5/1/17 11:59 AM

Wandering Log | April 2017

april-2017-wandering-map.pngWe’ve been living full time on the road for over a month now. It's crazy to think, since this lifestyle is something we’ve been manifesting and working towards for many years now. Focus on something long enough and it will happen, even if it's not the exact way you originally intended it. That's the beauty of it.

Below is a list of our adventures by destination. So if you’re a wanderer like us, here’s some helpful information you'll want to consider if you journey to any of these destinations.

TOTAL MILES WANDERED: 3,930

It's important to note that we dry camped in between stays at each location below a few days per week. This helped keep our monthly costs down. To help with this search we used the following sites:

Always good to know your options. Now let's get to it.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN

OverviewWe arrived Thursday night to Elkmont Campground in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the first stop on our 7,000+ mile road trip. The Smoky Mountains are beautiful, especially in the morning just as the sun is rising. We stayed around the National Park the majority of the time – Gatlinburg was a bit too touristy for us.

Recommendations

Where we camped: We stayed in the Elkmont Campground at the Great Smoky Mountain National ParkSome of the sites were right on the Little River, which rushed by pleasantly. Trees towered overhead and though there were a good amount of other campers, we felt private. There weren’t hookups, but at $17 per night, fire pits, trash receptacles, and the fact we are more than set up to live off grid, we were happy campers.

Remote worker ready? The campground didn't have wifi, but you can pick up a signal a few miles down the road at a scenic lookout (the first one with the white picket fence). 

Nashville, TN

Overview: We stopped off in Nashville to pay tribute to the home of country music. If you're looking for honky tonks, cowboy boots, and country music history, this place is for you.

Recommendations: 

Where we camped: We stayed at the  Tennessee State Fairgrounds, who offer a few no-frills full-hookup spots for $35/ night. Not bad, given it’s only a few miles from downtown Broadway (aka music central). 

Remote worker ready? Yes, reliable cell connection. 

Tuskegee, AL 

Overview: We needed a place to stay on the way to Florida, and we found free camping in Tuskegee National Forest. Not much else to do in this area besides enjoy the land you're boondocking on, which we did. 

Below is a tour we gave of our fulltiming setup.

Where we camped: We boondocked in the Tuskegee National Forest Campground, which is free with a permit obtained at the visitor center. We only stayed two nights, but you can stay up to 14 if you want to stick around. If we weren't headed to the beach, then we definitely would have stayed longer.

Remote worker ready? Yes, reliable cell connection. 

Navarre Beach, FL

Overview: We thought we were going to spend the majority of our time in Pensacola, FL, but we made the right choice with going to Navarre Beach instead. We liked it so much, we extended our stay by two days to continue enjoying the beautiful beaches.

Recommendations:

Where we camped: We stayed at the Navarre Beach Campground. The place was very well-groomed, on the water, and managed by a very helpful and friendly staff. We did our extended stay at the nearby Walmart, which was a few blocks away.

Remote worker ready? Yes, reliable cell connection and access to wifi. I was even able to get cell service on the National Seashore, so we stayed at the beach for 10+ hours a few weekdays.

The internet connect through our mifi was even strong enough to shoot a promo video for Justin's workshop tour from the beach.
 
 

New Orleans, LA

Overview: Talk about a city with culture. We stopped off in New Orleans to soak in some jazz music and unique southern architecture.

Recommendations:

Where we stayed: We stayed at Jude Travel Park, which was close to downtown. Priced at $30/ night with full hookups; you can't beat that.

Remote worker ready? Yes, reliable cell connection and access to wifi.

Austin, TX

Overview: Austin is a weird place and one that we love. We ate Tex-Mex, shopped at numerous vintage shops, and Justin hosted his first content creation workshop...

... as well as met up with one of his content marketing partners, Sujan Patel, to do a working session.

