Ever seen the movie Away We Go? It’s about a sweet, quirky pair — Burt and Verona- – that go on a cross-country adventure to find their next forever home. Burt and Verona are our spirit couple, and their story (with the exception of the plot point that they’re looking for a new home to raise their baby) speaks to us.
After four years in the Seattle metro area, we realized it wasn’t a good fit. It had traffic, crowds, and high housing prices when we got there, and we couldn’t keep up as all those things increased during our stay. We thought, there must be some place out there that has things we like and where we can afford to have the home that we want.
Two questions emerge:
- What are the towns that have the things that we want?
- How do we know if we are a good fit with those towns?
To answer the first question, we asked ourselves a lot of other questions. What kind of weather do we like? How important is population size? Is sushi a must-have in the local restaurant scene? The answers are completely subjective and not meant to determine if a town is a good place to live, but instead if it’s a good place to live for us.
America is big. USGS once estimated the number of cities and towns (including unincorporated areas) in the country at over 35,000. To narrow the field, we made a spreadsheet with metrics. A lot of metrics. That information helped us see on paper where we could start looking, but how do we know if it’s a good fit?
To answer the second question, we had taken a few Travel Man-style weekend mini-breaks in some prospective cities, but these had downsides for our purposes. Airfare and car rentals are costly (and we couldn’t venture too far from the airport), time was limited, and it was hard to get a feel for the town when we couldn’t get to know any locals.
Our solution: an RV.
We are remote workers and can do our jobs from almost anywhere with a decent internet connection. Once internet was set up on the RV, we could take our work with us on the road. We drive the RV on the weekends and spend the working week in a town, exploring the local culture. We can reach places we couldn’t easily reach by air travel. We can spend more time seeing local sights and finding out what each town has what you can’t find anywhere else.
We’re learning which places might be a good fit for us long term, but we’re also seeing places we might never have gotten to without traveling by RV. It’s an adventure that we hope will end in us finding our next hometown and trying some new things along the way. So, away we go.