Today's feature is one of the sweetest traveling mamas I've met. There is this wonderful welcoming spirit about her that instantly makes you want to be her friend. Today we got to chat a bit about what it's like to be mom who lives full-time on the road with her family in an RV. She is also an incredibly amazing artist! The work she creates is absolutely stunning, not to mention part of one of the most unique and coolest careers I've heard of! Thank you so much for sharing your story Ashley!!
NM: How many kiddos do you have and what are their ages?
4, 10 and almost 12 (which is very important).
NM: How long have you been traveling?
Ashely: We've been on the road for just over 14 months
NM: Do you have a career other than motherhood to support your travels?
Ashley: I am a painter. I own a business called Creatful Art. I paint for commission but also have a YouTube channel where I teach people how to paint and teach lessons online as well.
NM: What type of home education do you do?
I'm very eclectic in what we use. I homeschooled for 7 years when we lived in Alaska so I had that practice before we left. I just kind of pull in whatever is going to work best for that particular child, it's very child led. There's also an online program we use that sort of helps us make sure they're where they're supposed to be at within each grade level called MobyMax. It sort of just loosely tests them individually to make sure they don't have any gaps in they're learning. That way if we ever did put them back in school they could just jump right in.
NM: What do you do with the kids when it's way too hot, cold or you're just stuck inside?
Ashley: Legos! Always Legos. We also do more schooling. We'll try to make that day have a little more structure.
NM: Do you think it is easy to meet other moms on the road?
Ashley: Yes and no. I'm less social and more of an introvert than I used to be. I have learned to strike a conversation up at places like the playground. I've learned I need that. Plus if I don't get it then I'm going to the grocery store and talking to peoples ear off. I'm sure they're like who is this lady?!? Like I have to get out that adult conversation. I've learned to go out of my way. I've actually made some really good friends that way. We've been traveling but we're trying to meet up with some friends that we actually met through a Full-time Families rally. That actually helped us a lot too because we got to meet others who are doing what we're doing. Plus it was really nice for our kids too because they have those constant friends as we move.
NM: What do you do to find alone time while living in an RV?
Ashley: Having alone time is hard because I need that. I have this jar that needs to be full and it's always empty. I've had to go on walks and find ways to leave so that I can get that. It's just this tiny wall that divides us or door that has a crack in it so you're always near someone.
NM: What do you think is the biggest change in yourself as a mother since you started traveling?
Ashley: I've let go of a lot of expectations. I'm more free like lets just see where this road takes us with like school and travel. Instead of needing to plan it all out and needing to be mentally prepared. I'm a big planner and I've had to just let go of that. I'm also a lot more open to things like religion, different ways of living, different types of people and stuff. I mean you live in your bubble for a long time and you go out of that bubble and realized the worlds a different place. I'm a lot more accepting of those different types of things now.
NM: Whats your favorite thing about watching your kids explore?
Ashley: I love seeing that they ask question and watching it click. They get more and more curious and I love that. It really helps their creativity too. I love seeing them light up and learn and explore everything.
NM: How has your relationship with your kids changed since you began traveling?
Ashley: I have more time with them so we're closer now. We talk more about really important things. Sometimes I think when they go to school and they're gone all day you don't get to know their life. I don't want to be so into their life that they don't have any space but I want to understand them. I've learned to let them be more who they are and I appreciate that more now.
Keep up with Ashley's painting!
YouTube: Learn to Paint with Createful Art