded by evergreen trees and mountains. I now know for myself that I am so blessed to live in the Pacific Northwest.

We are coming back to you Washington. We can’t wait to swim in your lakes, be in your mountains and cool breezes.

Yet there is no end to our travels, they’ve only just begun. I cannot wait to plan our next adventure and to continue to explore the beauty around me every single day. I’ve realized that I thrive off of it, the journey and the beauty, to discover something wondrous. And letting go of one single destination has allowed me to appreciate every beautiful moment.

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Smaller Spaces, Bigger Love

I guess you could say that living in a small home can really challenge a relationship. There’s not much room for any personal space or personal time, nor much space to hide your living habits. To some people, these circumstances can seem intimidating, we considered it a new opportunity for growth.

At first I thought such a little space of living wouldn’t require too much cleaning, but three animals along with all our belongings has required us to come together with creative ways to keep things tidy.

Every obstacle is a new challenge for us to solve together, how to keep certain things away so Forrest wont chew them up, places to put the cat food so Forrest wont eat it, making sure the animals have plenty of fresh air while were gone, how to hide things that we don’t want to see, like garbage, recycling, laundry.

We still find ourselves getting rid of things we don’t need and our ability to condense is a lot stronger than before. We both share a dedication to our living and to make sure that we are happy in it.

Our views have changed about personal space and personal time, we hardly have any personal belongings, we share everything together. This lifestyle, this home and our relationship has become our greatest commitment.

There is an entirely new feeling that comes along with living with someone in a small space, you feel incredibly close at all times, everything feels so much more intimate and you begin to be even more involved in one another’s thoughts and lives. This a feeling I will never give up.

Smaller spaces has not created bigger arguments, it has allowed us to grow even closer. Before we left on this journey, I can say that any arguments were truly due to the impatience and dissatisfaction with how we were living, and I think that many couples feel this.

We had a different set of priorities, like money, rent, bills, work with an endless cycle of not going out and doing what really made us happy and never speaking about what really mattered to us.

But I have never been happier than I have, being set free in these smaller spaces and making our big dreams happen together. I realize that a new lifestyle has made me continue to see the man of my dreams while we speak of genuine conversations and see the beauty of the world together.

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Sometimes Getting Lost Is The Right Direction

I’d be lying if I told you that the travelling lifestyle is all, as my stepmother called it, “hippie flowers and butterflies.” We have our worries just like anyone else, our worries are simply much different, consisting of where we will sleep tonight, the cheapest option for gas and finding the right directions.

After driving about 30 minutes in the wrong direction, we had to turn around and retrack our path. For any of you who do not know, we do not have a phone plan, we rely entirely on maps, which normally is not an issue, but yesterday it was.

We found ourselves very frustrated with the waste of precious time and gas money. It was difficult to stay positive throughout the situation, until we began to realize that everything happens for a reason, we just needed to wait for what that reason was.

When we reached McKenzie Highway, the sun began to set and we kept our eyes out for a place to camp for the night. We found ourselves parked in an empty lot off the side of the highway, right next to McKenzie River. We may have paid at least $40 a night to camp in a place like this anywhere else.

We took a moment to settle down, knowing that though we may not have reached Tilliwiger Hot Springs that day, we met our own personal nook of wilderness to slow down for a bit from all the driving and directions that we would not have experienced otherwise.

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The lesson we took away from this was that we may reach situations that go wrong in the future, a wrong turn, a wrong decision; but to keep in mind that everything is meant to happen for a reason, even if it appears as a mistake.

Right next to this crystal blue river was an amazing way to wake up the next morning and continue on to 126 towards Tilliwiger Hot Springs and Tamolich Falls.

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Travel Hotspot Down Highway 101

So many times I have drove down Highway 101, just the drive home and sometimes further to Astoria, Seaside and Canon Beach. I drove it to school, I drove it basically whenever I needed to go anywhere at all. But it has taken me until now to recognize that, that very road is a famous scenic byway for travelers down the Washington, Oregon and California coast.

