Who Are You? Meet Some Fellow Suburbia-Ditchers

What brought you to DitchingSuburbia.com?

If you have subscribed to our mailing list, you should have gotten an email from me thanking you for subscribing and then asking you this question.

And yes - I send each of those emails personally (with just a bit of automation to drop in the body of the email). Some websites do surveys to collect information from site visitors. I prefer a more casual and personal approach.

The Response Rate

About 25% of you respond to that email question. Sometimes I get a short sentence, other times I get paragraphs.

In either case I’m honored that you are willing to give me a peek into your life and the desires that brought you - somehow - to find our little corner on the web.

A Vision

This past week I went through and reviewed all of the personal stories you have sent. I put them all in a place where I can refer to them while writing the Ditching Suburbia book.

And I had a vision.

Of you guys.

All in one place.

Talking, eating, laughing, dreaming.

Encouraging each other.

Teaching each other.

Praying for each other.

Becoming friends.

And maybe - just maybe - deciding to team up and tackle the process of ditching the suburbs together.

Who Are You?

I can’t just send all of you each others email addresses (oy, wouldn’t you love me for that!).

And I can’t quite bring off that physical gathering of suburbia-ditchers. Not yet anyway.

But I want to at least describe who you are to each other.

I want you to understand that - no matter what your friends say, no matter what your parents think, no matter what your co-workers think - you aren’t alone in questioning the American Dream.

You aren’t crazy to want a closer family. You aren’t certifiable for wanting more adventure. You aren’t the only one tired of working to afford a house that you are rarely in. You aren’t the only one feeling disconnected from your kids.

Meet some others:

  • A family with two boys ages 12 and 7 dreaming of a cross-country RV trip as a family and researching ways to make that a reality. The biggest puzzle is making an income while on the road.
  • A homeschool family of seven living in the Florida Keys and researching the idea of moving into an RV fulltime.
  • A Canadian family living nearly debt-free in an 800 square foot house initially researching options for a month-long trip, but now curious about longer-term family travel.
  • A family recovering from moving often over 14 years, learning to minimize and downsize, trying to build some stability by staying in one place, but also dreaming about travel.
  • A family with almost-tween triplets planning to launch on the road next year, travel a while, then settle somewhere more rural and close to family when done.
  • A family of six from Arizona, feeling that their lives are too focused on technology, materialism and wanting to find a more peaceful life. They expect to find that by focusing on things that others don’t find important.
  • A family of four who already vacation in an RV. One parent is trying to convince the other to sell the house and go fulltime. They can see downsizing and living in a small space. Their biggest puzzle is that both of their kids love being involved in team sports and can’t figure out how to do that while traveling.
  • Parents who describe themselves as “older” wanting to squeeze as much family time in as possible. They are researching options for fulltime travel to find that time together.
  • A grandmother of a daugher/granddaughter thinking about becoming a fulltime RVers. Grandma is helping with the research and considering a “little camper of her own” to pull up next to the family.
  • Parents and two daughters looking to launch from Alaska in an RV. The parents are both nurses so plan to do travel nursing. They want to explore the USA looking for places to put down some deeper yet still temporary roots and live in a portable (non-RV) home.
  • A couple wanting to fulltime RV, but her mom lives with them so it took a while to find just the right floorplan. They hope to sell the house and be mobile by the end of this month.
  • A Navy family who wants their kids to value nature, simplicity and a non-consumer-based life. They are purchasing an RV and will be mostly stationary but planning their version of the Great American Roadtrip.
  • A travel nurse tired of working only to afford their house and a rare family vacation. She’s pondering if her husband could quit his job and they could travel fulltime on her salary. A recent switch to homeschooling their two boys is helping enable the new thinking.
  • A single mom with teens, concerned about how much time they spend on social media. She’s dreaming of an RV lifestyle but is worried that she’ll be able to successfully homeschool them, if their chance at college would be impacted, and whether they’ll have friends on the road.
  • A career firefighter and father of three. He’s tired of living and working just to keep the house and other posessions. He’s also seeing how having teens in a public school is pulling the family apart. He could take an early retirement and hit the road in an RV, but his high schoolers might not enjoy the change. The move to an RV might have to wait until a full retirement.

