Sometimes it’s nice to have your own bathroom…
AND your own shower, fridge, margarita mixer, air conditioner, and a bed, definitely a bed. We travel full-time in or 2002 American Eagle motorhome. Who says you have to be rich to live like a king or queen?
We’re Jesse, Jenny, and Tucker, an adventurous family that made some BIG changes. By living intentionally and setting goals, we’ve broken free and travel full-time as a family.
EDNA the Eagle
Originally, we planned to be sailors. Cruising the seas wherever the wind might carry us, exploring exotic beaches, islands, and new surf destinations. We spent the dreary Pacific Northwest winters dreaming of the places we might explore.
Then we got pregnant…
Unwilling to give up our dreams of long term travel, we visited other options that might be easier with a young child. Maybe an RV? We spent months learning about the different RV types, costs, and each ones strengths & weaknesses. We went to a dozen RV shows, talked to a dozen or so RV owners, and had a dozen additional questions the deeper we researched.
February 2017, on our way to yet another RV show in Portland Oregon, we came across an RV we hadn’t heard of before. There in the cold, rainy Camping World parking lot was a 2002 American Eagle. Jenny, pregnant, took one step inside the RV and knew immediately this could be our home as we travel together around the country. We didn’t make it to the RV show and immediately offered a deposit and scheduled a test drive the next day.
The test drive was AWFUL! Check out our video series about buying an RV for the details. The short story is that our inept RV salesman, and our inexperience lead to some really dumb mistakes that were easily corrected.
Edna came into our life March 2017. She’s safely carried us across the entire US twice, down to Mexico, and up to the Canadian border. Like any RV, she requires some attention from time to time, but she takes great care of our family. With 1160 watts of solar power, Battle Born lithium batteries, WeBoost and WiFiRanger communication boosters, Edna is as comfortable as any house could be. Not to brag, but for those questioning that claim, we can stream NetFlix to our 4K TV with surround sound, while blending the next batch of margaritas because why not, we’re parked on a beach in Mexico. Our lithium batteries store more than enough power for the night and tomorrow, our solar panels will fill us back up. Heck, much of this website was created with that same green power from the sun!
“I was a loner growing up. I had a single mother, then a stepdad, and I’d see my real dad every couple weekends. Not the most ideal situation but I appreciate the fact my parents did the best they could. I played team sports like soccer and baseball, but never had the self confidence to excel in those environments. I guess you could say they were great learning lessons about what I WASN’T good at. Then I turned 16, got the world’s ugliest truck, and discovered the beach across the street from my high school. It was all down hill from there.”
Growing up near Cocoa Beach FL, Jesse’s love for the ocean was unstoppable. At least until he joined the military and was assigned to Tinker Air Force Base Oklahoma, the most landlocked state in the US. After that traumatic experience, he’s been chasing tropical beaches and perfect waves around the world.
“While my background is in military operations and electricity, my heart was somewhere else. We’ve chosen to pursue a career doing what we love, even if that means making less money. Society pressures us to trade freedom for security, but at what cost? “
Having completed his Bachelor’s in Cinematography from Full Sail University, Jesse has more plans on the horizon. The first feature film Jesse worked on was RV Nomads the Movie, a documentary about the full-time RV movement. “So many doors open, but they require us to take that first step. I’m super-excited to see what other opportunities result from our bold choice to redefine how we live as a family.“
Jenny and her older brother learned as children about hard work. Each summer, while classmates were busy forgetting everything they learned in school, Jenny would be wielding a lawn mower or other tool helping her parents with their landscape business. The work was tough, but it made every Friday’s family pizza & movie night that much more enjoyable.
When we visit family in Florida, we know that every Saturday morning is breakfast with grandma, who’s 94 years old and still driving. Both of her parents have several siblings equating to a very large family. There’s always something going on when we visit.
“I’d lived nearby one body of water or another my whole life and never realized how much it was a part of me. When we plan our travel routes, you can bet there’s an ocean, river, or creek with a rope swing nearby!”
“My favorite RV spot so far is Wellington, TX. One of my most memorable experiences from traveling as a family is having our house, parked next to Scorpion Bay Mexico, where perfect waves rolled past one by one. It’s incredible to expose our son to so many cool things.”
Tucker is what keeps us going, AND on our tip-toes every waking moment. We call him our little rascal. For example, at a birthday party the other little kids were jumping and playing on the bounce house but not our rascal. Nope, he was busy exploring the new backyard. First to the electrical power panel, then after confirming it was locked onwards to the irrigation pump motor, seriously! And while he can be a pain in the neck, we wouldn’t trade a single minute.
In February 2019, Tucker’s life was on the line. From his curiosity, he landed in the hospital with acute respiratory failure from ingesting a hydrocarbon (tiki torch fuel, the stuff you burn to keep mosquitoes away). Our local hospital was not equipped to manage his care, but quickly intubated him and placed him onto a breathing machine before handing him off to medics from an air evac crew. Watching our son, unconscious, on a stretcher, loaded onto a helicopter was something we never anticipated. Ten days later, Tucker was released from the Pediactric Intensive Care Unit at Nemour’s Children’s Hospital in Orlando, FL.
Seeing his eyes widen as he finds a cool new animal in the tide pools, or his grin while deep in the Panamanian jungle when he realizes the rope bridge swings wider the harder he steps. These are the things that keep us going. Life doesn’t have to be complicated, it’s an adventure. An adventure in which we need to remember to stop and have fun, lots of fun! Our little rascal does a good job at reminding us these simple yet important life lessons.