Hi. We are Jeff and Mary Beth Northrup and this is the beginning of our fabulous full-time RV adventure! Well, at least it will be, once we free ourselves from the daily grind of normal life.
We’ve been dreaming and planning for this adventure for many years. More than 20 years ago, Jeff cut a photo of a motorhome out of the newspaper and put it on the refrigerator. “Wouldn’t that be a great life!”, he declared. At the time I was busy tending a more-than-fulltime job, two small children and an active volunteer life in our church. Retirement of any sort was so far in the distant future, it couldn’t even be imagined. But, as our boys grew, we became increasingly active outdoor adventurers. Our work life provided the means to pursue our real passions — hiking, camping, biking, running, motorcycling, and all things outdoors. RV living started looking very attractive.
So, being scientists, we conducted thorough research. We read books, perused blogs, visited RV shows and watched You-tube videos. We spent hours discussing options and scenario planning. Is this REALLY what we wanted to do? And we always circled back around to the conclusion – yes, it sounds perfect for us. So then, it was just a matter of timing. We would get the boys through school and launched and THEN we could go. We would save like crazy, and by then everything would be in place. It was a perfect plan.
Except things didn’t exactly go according to plan.
On June 7, 2012 our younger son was killed in an automobile accident at the age of 18. It was a freak accident – four teenagers heading out to an Everglades fish camp on a rutted gravel road on the first day of summer. The young driver hit a pothole, skidded, overcorrected and overturned into the swampy canal. 3 boys walked away, our son drowned before he could be rescued. It was the worst day of my life.
At that moment, everything changed. We had to re-formulate our whole life, including all of our plans. After walking through a dark time of grief, we re-visited our retirement plans and decided that we still wanted to go forward. In fact, we wanted to go sooner rather than later. Life is too short not to live it fully and joyfully.
So here we are – 4 years later. We’ve saved like crazy. Our only remaining son is successfully launched. We just need to untangle ourselves from the daily grind, and we can begin.