SHANE SNYDER & AUDREY CALLAHAN
BACKGROUND/BIO: Had someone told me 8 years ago that I’d be embarking on this journey of lifetime with the love of my life, my cat and financially supported doing the thigs I love I would be speechless because our beginnings were, well…let’s just say they were “rough”.
Near the end of 2009, in the middle of the recession, my husband and I both lost our jobs one month apart from each other and were scammed by a loan re-modification company for the remainder of our savings which was the kicker for our brand new house to go into foreclosure.
Due to medical issues, Shane struggled to find a new job and I bounced from job to job looking for something suitable enough to pay the bills while I juggled my fulltime school workload. Fast forward a few months later and not only is there is no money to speak of, but now our bank overdraft fees are piling up. We didn’t just have NO money. We had NEGATIVE money…..
Needless to say, times were not “good”…or were they?
On January 1st 2010, I was just coming home from my new waitressing job. I was so close to graduating college with a degree in web and graphic design, but was struggling having to show up at this soul crushing job even one more day knowing that it was so far off of the path I knew I wanted to be on. Shane still didn’t have a new job by this point and when I walked through the door, my normally smiling/sun-shiny personality was all but gone. Our situation was taking a toll on me and it was starting to affect me greatly.
A lot of stress and high emotion had been experienced in the last year with everything that was going on. Besides the fact that our whole world was crumbling around us, we were miserable because we knew weren’t living anything close to the life we knew we wanted.
As I was sharing the story of my day being a waitress in a restaurant on the Las Vegas strip on New Year’s day (if you can even imagine), Shane interrupted me out of nowhere and said, “quit your job right now”.
Both being military brats, we were always taught to be “responsible” and to “find a new job before you quit the one you have now”, so for both of us, this idea was very hard to stomach. Regardless, we had “had it”. Enough was enough. We were so tired of doing things the “right way”, so tired of being miserable; so we decided to take the talents we knew we possessed and turn them into our fulltime income.
Home computers in hand and hardly any business experience to speak of, we stepped boldly into the entrepreneurial world and finally started living the life of freedom that we had always dreamed of. Fast forward to today and we have been creating our own income from our talents since the day we quit corporate America nearly 8 years ago.
In short, going through all of the hardship was the best thing that ever happened to us because it forced us to step into our true calling. But the most important part is this: If you feel or have felt the same in your life, that it took a lot of courage to be the “real you”, we totally get it.
We have a personal passion to help others like us step into their true selves and become prosperous at whatever it is that makes them tick.
THE RIG: Jayco Jayflight 34fkds
This may sound cliché, but we didn’t choose our rig, our rig chose us. As quickly as we decided to go full-time RV, our dreams equally got crushed pretty quickly once we started RV shopping. Everything we wanted was way out of our price range so we decided to shelf the idea for a bit until we could save up.
Our idea was shelved for only about a week when the perfect rig appeared in our lives for a fraction of the price.
We snatched her up and the rest was history!
What we love about our RV is that there is enough space for us both to live and work comfortably. We hear smaller is better for travel, but for us digital nomads we needed room to really stretch out and work, create and continue our hobbies as normal.
OUR PET: We’ll be traveling with our 11 year old cat Bobby. He loves the outdoors but HATES riding in cars. We have no idea how he’s going to take to the road, but hope he adjusts well. We’ve made some cat friendly renovations to our rig and plan to do more so that he’s having as much fun as we are.
CAMPING PREFERENCE: We imagine our preferred method of camping will be boondocking. Although we’re social and love meeting new people, we’re not big into having neighbors. Neither is our cat who loves to roam. We’re currently parked on my family’s 20 acre farm and we love it. Animals, nature, quiet. Can’t beat it!
Also, I’m a singer/songwriter by trade and do alot of session singing throughout the month. So on any given day I’m typically singing very loudly in our back room. I’m pretty sure our neighbors would get tired of that after a while.
We imagine we’ll mostly be parked in scenic and remote locations, but do plan to do some stints at RV Resorts that catch our eye.
