In early 2010 the hubby, the 2 cats, the dog and I quit our day jobs, packed our lives away and moved into a 40-foot RV (a very large bus-like thing to those not familiar) to follow our dream of living an alternative life and exploring the USA on wheels. That day Wheelingit was born with a goal to share that story and hopefully inspire others who dream of this lifestyle to go out and give it a try.
We can honestly say the journey has been incredible!
We spent our first 8 years on the road in the USA and then then decided to switch it up and take the show to Europe in Mar 2018. There have been adventures and laughter, unexpected discoveries and occasional mishaps, boundless joy and bouts of sadness, but ultimately our travels have given us a deep appreciation for the indescribable beauty of this world. These are memories worth making and we believe that if we can do it, anyone can.
So whether you’re a dreamer or a traveler we hope you find something the speaks to you in these pages. Take a peek at the tips, follow us on our nutty journey and who knows, maybe down the line we’ll meet ya’ all on the road too.
Here’s a little more about the characters on our journey:
Nina: I’m a full-bred Dane and, one could say, legitimate ancestor of Vikings from Copenhagen, Denmark. At the ripe young age of 4, my parents left the homeland and moved to Asia spending 5 years in Singapore followed by another 9 in Hong Kong, which instilled a good, solid shot of the travelling bug in yours truly. After finishing high-school I left home and moved to Paris to experience les français, attending The Sorbonne to learn French and cleaning a fair few houses for moolah along the way. I then went to England to attend uni at Cambridge University leaving with a stiff British accent and a BA in the Physical Sciences. Having frozen enough for a lifetime I was guided by my professor to apply to Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA which he assured me was “right by the beach”. It didn’t turn out to be Baywatch, but Stanford gave me a few years of excellent memories and a Masters in Materials Science Engineering. In 1995 I decided to get serious about a job and was hired by Cypress Semiconductor. On my first day of work, feeling rather lost and overwhelmed, I walked into a technical presentation (of which I understood nothing) being given by Paul…it was the beginning of 12 years at the company and a few more with the man.
Paul: Paul is a first-generation Cuban-American born and raised in Miami, Florida USA. His family immigrated to the United States from Cuba in the late 50s, leaving everything behind to establish new roots and lives in the US. He spent his young and tender years in the midst of an extended family with solid Cuban roots and an American twist. After high school he moved north to attend the University of Florida. He spent 6 years in Gator-land with many fond and fuzzy memories and left with a BS in Electrical Engineering, a MS in Electrical Engineering and a thesis on the diffusion of Arsenic in Silicon (indeed!). Once graduated and fancy free he moved to South Florida to work for IBM for a few years, a time he calls the most educational of his life. In July 1994 he was recruited to make the jump to the land of fruit and nuts (San Jose, CA) to work for Cypress Semiconductor where he spent the next 12 years. In 1995, he met me….
Paul and Nina: We met in August 1995 and it was…well…dislike at first sight. Somewhere in the background, however, fate was at work. Being forced to work together in a small group (selling chipsets no less), dislike turned to acceptance followed by tepid interest, sparks of unexpected fire and then a crazy, wild crash into full-blown love. We were meant for each other and after figuring that out (in January 1997, specifically) we moved in together and never looked back. Through work and with a touch of luck and egging on from yours truly we both moved to Brussels, Belgium where we spent 2 years from late 1997 to 1999, followed by 5 years back in the Bay Area and another few in Hong Kong. During our time in Hong Kong Nina launched herself into dogs and theater while Paul went back to school and got his Masters In Finance. After Asia we moved to San Diego, CA. Then, in March 2010 we moved into “The Beast” and started our full-time lifestyle on the road.
The Furry Family: Our family wouldn’t be family without our 12 paws. Polly, our doggie was adopted from the Humane Society in 2009 and grew from a playful, pooping and eating machine of a pup into a gorgeous 40-lb doggie. Taggart and Rand, our 2 cats were rescues of a litter from Paul’s mom and are the yin-yang of the feline kingdom where the outgoing brashness of Taggart balances the withdrawn sweetness of Rand. The 3 musketeers are firm friends and it’s rare to see one without the other. You can read more about their story here and here.
The Life Change: The big change in our outlook and lives will be a frequent topic on the blog but here is a brief synopsis. Hong Kong was where the whole transition happened – the thought of needing a change in life, of finding another way to live, of retiring early and going nomadic. We’ve always been frugal, money-conscious and adventurous but we didn’t begin planning in earnest for a life change until our time in Hong Kong. We read a ton of material, made several hundred versions of the financial plan and, after a few false starts, finally made the leap early this year. While on the road, I run the budget & write this blog while hubby masterminds the money-making machine through investing (for more on our methods and means check out hubby’s blog Investing For a Living).
Our USA Rolling Home (Mar 2010- Mar 2018): “The Beast”, as we affectionately named her, was our very first rolling home on wheels. She took us across the USA on 8 years of amazing travel from Mar 2010 to Mar 2018. She was a 40-foot Holiday Rambler Endeavor that we bought at a San Diego RV show the very same day we saw her (she totally swept us off our feet) and she turned out to be a first-class lady. She weighed a svelte ~32,000 lbs, boasted a massive 400 horsepower Cummins diesel engine and was a modern beauty inside. You can see pics & read more detail about “The Beast” in the sales blog I wrote in Feb 2018. She will forever be our first road-love.
Our Europe Travels (Mar 2018 – ?): In early 2018, after 8 wonderful years on the road in the USA we decided to make another big LIFE CHANGE. We sold “The Beast”, put the paws on a jet plane and headed to Europe. We landed in France in Mar 2018 and have started to settle-in and make our plans for the next stage of travel on this side of the pond. Haven’t got much to share (yet) as things are still evolving, but stay tuned on the blog for updates and developments. It should be exciting….
That’s it folks! Hope you enjoy the ride as much as we do!
POST SCRIPT: If you’d prefer to hear a verbal version of our US story which includes exciting pictures of us petting the dog and my weird accent, our buddies Technomadia did an awesome job of putting together this 11.49 min video (taken in Cape Blanco, Oregon) back in May 2014:
Note/ Please note that all material, text and pictures in this blog are copyrighted. Should you be interested in using them please feel free to contact me and I’ll be happy to talk about it!