Vagabonding Case Study: Cherie and Chris

On September 4th, 2015
BootsnAll

Cherie and Chris of Technomadia unnamed

Age: Cherie: 42 Chris: 42

Hometown: Cherie: Melbourne, FL Chris: San Francisco, CA

Quote: “Don’t worry so much.. just do it!” ​”May the bandwidth be with you”​

How did you find out about Vagabonding, and how did you find it useful before and during the trip?

I believe we found the Vagabonding.com community in the general course of trying to find others who are also traveling full time as a lifestyle. It’s been great to connect with others, and know we’re not alone!

How long have you been on the road?

Chris hit the road full time in April 2006, and we met a few months later. Cherie joined him on the road full time in May 2007.

Where did you go?

Since our original case study, we parked & sold the 17′ Travel Trailer. For a few months, we rented a small cottage in the US Virgin Islands and then we returned to the states we ​pursued purchasing a 1961 vintage highway bus conversion.

For the past 4 years, we’ve been traveling full time in the US while updating and upgrading the bus to become a geeked out vintage classic. We occasionally park the bus, and embark on other adventures – such as this summer we just spent 7 weeks traveling by rail, boat and bus to and from Alaska.

What was your job or source of travel funding for this journey?

We shut down the custom software development business about 2 years ago, after Cherie’s father passed away (it was a family business).

We’ve been working since then to shift our income sources over to be more passive as we continued our mobile app development (we now have 3 apps out – Coverage?, State Lines and US Public Lands – all tools for traveling in the US).

We also wrote a book on mobile internet (The Mobile Internet Handbook) and launched a resource center site at www.RVMobileInternet.com where we track the industry news and provide resources for our RVing community to keep online as they travel. We’re seeing more and more folks hitting the road and working online, connectivity is a vital element of that. ​

​ We also love helping companies launch unique offerings within our communities that better all of our lives. In the past couple of years we’ve helped launch a social network for RVers called RVillage.com, and a support network for working aged RVers called Xscapers.com providing resources like domicile, mail forwarding, job boards, health insurance and more. ​

Did you work or volunteer on the road? 

​ We have continued to integrate in volunteer work. For the past two years, we volunteered as tour guides at a history lighthouse on the coast of Oregon.

We did get started with doing work with the Red Cross, but our working life keeps us too busy to be able to get too involved. ​

Of all the places you visited, which was your favorite?

We cringe when someone asks us this question still to this day. ​When our current location is no longer our favorite, we move.

Was there a place that was your least favorite, or most disappointing, or most challenging?

Suburbs and strip malls are always the most draining places to experience.

​We’ve also come to dislike tightly packed in RV Parks and have optimized our setup to allow us to thrive in wider open places with great views. ​

Did any of your pre-trip worries or concerns come true? Did you run into any problems or obstacles that you hadn’t anticipated?

Yup, most of our pre-trip worries have come true. And you know what? We thrived. We’ve experienced mechanical breakdowns, safety threats, almost running out of gas, inclement weather, getting lost, logistical snafus and more. You just learn to go with the flow and approach things with agility. Once you really embrace that ‘the worst that can happen’ isn’t so bad – it’s all good.

Which travel gear proved most useful? Least useful?

Our mobile technology (MacBook Pros, iPads, iPhones) have definitely proven core to our lifestyle and work. And our solar panels keep us charged up and able to work from amazing remote locations without worrying about needing to plug in.

​ Also in the past several years, cellular technology has come a long way – allowing many of us to work remotely from anywhere while not being dependent on public WiFi. This has given us a tremendous amount of freedom and opened up a lot more options. ​

What are the rewards of the vagabonding lifestyle?

Variety, exposure, knowledge, learning, connection, adventure and having no regrets. The more we travel, the more amazing people we’ve been able to meet and connect with.

What are the challenges and sacrifices of the vagabonding lifestyle?

Our quest for community continues, and it’s gotten even more flourishing in the past few years. More and more of our peers are hitting the road, and we regularly meet up with them. ​With tools like RVillage, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and blogs – we’re all able to keep in touch much easier.

So, we’d probably say that one of the biggest challenges of a vagabonding lifestyle, particularly in the US is healthcare these days. Especially as we get older, it will become more of a concern. Our systems just aren’t setup to support a mobile population – it’s difficult to find doctors you trust, and health plans that cover us as we roam. On the plus side, options for self care and telehealth are increasing.

What lessons have you learned on the road?

Chill, relax, go with the flow, and don’t become overly tied to any set schedule. There is no one right way to do anything.

How did your personal definition of “vagabonding” develop over the course of the trip?

It really hasn’t changed…

If there was one thing you could have told yourself before the trip, what would it be?

Don’t worry so much.. just do it!

Any advice or tips for someone hoping to embark on a similar adventure?

Get started, and work out the details along the way. And — don’t get caught up in the details too much. Trust in your ability to adapt, and be present to enjoy the experience.

When and where do you think you’ll take your next long-term journey?

Almost 10 years now on the road, and still loving it. Our current intention is for our bus conversion to be our US mobile home base that we might park for a few months here and there and explore other travel styles. ​

Read more about Cherie and Chris on their website, Technomadia.

Are you a Vagabonding reader planning, in the middle of, or returning from a journey? Would you like your travel blog or website to be featured on Vagabonding Case Studies? If so, drop us a line at casestudies@vagabonding.net and tell us a little about yourself.

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Image: Victor Svensson (flickr)