What a difference a year makes! As a matter of fact, we never published our 2020 year in review for a few reasons. Mostly because 2020 just plain sucked! The pandemic ruined everything from our son’s senior year of high school, large parts of our college road trip, his freshman year in college and our plans to start our full-time RV life. And who can forget the financial rollercoaster from the top of the world down to the pit of despair and back again? Publishing a blog post and reliving it all over again was the last thing on our minds.
Here we are at the end of another year and still dealing with the continued fallout from the pandemic. Some things have remained the same. Everything else in our lives has changed for the better.
When we had to delay our 2020 plans we didn’t know what to expect or when we could resume our path forward. After we returned home from College Road Trip 2020, everything paused while we waited for more information on how college campuses would handle students being on campus and traveling during the holidays. In retrospect, this was a very frustrating period of time. It was also a blessing because the housing market was going crazy and home values were riding the wave.
Once we got clear-ish guidance from the University, we reset our plan with a new target date of February 2021 to hit the road full-time in our RV. We had already started selling off most of our possessions before the delays hit. The house was almost empty with the exception of the major furnishings. We went to put our house on the market and our neighbor decided to throw us a curve and listed her home. Since we didn’t want to compete with a friend we held back and watched to see what happened with her house. This worked out well as her house sold in a matter of days and over asking price which was a record amount for the neighborhood. Great news for us! Our house was a little nicer and in a more desirable part of the neighborhood. We put our home on the market in January, it sold in one day, and over asking price for the new record amount. In the end, it all worked out and we officially hit the road at the end of February.
The first month was great once we got ourselves situated and were able to enjoy our accomplishment. We always expected to face a little adversity living in an RV but little did we know what was coming our way. After spending our first month still in California we were so excited to hit the road and begin our slow journey to South Dakota where we would establish our domicile residence. While on our way, we were involved in an accident that left us shook up and having to live in a bodyshop parking lot for most of March and the beginning of April. You can read that story here.
All was not lost. We used the time to make some small upgrades to our RV. And on April 6th, we reached our FI/RE number when our portfolio passed the $1.5M target. We were hoping to celebrate that moment in Las Vegas with a nice dinner. Instead we enjoyed a lovely evening in the RV while parked in the bodyshop paint booth. Very classy! On April 10th we were finally able to get back on the road and left California. After stops in Utah, Colorado and Wyoming we made it to South Dakota where we got our new driver’s licenses and became official residents. More on that process can be found here.
With a spring storm heading directly towards us, we decided to make a hasty exit from South Dakota and head to warmer weather. After a couple of days of cold weather travel we arrived in Las Vegas for a two-week stay and took some time to catch our breath. In just ten days we went from Southern California to South Dakota and back to Las Vegas. We needed to relax and decompress a little before heading back up to Utah for our first long-term reservation.
We only went out a few times to enjoy Las Vegas. We needed to remind ourselves that this is our life now and we are not on vacation. Going out every night is not an option if we value long-term financial success.
During this time, I started researching stocks and decided to establish our new dividend portfolio to generate some long-term passive income. The portfolio has done well since we started it and we are looking for ways to generate more cash to keep it growing. You can check out our latest update here.
After Las Vegas we headed to Utah for four months and enjoyed hiking and visiting family that live in the area. While there, the campground owners asked if we would consider work camping to get our spot free of charge. We happily agreed. It was good for the experience and to save money. It was rough for Mrs. RVF as she was still working her regular job and had to tack on an additional 30 hours a week at the campground. As much as we love Utah and our family, by the time our stay was up, we were more than ready to get on the road for a change of scenery.
At the end of September we headed to Sedona where we stayed for the next three months. Just days after arriving at our new campsite Mrs. RVF worked her last shift in corporate life and officially retired. Since then we have been living FI/RE. It is still hard to believe to this day.
Sedona was probably one of the best places we have ever been to. We enjoyed every minute of our time there. The hiking and scenery is some of the best in the country. If you haven’t been, it is something you must add to your bucket list.
We sadly left Sedona on December 1st and headed back to Vegas for the Winter, where we currently sit. In many ways it feels as if we have come full circle as this is where we were heading when our accident happened and where we ended up when we exited South Dakota early.
As we head into the new year we have plans to visit Texas, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and then back to Sedona. There is a lot of land in between these four stops. I am sure we will be visiting a large number places along the way.
While 2021 was a challenge in many ways, it was also one of the most rewarding years we have ever experienced. Reaching a lifetime goal of financial independence, retiring early and traveling full-time in our RV has been a dream come true. The best part is that we are just getting started!
Thank you for reading our blog and following our adventures. 2021 was a great year for our blog as the number of readers and visitors more than tripled when compared to 2020. We are so excited to share the next chapter of our lives with our readers in 2022 as we begin to venture back to the East Coast and take on new adventures along the way.
Happy New Year!