with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

Other Questions About Our Life on the Road

We get a lot of different questions about our life on the road and we’ve posted them here. If you have any other questions you would like to ask us about our life on the road, please post them below in our comment section. We look forward to helping you understand what life on the road is like for us.

Where is home?

Well, Brent says he has the perfect answer to this. "Home is where Lorelle is," he always says with a smile. That was one of his first ways of telling me he loved me, without the dangerous three words. For me, home will always be where Brent is. With homes like that, who needs a house?
We get this question all the time. Where are you from? Where is home? Well, the answers are the following:

Brent is from Oklahoma.
Lorelle is from Washington State.
The truck and trailer are from Washington State.
We began this trip in Washington.
The trailer is our house – wherever it is at the moment.
Tulsa, Oklahoma, is our mailing address.
And we’re currently living in Israel.
Therefore… according to Brent
home is where Lorelle is.

Why are you doing this?

graphic of feet walking up and downWhat a great question. And we wish we had a clear answer. Saying "because it’s there" just doesn’t cut it, but that is part of the answer. I guess we are doing this because WE CAN.

Brent and I decided, long before we met, that we would not have boring lives. We both love travel and enjoy photography and writing, so it was only appropriate that these natural abilities would lead us in this direction. I’ve traveled extensively all over North America and Europe, while Brent has explored more within the USA, but the passion to explore the world led us both into jobs and lifestyles where we could take advantage of the travel opportunities. After finding each other, even before we got married we started planning to take off from our jobs and lives in Seattle. We started small, sticking to North America, knowing we would go further, never anticipating we would end up in Israel.

We both believe in the power of the mind to create reality with our thoughts and words. We thought about this, talked about this, and it happened. Sure, it took a lot of energy, and a lot of time, but a concentrated effort created the forward movement. Looking back it was really easy. We made the decision and the rest happened.

I tell people that the real truth is that we thought it better to do this when we were young and dumb than to wait until we were older, weaker, and wiser. Sitting at a desk all day long earning a paycheck can happen at any age, so why not spend slower years doing that and the younger years exploring and "living" life. After all, the only things we will take with us when we go are our memories, so we’re making plenty.

Are you writing about your adventures?

graphic of a bookYes, we are writing two books about our adventures. More may come out of all of this, but right now we are starting with two. One is about the technical aspect of our travels called "Taking Your Camera on the Road". The other one is a collection of our journals which are sent out irregularly to several hundred people and some are posted on this web site. They are about the experiences and learned lessons of living on the road, and the book is called "Home Is Where Lorelle Is."

Does marriage and travel mix?

graphic of a married coupleThis is one of our favorite questions, and yet the most difficult to answer. When we ask people who’ve been married for 20, 30, 50, 60 years, they tell us that it takes hard work and a commitment to make it work. For Brent and me, while there are more than plenty of hard times, we find the whole process of togetherness easy and wonderful. Everyday is filled with learning something new or finding something exciting and wonderful in the other person. We are so thankful to have each other, sharing every moment, the good and the bad…we just revel in being alive and together. We’ve learned the hard way that life is short and you have to treasure every moment because together they all add up to a life lived.

We really believe two things make a big difference in a relationship. First, really listen to each other. Don’t just hear the words but listen, and if you don’t understand or feel yourself assuming, ASK. Second, touch each other. We hug all the time and love just touching each other. Holding hands, little touches as we pass each other in the room, little touches that remind each of us that the other is there. Everything else is a detail. If you listen and really WANT to understand, and reassure each other with little touches, anything and everything can be healed. We talk more about how to get along on the road in our article "Full-Time 24-7".

The wisest advice on marriage came from Brent’s Grandmother Matthews. She told us to never go to bed mad, hug at least 10 times a day, and when things are stressful, nothing cures it better than a good back scratching. She was onto something!

How do you handle loss?

graphic of clockThis may seem like a strange question, but it is a very good one. Traveling in strange places away from family and friends and our support network, handing loss can be really difficult. Let’s break this down to how we get the news, and then how we deal with it.

Away from family, bad news comes via telephone and email. When we are on the road away from telephones, the news comes through email, often with instructions to call home. This means we get the news within a few hours of the event, or maybe weeks afterwards. This effects how we respond to the news. The feelings stay the same, but if we can do something about it, we do, and taking action always makes us feel better than not. Either way, we are still left with handling our feelings.

We highly recommend a wonderful book called "How to Survive the Loss of a Love" by Peter McWilliams and Jon-Roger. Every day we face different kinds of loss, and learning to deal with the little ones makes handling the bigger ones – well, not easier, but in a "healthier" way.

The most important thing we learned from the book and within our own experiences is to honor the moment and the feelings around them. When we hurt, we feel it intensely – and appropriately. We certainly won’t drive down the highway pulling our trailer if we are in a bad state, but we will take time out during the day to be safe on our own and just let the feelings of loss come over USA, dealing with the emotions and not stuffing them down. Feelings are good things. They change and influence us. We call them the "fertilizer in our garden." When we respect and honor the feelings, we add a richer mixture to our life, a fuller experience, if you will. We take time to pay attention to each other, realizing that each loss of a friend or family member is just another reminder that our time here on earth is precious and should not be treated lightly. We use it to bond, not to destroy. So we turn each loss into recognition and strengthening of our love and dedication to each other, and it just enriches our friendship and relationship.

Another part to this question is how we support those at home dealing with the loss so close to them. Far way, we can put it on the back burner because we aren’t so "close" to the sorrow. Part of our responsibility to those we’ve "left behind" is to maintain our support network and be a part of theirs. We send cards, gifts, flowers, and little pieces of our adventures out to them to let them know they are thought of and cared about. It doesn’t take that much to remind people they are loved. Remind someone today!

What do you miss most of all?

(L-R) Lorelle's mother, Ramona, and Brent's parents, Kent and Lynda VanFossen with BrentAnother good question. Unfortunately our answer keeps changing. While traveling in North America, we missed the things we took for granted when we lived in one place and knew where everything was. There are just some days when knowing where the next gas station or grocery store is means more to us than the adventure we are on. There is a security that comes with familiarity of a location. Living on the road full-time, you lose that security.

Living abroad we miss things, but differently. In most parts of North America, if you need something, in most areas there is a WalMart or K-Mart nearby which carries just about everything you take for granted and might need. Outside of the States, there are no such "have-it-all" stores and you are left hunting for days and weeks, sometimes months, to find the little things you need. For instance, Brent wanted to make a pie and needed Crisco. Well, that’s just a quick trip to the nearby grocery store, but here in Israel – CAN’T FIND IT! A few months later I finally ordered some and had it shipped. So we miss the things we take for granted as being really easy to find and are surprised when things like the herb, sage, is hard to find.

More than anything, we always miss our friends and family. We really thought that while traveling and living in unusual places like we have, more people would take advantage of us and come for a visit. So far, our visitors have been very few and very rare. People either feel like they are imposing, or they are overwhelmed with the thought of trying out our lifestyle for a while. We hope they will change their minds and come visit us.

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