A staple during our travels so far down highway 101 has been stopping at the Elixir Culture Co., a company my aunt owns and has grown into a beautiful, lively destination for travelers down the coast, located in the small town where I grew up, South Bend. The Elixir is full of love that is always sensed as soon as you walk inside, a place to unwind and connect while looking at the beautiful bay right outside the windows.

The Elixir is full of color and unique floral design of which my aunt Nancy creates herself from Washington grown flowers. All choices are made with intention to help the town thrive by selling local products such as handmade mugs, shell jewelry, honey, photographs and as many locally farmed products as possible. The shop also has vegan options for delicious coffee’s and snacks and lots of lovely bouquets and plants around to purchase.

What I have always appreciated about this shop is the atmosphere of comfort and the care for everyone who walks inside and the nonprofit support the company makes to help local business thrive.

Nancy’s plans for the Elixir are big and bold, and I am so excited for the growth that will be happening. She plans to make her own flower farm using permaculture gardening, to be able to make all her bouquets with her own flowers. She would also love to teach others how to make their own flower farms and harvest some of her own foods for the shop as well.

It’s a beautiful thing to be in this shop and hear the stories from traveler’s, where they began their journey and where their next destination is. The Elixir is a must stop shop for just about anyone travelling down the 101 highway, come by and use the internet, unwind and tell your story.

 

 

 

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Limiting Our Things For Limited Spaces

Anyone who walked into our home would definitely think that we didn’t have many things. Within the last few months we have been selling so much and I felt quite minimalistic. But when we officially started packing all of our things, we made the decision to rent a U Haul because we weren’t going to have enough space, I realized I really had a ways to go before considering myself a true minimalist.

We thought this U Haul would have plenty of space, but after an hour or so of loading, we began noticing that we would need to fill the bed of the truck as well, and that was still pushing it for space.

Some things were going with to be sold at a family members yard sale, but this was still in our home. We were on a time crunch and running out of space, we found ourselves simply throwing away the things that would have trouble fitting. Which made me question it’s worth to me in the first place and why I ever thought that I needed it.

To me, this was a big eye opener in my life. Why were all these things necessary? After getting rid of it all, I couldn’t remember why I ever needed it and I felt so nice to let it go. This really hit me as beautiful feeling that I needed to share, so that I may inspire someone to challenge themselves to do the same and ask themselves the same questions.

Even when we started moving our things into the R. V, we threw away and sent even more things to yard sales.

More than half of our previously owned worldly possessions are no longer a part of our lives, and it makes me feel so free of clutter. It feels good to know that everything I own, I treasure.

 

Clearly, when you are moving into a space that doesn’t fit all the things you have, you have no choice but to get rid of things; but if this is not the case for you, you could try multiple other things to simplify your belongings.

Something I would suggest is to get rid of one thing a day. I don’t mean tossing out your shirt with a stain or your overused toothbrush, I mean things you come by in your everyday life that you notice you never use.

It may be easier at first, but doing it for a month or two will lead to ridding so many items from your life and forgetting you ever owned them.

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Work You Can Travel With

The most common question I get when I speak about our upcoming travels to our surrounding six states is how I will afford it. Though this question has formed to seem little to me, I am prepared to answer every question thrown at me.

Many people think travel is incredibly expensive and they may never be able to see all the beautiful locations that they wish to see. But the reality of this is, if it truly means enough to you, you will always find a way.

It is law, it is the power of attraction. If you want something enough, it is on your mind always, you are truly dedicated to it, therefore it is drawn to you. New ideas and solutions will come your way every day if you believe that one day you will see this place.

This is how I have felt lately, the only thing I focus most of my attention is to this coming May, when we can start driving our R.V and count the miles. I trust in the universe to allow this to happen, it is set in the stars, in my palm; it is not a simple thought that comes and goes. It is called a passion, a passion to travel, to explore, and when you have a passion, you find a way.

