Gap Year (noun: British)*
1. a period, typically an academic year, taken by a student as a break between secondary school and higher education.
Well hello there and welcome to RVgapyear.com. Thanks for taking the time to check out our virtual home. I’m Jason and she’s Jessie. We’ve decided to take most of 2015 “off” to travel this expansive, diverse country. We hope you’ll visit us here often.
We met in 2009 while working at Elon University on a school sponsored bowling team. Yep, we fell in love at a bowling alley. Pretty romantic, huh? We bonded quickly over being two of the worst bowlers in league history. After a whirlwind romance that included tropical islands in the Caribbean and all four-seasons (Jessie insisted we date for a year before she’d consider marrying me, smart woman) we were married in a tiny ceremony in July 2010 after a four month engagement.
One month after our wedding Jessie began graduate school for Occupational Therapy. The only real problem with this was that her graduate program was two hours from home, where my job was. So we got her set up in a nice (other than the occasional cockroach) apartment where she’d live during the week and make the two hour commute home every weekend. This was less than an ideal way to start a marriage.
How We Got Here:
It was toward the end of Jessie’s graduate program in 2012 where we began to ask questions about “what do we want our life to look like?”, “where do we want to be?”, “is this what we want to do?”, “what are our options?”. We both felt like we’d taken the responsible/expected/safe route that would keep us firmly planted in the middle class. We’d earned five degrees between the two of us. We were actively saving for retirement. We’d owned homes. Some of which we’d made money on and some we’d lost money on (thanks for nothing “Great Recession”). We’d both worked full-time and/or been in school since we stated grade school. To be honest we were tired of planning for the future. We felt like we were on a treadmill and really, really needed to hit the big red STOP button.
So we began to look at options. Most of which would require significant financial discipline. So without a real plan but the general trajectory of “taking some time off to have some fun” we started the process of (1) cutting our expenses, (2) paying off student loans, and (3) adding to our meager savings. We figured worst case scenario we’d be out of debt and have a bigger bank account. How could that be a bad thing?
We are both homebodies so the idea of backpacking around the world just isn’t for us. Don’t get me wrong, it is appealing and it may happen for a short period of time in the future but it wasn’t going to work for us long-term. We both have a love of the outdoors and a deep desire to explore the US. Especially parts west of the Mississippi. So RVing quickly became an option we were willing to consider.
After a lot of research, several RV shows, and some soul searching we became proud owners of our 2012 GMC Sierra tow vehicle and our 2015 Apex by Coachmen travel trailer. Keep in mind when we bought our RV I had never spent a night in an RV. Ever. And Jessie hadn’t since she was in middle school. We just took a leap of faith. Irresponsible? Probably. But we are overdue for some irresponsibility. So after one short trip and one fairly long 1,000 mile “shake-down” voyage late last fall (punctuated by a very strange Ironman Florida Triathlon, a story for another time) we are really excited to hit the road in February of 2015. We’ve got a lot to learn but we are excited about doing so.
We’ll be sure to share more details of how we got here as we go. Feel free to email us questions or requests at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Safe travels and thanks for reading!
*It might occur to you by now that we are clearly not high school aged people looking to take a break before beginning college. So we are taking a break until the money runs out, we feel like we are “done”, and/or we feel like it’s time to have a child. Plus, RVsabbatical.com felt like a bit too much pressure to “produce” something and to be perfectly frank, not as much fun.