Vagabonding Case Study: Cherie & Chris

Cherie & Chris

Age: Cherie: 36 Chris: 37

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

Quote: “Don’t worry so much.. just do it!

How did you find out about Vagabonding, and how did you find it useful before and during the trip? I believe we found the 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 all have you been? We’re currently domestic nomads traveling in a small (17′ long!) solar powered travel trailer, geeked out as our home office on wheels. We have community (family & friends) in Florida, St. Louis, Austin, San Francisco, Seattle, Southern California, Chicago and Philadelphia. Our travels tend to be based around visiting people in these locations, traveling to meet new friends, and finding interesting back-road routes between all of our stops. Since we left together, we have over 50,000 road miles of travel under our belts.

What was your job or source of travel funding for this journey? We both work as we travel, both remotely and onsite on a temporary basis. Cherie continues to run her custom software development business, supporting several major clients as we travel. Chris has a background in mobile technology, and picks up consulting work advising companies on strategy and marketing. Together we join our skillsets and take on fun and interesting contract work that defies job descriptions. Everything from innovative marketing campaigns for product launches, mobile application development, copyrighting, start-up advising and more.

Lately, we have been getting into iPhone application development. Our first product is a guide for travelers called “State Lines” ( that helps you identify the rules that change when you cross into a new state – such as what is the default speed limit, or can you buy beer in a grocery store on Sundays, or is a helmet required while on a motorcycle, and much much more. We track over 40 rules and laws that commonly change state to state. Obviously, this sort of tool will be immensely useful in our lifestyle, and we hope other Vagabonds will find it useful too.

Did you work or volunteer on the road? Because our style of travel is so affordable, and we’re not maintaining houses anywhere – we can afford to take on some pretty substantial volunteer work. During the 2008 US elections, we based ourselves in a swing state and ended up running an Obama campaign office in a small rural town in Nevada. We’re currently gearing up to join the Red Cross as on-call volunteers to move into disasters areas to assist.

Of all the places you visited, which was your favorite? We’re always amazed that this question continues to get asked to vagabonds. For us, part of the point of traveling full time is to avoid having a favorite and embracing variety. We appreciate different places for different reasons – scenery, people, events, climate, culture, excellent beer, etc. Trying to pick one goes against the intention of constructing a fully mobile lifestyle.

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.

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.

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? The sense of community and support structure that can come when you immerse yourself into a local community. We do often miss not having people we can just call up for an impromptu dinner in most places we visit. We also miss having the ability to host a large group of friends for a dinner party, movie viewing or gaming.

We have however been connecting more and more with other like-minded full-time travelers, and we have been experiencing the joys of community rendezvous while out on the road. In particularly we just spent a month at the NuRVers ( gathering of younger & non-retired full-time RV folks, and every year we host Camp Nomadia at Burning Man ( for full-time travelers and vagabonds of all sorts.

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? We’re still on our journey, with no end in sight. We are currently investigating obtaining a live aboard sailboat and eventually taking our adventures to the sea.

Email: Twitter: technomadia Website:

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Posted by | Comments (4)  | September 15, 2010
Category: Vagabonding Case Studies

4 Responses to “Vagabonding Case Study: Cherie & Chris”

  1. Louise Says:

    Great interview! I found myself saying, “Yes! Oh, yes!” to almost every answer. Chris and Cherie really nailed what it’s like to be living the nomadic life. My favorite answer: “Trying to pick one goes against the intention of constructing a fully mobile lifestyle.”

  2. Ted Beatie Says:

    One of my favorite parts of this interview was that post-interview-via-email, I met them at an Indian taco stand on a small local highway in Nevada on the way to Burning Man. Serendipitous!

  3. Cherie @ Technomadia Says:

    Serendipity indeed rocks!! It was awesome crossing paths with you (and enjoying tacos together)!

  4. On being a stilt-walking nomad at Burning Man | The Pocket Explorer Says:

    […] from turned out to be Cherie & Chris, whom I had already been conversing with over email for a vagabonding case study. I stopped by their camp for a ‘Nomadic Happy Hour‘ a few days later and met some […]