The reason we haven’t already left is because we are waiting for our income tax, which will be our half down on a 37ft R. V that a friend of ours is selling to us for very inexpensive. Once we have this R. V, we have a home, a home on wheels that we own and the possibilities are endless.

Nothing about this trip has to do with the fact that I have a lot of money. If I am being quite honest with you all, I am living off pay check to pay check while saving little bits on the side, but I do not believe this to be a bad thing like most people may. I live my life day to day, I do not worry about my financials outside of making sure I can afford to live with the simple necessities and the current bills that I pay. I do not stress trying to make sure I have an access in money.

As I had written in another post, I do side work to make extra money, sell things I find that I don’t need often and have an app called Qapital to round up my dollars I spend into an account dedicated towards our travels.

There are many sites for paid online surveys, such as Surveys on the Go and Inbox Dollars. There are also sites for freelancers to work on small company projects online, such as freelancer.com and upwork.com. Another tool we hope to take advantage of is workamping, which is working at campsites that either supply free camping, pay or both for short spans of time.

I partake in travel photography with Getty Images as well as miscellaneous photography work for extra money. I have also become affiliated with other brands to promote their products through my photography on social media platforms, some of which pay commission for any sales I bring their way.

Other than this, I have not a worry in the world about travelling wherever I feel need be. There are plenty of ways to make money outside of a scheduled career, there is so much time in the day to come up with creative ways to make money, focus on your dreams and to challenge yourself to think outside the box. The only thing is, it is not what most modern society to trained to do. We are told to stay in one designated city and work and travel when we have the time off. I do not see it this way, I believe my home is anywhere on this Earth; Mother Earth is my home.

“But how can I leave my home? My home is everywhere,” – Yogananda.

Each city we plan to stay in is approximately three hours away from one another. From one location to the next, our agenda is to see the many natural wonders I had mentioned in my last adventure post and to find local jobs using Craiglist under the gigs tab. We currently use this in Spokane for side work, so we know how this works.

We will stay in each city until we gather up enough gas money to get to the next city. Our only concerns will be food and gas and occasionally R. V Parks, as there are free campgrounds and boondocking (free campgrounds without hookups) all over the place. Anyone who believes that road tripping is expensive, has not done their research.

So what if we don’t have a dime in our pocket, we can’t find work and we have no gas? You see, I believe that if I am grateful for the small things I do have and think positively, that this negative energy wont direct my way, but if by chance it does (of course, there are always credit cards) but there are also many places that pay you a decent chunk of money to donate your blood or plasma. On average, they pay about $15 per donation, sometimes more, this will supply us with at least $30 within two hours. Yes, this is for the very desperate.

Many people do not realize exactly how many options there really is.

We do not wish to stay in five star resorts, go out to dinner and have drinks on the weekends or to buy from local shops wherever we go, we are only trying to experience nature and challenge our creativity to focus on our true passions.

We have discussed starting an Etsy shop here real soon with homemade teas and incents that we may be able to make a profit while travelling as well, this plan is still in process and we can’t wait to see what is to come from it, I will make sure to keep you updated as this progresses. We are also in the process of a Youtube channel that we will start within the upcoming month and continue throughout our travels. Though this may not make us money at first, in the long run the possibilities are infinite.

We will use free Wi-Fi at coffee shops to job search when needed and to provide all my lovely followers with new blog posts and photos of our travels.

There is so much stuff we live with that we believe we need, but we really don’t. To us, it has become overbearing and we wish to clear our minds and our spirits within nature. We wish to be in touch with the real world of Mother Earth and simplicity, instead of what we know the real world to be, as buildings and roadways, schedules and deadlines.

 

<3 staywildmoonchild

 

 

 

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The Adventure Destinations

I am excited for so many things to come during this adventure, but of course the most exciting is going to be experiencing the beautiful locations and nature around us. We have an elaborate plan as to how exactly we’re going to travel these six states and they’re amazing natural wonders.

