The meeting of Home Meets Road can be found over on our traveling blog (click here), but long story short, thanks to Full-time Families we have this interview was before they became some of our closet friends. Initially they saved us a spot in the Grand Tetons where I interviewed them. The photo below is an accurate description of what has become a very close bond: constant laughter. These are some of the most real, genuine & accepting people I have ever met. I have also sine claimed Jess as part of my mama village. They have one of the coolest jobs that has allowed them to find the neatest companies and meet the interesting people. Make sure to follow this super informative, fun-loving, boon docking family!
Who's idea was it first to travel? Dan: That's a great question. Honestly we are not even sure how it happened. (laughs) So starting from the beginning. It was a Saturday morning and 120 degrees outside which is typical for Phoenix in the summer. It had been a long day of dealing with a ton of work related issues, specifically with it being 120 degrees. I started to wonder, how long was I going to try and do all the work myself before delegating it away. I think, with owning your own business, there comes a time where you need to let go of some control, let the business run and allow yourself to enjoy some of the benefits of being a business owner. Those benefits are few and far between but delegating the workload so you have time to do what you want, thats the ultimate goal. I texted Jess and said "somethings gotta change" and she responded instantly with "Okay. We'll figure it out when you get home" So I get back home and she asked me what if you could work remotely, would we stay in Arizona?
Jess: There wasn't this long drawn out discussion. The entire conversation lasted maybe 15 minutes...total. I mean we love our work but the physical labor of running the market was the only thing holding us to Arizona so I just asked him why we weren't on the road already. We had this great idea, years ago, to travel the entire US and see all of the great markets this country had to offer.
Dan: So somehow we ended up on YouTube (where you discover all the answers) and found ourselves watching KYD (keep your daydream).
Jess: Oh man we binge watched so many of their episodes! I'm pretty sure we've seen all of them and a couple of them multiple times.
Dan: We initially thought they were absolutley crazy, but after a few days we just thought to ourselves why not?!? It only took a couple of days to realize we were totally set on traveling.
Tell me about your RV!
Jess: Spirit is a ‘72 Boles Aero we found at the base of the Superstition Mountains. We found her on Craigslist about 11 miles from our home and she was sitting on that piece of land for about 15 years. We walked through her gutted shell and asked if all her windows work and bought her on the spot within 15 minutes. They delivered her a few days later and within in the week she was stuffed in to our garage and the renovation began! The renovation took 10 long months but now she’s our Fulltime home!
How often do you move to a new location?
Jess: We pretty much move whenever we want. There's no time restriction what so ever, especially because we boondock. We can stay in national parks for 16 days right now, but we just have to move locations even if it's down the road.
How do you financially support your traveling lifestyle?
Jess: We own & operate The Gilbert Farmers Market in Gilbert Arizona. It was originally just the two of us, but about six years ago we hired two employees who've been on staff with us who oddly enough look just like Dan and everyone assumes they're his brothers. They are amazing and handle everything in Gilbert. We still do all of the logistics and behind the scenes work which is still a lot. We have about 60+ vendors in the summer because its outside and pretty hot. In the winter we expand to over 100 vendors!
Where is the coolest physical place you've been?
Dan: The Grand Tetons.
Jess: Absolutely, here for sure. The Grand Tetons was our number one thing we wanted to see. We tried to fly through Utah because it was so, uncomfortably hot. Which coming from someone who lives in Phoenix year round, that's bad.
Dan: Well but living in a house you have AC is different than living on top of each other in 100 degree heat. We try to stay in places with comfortable weather. I mean weathers important when you're basically traveling in a tin can.
Are there any creature comforts that you miss?
Dan: My own couch. I should explain we had multiple couches so I had my own couch. Now we have one tiny couch and we all have to cram onto it. I miss the ability to come in after working and just laying down on the couch and pass out.
Jess: Yeah literally pass out. Hmmmm. Hot water. Like just endless hot water for days where I don't have to rush everything. We only have a 2 gallon water heater so it goes quick.
Dan: Washing hair wasn't happening with a trickle of warm water, hence why I have no hair.
What was the funniest experience you've had with your RV since launching?
(keep in mind this story was told with all three of us crying form laughing so hard)
Jess: You mean that one time when you're a bunch of newbs who are super cocky pulling a 29 foot travel trailer and think you can totally handle driving down Teton Pass and almost DIED?!?!
Dan: It's was a 10% downward grade for 5.5 miles.
Jess: I mean there's a few places you can pull over but if you're going the speed we were, there's just no way. You just can't. So at the last second he decides to pull over. As he's pulling over, he looks out the window and then says to me and says " YOU GOTTA DO IT!" which makes me freak out even more and now I'm yelling back asking what he's talking about. To which he responds "GET THE FIRE EXTINGUISHER THE BREAKS ARE ON FIRE!"
Dan: It was baaad. We were about 4 miles into it and when I looked in the rearview mirror all I could see was smoke. I was thinking "this is it, I don't think I have breaks anymore, I don't know what's going to happen at the next turn." So there's one pull off but it's a bit sketchy because it's super close to the lane and I can BARELY get the thing to stop. Plus we have traffic wizzing by us nonstop because at this point we're only doing about 30 mph maybe. If that. I know there's no way I can get out of the truck with passing traffic so I'm yelling at her to get out and grab the fire extinguisher just in case it lights up the whole RV.
Jess: Okay wait hang on. The important unmentioned detail is he moved the fire extinguisher and forgot to tell me. So I'm RUNNING back to the travel trailer and of course it's double locked. Now I'm running back to the truck yelling at him that I need the keys and he tells me it's in the back of the truck. At the last minute when I'm about to hop in and get it he tells me when to not ruin the tailgate which is the least of our problems and did wonders for the situation.
Dan: We were probably there for a solid 15 minutes making sure it was going to be okay. I mean we knew we were going to hit 6% grade, but then we did 7% and then 8% and just thought oh we got this.
Jess: Not to mention it is a 2 hour detour to take the flatter road so we just thought we'd go for it.
Dan: Yeah, never again.
What is the hardest part about this traveling lifestyle?
Jess: I think when you have kids, it's just the fact that you're needed all the time. I mean when they're little all you hear is mom mom mom mom, so some days are longer than others. You're in such a small space with them 24/7 you have to get creative to have alone time or quiet time.
Dan: I think for us because our rig is custom made, we need specialty parts. We were so used to just being able to order anything we want and BOOM it's there in 2 days. Out here in the middle of nowhere we need a 750 amp fuse to run anything off the solar. Right now it's going to be another 3 days because we can get it out here and already it's been a week trying to figure out where to even get one of those things. The most annoying thing is just trying to find something in town after town when sometimes you don't even find it and not having the ease of amazon.
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