Full-Time RV Living
How did we get from working all the time for the Federal and State Governments to deciding to get off of the treadmill and finally retire? Are we now going to sit in our rocking chairs and watch the world go by? In this introductory post, we hope to help you get a feel for who we are and what makes us tick. Please leave a comment or a question and we’ll be sure to respond as soon as possible. We look forward to making new friends while being better friends to those we already have!
Well, Michael was in the Navy for 28 years, first as a Hospital Corpsman and then as a Physician Assistant. After retiring from active duty he spent the next 17 years as a civilian working in Occupational Medicine in Coronado, California. Not afraid of hard work, he started as an enlisted guy and earned two bachelor’s of science degrees and a master’s degree, spent many months at sea, and many more with the Marines.
I, Louisa, was a “stay-at-home” mom for much of the time Michael was on active duty; however, I did have small jobs along the way, ie. managed a string of yogurt shops in Huntington Beach, California, sold real-estate in Hawaii, and leased apartments in Chula Vista, California. Finally, I taught high school Spanish in Chula Vista for the past 17 years! (Oh yeah, I earned a PhD in Language Acquisition along the way.)
We raised two wonderful young men… all the while moving around the world in the Navy. They have graduated from medical school and are active members of the US Army. We are very proud parents 🙂
We hiked in the mountains sometimes and took trips to visit our kids…but when people ask us how we are going to manage living in such a small space like our 2018 Roadtrek Zion, we have one specific answer: we have walked the Camino de Santiago in Spain almost 6 times with only a backpack and found a different place to stay every night. For the past 6 years we hiked approximately 300-500 miles together…figuring things out as we went! We figure this time we’ll be doing our “camino” on wheels!
We transitioned to a Whole Food Plant-Based way of eating over the past several years. People ask us the typical questions of why, what, and how do we eat only plant-based foods. They ask, “Don’t you miss animal products? Aren’t things like coconut oil, olive oil, and other vegetable oils good for you?”
And then they inevitably exclaim, “No one should have to give up cheese! It makes everything taste better!” We have read a lot of the research produced by such medical greats as Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Michael Greger, Dr. Neal Barnard, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Dr. John McDougall, and T. Colin Campbell. We are convinced that eating this way is the healthiest way for us and the rest of the world.
Today we are retired from working for other people…from the stresses of punching a clock and having to wait for the weekend to take a trip to the desert. We are free from the demands of meeting other peoples’ expectations and schedules. I don’t have to wake up at 4:30 am anymore in order to walk the dog, fix breakfast to eat on the run, pack a lunch to scarf down in 25 minutes between 5 classes of 32-35 students every day! I don’t have to plan lessons, grade papers, calm students’ concerns regarding graduation, and then do it again the next day. Plus, I get to go to the restroom ANY time I want to!!
Michael doesn’t have to get up at 5:00 am and drive through crazy morning rush hour traffic to begin seeing patients at 7:00. He doesn’t have to listen to those who don’t want to change their unhealthy habits or to those that simply want to take the day off. He gets to do whatever he wants EVERY day!
Freedom from Debt
So, how did we get here? How is it that we are able to hit the road in an RV and not have to think about punching a time-clock ever again? Well, it started with having good jobs and not spending all of our income. It also helped that we were focused on paying off all of our consumer debt and our school loans a la Dave Ramsey. It also helped that we invested in our futures by working with a person who understands mutual funds better than we do.
Freedom from Plastic
But, we are also concerned about the health of the environment. For the past 9 years, I had a great, distant, view of the ocean from my classroom. However, I started reading more and more about the problems we are having with disposing of trash in the world when I realized that the growing mountain outside my window was the local landfill!
Some passionate students and I started an eco-club called, “Olympian Saves Turtles” in order to address the lack of recycling on our campus. We set up a paper recycling system and educated ourselves by watching Netflix™ and YouTube® videos about the plastics problem. More and more students joined our efforts and we learned that in order to help save the planet we also had to help save the animals from factory farming…which meant not eating them! It continues to be a big project and we are eagerly working one step at a time toward doing what we believe is the right thing.
Freedom from Stuff
This way of looking at the world eventually led to our interest in becoming minimalists. We had already given up living in a big huge house and driving big expensive cars. We decided to give away most of our belongings, sold some and donated others…sold our condo and moved into our tiny Roadtrek Zion. It’s technically an RV but it is only 20.9 feet long and 10.5 feet tall. It has all of the necessities we require and none of the fluff! Except, there are solar panels 🙂
So here we are today! We hope to inspire and inform our friends and family, future friends and future generations to follow in our footsteps, or at least to read our blog: www.PlantBasedRVLiving.com. We intend to chronicle our journey as we learn how to live together in a tiny space and eat whole foods that are plant based.
Please join us here as we also learn to talk about our journey on our soon to be released podcast: Get Out While You Can!
Follow us on Instagram: @HeavenInAClassB On Pinterest: PlantBasedRVLiving
We hope to meet you down the road!
We are a retired teacher, Louisa, and a retired physician assistant, Michael, married for 39 years, who want to help busy travelers begin and maintain a healthy life-style while on the road.