We would like to keep things as spontaneous as we can, knowing that we are never on a timed schedule so we can slow down and really soak in every moment. Though we have a detailed plan, we are open to new ideas along the way.

We currently reside in Spokane, WA. Coming this May, we will work our way down to the Mt. Saint Helens Ape Caves. We will stay in Portland, OR for a week or so while we explore Lower Lewis Falls, Ponytail Falls, Oneonta Falls, Latourell Falls, Elowah Falls and Mahclella Falls and the Columbia River Gorge. These seems like quite a bit of waterfalls, but each of these are followed by beautiful nature hikes.

From there, we will move down to Bend, OR, where we plan to stay for several weeks, travelling to Drift Creek Falls, Opal Creek, Silver Falls State Park, Cougar hot springs, Tumalo Falls, which leads to a beautiful small, incredibly blue pool, the Painted Hills and Proxy Falls.

On our way downward, we will also see Toketee Falls and Crater Lake before we move towards the coast to the Oregon Caves and Boardman State Park. After this, we will enter California, where we will stay in Crescent City for about a week, exploring the Redwood Forest.

Next, we will move towards Central Valley, CA, where we plan to also stay several weeks while adventuring these beautiful waterfalls, Mossbrae Falls, Burney Falls, Whiskeytown Falls and Subway Cave and Lassen Volcanic National Park. From there, we will move south to Lake Tahoe, spanning off to Yosemite National Park, Mono Lake, Rainbow Falls and Devil’s Postpile.

Then we will head west to Big Sur, CA, where we will get time on the beautiful coast and see Pfeiffer Beach and Mcway Falls, where the sand turns a brilliant lavender at sunset. We will stay here for several weeks before moving on to our next destination, the Sequoia National Park, to Death Valley, then crossing over to Las Vegas, Nevada.

Neither of us have been to Las Vegas since we have turned 21, this will be a fun experience for us both. But you would be surprised how beautiful Las Vegas is outside of the casinos. There we will stay several weeks exploring the Valley of Fire, Gold Strike Hot Springs, Big Falls and First Creek Waterfall.

Arizona is real close by, we will venture off to Grand Canyon and see many incredibly beautiful waterfalls as well as deserts, including Rock Falls, Beaver Falls, Havasu Falls, Mooney Falls, Grand Falls, The Painted Desert, Petrified Forest, Antelope Canyon and of course the Grand Canyon.

After this, we will begin to head up north again, but by no means does the adventure end. We will head up to Utah to see Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon, we will be staying in Junction for about a week to see some other nearby locations.

After that, three hours north is Salt Lake City, where we will stay a few weeks and see Stewart Falls, Cataract Gorge, Upper Provo Falls and Grotto Falls.

Another three hours north is Twin Falls, Idaho, where we will travel to Shoshore Falls, Deadman Falls, Cauldrin Linn Falls and Malad Gorge State Park.

Only an hour up is Boise, where we’ll also see Jump Creek Falls, Kirkhas hot springs and Gold Fork hot springs.

Technically, this is the last of our trip. We have several road maps of every state with every destination pin-pointed, as well as the time and miles it will take to travel to these locations, which on average is only three hours from one city to another.

There are so many other destinations I wish we could see in these states, but we must plan smart. I am also sure that we will find more excursions in every place, upon asking the local tourist information places.

This may all seem like a lot, it may all seem impossible, expensive or risky. But life is not meant to be spent in one comfort zone, or behind a desk right out of college, this is the message I wish to teach to everyone who responds to this with, “I wish I could do that.”

We must realize within ourselves that there is more to our lives than what we experience every day, and we must go out and find what it is that really makes us happy. This will not be the same for everybody, as it shouldn’t. We are meant to challenge ourselves and the role of which we play on this Earth, what sets us apart from one another.

I think we will always surprise ourselves with all the things that we can do that we believed we never could. Not one person can tell me that I will fail, and if they do, then they don’t understand passion and the power of the mind.

