Who are you?

We’re a family of four currently residing in the Bay Area in California, USA. Most of our traveling in the RV will be with our 12-year-old son, as our daughter just turned 25-years-old and will be heading out on a backpacking tour of the world, occasionally joining up with us.

What are you doing?

We are giving up a traditional career and typical way of life to become digital nomads from an adventure RV.

Why are you doing this?

After Darrell was diagnosed with cancer (Stage 2b Hodgkin’s Lymphoma) in 2014, the idea of traveling in an adventure RV was born. Planning for the future is like saying “F*ck You” to cancer, and the thought of traveling the world gave Darrell and Lily much bliss and hope. So when they discovered the Blissmobil, it felt like a dream come true. Not only was the RV capable of traversing over creeks and mountains, its interiors were also beautifully designed, and they could picture traveling in it, joking that if the apocalypse were to arrive, they would be safe from the zombies. At first, they dreamed of taking long vacations in this thing, but as Darrell became cancer-free (now two years in remission!), he and Lily decided they needed a change from the mounting stresses of living in the Bay Area in in an over-the-top expensive house and traditional office jobs, and to take the leap to try something completely new: Live, work, travel, and homeschool in an adventure RV.

Did you really quit your job and abandon a successful career?

Darrell’s biggest fear is dying at his desk in an office cubicle. He’s been working in an office building, for someone else, long enough. He’s paid his dues and is now ready for a big change. Lily used to substitute teach and worked as an English teacher at a community college, but her job now as a virtual assistant and writer allows her to seamlessly live the lifestyle of a digital nomad. She’ll continue doing this but with even more focus on writing and finishing her first novel!

What will you do for money?

We will both work part-time as digital nomads. Lily writing and as a Virtual Assistant and Darrell in DevOps (tech infrastructure). We are shedding belongings and expenses to survive on our much-reduced total income/budget.

Where are you going?

At the moment, we are still waiting for the vehicle build to complete (see “When” below). Ideally we spend time in the U.S. early on to work out the “bugs”. That said, we will seek warmer climes and may head south of the border when we feel we and the vehicle are ready. Once we get the vehicle we’ll post more about our planned destinations.

Is it safe?

Our experience so far traveling the U.S and parts of the world have been super positive. We follow common sense precautions and heightened awareness but find the overwhelming majority of people in the world are like us: friendly, curious, proud of their homes and just trying to get through the day.

When are you leaving?

The question on everyone’s mind, especially ours! Our current estimate is we’ll be on the road some time late this year (2017) or early 2018. Depends on final delivery of truck and trailer, working out the bugs around Cali, final sale (or rent) of our Bay Area house, and for a few other puzzle pieces to come together. The sooner the better.

What about your son’s education?

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” – Mark Twain

Lily and Darrell will take care of his education (home-schooling) and this new adventure will take care of the schooling…for all of us.

What kind of RV is this?

We wanted a more rugged RV than the standard model you see in your neighbor’s driveway. So we settled on a really comfortable camper box mounted to a surplus U.S. Army truck. Since we’re living in this thing we decided we needed to take more stuff and are adding a modified surplus U.S. Army trailer.

The main goal is to be able to go off-grid, over rough roads, without the thing rattling apart. This vehicle is designed to traverse punishing terrain.

How much does it cost?

The LMTV and trailer are military surplus and surprisingly affordable (see the resources page). The BlissMobil box is the most expensive component but that’s where we’ll be living.

This is the way we look at it: We are selling off almost all of our belongings and living in this RV. We want something comfortable. It’s cheaper than, or about the same as, the cost of a small home way outside of the hyper-expensive Bay Area. You can PM Darrell if you are really curious.

How long will you do this?

For as long as we can stand it. One year. Two. Forever? Until we decide, as a family, to do something different.

After you get that out of your system, then will you return to your senses?

If you mean the Traditional Way of Life – office job, focus on “career”, two cars and house or condo you can’t really afford – then no. Been there, done that. Have you seen The Matrix? 🙂

Will you live in an RV forever?

Not likely. We’re not setting any expectations for the future other than to not return to what we were doing.

What are you running away from?

We saved our favorite question for last!

We’re running toward an exciting, adventurous life, full of experiences–good, bad, frustrating, exhilarating and satisfying. Life is short. Live it however you want, but live it!


If you have any questions not answered here please leave it in the comments!