Hi! I’m Theresa and I travel in an RV around the USA and Canada full-time with my husband and three boys. Want to talk about travelling full-time? Ask Me Anything!

Theresa Hewston
Aug 31, 2018

In 2014, my husband and I decided to sell everything we own to move into an RV and travel full-time around the USA and Canada. We sold our home, almost all of our belongings, and our vehicles to live a life of freedom and travel.

Before that, we lived in Europe for 7 years and spent holidays and long weekends exploring many European countries as well as countries in northern Africa and southwest Asia. We’ve been RVing the USA and Canada for almost 5 years and our plan is to store the RV and travel international occasionally. We want to explore Central America and Asia soon!

I started blogging about our travels to keep our family and friends updated on where we were, and to my surprise, complete strangers started following our adventures. These “strangers” are now engaged followers that we consider an extension of our family.

The blog has evolved to include the topics we are most often asked, such as how we afford to travel full-time, how we roadschool our kids, how we live off-grid, and how we find so many fun and educational things to do everywhere we go.

Our website, www.TheGlobeTrekkerFamily.com, is a family travel resource where we share our family’s travel experiences around the world, travel tips and tricks, budget-friendly ideas, and must-have travel gear and products with our awesome followers. We hope to inspire others to follow their dreams, take risks, laugh in the face of fear, and live life to the fullest.

We love sharing our daily shenanigans on social media. We can be found on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube

Ask me anything about family travel, travelling full-time, living in an RV, and how we do it all!

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How did the rest of your family react to you living on the road for so long?
Sep 2, 9:54PM EDT0

Hi Myka! It was not shocking to anyone when we announced that we were going to sell everything and travel full-time. Our family had lots of questions, but once we answered them all, they were like, "Oh, ok." They've all been very supportive. My parents receive our mail and my sister stored some of our stuff in her house. We didn't live near family before doing this, so we actually get to see them more now than before. They enjoy that.

Sep 3, 2:54AM EDT0
What is the major challenge faced by your kids when it comes to their education?
Sep 2, 5:17PM EDT0

Hi Erik! I feel like we haven't faced this challenge yet, but that it will be a major challenge when the time comes. With our kids being homeschooled, roadschooled, unschooled, whatever you want to call it, I feel like getting accepted into college is going to be a challenge because society isn't very open-minded on the idea of families traveling full-time yet.

Sep 3, 2:52AM EDT0
What are the three biggest disadvantages for families choosing to be permanent travellers versus living a more conventional lifestyle in one spot?
Sep 1, 8:32PM EDT0

Hi! Hmm, I'll try. 1) Society wants to be able to track everyone and some government organizations cannot comprehend a nomadic lifestyle, making it extremely difficult or impossible to do business with them. 2) We are vulnerable to peak season business and holiday weekends, making it difficult for us to find a place to stay if we're unable to plan far in advance. 3) Getting mail or ordering online can be difficult if we're moving often.

Sep 3, 2:49AM EDT0
Is there a common theme in terms of the destination that permanent travellers choose to frequent?
Sep 1, 2:01PM EDT0

Hi Donna! There are networks of travelers from all different niches - family travel, solo travel, couple travel, adventure travel, etc. We share information with each other, but other than that, we don't follow a theme. We research areas to find things that appeal to our family. Some of our best experiences are those we found from talking with locals, doing things that most people don't even know about.

Sep 3, 2:45AM EDT0
What has been your most memorable adventure while traveling in your RV?
Sep 1, 7:03AM EDT0

Hi Teerin, We've had so many memorable adventures, but probably the one that comes to mind immediately is when we were walking the beach at night and saw what we thought was a person sitting on the the beach ahead of us, but turned out to be a female loggerhead turtle laying her eggs. We also got to see two baby sea turtle nests hatch and watch over 160 sea turtles race out to the ocean. It was amazing!