In my next entry I will explain exactly how we are financially planning this adventure. I will explain every step until I leave and every exploration on the road. <3

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The Adventure Announcement

It has been only three months since I have graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism.

Since then, though I have not yet moved forward in that field, I have discovered a great deal about myself and a great deal of the world in adulthood and the time “making a living” consumes.

I adore the job that I have, though I need more time for myself and my passions. Many people probably feel this same way but let it go, but I will not.

I am a woman with a vision and a deep wanderlust, no worldly struggle or discouragement will block my path. I have just started off in the world as a full-time employee and cannot imagine the rest of my life in the position. And I do not mean the same job or the same field, I mean spending my whole life simply paying my bills with the biggest concern of more money, more money rather than living with adventures every single day.

I will continue to strive for my own happiness and some may call it craziness, but I have come up with my next move, my next adventure in this life.

My boyfriend and I are planning a road trip down the Oregon/California coast, down to Las Vegas, across to the Grand Canyon and back up through Utah and Idaho.

Why?

Well why not? Sometimes you need to throw yourself into a situation so you have no choice but to figure it out and grow into a stronger person for it. We have a map where we have marked several natural wonders along the way to see.

How long will this road trip be?

Well that’s just the beauty of it, there is no time limit here, because this is our lives and I will enjoy every minute of it and take my time to soak it all in. We live our lives too much in a hurry; to get down the road, get ready for work, go to that next appointment. We rarely really observe what is around us, slow down for a second and enjoy the simple beauty of being alive in this beautiful world. I don’t believe that such a thing should be a rarity.

It astounds me how many people seem to think our decision is crazy, like it’s illogical, stupid and that I should focus my time on a career. But I expect to live around 80 to 90 years old, a few simple years of that time frame should be spent to challenge yourself to new heights and travel to new places; this alone can teach you much more than a full-time job can.

The simple thought of this trip makes me so ambitious, I have never been so excited, so passionate about anything, and I quiet seriously mean anything. I know that any questions and any struggles that head our way, we will figure them out, just like you must with any other complication in life, our struggles will just be different.

Before you worry about our lives, I assure you that we have a thorough plan as to how we will live that I will explain in detail in my next adventure entry.

But for now, if you would like to follow our adventure with my words and photographs, this would make me very happy.

If you guys have any advice, questions or suggestions, I am entirely excited and open to them all. This will be our first-time major road trip and we are aware that there will be many trial and errors and we are ready to only learn and grow from them.

The beauty of our very own United States is overlooked and we are determined to see our own country that we have not yet explored, before we explore another.

*I will also be writing a book about our thoughts, travels and experiences. I will have a sneak peek up soon*

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Your Local National Forest

I currently reside in Spokane Washington and I never considered National Forests to be anywhere around me, until I started really paying attention.

My most recent exploration was in the Couer D’Alene National Forest in Idaho, about 40 minutes away from me.

My boyfriend and I spent hours trying to find the right place to camp, but after night fall we found ourselves at Devil’s Elbow Campground.

This campground was beautiful! Full of trees, big camp sites with lots of separation and privacy and great access to the river. In fact, so close that we put our tent right next to the water. This was the best camping spot I think I’ve ever been to.

Some local excursions we traveled to were Shadow Falls and Fern Falls, both along the same trail and both very beautiful. To get to the trail was a little tricky, so make sure your paying close attention to your GPS, but it was still within 15 minutes from our campground And the trail was only a few miles and not very touristy. 

There is a beautiful stream along most of the trail, you’ll find Shadow Falls first and Fern Falls at the end. It is definitely called Fern Falls for a reason, behind and alongside the waterfall, ferns blossom from the rock walls.

My favorite kinda of waterfalls are the ones you can access yourself, jump into the water and be up close and personal with, these are those kinds of waterfalls.

I recommend grabbing a Couer D’Alene National Forest map from a local Ranger station.

So if your in the area and wandering where some beautiful local waterfalls may be, make sure to make a weekend trip to these wonderful places.