With today interview we have the pleasure to get to know Diana that has been traveling non stop for the last year with her boyfriend Mike in their RV!
My name is Diana. My boyfriend (Mike), two dogs (Strider and Gemma), cat (Phoenix) and I live and travel full time in our RV. We are both Canadian, I am 24 and Mike is 28. Before buying our RV we had done a couple big cross country road trips in my minivan. Being on the road and seeing the landscapes change with my own eyes awoken something inside me. Whenever we would go back home and live our ‘normal’ lives again I just didn’t feel happy. Something inside me craved the adventures and experiences of travel. We have now decided to make travel a permanent part of our lives and have been enjoying every minute so far!
When did you started traveling and why?
We have been living in our RV for almost a year now. The time has passed so quickly. We decided on this lifestyle because the conventional way of living never suited us. At one point we were renting an apartment and working full time jobs and just never seemed to make enough money to do more than survive. All of the passion, adventure and fun of life was completely gone and every day seemed exactly the same as the last. I feared if we didn’t make a big change, we would get stuck living like that. We had to find a way out. That’s when we started researching and discovered full time RVing. It seemed like exactly what we were looking for.
What's your travel style?
We live and travel in our 1988 Fleetwood Bounder motorhome. Before leaving we did all sorts of renovations to make it more livable such as taking out the dinette and painting the walls. Gas money is our biggest expense so we try to travel as slowly as possible. We don’t have a car, so once we park the RV we travel by bikes (bicycles). We have a small trailer that attaches to the back of our bike that we use to get groceries and do laundry and such. We are also vegetarian so being on the road full time can sometimes be difficult for us to find food we can eat!
What's the aim of your travels? What are you looking for while traveling?
We seek adventure, new experiences and different landscapes. One of our favorite things to do is go joring (biking) with our dogs. We love finding great trails and spending the day exploring a new area this way. I guess another thing we are looking for is a greater connection. To ourselves, each other and the earth. For me, living in the city made me almost forget about these connections. Watching a sunset or hiking and biking in a new place with Mike, Strider and Gemma makes me remember that I’m part of something bigger.
What's the best memory you keep from your travels?
There are many to choose from but the one that sticks out right now is actually from just a few weeks ago. We were boondocking (dry camping) in the middle of the desert in Arizona. We didn’t have any internet or cell connection, and didn’t have any power. Usually I would be complaining in a situation like this, but there was something about this part of the desert that just felt special. We spent our days hiking the mountains and our nights sitting by a roaring fire. It was so quiet and peaceful. Every night at dusk just as the sun was about to set, the moon, big and bright, would rise from behind a mountain. The sun hitting the mountain would turn it bright red. This only lasted for a few minutes, but it was so magical. I have never felt so alive and thankful before.
And the worst one?
The worst one would have to be the time we were driving to the Rocky Mountains in Canada and popped a tire. We were only an hour away from our destination and it was the hottest day of the entire summer. We luckily found a safe place to pull over but had zero cell service. Stupidly we hadn’t brought much water or food with us either. The entire day was spent with me running and asking people who had also pulled over if they had cell service. Finally I found someone who let me use their phone and I called a tow service. It wasn’t until almost midnight that they came and picked us up. Our pets had to stay in the RV and we had to ride in the truck. When we finally got to the town we had to park and sleep in the driveway of a tire shop. It was a long, scary day not knowing if they would even come get us and watching our water getting lower and lower. Since then ANYTIME we travel we always have more than enough water and food with us! Sometimes even the worst situations can be valuable if you learn something from them.
What’s the item in your RV that you couldn't live without?
That’s easy. My macbook pro. I use it for everything from finding jobs, mapping and planning our travel routes, updating our blog and keeping in contact with my friends and family.
What's your average monthly budget and how do you fund your travels?
The nice thing about living in an RV is that we can customize our budget to our needs and wants. As I said before, our biggest expense is gas. But if we really want to save money we can just park somewhere for as long as we need to. Or if we have extra money we can travel more often and even enjoy some nicer RV resorts along the way. I would say that the least we spend per month would be around $800 and the most would be around $2000. We work in Canada from April-November living cheaply and saving as much as possible. That way we can spend the winter months in the states and avoid dealing with the cold winter weather. Our very supportive families have also helped us out quite a bit when we needed it.
Do you have any idea to make money for traveling that you could share with us?
We are always looking for ways to make money, specifically online, but we haven’t found a way to do that yet. Generally we make money doing physical jobs. The easiest place we have found jobs is in tourist areas. We have done housekeeping at some of the biggest resorts across Canada. Since we have experience it’s always easy for us to find work in this. Another easy job to get is anything farm related. We look for higher paying jobs so we can earn good money in a relatively short time period. We get all of our jobs on craigslist or kijiji.
Do you plan to settle down first or later?
Never! Well, not in the conventional sense anyway. I used to really struggle with not being like everyone else and not fitting in. Now I’ve accepted my differences and have stopped trying to compare myself to others. What I want for my life is quite different than most people. We plan on living on the road until we just don’t feel like it anymore. After that, we want to buy land and live off the grid. We definitely know what we want in life but we don’t really make long term plans, we just let life unfold and are always heading in the direction we want to end up.
Of all the places you have been to, where would you like to live the most?
I would have to say Canmore, Alberta. A town in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Visually, it’s one of the most stunning places I’ve ever been and the people who live there are really cool too. It’s full of travelers and people from all over the world. It also has so many bike paths that you can go anywhere you need without even having to drive. As much as we love traveling and visiting new places, a part of me will always miss Canmore.
If you think of yourself in 10 years, how do you imagine your life?
I imagine us living completely off grid in a cob house or earth ship. Growing our own food, producing our own electricity and having our own water source. I feel a huge pull to live this way, simply and happily. We would also love to help others make the transition to this kind of living too. Overall, I want my life to be full of rich experiences, a strong connection with my family and friends and just peace and happiness.
A valuable advice for a long-term traveller at the beginning of his journey?
Don’t over plan or over think it. Just DO it. People can get stuck in this planning mode for a long time and keep pushing their dreams saying next month, or next year I will do it. There is NEVER a right time to make a big change in your life. If you really feel a pull to travel, just find a way to make it happen. Don’t get caught up in all the small details and don’t let things like fear and uncertainty hold you back. I truly believe that most things have a way of working themselves out in the end.
Diana will soon celebrate her first full year on the road. A vegetarian, jewelry maker and hippie at heart, she always strives to live life authentically and with minimal impact to the earth. You can follow her adventures at: