As we’ve been wintering with the snowbirds for the past couple of months, I have lost track of the amount of times people have remarked, “Aren’t you a little young to be retired?” Having lived in a college town for several years in Kansas, I’m more accustomed to being the oldest person in the room, not the youngest, but here I feel like a kid—thanks! Anyway, this always launches us into a discussion about how we’re definitely not retired; Ken’s a working stiff and I’m a Master’s student.
When we first came up with the plan to RV full-time, it was contingent upon Ken finding a remote job opportunity. At the time, he was working for the State of Indiana, and they had talked about making his job remote, but not in the near future. Ken has worked on a Human Resource Management System called PeopleSoft for almost his entire career, and it’s used by countless companies nationwide. Previously, he worked for a California company while living in Kansas, so he knew it was possible. Last March, a company based out of Las Vegas hired him; he just had to go there for training and will need to return periodically; the rest is online—so we need to ensure that we have a strong enough signal for him to work, wherever we go. So far, it hasn’t been an issue, as we’ve purchased two wifi cards and use our phones as mobile hotspots when needed.
One of his employer’s stipulations for allowing him to work completely from home was that he had to have a designated work space with a closing door. We’ve seen other full-timers putting pictures on Instagram of themselves working from a picnic table in some beautiful location, but that’s not his reality. Thankfully, our 5th wheel has a bunkhouse, which we easily–and inexpensively– converted in to his office. He works Monday-Thursday for 10 hours and is off on Fridays, which fits perfectly into our schedule for moving sites on weekends and sightseeing once we’re settled.
When we started this lifestyle, we heard that the best part about it for working people is that you don’t have to travel to go on vacation—after work, you’re already there! That has definitely proven true. On the weekends, we’re true tourists. We sometimes get invited to activities during the day that we have to decline, but weekends are ours, with no road trip necessary, unless we’re headed to our next campground.
As for me, I am working on my degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) online through Grand Canyon University. I ‘go’ to school every morning during the week and take Saturdays and Sundays off, even though my classes run Thursday-Wednesday. It is wonderful for me to have time to devote to my studies, and I thank Ken for working for both of us! In the future, I will teach English lessons online. I’m pursuing my Master’s so I can work for universities, too, either with English Language Learners or teaching composition courses. We feel so blessed to not have had to wait until retirement to travel and enjoy this lifestyle!
Here are some pictures of the transformation from bunkhouse to office. We kept the bunk platform and mattresses in our storage unit, so that when we sell it, the new owner can convert it back to an office, if desired.