Wacky Weather In New Mexico

We’ve been enjoying our stay south of Albuquerque, New Mexico. We’ve been cooking up delicious Mexican and New Mexican cuisine (easy on a budget here) and we even celebrated Ross’ birthday by playing his new video game (yes, I played with him!) and having an incredible dinner out by a little cantina with an owner who’s extremely versed in what it means to be gluten-free.Pack’s Restaurant, Willard, NM | Ross and Jamie Adventure

100% gluten free…and options for celiacs too!

They even gave Ross cake for his birthday! And the taco was literally the best I’ve ever had. (The shell was perfection.) In other words, life is good. But boy, the weather has been ridiculous! We’ve been through two winter storm warnings (that disrupted our plans) and one “special weather statement” in only a couple of weeks. Braving the wind we expected, and the cold, but not the snow!

New Mexico snow | Ross and Jamie Adventure
At least the views are gorgeous!

Nevertheless, we extended our stay here. Since we are trading for a campsite, it let’s us conserve our limited funds. And honestly, the people here are just fabulous. We spent about seven hours partying (with outstanding food) the day before Christmas Eve, and on New Year’s Eve we contributed to a potluck and played games for more than four hours before relaxing on our own. We’ve eaten and drank well throughout and have really enjoyed getting to know everyone here.

Turner Inn & RV Park, Mountainair, NM | Ross and Jamie Adventure
Workampers are some of the best people! Christine, Deanise and owner Ruth.

Nevertheless, it’s time to move on. The cold is wearing out our RV gear and the snow is getting to us mentally. Time to seek warmer climates and enjoy exploring new cities.

We will be staying in the Alamogordo area next, and we will be playing music while we are there. Where we book work will help dictate our future travels.

Thanks to all of the friends and family who made this holiday season special, wherever we were. Squeak, Ross and I resolve to eat more frozen custard and green chiles in the coming month.

Thanks for reading, and have a great week!

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Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com.

 

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Doctor’s Orders: You Need More Nature

I think we all know we’d like to get outside more. But have you read about the growing body of science supporting that?

I wrote an article on a recent study about this for Outdoorsy. Hope you enjoy it and get some outdoors time this winter!

p.s. I recently updated our Recommendations page. It’s a great resource, especially for RVers and campers or people curious about working remotely. Please take a look and share with others who might be interested! If you purchase with our link, we get cash back or an extended membership.

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Supporting Our Blog

We are so thankful for your support of our blog and our careers! You can help by doing any or all of the following:

  • Purchase one of Ross’ albums!
  • Become a patron of our work!
  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links. There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds can support our travels. Begin your Amazon search here.
  • Make other purchases using our affiliate links. Signing up with Dosh is a great way for everyone with a smartphone to support us, and we also have options for aspiring virtual assistants as well as occasional and full-time RVers to save money.
  • Listen to, subscribe and review our theater comedy podcast, Finishing The Season!
  • Subscribe to our blog, as well as perhaps InSearchOfAScoop.com, and recommend our work to your friends and family.
  • Take music or theater lessons (group or private) from us, either in person or via Skype at TinyVillageMusic.com.

 

Why RVers Should Join Harvest Hosts Now

Hi everyone! We’ve had a very busy week, hunkering down at our campground in New Mexico while working on a variety of projects toward our business goals.

In the midst of our work, we’ve been finding time to catch up on our Netflix queue (go watch Springsteen on Broadway! It’s amazing!) and to think about what business purchases we should make before year’s end.

This year we decided to invest in a membership with Harvest Hosts, which is something we’ve been considering for a long time. With a Harvest Hosts membership, you’re entitled to stay for free for a night at wineries and other awesome businesses across the country. They suggest you purchase something from the business as a thank you (it’s a great excuse for a wine tasting!), but you’re under no obligation, and there’s no limit to how many places you can stay over the course of the year. Some places even offer hookups or will allow you to stay a second night!

Ross and I love buying local wine and other local goods, and we can’t wait to take advantage of this. But the reason I thought it was important to purchase now, and the reason I’m telling you about it, is that the membership rate is currently only $49 for a year. I’ve been told that as of January 1st, the cost will almost double! On top of that, those who’ve already purchased at $49/year will be grandfathered in and able to renew at that rate indefinitely.

So, frankly, we thought it would be a bad decision not to purchase this now. It’s an investment, if nothing else!

Harvest Hosts is only for self-contained RVs, so if you don’t have your own bathroom or you’re tenting etc., you’re out of luck. But if this sounds like it’s for you, head here to save 10% on the cost of membership and throw a few coins in our coffer too!

Make sure you purchase today; after all, the deal expires on December 31st, and after that you’ll be looking at paying double the price from now on. At the current rate, you’ll earn your fee back in just a night or two of camping.

Whether you need Harvest Hosts or not, we hope you have an incredible New Year and a wonderful 2019!

