Rachel Baldwin

Top Five Questions

Rachel Baldwin
Top Five Questions

Our departure date is drawing near and we are beginning to tell everyone, not just our immediate family and close friends but everyone, about our plans.  This part of our journey has been extremely exciting but also plenty stressful and chaotic.  We’re wrapping up the loose ends of our life.  We’re down to our last days at our jobs and we’re finishing the final RV projects.  The house has sold, our furniture is gone, Alex’s car is sold, we’ve moved all of our possessions into the RV and we are living out of backpacks at our parents’ homes before we officially hit the road in about two weeks.  

As we share the news, we’ve found we get the same questions pretty consistently.  Here are a few of the inquiries we field on a regular basis:

Where are you going?

This is the most frequent question and everyone is so perplexed with our answer!  The short answer is: we don’t know.  The longer answer is that we do know that we are headed towards Colorado in May.  Alex’s brother moved there a couple years ago and we’d like to visit him.  Also, my aunt owns some land near Colorado Springs and has generously offered to let us park there.  We plan to spend May in Colorado and then head in a general westward direction.  We have purposely invested in items that will allow us to boondock (boondock: to live “off-grid” without electric or water hook-ups, also referred to as wild camping, dry camping, off the cord, or dispersed camping) in more remote locations so that we are not as dependent on pay campsites with hook-ups.

We’ll spend much of the summer and fall in the northwest portion of the US and then head back to Indy for a Thanksgiving break.  We’ll wind our way down to Florida to visit my dad for Christmas and we have dreams of exploring the Everglades in December or January.  But frankly, we’re keeping it loose!

How will you afford to live/make money/pay your bills?

We’ve been asked several versions of the question and for us, the answer is not very glamorous.  We saved and saved and saved for well over a year to make this happen.  We sold almost everything we own and put the money in savings.  We’ve been frugal.  We haven’t bought new clothes or housewares or taken vacations.  We’ve pinched our pennies.  We also bought an older RV and completed the repairs and updates ourselves with the help of Alex’s dad.  

But savings will only take us so far and we do plan to work on the road.  This could be in the form of workamping (workamping: working somewhere at which some of the compensation package will include a free site with hook-ups and typically a low hourly rate as well. Workamping opportunities can be found at national parks, private employers, rv parks, etc) or in alternative areas such as Alex’s DJ/music career.  He has played events large and small across the midwest for years and will continue to book those events as the opportunities arise.

What kind of RV?

The basic question we get is-”is it the kind of RV you drive or the kind you tow”?  We tow ours.  Our new home is a 34-foot 2000 Newmar American Spirit fifth wheel.  We bought her used off Craigslist from a man in Kentucky.  We’ve spent the past year fixing leaks, putting in new floors, new ceiling panels, painting, installing solar, a composting toilet, and lots of little cosmetic updates. There are three slide-outs which increase the interior space considerably.  We tow with a 2013 Silverado.

Why are you doing this?

This is the tough question.  The answer is slightly different for both of us but here are the areas we agree upon.  We both wanted to move out of our hometown and explore parts of the country that are...not Indiana.  So that’s easy, right?  Everyone wants to go explore and travel and see new parts of the country but there are other reasons that sound more cheesy when I type them out..there’s the desire to have less of an impact on the earth, to stop finding happiness in material items and consumerism.  A diesel truck isn’t exactly eco-friendly but living in a solar powered, composting, 272 square foot home is still better than our previous footprint when we had three vehicles, a house, a daily commute to work etc…We want to see how low-impact we can become.

Alex is excited to explore music scenes in other areas of the country, to collaborate with other artists and find fresh inspiration and new ideas.

And also, life is short, right?  We figured it was time to just start making some leaps and creating the life we dream of and stop just living the life with which we’re comfortable.

Do you think you’ll drive each other crazy living in such a small space?

Uhhh, yeah.  Probably.


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