Sep 3, 2:41AM EDT0
Do you think you will someday go back to live in a house or is this lifestyle completely out of the question now that you have gotten used to live off-grid?
Sep 1, 5:40AM EDT0

Hi Maria! Nothing is out of the question. We enjoy the freedom and flexibility of a mobile lifestyle, but may find ourselves wanting to establish a residence when our kids start having kids, for example. Even so, we'll probably still continue to travel, maybe part-time if we can't continue full-time. 

Sep 3, 2:39AM EDT0
How do you find out about all the educational events and activities to do when you are on the road?
Sep 1, 12:45AM EDT0

Hi Catherine! We use a variety of resources to find activities and educational events. We like to do things for free, so free things are our top priority. We have a family membership with a science center that belongs to the ASTC reciprocal program, so the first thing I do is look for another ASTC reciprocal museum, which includes science centers, natural history museums, and some children's museums. That membership also has AZA reciprocity, which includes some zoos and aquariums. Then, I look for educational free factory tours at factorytoursusa.com. We've made pretzels, monitored earthquakes, learned about wind power, taste-tested cookies and tea, and so much more on these factory tours. I use Pinterest as a research vessel to find free things to do and we talk to locals, who are usually more than happy to share hidden gems with us. I discuss all of these methods more in-depth on our website, www.theglobetrekkerfamily.com.

Sep 1, 2:38AM EDT0
How committed do you have to be to do this?
Sep 1, 12:36AM EDT0

Hi Amira! The idea is just to travel, to get outdoors and breath fresh air, explore, see what your area (or the world) has to offer, find yourself. If you can only get away one weekend a month, do that. Some people are able to travel part-time, maybe for a few months at a time. To travel full-time, like we do, does take much more commitment than weekend or part-time traveling. Some people keep their house so that they have a place to go back to. Some people sell their house so that they have money to travel with. Some people work on the road to be able to afford it. It just depends on your unique situation, how bad you want this, and what you're willing to do to have the life you want. Where there's a will, there's a way. 

Sep 1, 2:59AM EDT0
What are your plans of traveling in an RV as your kids get older? Do you plan on continuing or will you slow down for them?
Aug 31, 9:46PM EDT0

Hi Mary Jean! We never want to stop traveling. We may not travel in an RV forever because we have plans to go international, but we always want to travel. We have two older children who don't travel with us - one is in the Air Force and one is in college. Our three youngest boys travel with us, with the youngest being 1-year-old. They keep us active and young. They may have to slow down for us, but we're not going to slow down for them, nor would they want us to. They're the happiest they've ever been and they have big plans to travel the world with us. I'd love to be able to teach them ways to make an income on-the-road so that they can travel their entire lives if they wish. They do not want to stop traveling. Traveling has also afforded us opportunities that we would've never known about. For example, we all got pretty heavily involved in the film industry in Atlanta. We all worked on several TV shows and movies as background extras to make extra money. The boys loved it and my 13-year-old wants to be an actor, so we plan to spend some time in Los Angeles and get him a good agent to see what happens. It's nice to live in a home on wheels so we can go wherever we need to, when we need to. 

Sep 1, 3:05AM EDT0
Realistically, what is the impact of a nomadic lifestyle on kids? Are there negative results in terms of being unsettled or having difficulty in integrating into an environment?
Aug 31, 6:06PM EDT0

Hi Coreita! Honestly, it depends on the child. While our kids have had very positive experiences and adapt to changing environments with ease, we've met traveling families with children who have had a hard time adjusting. Some children have no desire to travel, like our older daughter. She didn't want to travel with us, so she lived with family until she finished high school and is now in college. From what we've heard from other families, teenagers tend to be the most hesistant of this lifestyle because they don't want to leave their friends and be "all alone". It just depends on the specific child and how willing and adaptable they are.

