Welcome back to another edition of Travelers Tuesday! Each week, we share another family who travels full-time and this week, we have the Meinhofer family from over at Exploring the Local Life!
Meet the family: Robert & Jessica Meinhofer are originally from DeBary, FL and are now on the road to some serious adventuring! The Meinhofers have two children who are unschooled using a child-led method. Nadia (4) and Daniel (7) both enjoy science (animal, astronomy, geography, and geology) while learning via media resources such as YouTube, video games, and Netflix or through hands-on, everyday experiences such as crafts and field trips.
What got you and your family interested in living this lifestyle? We had been trying to simplify our lives in order to live and learn together as a family. We liked camping and hiking, but the tent got old…real quick. So, we started thinking about owning a RV, but really couldn’t afford one and a home. One day, we searched for RV living on YouTube and found out that there were young people (aka still working) that were LIVING in their RVs. This changed everything for us and we thought we might be able to live in a RV as well.
Was getting on the road easy or challenging? Any advice to those just starting out? The process of downsizing was difficult – you realize how much junk you really have and it gets overwhelming. At the end, you are staring at stuff strewn about and you just don’t know what to do about it; you just want to hit the road! The sentimental things are tough too. Do you put it in storage or make room for it on the road? For those just starting out, know this will be difficult, but you will get through it all and it will be worth it!
What are your travel goals? To visit every state but we may not visit Hawaii, or at least not in our RV. Our top picks so far are Colorado, the Dakotas, California, Washington State, and Alaska.
How many states and or countries have you visited? Only 2 states at the moment but we are planning to go much farther!
What has been your favorite and/or least favorite trip, site, experience so far? We stayed at a chain RV park for about 4 days and it was miserable. The RVs were packed in so tight. I felt weird sitting on the picnic table and there was no place for the kids to play between sites. We didn’t have a fire pit either. The whole situation was quite awkward. It was just a few feet from our site to the next, very much like a parking lot.
What is your favorite and/or least favorite thing about traveling as a family? Our least favorite part would be packing up. I feel like we are always forgetting something and other times it just seems overwhelming. The kitchen and office have to be just right and secured; there is more to it than those who haven’t done this would expect. I also don’t like having only 5 minutes of hot water. Choosing between shaving my legs or washing my hair is not a fun debate to have! I also miss my washer and dryer more than I expected. Our favorite would probably be just being together as a family and anticipating all of the great adventures ahead. We are only starting out so there is a lot to look forward to.
What got you started in blogging? We wanted to have our own business and learned through Pat Flynn that a blog is a fantastic way to do that. We always wanted it to be a business and have treated it as such from the beginning.
What are your goals for your website? We want Exploring the Local Life to grow into a community where people can learn and share their own knowledge and experiences. We also want to link it to an Amazon shop and have items that we have used available for purchase. We want to encourage others to follow their dreams and if they want to RV with the whole family, we want them to know that it can be done!
What is your favorite thing to write about? Do you have a favorite post, page, or category you have written on your website/blog? We love writing about the challenges, differences, and solutions to RV living vs. “normal” living. We also love sharing the adventures including with others. Our favorite post at the moment is “RV Life and My Fear of Pooping in Public Restrooms“.
Getting a bit more personal: What is your favorite season? We love spring and fall. What is your favorite food? Is there something you love that you’ve found somewhere but you can’t easily find elsewhere? Jessica is Vegan so she is trying to figure it out on the road. Robert is working to reduce his meat intake but: bacon. Oh, my, bacon. Do you have a favorite genre of music? What about a favorite book? We love Grunge/Alternative 90’s Rock and as for books, it would have to be Cinnamon and Gunpowder. Are there any unique favorites/passions you would like to share? We’d like others to live the life they want to. We urge them to be brave, escape their pre-ordained traps, and consider unschooling. We want people to feel free to teach their children to follow their passions and dreams.