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Family travel is a crazy family adventure

Hi! I wanted to first introduce myself and my family and tell you a little bit about our journey of full-time RV travel.

My name is Craig and my wife is Bryanna. We have four children who are still fairly young: Carson, 9; Melia, 6; Cannon, 6; and Knox, 4. Yeah, twins in there. Talk about a party!

We also have two Labrador retrievers, Indy and Odin. They are our first babies.

Well, we were living the American Dream. We had a beautiful home that we had built ourselves. It was very family friendly with a big backyard, finished basement filled with toys in a nice subdivision where tons of other kids lived.

I truly believed this would be the house I would retire in and where my grandkids would come visit. Well, all that changed and we did an about face on the “American Dream.”

Bryanna and I started talking about what we wanted to do in our lives. I had a stable job that I really liked and she was having a great time being a stay at home mom, while running a successful direct-selling chocolate business. I was the taste-tester.

Well that discussion really morphed into a long-term look at our lives and how we wanted to spend our time with our children. We both realized that our time with them was very fleeting. Our oldest at the time was only 6, but those 6 years went by in a blink of an eye and I felt he’d be 18 and ready to start his own adult life before we even realized it.

We realized we were spending way too much time maintaining the home we loved. Most weekends and evenings were spent either cleaning it, cutting the lawn, or fixing or building something around the house. We had a great setup, but really no time to enjoy it or our family that was growing up so fast.

We started thinking that we needed to simplify and minimize our life. We had too much stuff, which also was a time and emotional drain on us. It really started to feel suffocating.

We came up with the idea to downsize our house to something smaller and try to travel more with our kids. We even talked to Bryanna’s sister about buying a duplex with us and traveling with us.

We jumped on Google and started searching for how a family could travel more without breaking the bank. We then came across a few families that traveled full time. This really piqued our interest.

We knew that air travel and hotel stays weren’t really possible because of the dogs and the expense of it, so we decided that an RV was the best way for us to travel.

first-rv
Well, after that was figured out, we jumped right in. We found a super cool Class C about an hour from where we lived that was for sale. It had four bunk beds in the back, which would fit us perfectly. So we took a drive up to see it and we were sold on it after just a few minutes.

We took our first trip in the dead of winter down to the panhandle of Florida. It was still relatively cold there, but being from Wisconsin, we were in shorts and t-shirts and realized we didn’t have to live like groundhogs in Wisconsin waiting for spring to come.

It was that trip that made us fall in love with the RV lifestyle. We had the freedom to “live” anywhere we wanted and could explore parts of the country we never thought we’d even visit.

downsizing

After that trip, we decided that we didn’t want to downsize to a duplex or a smaller house. We wanted to go full-time in an RV. However, we figured we’d need a slightly bigger RV if we were going to live in it full time.

house-to-rv

That put everything in motion. We took about a year to sell or donate most of our stuff, sell our house, sell the Class C RV, buy a Class A RV, customize it and hit the road.

family-pic
We spent the first five months living at a campground about 20 miles from our old house. It was sort of a test run to make sure we weren’t completely out of our mind. Turns out we weren’t! We had a great season and were itching to get out on the road.

Since then, we’ve visited more than 20 states, spent the winter in the Florida Keys and now have plans to do a West Coast swing with the possibility of Mexico this coming winter.

We’ve also started a travel blog at www.crazyfamilyadventure.com where we document our travels and try to inspire other families to travel more.

It’s been a blast so far and we feel we are closer as a family than ever and are living our lives with great intention. We’ve made so many great memories so far that we can’t wait to see what the future holds!

About Craig Royal

Craig Royal and his family of six, plus two dogs, have given up normal life to live and travel in a RV full-time. They want to live a simpler life where they focus on each other, share experiences, and see the world together. You can follow their adventures at: Web: www.crazyfamilyadventure.com | Twitter: www.twitter.com/cfadventure | Instagram: instagram.com/crazyfamilyadventure | YouTube: www.youtube.com/c/crazyfamilyadventure

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