The Longneckers from Knoxville, TN

In this first Family Feature on Ditching Suburbia we’d like to introduce you to our friends, the Longneckers.

Jonathan, Ashley and their four children live in Knoxville, TN. Their kids are ages 9, 7, 5 and 3.

A few months ago we interviewed the Longneckers for our Ditching Suburbia book. Here are some highlights:

Q: Is the suburban life you have now is what you envisioned when you bought the house?

Ashley:
“I was super excited when we bought the house. It was everything we’d always wanted. And then that first mortgage payment comes in and you die a little inside.”

Jonathan:
“I feel alienated from all the people around me. They’re stuck in this mode of running around, doing all these activities with their kids, spending a bunch of money on things they don’t need. They’re focused on things that I just don’t care about.”

Q: Do you know your neighbors?

Ashley:
“We know one set well and that’s it. But they’ve got kids in school and when they get home they have hours of homework. On weekends they have dance class.”

Jonathan:
“When we moved here, everybody’s kids were not school aged yet. We got to know them well. But now that their kids are in the public school, everybody is a lot busier. We don’t see them nearly as much as we used to.”

Q: So what’s the big idea?

Ashley:
“Our big idea is to sell everything and buy a 5th wheel and truck and travel the USA. I want the kids to learn about things that we’re actually doing. I want them to see things in person and not just read about it.”

Jonathan:
“I can work from anywhere. The kids aren’t tied to a school system. Why wouldn’t we travel around the country, see amazing things and spend time with our kids?”

Q: When are you planning to launch?

Ashley:
“I would totally go tomorrow, but Jonathon needed some mental space to plan.  We decided on September 2015. We’ll put the house on the market in July in hopes that it doesn’t sell right away.”

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Jonathan:
“I just want to make sure we do the research and aren’t rushed into a decision.”

Plans Accelerate

The interview was a few months ago. Recently our travels took us through their home town. We stopped in to see how the planning was going & give the Longneckers some RV lessons.

The Longneckers had just put their house on the market - a bit ahead of schedule. The first showing? Led to an offer. A counter-offer.

Then a deal.

They ordered a new fifth wheel trailer and the new launch date is now looking to be at the end of May.

Be careful - once you set your Ditching Suburbia plans in action they tend to take on a life of their own!

We are excited for these guys and can’t wait to see what adventures they find on the American roads.

Follow the Longneckers

You can follow along with the Longneckers on their blog. I’d recommend Ashley’s post entitled Waking Up From the American Dream where she writes:

We know we are made to do more. We are made to create. We are made to help people. We are made to share our stories, and we are made to make a difference.Ashley Longnecker

Do You Know Your Neighbors?

If you are currently in the suburbs - are you able to connect with your neighbors or is your experience similar to the Longneckers? Have you found any good “suburban hacks” to get around the busy schedules?

Let us know in the comments…

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