Doctor’s Orders: You Need More Nature

Most of us know we should get more time outside. But did you know there is a growing body of science to back that instinct up?

I recently wrote an article for Outdoorsy giving an overview of why doctors say you need more nature.

I hope you enjoy it!

Ross and I have been taking it easy in New Mexico. I’ve been getting lots of work done, and we’ve both been resting up from a virus that has hit Ross especially hard.

One of my projects was updating our Recommendations page. This is where we recommend some of our favorite things, and if you purchase them through our link, we get either some cash in the bank or an extension on our membership. Please check it out and keep it in mind if you want to give yourself or someone else a gift this year.

We did manage to do a day trip to Albuquerque, which was a blast, and we were both really excited to check it out further in the future.

We’ve been hoping to check out another event in Santa Fe (with a backup plan in Albuquerque), but the weather forecast here is full of cold and snow, so it may not work out this year.

In any case, we’re enjoying lots of Mexican food and a comfortable stay while we get organized and get ready to head south for milder temperatures soon.

Stay safe and warm this week, and Happy New Year!

We’ve Arrived!

Back in our RV and life is good.

We are still adjusting to small-town life and life on a tight budget again, but we are back in our RV (which seems to be in great shape, minus a broken water filter that must have occurred in transit) and are so thankful.

Our cat, Squeak, is happy. We are happy. And pretty exhausted.

Ross and Jamie Adventure

But with daytime temps in the 50s and sunsets like this, who can complain?

Sunset, New Mexico | Ross and Jamie Adventure

More soon on where we’ve been and what our plans are. But until then, Merry Christmas, if you celebrate! Ross and Jamie Adventure

Overseen in a botanical garden in Oklahoma City

How Did We Make Money This Fall?

The most common question people have as we spend time with people this fall is an essential one: how did you make a living this fall?

I write this from Raleigh, NC. We’ve got some really generous family members hosting us during our East Coast adventures as we head south and then West to New Mexico.

We are currently in relaxation mode, taking a few weeks to continue our online work but mostly relax and recuperate from our extremely busy fall in New Hampshire.

So here are all of the ways we made money this fall, if you’re curious!

1. Ukulele Classes

The number one way we made money this fall was teaching group ukulele classes. Thanks to grant funding, Ross taught three groups of about 15 people an eight week series of classes for older adults. The classes taught them to play the instrument and gave them a social outlet, and many of the students are committed to continuing to play in a group or individually in the future.

In addition, Ross taught a couple of classes to last year’s Littleton group, who have continued to meet weekly, and he taught an additional series of classes for students 12 and older as well.Ukulele class, New Hampshire | Ross and Jamie Adventure

2. Music for Yoga

Ross played music for yoga classes while we were here. He improvises ambient music on keyboard and guitar, and it’s the perfect soundtrack for a yoga class. We look forward to doing more of these wherever we travel in the future.

3. Music for Libraries & Senior Centers

Ross and I perform a variety of originals and covers in different concerts for different audiences. This fall we performed Splish Splash, music from the 50s, 60s and 70s, at a library; and Ross performed his solo Christmas concert at a senior center. We have a variety of offerings and perform at concert venues, cafes, libraries, senior centers, schools and more.

4. Produce & Record Demo CD

Our friend wrote an original musical and hired us to produce and record a demo CD for it. We hired musicians and did a live recording during one mammoth day. It was an absolute blast! I cast it and played piano, Ross played guitar and he was the audio engineer.

5. Direct & Accompany Musical

For the same musical, I was hired to direct a staged reading! I also played piano for it and Ross played guitar. It was a big success and I’m extremely proud of this, as I was the demo CD. It was a wonderful chance to get some of our favorite people together for a project, as was the demo.

6. Music For Church

I’ve spent about ten years of my life accompanying church services, and I’ve also got a concert that I perform at churches with Ross. I love accompanying services on piano and organ and enjoy working with church choirs too. I played the organ for a recent church service.

7. Online Music Lessons

One of our main sources of income while traveling is teaching music lessons. We teach voice, piano, ukulele, guitar as well as music theory and technology, songwriting, conducting and even drums.

8. Virtual Assistant Work

I work as a virtual assistant for a variety of clients. I work with entrepreneurs and small businesses and nonprofits, helping with marketing and social media, grantwriting, writing and editing, research, data entry, customer service…any kind of office assistance that can be done remotely.

9. Blogging

The final way we made money this fall is that I wrote blogs for one of my clients. I blog about travel, food, ice cream and RVing.

Hopefully you found that interesting! This lifestyle is challenging but extremely rewarding, and this fall we were blessed to truly be doing what we loved and making a living at it.

Thanks for reading!

Gluten-Free Goodies in Maine

A few weekends ago, Ross and I had the pleasure of joining my mom and taking an adventure to Maine in search of seafood and ice cream.

