Photo Credit to Joe Hendricks
We feel like our life has changed, yet again, this week.
Maury and I attended The RV Entrepreneur Summit in Fredericksburg, Texas with 100+ other full time RVer’s.
I cannot tell you how exciting it has been to meet other people with the same crazy ideas that Maury and I have. Since we took up residence in our trailer in October, we have been skipping around and meeting some great people along the way from California to Texas. But this weekend really affirmed our longings to travel and see the US while we are youngish. We have made so many new connections. I feel like we’ve actually made some lifelong friends.
The RV entrepreneur summit was created and organized by Heath and Alyssa Padgett. This was the first summit and I know it won’t be the last. The energy and talent they put into this weekend is nothing short of amazing. Maury has been to more conferences than the average person and kept saying over and over again that this was hands down, the BEST conference he has EVER attended. I agree!
Through the weekend we listened to several different entrepreneurs that live full-time on the road. They gave us so much information, it was like drinking out of a fire hydrant.
We started off Saturday morning listening to photographer Joe Hendricks. He shared with us his pictures and his life on the road with his wife Rhonda and their five-year-old son. He spoke about seeing these beautiful locations and wanting to share that with his son. He didn’t want his son only to know that “Dad was at work”, but he wanted his son to see him working, he wanted his son to witness who he was while he was working and to share those experiences with his son. There were times that I was brought to tears listening to him and looking at his photos. Joe had been a wedding photographer in the past, and then decided that he wanted a change so he switched to landscape photography. For a while they traveled around in their van staying in hotels, and chasing sunsets. Then they realized, that if they moved into an RV they could be where they wanted to be, when they wanted to be there. So they bought a beautiful airstream trailer and moved into it. Joe’s work is amazing, and his giving spirit touched my soul. And as an added bonus he did a free class and taught us about nighttime photography and painting with light.
Next up was Brianna Royal of Crazy Family Adventure. She and her husband are raising four kids and two dogs on the road, in a class “C” RV. I’m not sure what size their rig is, I’m guessing it’s about 26 feet long. They had a class “A”, but she said they wanted to downsize because they were just too cozy inside that big rig, it was like an apartment and the kids were all too happy to just stay inside the whole time, but she wanted them out seeing and experiencing the world.
David Blackmon and Tim Strifler schooled us all on SEO and website development. Giving us great tips on hosting domains and plug-ins and all the stuff that goes into building and developing websites. This is more along the lines of Maury’s expertise, but I did try to listen and learn.
Eric and Brittany Highland of RV Wanderlust blew us away with their knowledge of keeping up on social media. They have a three month old son named Caspian who is as cute as can be. They shared with us how they get up early get to work (they start working at 6am or some crazy hour like that) and are done working by 2 PM p.m. or so. When you are working from home or while you’re living on the road, and are at the beck and call of your customers and clients it can be hard to draw the line and stop working for the day. They gave a great tip that when they’re done working, they ring a bell and their work day is done, no more computers no more work, now it’s family time. I really like this idea.
Jill Sessa, of Vespa and a Laptop, shared her life as a solo RVer and working on the road. We learned how she runs her business and hires employees. She gave tips and ideas about starting a business. She also shared some of her favorite boondocking areas, which I can’t tell you about, because it’s a secret. But one day you will see pictures of those areas here!
Mike and Crissa Boyink, of Ditching Suburbia, are around our age. They have been full timing for 6 1/2 years. They started off with their two kids when they were around 12 and 14 years old, and told a little bit about raising teenagers on the road. They had great ideas about work camping and campground hosting. They shared some struggles that they are currently going through and their transparency showed us just tell real they are. Living on the road has its ups and downs, but it’s worth it.
We ended that summit listening to Kyle Kesterson, who was actually born and lived in Yuba City California until he was around 7 years old. Man, what a storyteller Kyle is! He had a us all enraptured as he spun the tale of his life on the road with his little dog, Billy Bean and showed us pictures that he has taken along the way. He travels as a solo traveler, And has had some pretty harrowing adventures. Some of my favorite quotes from him included,” fear is just excitement without breath”, and “adventure begins when fear sets in”. This really spoke to me because I tend to have many fears that are unfounded at times. So for me it helps to realize that my fear is normal, but it’s just an emotion and not reality. And on a personal and selfish note, I had an lovely evening bonding with his dog at the campfire.
What we took away from this weekend is immeasurable and beyond value. We have gained a fresh excitement about the future, and new courage to move ahead with our dreams. I just wish that we had done it sooner when our kids were young and still with us, so that we could share this aspect of life with them.