Ah, end of the year.
That time when we look back, remark on how fast it went by, how much we did, and what’s ahead.
For us road nomads, we usually wrap it up with a route of our travels.
So, presenting our 2016 travel map (below is a larger embedded and interactive map, you’ll need to click over to the original blog post to see it if you’re reading this in email or RSS):
The map is created by a WordPress plugin called Nomad World Map. It allows us to easily tie locations, dates, future plans and blog posts together as we go – creating a much more interactive experience. Use the arrows to scroll to different locations and/or click on the points – you can then view the blog post that goes along with the stop.
(The map may be slow loading with all of the increased loads this post is sure to generate.. patience please.)
You can check out all of our past year’s, and our current travels on our Travel Map page.
In 2016, we traveled 7405 miles by RV, keeping well within our goal of keeping it under 8000 a year. A pace that we have found to be quite sustainable.
That brings our cumulative RV miles over the past 10 years to 93,642.
2016 started out in Desert Hot Springs, California soaking it up in hot springs. We then started a leisurely 3-month meander eastward. Our routing took us to Quartzsite, exploring western Texas south of I-10 and then into Florida for the spring.
Summer had us heading up the east coast to explore new territory in the Northeastern states. We’ve ended the year back in Florida, where we’ll be super focusing on finding our boat.
There were amazing camping spots (80 in all this year), countless awesome people we met, friendships deepened and precious time with loved ones.
All and all, our travel year was simply stellar.
Here’s some posts that wrap up segments of our travels this year:
You may recall we ended 2015 pretty burnt out with a goal to create more balance. And I think we’ve been quite successful with that.
To start, we decided to focus our work life more. We had too many fires going – trying to run our own things, as well as consulting on large scale projects.
Focusing on RVMobileInternet.com this past year has been absolutely the right thing to do. We never could have predicted the need for such a site or how much work would truly be involved to do it right. It continues to bring us great joy to host. We get to play with technology, help people pursue their dreams and earn an income?
With huge gratitude to our premium members who fund us in being able to focus on this, we’ve been able to offer more and more free public content and expand our exclusive member offerings.
This year we made the leap to hiring staff to help us out, and we’ve been blessed to have put together an amazing team. We presently have a couple ‘teaching assistants’ who help us in the rapidly growing free Internet for RVers Facebook Group we host (up to 15,000 members!), and we’re expanding to bring on contributing news correspondents and other roles (interested? be in touch).
This has allowed us to focus more time on the deeper analysis, in-depth reviews, communicating with our contacts, helping our members, conducting private advising sessions and keeping all of our content updated.
We’ve also forged partnerships to take over our mobile apps – Coverage?, US Public Lands and State Lines. These had always been side-hobby projects that we just don’t have time for anymore ourselves.
We still remain friends and unpaid advisors to the projects we helped found – Xscapers (the Escapee’s club within a club for the ‘working aged RVer’) and RVillage (the social network for RVers). We love these organizations dearly, but it has been freeing to not have an official role.
While we’re not yet down to a 40-hour work week, we’re getting much closer and feel we have much more flexibility in our lives in general.
Life wise, we’ve been able to carve out more personal time this year for ourselves. Our travels took us east which allowed for lots of quality family time all year long.
We’ve challenged ourselves to get out exploring more. We now regularly integrate in fun-time to do touristy things in the places we visit.
We’re making time for hobbies, biking, hiking, hanging with friends, reading and movie watching. Basically, having a life. And of course, boat shopping & research is taking a lot of our time.
We’ve also been slowing down our pace of travel. While we used to have a 2-2-2 rule (drive no more than 2 hours, arrive by 2pm and stay at least 2 nights) – we’re now considering 4-nights to be a more ideal minimum stop. But more often, we’re craving 1-2 week stays.
Giving us time to feel settled, explore our surroundings and not having to shuffle as many logistics. It’s been a good balance.
Social media is a balancing act for us. We love to share, it creates a recording of our journey to look back on later while hopefully providing information & inspiration for others. And it’s how we’re able to meet so many people and forge friendships.
We hear back continually how our sharing is appreciated (please keep the comments coming – they mean the world to us!).
But it also has downsides.
It takes time to create content (which means less time out doing fun stuff), it invites ‘unsolicited feedback’ and makes us much more visible than us introverts are generally comfortable with.
For now, we’re managing it by drawing some lines for ourselves – to keep Technomadia our personal after-hours play space.
We adjusted our ‘Contact Us’ page to request two things:
- We still welcome e-mails, but ask that folks not send us RV or nomadic related questions – instead, saving them for one of our interactive Q&A sessions or asking on a relevant post. We just couldn’t keep up with our inbox.
- While we love meeting up with folks when we have time, we had to try to reduce the number of ‘unannounced drop-by’ visitors. We’ve asked that folks please drop us a line first, so we can set aside time and, umm.. be dressed.
This has tremendously helped us keep a life balance and feel we can be at home. We so appreciate that most everyone has respected these requests. Thank you.
Year of Milestones
This year, we also hit a few milestones worth mentioning:
10 years on the road
April marked Chris’ 10-year Nomadiversary, and I’ll celebrate mine in mid-2017. To mark the occasion, we shared in this year’s most popular post:
It took us 10 years of full time travels, but each finally crossed all 50-states off our list. We shared more thoughts on this here:
5 Years in a Vintage Bus (and Zephyr Turns 55)
It’s hard to believe we’ve been living & traveling in our sweet 1961 GM 4106 bus conversion for now 5 years. We shared a recap of those 5 years, including our maintenance and upgrade expenses & projects:
2017 And Beyond
We continue to love our nomadic lifestyle, and after 10 years we feel like we’re just getting started. RVing is a perfect lifestyle for us to embrace our homebodied nature and our wanderlust. Sometimes it’s a bit too comfortable.
So it’s time for us to shake it up a bit and explore some new avenues – which is of course gearing up to integrate in part-time extended cruising as we meander up the Great Loop.
We’re so excited to find our trusty vessel in the months ahead, and see where this journey takes us.
Thank you so much for virtually joining along in the adventure – we’re excited to explore what’s ahead together!
Our past year end wrap-ups:
Our Other Year End Wrap-Ups:
Mobile Internet 2016 Year in Review (coming soon.. stay tuned at RVMobileInternet.com/News)