The number one goal of our trip was to get a gluten-free lobster roll, with just butter rather than mayo. My second priority was to enjoy some gluten-free fried seafood as well if possible.Gluten-Free Goodies in Maine | Ross and Jamie Adventure

We began the trip heading to Mack’s Place in Bridgton, Maine, about two hours north and an hour or so west of Portland. Their gluten-free options are truly extensive, and everything from their lobster roll to their whole belly clams and fries was extremely delicious. Their staff was attentive and informative and everything was affordable too!Gluten-Free Goodies in Maine | Ross and Jamie AdventureGluten-Free Goodies in Maine | Ross and Jamie Adventure

After a wonderful meal, we continued the beautiful and scenic ride to Portland, where we walked by the ocean, shopped a bit, got ice cream at Mt. Desert Island and topped it all off with a visit to Seadog Brewery for a drink or (in my case) a delicious gluten-free flourless chocolate dessert.Gluten-Free Goodies in Maine | Ross and Jamie AdventureGluten-Free Goodies in Maine | Ross and Jamie Adventure

We so enjoyed spending time with my mom and exploring New Hampshire and Maine together. We had some delicious food and drink, but the company really made it.

Seafood in Maine: Check!

Two Years Passed: Ever Thankful

Common Man family photo, Concord, NH I Ross and Jamie Adventure

Well, our two year mark came and went this October, and we were so pleasantly busy with work and fun in New Hampshire that we didn’t take the time to call it out. But in the aftermath of Thanksgiving and with our stay here ending, it seems appropriate to take a few minutes to talk about what we’ve accomplished and where we are at now.

When we hit the road, this blog was something I updated inconsistently, with sometimes daily and sometimes monthly posts. Now I have a weekly post that I’m quite disciplined about sticking to, and though the format varies, I think we’ve honed in on what it covers with more certainty now. I’ve also kept the same level of discipline with my ice cream blog.

Botanical Garden, Denver, CO I Ross and Jamie Adventure
The Botanical Garden in Denver is one of the most beautiful we’ve seen in our travels.

When we hit the road in the fall of 2016, we were mostly living off of savings. We had a rough plan to book enough work to live on, but weren’t actually sure how to make that happen. Now we’re currently able to earn about a quarter to a half of what we need for income online, depending on the month. So while we’re still depending on outside income sources (like campgrounds and arts organizations), we have a growing base of remote work and some clear goals and benchmarks for how we can make our remote work more sustainable and sustaining. (One wonderful way you can support our work is through supporting our businesses, whether you need a podcast editor, want to commission a song or a jingle, take online music lessons from us or hire us for social media/marketing/writing/editing and other virtual assistant work.)

When we hit the road, we had no clue about booking. We may still be learning (constantly), but we’ve had gigs from senior centers to libraries to coffee houses to bars to churches to yoga classes, and we’ve taught lessons as well as performed in communities from Tucson to Orlando, from Boulder to Maine.

We’ve made several good friends that we remain in contact with, and we’ve been able to maintain and strengthen existing relationships through meetups with friends and family who have moved or traveled while we’ve been on the road.

RV Site in Fort Collins, CO | Ross and Jamie Adventure
One of the nicer monthly sites we’ve enjoyed.

We’ve taught an introduction to ukulele class for older adults, an eight class series, that has now been tested successfully with four different groups of adults. We’ll soon have a great promotional video that we can use to promote those classes too. We’ve also proven that Ross has a wonderful ambient music set for yoga classes and that Ross and I make a great music performing team. We’ve experimented with composing together as well.

We’ve sampled some of our country’s best gluten-free eats (hello, Colorado!) and have had outstanding ice cream in cities and towns across the country. We spent almost six months of our lives at Disney World, spent many days at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and fell in love with both Silver City, New Mexico and Fort Collins, Colorado.

Silver City, New Mexico I Ross and Jamie Adventure
Playing gigs as we travel is as good as it gets. Especially when they throw in amazing food and drinks!

As we say goodbye to New Hampshire, we are incredibly thankful of all of the family and friends who’ve gone out of their way to see us (and spoil us!) during our time here. Thank you to everyone who purchased a meal for us, collaborated with us, hosted us and everything else in between. And to those we weren’t able to see this time around, we look forward to visiting with you when we return – or when you meet us out on the road!

Disney World, Orlando, FL I Ross and Jamie Adventure
One of the many events we loved attending at Disney World with our annual pass.

We do have to admit that we’re happy to say goodbye to the snow, the ice and especially to the frustration that comes from plans that are disrupted due to weather. We’re looking forward to a warmer winter, with lots of sun and daytime highs in the 50s and 60s, and while we’ll miss our family and friends, the quiet and relative isolation of the communities we’ll be returning to in New Mexico will give us the perfect opportunity to hunker down and build our businesses.

As we head into year three, it is with a renewed intention to build successful remote careers on our own terms. Thank you for coming along for the ride!

p.s. I may spend a future post exploring some of the fun we had here in New Hampshire it. There’s been far too much of it to cover in one post!