The Walkabout

walk·about noun ˈwȯ-kə-ˌbau̇t

Definition of WALKABOUT

: a short period of wandering bush life engaged in by an Australian aborigine as an occasional interruption of regular work —often used in the phrase go walkabout <the man who went walkabout was making a ritual journey>                        Merriam-Webster

Around 2007, we started thinking about where we might want to live in the next phase of our lives.  At the same time, we’d decided to buy an RV and purchased our Airstream travel trailer, Luna.

On a vacation trip to Alaska, Hector, who is an avid photographer, was taking a photo from an overlook when a couple walked over and started chatting with us.  When we asked them where they were from; the wife looked at the husband, hesitated for a moment, and said, “I guess we’re fulltimers”.  We thought we understood what they meant and soon confirmed that full timers are people who live in their RV’s year round.  We were discovering more about this lifestyle that we found intriguing.

In 2008, while still living in Denver, Hector became concerned about his job security and we decided to “downsize”.  We sold our house in Denver and moved to our vacation condo in Keystone, Colorado.    Hector continued to work from home, and I left my job in Denver.  Even though we now were living with uncertainty about both our jobs, we now decided to take real action on our dream of traveling the country in our RV.  We made the decision that we would not wait until “retirement” (if in fact retirement was going to be possible).   As Hector said “tomorrow is promised to no one”.

Hector christened this future journey “our walkabout” and we continued to hatch a plan.  It was going to take us several years to financially prepare for taking time off work to do this, and we began by continuing our downsizing plan and putting away money for this future adventure.  We decided to budget for two years of travel and continued doing our research which now included multiple books, blogs and other internet sites, and more RV shows.

As it turned out, Hector’s job security improved but my prospects of finding a job worsened.  I was a new resident in a small town during the beginning of the downturn in the economy and there were no jobs.  Around that same time we lost our dog Shasta to cancer.

At the beginning of 2009, we decided to move back to Denver and bought a smaller house in Centennial, a suburb in southeast Denver.  I was still devastated about losing Shasta and discovered the Peak to Peak Keeshond Fanciers Rescue group on the internet.  When I found a photo of two older dogs whose owner had died with the caption “we talked it over and decided that if we needed to be separated it would be ok, but we would prefer to stay together”, I decided to go see them.  About a month later, on Easter Sunday, we officially adopted Angel and Rags.  At that same time, I found another job in Denver.

By now Hector had developed a massive spreadsheet detailing our budget for the walkabout.  He found valuable information on many blogs where full timers provided lots of specifics about their budgets.  We were realizing that fulltimers (and other RVerss) are extremely generous and helpful and love to share information with others that are interested in this lifestyle.

Meanwhile, we started to think about some of the places we wanted to visit on this trip – not specific places but rather regions of the country.  As we realized the distances that we wanted to cover, we decided to extend our walkabout to three years instead of two, which is our current plan.Island Girl wide 2

After many years of planning, we rented our home, got rid of a lot of our “stuff”, put the rest in storage and moved into our 39′ Class A diesel motorhome, Island Girl.  The two of us are taking three years off to travel the U.S. and Canada with our canine companion,  Angel. We hope to find the perfect community in which to establish our next home along the way.

21 thoughts on “The Walkabout

  1. Godspeed, Dear Friends! Can’t wait to live a life of travel vicariously. Hector, photo on; Brenda, scribe on! Stay safe; drink it all in!!! ~ Familia Solis

  2. So long for now new friends! So glad we got to meet you, we will be following your travels while anxiously awaiting our turn to begin ours! We left coupons on your picnic table in case you can use them! Mac bids farewell to Angel and we hope to meet up again one day.
    Safe travels, Chuck and Tracey Deutsch

  3. Brendita: Your site is so informative, easy-going, thorough and thoughtful. I feel like I know you people. Hectors photos are outstanding. Where can I buy the shell picture from Sanibel and some of the bird photos? Love – Your cousin – Mimi

  4. She is that! She’s a Puerto Rican Princess! Not unlike yourself!! 🙂 And you take care of your man as well! peace and love,
    Tim

  5. We are very excited for your journey and looking forward to seeing you in Southern CA. Many blessings and magical moments for both of you. Will be jumping in to relish your words and images of this journey! Abrazos, Gloria and Michael

  6. Hector and Brenda,
    So happy to follow your blog and know how happy you have been over the last year and a half. I enjoy getting the e-mail updates and I look forward so much to reading your stories each time!
    Grace Miller

    • Hi Grace! So glad you are following the blog. The only thing I’ve missed from work are the people. We truly are living the dream. I’ll send you an email … need to hear more about your post work adventures.
      H

  7. It is so easy to get lost in your walkabout and yet surface as a “found person”… with a new sense of adventure, awe and joy. Thank you for sharing this journey with us. Very much looking forward to being with all of you. Besos y abrazos!

    • Yes, yes, can’t wait to see you! So glad you’re enjoying the blog, we’re about to go to a “new” desert for the holidays, should be gorgeous!
      Un fuerte abrazo para todos!
      Brenda

  8. The post on last day in Denali brought
    tears to my eyes…. Thank you! Beautiful photos and well said. I am a photographer also,I understand your
    joy and passion for beauty!!!

  9. Hi you two! Finally, I’ve had a chance to reconnect!!! I’m not sure why I stopped receiving posts, but it’s good to be back on the walkabout with you! Hopefully, I’ll have a chance to read some of the new posts this weekend. Can hardly wait!

    Mom’s been in the hospital and is doing better now. Thank goodness. : )

    Sending big hugs to you both and Angel Girl…

    Love,
    Rebecca

    • Yay, glad you are back. I haven’t had a chance to check on the back end, are you still receiving notification via e-mail? If not, put your e-mail address on the follow box on the home page.

      Glad to hear your mom is better.

      Big hugs to you too!

  10. Hi Hector,
    Your cousin Rich Rodriguez (one of my bosses) informed me about your site. We also full time RV and I enjoyed going over your blog. Safe travels and a small big world out there to explore.

    • Hi Dennis. I just checked out your blog and saw that you were at Balloon Fiesta this year – so lucky! Hector and I were there last year and loved it, but you guys had even better weather this year. Good for you that you have set out on this journey at a younger age – enjoy!

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