Lots of people have asked us how we can afford to travel. We were asked this question back in 2008, when we went on our North American Swing Road Trip, and back then we didn’t have any kids. I think people are even more curious to know how a couple with three children can hit the road on only one income. Here’s the low down on how we do this.
Full Time RV Family
For the last nine months, our family has been living in an RV—less than 400 square feet for five people to share. Living in an RV was the most convenient way for us to go on our family adventure travel year. It meant we could have our house with us wherever we went. We could drive, cook, shower, teach our homeschooling lessons, and even watch movies, all in the same vehicle.
As we cross the Canadian border after nine months of travel, I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, seeing the Canadian flag makes my heart happy. This is the country I chose, the one that welcomed me with an open arms, the country that I have long felt to be the place where I belong, despite the dreadful winters and long months of bitter cold misery. I love this place with all my heart.
We stayed at Indiana Dunes State Park for G-boy’s birthday, and committed not to drive too far on his special day, which we started by opening gifts. The girls got to open a small gift also. They were happy that one of G-boy’s birthday gifts was Lego, because in our house, Lego is a shared toy, so if one of the kids gets it, they know they’ll all get to play with it regularly.
She runs out of the driveway, waving at the RV as she comes near the street. She smiles at us, and I like her immediately. Not that I didn’t already like her—after all, we’ve been speaking to one another about writing, editing, and various other topics for nearly four years now, and she has always been kind. Her offer of a cabin by the lake, for as many days as we would like, is simply the cherry on top of what I already considered a good friendship.
After leaving Regina, we drove towards Winnipeg, Manitoba, to visit some friends. But first, we (of course) had to stop at a library, so I could get some freelancing work done and so the kids could have a nice break from driving while they read books and played.
After finishing up our time in Alberta (and thankfully recovering from the awful bug that went through the RV), we headed towards Regina, Saskatchwean, with a stop in Moose Jaw to break up the drive a bit. Dan seemed to have escaped the virus for the time being.
After visiting Calgary and Dinosaur Provincial Park, we stopped briefly in Brooks, Alberta, prior to moving on to Medicine Hat, a city whose name I’ve always wondered about. We didn’t know much about this town prior to visiting it, but it turns out there are some really neat things to do here, and we do recommend a visit, if not for the tourist attractions, at least for its beautifully sunny skies.
The Calgary Public Library
is a large network of branches dedicated not only to knowledge sharing and encouraging an interest in literature, but it’s also a community-building hub with services most of us small city folk can only dream of. The Calgary Central Library is the jewel of the lot, but we found nice small branches, too.