Recommendations:

  • Go for a walk on Congress Ave (shopping, food, culture, etc.)
  • Visit East Austin for a less-touristy weird Austin experience
  • Dinner at Fonda San Miguel

Where we stayed: We stayed at McKinney Falls State Park. While the cost was $20/ night to camp, we had to pay a $6/ day fee to enter the park (per person). However, we purchased an annual Texas state park pass for $70 since we stayed for 5 nights. Now we can enter any state park in Texas free for the next year!

Remote worker ready? Yes, reliable cell connection.

Llano, TX

Overview: We wanted to find a place to visit with Ariele's Mom, Sunny, on the way to our next destination. We read about the wild flowers at this campground and thought this would be a great place to check out.

Recommendations:

Where we stayed: We stayed at the Oxford Ranch Campground. Minus the washrooms, this place was spectacular. $25/ night for electric hookups, but the real draw is the primitive camping for $15/ night. You can drive anywhere on the property and set up shop. 

Remote worker ready? Yes, reliable wireless connection.

Big Bend National Park, TX

Overview: The least trafficked national park because it's a few hours out of the way from anything. There is so much to see here, even just driving through it is divine. 

Make sure to fill up gas in Alpine (or other town depending on where you're coming from), as we've heard gas stations near the park are out of service from time to time.

Recommendations:

  • If you will be visiting many parks this year, purchase a National Park pass for $80 that gets your vehicle into all 59 national parks and their affiliated areas (aka White Sands National Monument). Not all parks charge, but many of them do.
  • Hike the Lost Mine Trail
  • Visit the Santa Elena Canyon and see the Rio Grande
  • Pick up some groceries for good eats at Cottonwood General Store (they randomly have a great selection of organic and vegetarian foods!) 
  • Drive the Old Maverick road (only if you have 4-wheel drive)

Where we stayed: We stayed at Big Bend Resort and Adventures. At $34/ night with full hookups and access to wifi, you can't beat that.

Remote worker ready? Yes, but the only wifi that can be accessed is in the campground game room; cell reception is 3G so you can't use it on a mifi.

Marfa, TX

Overview: If you're traveling west, then make a pit stop in this artsy little town. 

Recommendations:

Where we stayed: We stayed at El Cosmico. It's worth a visit and a tour of their grounds, but we wouldn't recommend staying here with your camper. It's $20/ person to sleep in the parking lot. We'd recommend dry camping at the Marfa Lights viewing area, as it's free and fun to see. 

Remote worker ready? Yes, reliable cell connection.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park, TX

Overview: There's two national parks right next to each other: Carlsbad Caverns National Park and Guadalupe Mountains National Park. We only had enough time to enjoy one, so we chose the mountains. 

Recommendations:

Where we stayed: We stayed in the national park camping area. It's $8/ night to stay in a parking lot without hookups, but it's well worth it. They also have tent sites.

Remote worker ready? Yes, but cell reception is limited at the campground. There's a strong signal down by the Visitor Center, though just a short walk away.

White Sands National Monument, NM

Overview: We saw pictures of the White Sands National Monument from our friends, The Foxes Photography. We had to see it for ourselves.

Recommendations:

  • Drive over the sand-covered road to the end and find a remote spot to go for a stroll
  • Snap a photo of yourself in the dunes

Where we stayed: We stayed in a Walmart an hour away in Las Cruces to get a head start on our next destination. However, you can access a camping permit and hike in a mile to sleep on/near the sand dunes. They did say you can't sleep in your vehicle, but we saw many out there by the camping trail. We think you can get away with it, but just don't draw attention to yourselves. (If you get caught, say you came back to go to the bathroom. Because...going in the sand?)

Remote worker ready? Yes, reliable cell connection.

What's Next

We still have many miles to go, and look forward to sharing our experience with you. Stay tuned and follow our journey on instagram

If you're someone who dreams of living an unbound life of travel and adventure, you can make it happen on a sustainable basis. Justin's educating and inspiring people to develop skill sets that can be performed in-office or remote. Start today pursuing your dream today by signing up for his free digital training this Summer; think big, start small.

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Topics: Wandering Log, Digital Nomading, Full-time RVing

Written by

Justin and Ariele

Justin and Ariele

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