Pretty cool people, if you ask me.

So Tell Me

If you haven’t gotten my question via email….what brought you to Ditching Suburbia?  Tell us in the comments below or in the Facebook Group we’ve created for the purpose.

11 Comments Who Are You? Meet Some Fellow Suburbia-Ditchers

  1. Picture of Matt Galvin Matt Galvin September 20, 2015

    Retiring 25 year Army Vet. 2 children moving out into the world and the wife and I looking to wander. Sold the house and are full timing now.  Generally debt free and wanting to live on meager retirement with possible work camping across the country.  Plenty of options!

  2. Picture of Michael Boyink Michael Boyink September 20, 2015

    Howdy Matt!

    Thanks for your service.

  3. Picture of Lisa Hayward Lisa Hayward September 20, 2015

    Hubby and I have been trying to sell our home and hit the road.  Tired of the rat race and looking for simplier life and travel.  I’m a teacher and hubby is an IT guru.  Not too worried about making money on the road since we pretty much are willing to do anything.  I’m looking for the adventure of it all.  We are flexible people and willing to go with the flow.  Now to get our house sold.

  4. Picture of Michael Boyink Michael Boyink September 20, 2015

    Hi Lisa -

    We’ve met a few people who teach online..and IT is a popular nomadic career.

    Thanks for the comment!

  5. Picture of Haley Haley September 20, 2015

    My husband and I are planning to sell our house in the spring and hit the road with our three little ones (currently 3, 2 and 9 months) in a fifth wheel. He will sell or liquidate his business and transition to online businesses. Your posts mentioning full timing families has been so helpful as I try to wrap my mind around this huge leap. I closely follow the families whose blogs you’ve highlighted and seeing how others full time is helping me plan. Thank you for being such a great resource.

  6. Picture of Michael Boyink Michael Boyink September 20, 2015

    Hi Haley -

    Thanks for your comment and I’m glad the site is a good resource for you.

    I see you have a blog as well - will you start to blog through the process of getting on the road?

  7. Picture of Beverly Beverly September 21, 2015

    I briefly introduced us when we subscribed but as we get closer to getting on the road I am excited to meet other families full timing.  My husband is retired Air Force Chief and we are a family of 4 now with two older children who have already flown the coop.  We have girls 12 & 17.  The Chief is planning to use the GI Bill to go back to school online.  We have been preparing all summer for full timing by purging and simplifying.  We are just waiting for our house to sell and then we will be on our way.  We are praying it will be any day now since the houses are selling quickly in our neighborhood.  We just got back from the RV show in Hershey, PA.  Feeling a bit overwhelmed and underwhelmed at what we saw if that makes sense.  We are looking for a toy hauler with extra bath so the girls can have their own space.  Hoping to find other families out there with teens!  :)  I agree with Haley, the Ditching Suburbia site has helped out tremendously!  Thank you!

  8. Picture of Michael Boyink Michael Boyink September 21, 2015

    And the commenting worked this time!

    Thanks Beverly !

  9. Picture of Haley Haley September 21, 2015

    Yes I will definitely be blogging. The first step is breaking the news to the grandparents. Hard telling them their grandchildren won’t be closeby for a year :) But for us, this adventure is a once in a lifetime opportunity due to the timing, so we have to seize the reins and hope that family understands.

  10. Picture of Haley Haley September 21, 2015

    Also, we’ll go public at the end of the year or once my husband’s clients know he is selling his gym. So hard to contain the excitement though.

  11. Picture of Michael Boyink Michael Boyink September 21, 2015

    Ah yes. We had one unhappy Grandma.  But they flew out to meet us a couple of times during the first couple of years.  And are now in an RV of their own..;)

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