Bill & Kayla of The Wandering RV put together a pretty phenomenal resource for must-have RV accessories as told by full-time RVers. Not only is the guide completely thorough, but it covers all bases, from WiFi to RV kitchen gadgets, and of course those RV essentials.
We were asked to add some of our essential items and one of the top on out list was our Chemex. This isn't an exaggeration either, we genuinely use our Chemex every single day. Many mornings wouldn't be completely without freshly grinding and freshly roasting our coffee. It's a glorious thing.
For those of you who are starting out RVing, check out this thorough guide from The Wandering RV and find your own inspiration. Or even those who have been on the road for a while now can cross-reference their own must-have items. For us, full-time RVing means continuously learning, especially in areas we aren't familiar with or from other people who are kind enough to share their experiences and knowledge.. For example, we're still trying to sort out our RV internet as we hit the road again, and the above-mentioned guide provides some pretty stellar insight.
To read the article in entirety, click: 30+ Must-Have RV Accessories By The Wandering RV
Thank you to Bill & Kayla for providing such a great resource, and also letting us add our two cents. :)
Attention all RV lovers! There is a new travel magazine that hit the streets this past month, and guess who has an article inside? THE ROAMANS!!!
(applause, fan fare, screaming, bras being thrown on stage)
The travel mag is called Rova Magazine, and it rules. We are not just saying that because we are in it and because the editor Gemma Peckham rules, but we really genuinely love this magazine. It not only provides unique, more modern knowledge and information about being nomads in today's culture, but it also showcases an incredible pictorial, too. Truly, there isn't another magazine like this out there. It doesn't even necessarily cater to only RV travelers, or full-time nomads. But instead, it highlights epic road trips and fosters a sense of wanderlust and creativity for all those who seek to find it.
The concept behind the magazine is as such :
Rova is a magazine about traveling the roads of North America: the insightful stories, the spectacular images, and the best of what this magnificent continent has to offer.
And in case you are wondering what the name stands for, then here ya go:
Not only is the magazine a great resource for those who are traveling full-time, part-time, or just in their imagination, but the online presence too, is strong. You can find interviews with travelers, nuggets of important information about life on the road, and updates on innovations for the nomadic lifestyle. Take a look at the website in entirety here: http://rovamag.com.
The article we contributed to the premiere issue involves making friends on the road and forging friendships without living too long in one place. (Hint: It is totally possible). This was such a great opportunity for us to share what we have learned by living on the road, and hopefully inspiring more people to seek out other options for living if they aren't satisfied with the societal "norm".
If you think this magazine is right up your alley, then you should absolutely subscribe. You can find more information about subscribing here: http://rovamag.com/subscription/.
Who knows, you may just find another article from your favorite small-RV-traveling-gals in there.
For those of you who don't know, or haven't perused our online lifestyle pictorial yet, The Roamans are on Instagram! We update photos and stories almost daily, which is a nice in between if you're jonesing for a fix in between blog posts. Our handle is @the_roamans, or you can find us here:
Truthfully, we love Instagram. We don't really spend as much time on Facebook, nor do we have a Twitter or Snapchat. What's most enjoyable about Instagram for us, is the fact that we can update photos in real time, and share exactly what we're seeing, exploring, adventuring through with our followers. Again, that's part of the reason why we chose to be an online presence when we started, was because we wanted to inspire. We want to be transparent on social media, so that people can see how we're living and what we're doing. Instagram is the perfect medium for that.
Another reason we love Instagram, is because we're able to follow along with a lot of other full-time travelers. We've met some pretty incredible people on the road, especially through Instagram. The travel community is such a great one, and it's amazing to give and receive the kind of support that makes so many of us continue on.
So, if you're on Instagram, say hello! We'd love to hear from you. You can follow our journey and share with us your own stories and inspiration.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there is nothing real about reality TV. Despite our best efforts to believe what we're being shown, the truth of the matter is, all reality TV is being manipulated in one form or another. Vanessa and I became blatantly aware of that when we were asked to film an episode of Big Time RV for the Travel Channel.
It started with a harmless entry to our website about speaking with a producer for the show. Basically, they loved what we stood for, loved our energy and website, wanted to help promote our message of inspiring younger generations to travel, and wanted us to be a part of the show. After a few emails, we decided to take a phone call with the producer to get more information. I remember vividly, sitting on the side of the road in Arizona, afraid that the phone connection would cut off and leave us without service like many times before. During the call, the producer asked us if we were looking for a new RV. We told them no, we weren't. We spent the better part of a year creating our home within Maude, and that maybe down the road we would shop around, but we loved our small home on wheels and would not part with her anytime soon. The producer said, "not to worry, we can make it clear that you are shopping for a potential future purchase." Good, that was squared away.
After a Skype screen test, a few more emails and texts, Vanessa and I were set to film in Tuscon, Arizona at the end of March. They set us up in a KOA for a few days so that we could film at the adjacent lot next door, at Lazy Days. The KOA was beautiful—a clean, refreshing pool, fruit growing in abundance on trees. I swear, we walked away with what felt like hundreds of pieces of sweet smelling citrus.
The filming went smoothly. We had a gentleman escort us to and from the lot. The team was pleasant to work with. Everything felt right.
