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The Not-So-Hard Drive

Category: RV News
Source: Times-Standard, California
Publish Date: Thursday, February 28, 2008
Summary: Working nomads take to RVs.

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Since June of last year, my husband, Jim Nelson, and I have been wandering around the U.S. in our RV, working on our newest business ventures along the way. When we first hit the road, some people told us we would get bored with the RV lifestyle because we wouldn't have a lot in common with the stereotypical full-time, retired RVer. But the reality is, thanks to the Internet, we've actually met a fair amount of younger, non-retired RVers who also have opted for a truly mobile, nomadic lifestyle.

I'm not talking hippies in school buses or hitchhiking weirdoes. These are working age people who are touring North America and beyond, while supporting themselves with Internet-based work along the way. With better mobile broadband options every day, the stereotypical retired RVer may soon be a thing of the past.

Carol White, author of the book “Live Your Road Trip Dream,” calls us “the new guard of RVers,” and Jim and I are just two of maybe thousands out there. We still make money from the road through our blogs and book publishing ventures, but because we live out of our RV, we are completely mobile and free to do business wherever we want, whenever we want. In our travels, we've met many other younger RVers who are doing the same thing.

Last November, while camped out in Myrtle Beach, Florida, we met Chris and Liz, two ex-New York City dwellers who sold their belongings and hit the road last fall. Both in their early 30s, Chris is a partner for a well-known educational Web site for kids and Liz was a corporate communications writer for a large agency in Manhattan. While they're taking a good long break from the grind of city life, both are still keeping in touch with clients and their colleagues, and working from the road. You can read about Chris and Liz's journey at www.GypsyMoments.com.

At about the same time that Chris, Liz, Jim and I were cracking jokes about always being the youngest ones at the RV parks, I happened to meet Kevin through the forums at RV.net. A self-declared “Tech Nomad,” Kevin is a computer application developer employed by a Silicon Valley firm, and works from the road. His employer doesn't care where he is or what time he works; as long as he has a good data connection and can get the job done, he's free to roam wherever and whenever. Right now Kevin and his wife, Angie, just set up camp in Texas.

Like us, Kevin also wanted to meet other non-retired RVers, so in response to a lack of places for us kids to connect, he launched a great new Web site geared toward non-traditional RVers: www.NuRVers.com. The Web site serves as a hub for everything from live chats, to event planning, to uploading video and photos of our travels. Users can even track each other's movements through Google Maps, and now that we know where each of us has landed at any given time, plans for a NuRVers rally are in the works.

These are just two examples of younger, mobile workers we've met online or in person since hitting the road. There's also John and Derek (www.johnandderek.com), two techies that follow their computer programming work around the country and are now snowbound in St. Louis; Ty and Mari Smith (http://tyandmari.com), two business-coaching and real estate consultants from San Diego who've just hit the road and plan on taking their gig to the masses; and Doug Hackney, a world renowned tech consultant, speaker and writer from San Jose, currently exploring South America in his off-road-capable RV (http://hackneys.com/blog).

Every week, we run across more people who are fully enjoying the promise of the Internet -- absolute freedom and mobility to work and play online wherever and whenever we want. We have the freedom to walk away from the four confining walls of an office, the ability to get out and see this great big country and the skills to enjoy a high quality standard of living and make money from the road.

Many people have told us it's great that we are out doing this now before we are “too old” to do it. We think they're right. Why wait until retirement to get out and explore? With the Internet, you no longer need to put off your own Great American Road Trip.

Do it now; you won't regret it.

To meet other tech-minded people without leaving the beauty of the North Coast, come to a Redwood Technology Consortium meeting. Then, plan your getaway by reading about RV road trip budgeting, adventures and more at Rene's blog, www.LiveWorkDream.com. Rene Agredano was an RTC Board member and has been an active member since 1998.


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