FULL TIME EXPERIENCE: We’ve been fulltiming for 6 months, but have been stationary the whole time. We bought our rig before we had a truck that was ready to pull it so our good friend drove our rig to the family farm where we’ve been prepping for 6 months to be TRAVELING full timers.
My office and music studio is still in another building on the land and so is our laundry room, but other than that we’re fully moved in as of January 2017.
We plan to take off the first week of August 2017.
Our first stop will be San Diego, California where my husband and I met and where we’re basically “from” (military brats). After that we’d like to go to Mexico and then one of everywhere please!
We’re not sure on how often we’ll move just yet. We’ve been toying with the idea of every three weeks or so. Of course if we love a place we’ll stay longer and if we hate it we’ll get the heck out of dodge! That’s the beauty of this lifestyle; absolute freedom.
NOTABLE BAD EXPERIENCE: We haven’t even left yet and we had an “oh shit” moment, quite literally. We’re stationary without septic hookups so we use a portable septic system. We’ve been doing it flawlessly for six months until we used a different dump site located on our land. Usually my husband hooks up the hose, but I wanted to do it this time just to switch up the roles. I’ve done this before and I blame our new cheaper hose, but when I connected our sewer hose to the ground line I didn’t do it quite tight enough :/ My husband lifted the line to initiate the poo waterfall and fall it did…
Luckily we were on our land with no one around and the septic station is on easy to clean pavement, but man did that suck! I’m just glad I learned that lesson early on.
- Invest in a good hose and
- Make sure it’s tightly on!
TOP CAMPING SPOT: Well, we haven’t left yet but I am dying to go to BANFF, Canada. It looks so majestic. My husband is easy, as long as it’s remote and there is adventure to be had then he’s good. We both also really love Mexico. Growing up in San Diego, it was always just a quick car ride away so we would frequently be down there. It’s also where we met ☺
FAVORITE MOMENT: Again, since we haven’t adventured yet, I’d say the most exciting moment to date has just been that it’s actually happening! I haven’t been able to sleep I’m so excited. It still doesn’t even feel real. It feels as if this must be someone else’s life. We’ve been watching so many others do it on Youtube for so long that we are just so excited that it’s finally our turn!
WHY FULL TIME?: My husband and I both grew up in military families which meant moving every couple of years. Put two people like that together and you have a couple with an extreme case of wanderlust.
Since we met we’ve lived up and down Southern California, Las Vegas-NV, Lake Havasu-AZ, Maryland, Shane even took off to Costa Rica for 3 months to scout out some places for us to live (which we didn’t end up doing), and now we’re living in Texas, which we’ve moved three times in just the couple of years of being here.
We were coming up on our year lease in a house we were renting in Austin and were talking about our next move. I had seen a Facebook ad go by that talked about working on the road; digital nomads so to speak. The ad wasn’t about RVing, but it got me thinking about the whole idea of traveling while working. My husband and I have worked from home going on 8 years now so why not?!
Plus at this point we were tired of renting and moving our stuff from place to place, but we weren’t ready to jump into buying a home just yet. Not only were we not sure where we wanted to live, but we had owned a home in the past and were complete slaves to our huge mortgage so we weren’t too excited to jump back into that scenario.
We had rooms we never even went into, but we had them because what IF someone came to visit; we would need space for them! We would spend gobs of money not only on our mortgage, but on prettier ceiling fans, guest bathroom fixtures, yard work, paint and on and on and on. We bought lots of “stuff” to fill our house with which meant not having much money left to do anything else other than sit in our house.
Don’t get me wrong, home ownership can not only be a fantastic investment and a wonderful thing for families all over the world, it’s just not what my husband and I want to do again at this moment in our lives.
Rving felt like a great middle road. It was like being MINI homeowners. And on the plus side, we can take our home ANYWHERE!
We plan to travel the United States, Mexico, Canada, maybe even South America scoping out all there is to offer and then eventually we would love to buy a beautiful plot of land somewhere near water that we can call our home base. Phase 2 of our nomadic lifestyle is to get a sailboat and travel the high seas. But we’ll save that story for another documentary 😉