Sep 1, 3:09AM EDT0
Have you had any regrets In terms of the unusual lifestyle that you have chosen for your family?
Aug 31, 8:12AM EDT0

Hi Abigaille! We have absolutely no regrets. For us, this has been the best decision we've ever made and we can never see ourselves living a "normal" life again. We've created our new normal and we love it. This lifestyle literally saved our marriage. I honestly didn't know if we'd make it a week in an RV together 24/7, much less 5 years. Let's face it, that will either make or break you. I figured at least if we went our separate ways, we had already sold everything so that makes it a bit easier. To the contrary, all of the stressors of bills and work were lifted off our shoulders when we started traveling and we were able to focus on our family. Our boys are inseparable and have created a bond that will never be broken. It has had such a positive effect on our family. I do know families who have stopped traveling due to marital conflicts, financial issues, health issues, or kids who don't want to travel anymore. It happens for sure. Even so, they will tell you they still don't regret it. It's a life experience that is so unique and if it doesn't work out, we can always go back to society's definition of "normal". I hope we never have to, though.

Sep 1, 3:17AM EDT0
When did you start blogging and documenting your travels? Did you ever think that this could eventually become a source of income for you?
Aug 31, 6:10AM EDT0

Hi! I started blogging about six months after we started traveling because my family and our friends wanted to see what we were doing. We started getting strangers following us, which was weird at first. Then, as we met people and told them we travel full-time, we realized that most people are curious and very interested in how we do it. Everybody told us we were too young, that only older people are able to travel full-time, but that's not the case anymore. We realized that there are thousands of other families doing the same thing. We started connecting with them on social media and in-person when possible. It wasn't until about two years ago that I realized I could make money blogging, so I started researching how and implementing different methods. Probably the biggest surprise for me was when brands started sending us free hiking gear, camping gear, and giving us free tickets to some pretty amazing places and attractions. All they wanted me to do was blog about it and mention them on social media. We've been able to do so much because of this, more than we ever could have afforded on our own. It's really been fun.

Sep 1, 3:24AM EDT0
How do you keep in touch with your family and loved ones? Is it hard to be on the road and miss the life you used to have?
Aug 31, 2:33AM EDT0

Hi Fethi! We were not living near family to begin with, so this wasn't an issue for us. We spent 20 years in the military moving every two years or so, living in Europe and the Middle East. So, being away from family was normal for us. Since we've been traveling, we've actually been able to visit family more often than before, and spend more time with them since we don't have to worry about work, school, and vacation schedules. When we are traveling, I keep in contact with my family via phone, text, email, and social media. My hubby didn't have any immediate family, but we found out that he has extended family in Japan and in Washington that he had either never met or hadn't seen since he was a baby and didn't remember. Traveling has allowed us to meet them and spend time with them. I realize that most people live near family and would struggle being separated from them for extended periods of time. Being mobile means you can visit whenever you want. We go back to my family for doctor and dental appointments and can stay there for a while if we need to cut back on our expenses because I have property there that we can stay on for free. 

Sep 1, 3:30AM EDT0
When you move to Central America or Asia, will you be staying in one place or will you be traveling constantly? Where will you start?
Aug 31, 2:26AM EDT0

Hi! We will rent an apartment and use that as our home base while we explore the area. The plan is to live somewhere for six months and explore, then move somewhere else for six months and explore, etc. We're actually looking at apartments in Japan right now, but due to Japan's immigration laws, we will only be allowed to remain in country for three months, so we have to talk to a Japanese consulate to figure out if there's a way for us to stay longer since my hubby is half-Japanese and was born there. We'd like to spend six months in Japan and Okinawa (where my hubby has family), then return to our RV and finish exploring the 13 states we haven't been to yet. After that, we'll either go to Thailand or Central America. We'll keep the RV in storage so we'll have it to come back to when we want.