Except that it wasn't. It wasn't until after we signed "contracts" that things became more contrived. They had chosen two RVs for us to "tour'' on the show, that were nothing like we told them we would want. We told them we wanted to stay under 26-feet, and they had chosen two gargantuan rigs, that we would never have wanted. However, when we were touring the rigs, we were genuine in providing our opinions. Dark wood is a no-go. Big refrigerator is helpful. Counter space is a MUST. But we were wondering, why didn't we get any Airstreams to tour? Why didn't we get any small RVs to fit our minimal lifestyle? Vanessa and I concluded quickly, these were the RVs on the lot that Lazy Days wanted, or needed, to sell and we were just walking advertisements.
Unfortunately, things only got worse. We ended up feeling manipulated and cheated, stressing to the producers that we didn't want to be told what to say, but wanted to be the most authentic, genuine representations of ourselves. This all came to a head when the director told us "Okay, this is the shot where you choose which RV you're going to purchase. So, pick whichever you liked best."
Vanessa and I stared at each other blankly. Purchase? Wait a second, that wasn't the deal. I piped up.
"When we spoke to (producer), he told us we didn't have to fake purchase anything. He told us we could say something along the lines of 'well, in the future when we're ready to buy, we would probably choose something more like ____'.
The director maintained his composure, but didn't back down. "I'll be honest with you guys, no matter what you decide to say, the Travel Channel will edit it however they see fit. So, they'll make it look like a purchase anyway."
It was at this point, we ultimately felt duped. They tricked us. They got us to sign the contracts and then did whatever they wanted to do, sacrificing our integrity and wants along the way. Mind you, this was already after they filmed enough to create a show anyway, even if we walked off set right then and there.
So, we did it. We pretended to buy an RV. Afraid to be in breach of contract, we shook hands on a new RV, when we were never even able to drive it around the parking lot.
Vanessa and I even called the original producer in New York to express our concern with the "ending" and he ASSURED us he would never misrepresent us, nor would he create a false ending. He said he would personally make sure the ending reflected the truth, and that we really were just touring rigs for potential future consideration.
Well, guess what....again, we were duped. This is why we wanted to write this today. To clear the air, but also to let some of you know that it wasn't our intention to be a false representation of the travel community. Oh, and mind you, the Travel Channel miraculously came up with a BUDGET for us (never were we asked what our budget would be) of $100,000. Let me tell you, if Vanessa and I had $100,000 floating around to spend on a brand new rig, we wouldn't be working so hard to make ends meet on the road.
The truth is, there is nothing real about reality TV. What we thought would be a fun experience, a chance to put our message out there and continue to inspire, turned out to be nothing short of a disaster. So, to all of those people who have reached out to us and said "Congratulations on your new Thor ACE!" we are truly sorry. We love Maude because she completely feels like home. We started this journey over a year ago now, and have no plans to replace her anytime soon. We hope that you continue to follow our adventures, because it's something we're proud of, and we promise you that each and every post on our blog, each and every Instagram photo, is as genuine and truthful as possible, even the nitty-gritty breakdown of our RV expenses. This lifestyle is not something we take for granted, nor something that we feel should be exploited. We're proud of everything we've accomplished on the road and hope we can only continue to inspire from this point forward.
I have to say, we're very pleased that we decided to add the Contact Us Button on our website. Since inception, we've received an influx of messages from fellow travelers or hopeful travelers, providing advice about where we should travel or the best places to visit in the country. Let me just say for the record... WE LOVE HEARING FROM YOU. With the exception of the one gentleman who sent a flurry of emails around 2 in the morning criticizing a few of our vegan posts, which did include cheese options, to which I had to politely remind him that only Vanessa is vegan, and I'm a vegetarian. Cheese options are still very much in my agenda, and if he had bothered to read our About Us, or our previous blogs, he would know that. That shut him up real quick, only after he criticized eating plant protein meat replacements. It's nice to know that he cared about our diets.... hahahaha, annyyywayssss.
We really do love hearing from everyone. Especially with your suggestions on where to travel, and advice for the road. That's why we decided to make an official call to action. This upcoming year is going to be another big one for The Roamans. Now that we have almost a year under our belt, we've started to get the hang of this full-time RV travel thing. That's why our itinerary is pretty much open this next year. As we mentioned already, we're staying in the Midwest this summer for a few reasons:
1) It gets really crowded on the road during the summer, and campgrounds are packed. Gas prices are inflated and National Parks are overflowing with people.
2) We wanted to spend some time catching up with family and friends.
3) Maude needs some mods.
4) We wanted to recharge our batteries.
So once Autumn rolls around, we'll be back on the road. Which is why, we want to hear from you. One of the most frequent questions we're asked is "Where to Next?" And while sometimes we know exactly what the next destination is, oftentimes we don't. This upcoming year is a blank canvas for us. We've been tossing around the ideas of Tennessee and Asheville, NC for a month or so, but nothing has been set in stone yet. We also received a lovely email from a fellow in Canada who has completely sold us on his town—we just need to get our passports in order.
So, if you have some suggestions, throw them our way. We like nature, the off-beat, and unique. Hidden gems are a plus. Plus, we really do love when locals can give us their insider tips.
We look forward to hearing from you all!
FOLLOW OUR ADVENTURE
Marisa & Vanessa have a whole "About Us" blurb that they are dying for you to check out.