Sep 1, 3:36AM EDT0
How has your life changed after living on the road for almost five years?
Aug 31, 1:06AM EDT0

Hi Abigaille! We've learned so much. We've had first-hand history lessons from Native Americans and Civil War experts. All I'll say is that what we were taught in school from a textbook was not exactly accurate. A lot of facts were left out of textbooks, which have the potential to rattle a lot of people's beliefs and stereotypes. We've worked side-by-side with USGS experts and University professors to conduct scientific research on black bears and white-nose syndrome in bats. Our views have evolved a lot. We were already very respectful of other cultures because we traveled all over Europe and southwest Asia, but traveling the USA has opened our eyes to incredible knowledge and experiences that we would've never known. I can tell you this, this country is NOT as divided as the media or celebrities or social media or athletes want to make you believe. I wish everyone could have the broad view that traveling has given us. 

Sep 1, 3:45AM EDT0
How much time do you invest in posting videos, pictures and posts in all of your channels and how often do you update them? What are the challenges of doing all this?
Aug 30, 11:41PM EDT0

Hi Jithin! Great question! I try not to fall behind, so I try to write blog posts within 2 days of the event. That way, I still remember everything clearly and if it was comped, I usually have a time requirement to get the blog post done quickly anyway. I don't edit my photos, so I don't spend much time on them, mainly just to resize them so that they're not huge files being uploaded to my blog. Videos take a while. I admit, I've been slacking. I'm not that familiar with video editing software and mine is only basic, so I'm really trying to improve my videos. I also don't have a good, quality drone right now, and I love seeing drone footage, so I hope to get something soon. I'm also not comfortable in front of the camera and my husband and kids don't want to help me with any of this, so I'm on my own. I recently tried to do weekly videos, but I'm already behind. Video editing takes a while, so I rarely find time to do it and I'm never satisfied with the end result. Plus, with YouTube taking away monetization for smaller accounts like mine, I don't feel like there's much incentive to spend money on software and drones. I am trying to get better at doing videos and posting them more, but it is one of my biggest challenges for sure.

Aug 31, 12:01AM EDT0

What were the unforeseen issues of living with children in a moving home? How did the children adapt?

Aug 30, 6:32PM EDT0

Hi Matt! Our two oldest boys are only 2 years apart, so they have become inseparable. They have developed a brotherly bond that is unbreakable. They never get tired of being together, which amazes me. They have magnetic personalities, so they attract friends everywhere we go and can easily find other kids to play with. Being with us 24/7, they have been shielded from a lot of society's pressures. They don't have cell phones or spend a lot of time online (only for schooling). They are very well behaved and respectful. They are helpful and thoughtful. They love traveling and never want to stop. I worry that when they grow up, life may harshly slap them in the face when they have to go out and get a job. They're already looking for ways to work online so that they can make money and travel forever.

Aug 31, 12:08AM EDT0
How was your love of traveling born?
Aug 30, 6:22PM EDT0

Hi Black Lava! I think I was born with a desire to travel. When I was a teenager, all I wanted to do was get the heck out of my hometown and travel the world. So, I joined the military and traveled the world on thier dime for 20 years. When my husband and I finished our military careers, we didn't want to stop traveling, which is what led us to living in an RV and traveling full-time.

Aug 31, 12:11AM EDT0

How do you roadschool your children, what type of curriculum and lesson timetable or structure do you follow?

Aug 30, 5:38PM EDT0

Hi Vikas! Each state has its own homeschool laws, so we follow the laws of our home state of residence. We use a combination of online resources and workbooks to ensure we meet all of the curriculum requirements of our state. We also visit a lot of science centers, factory tours, historic sites, war battlefields, Spanish missions, and national parks that have provided a hands-on education well above our boys' grade levels. 

Aug 31, 12:17AM EDT0
What factors did you have to consider before agreeing to become a traveling family?
Aug 30, 5:33PM EDT0

Hi Roman! The first thing we had to consider was our budget. We had to make sure we could afford this lifestyle. Then, we had to make sure we bought the right RV for our family and the right truck to tow it. We had to decide if we should sell everything or store it, sell the house or rent it, what to do with the vehicles, etc. We decided to sell it all because we didn't plan on returning to that area. The most intimidating thing for me was the idea of homeschooling our kids. Once we figured out all of those things, the next step was to just do it. 

Aug 31, 12:23AM EDT0
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