Making The Lives We Want: Our Scorecard

Though we casually refer to our travel blog as “Ross and Jamie Adventure”, the actual name is Making The Lives We Want: A Practice In Living. I named the blog long before we hit the road, secretly writing away and documenting my thoughts as we navigated this crazy dream – becoming full-time RVers, traveling the country, giving Ross the chance to be a touring musician and ultimately finding a new place to settle down.

“Ross and Jamie Adventure” goes back to when Ross and I married in June of 2014 (almost six years married, and we’ve passed ten years together now). We coined the phrase then, creating an email with the moniker for handling our wedding details. It felt right. Even when our disposable income was almost non-existent, we always loved going on adventures, from our first New Year’s Eve together (also our anniversary) spent at Santa’s Village, to drives around northern New England for ice cream, museums or just whatever we’d see, to our short but magical comedy & music cruise out of Miami, to our epic two weeks of mostly camping and living it up in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Even though we’d never dreamed of anything like this when we got married, should it really shock anyone that we decided to embrace adventure fully with a life on the road in late 2016?

Obviously our adventures are looking very different right now. So instead of discussing traveling, I’m revisiting our name to ask the question, are we making the lives we want?

Here’s how things have evolved since I started this blog.

  • We bought an RV; and then when that one turned out to be a clunker, we bought another RV (this time with financing!)
  • We sold most of our furniture, got a storage unit and pulled a lot of favors with family and friends (thank you!!)
  • We traveled the U.S., especially down the East Coast, across the southern part of the United States, spent some time in the Pacific Northwest and cut a northern route back to NH (in several combinations).
  • One or both of us has performed in many communities across eleven states, from bars to libraries, restaurants to yoga studios and clubs to churches.
  • We went from mostly workcamping (at campgrounds in NH, TX, NC, CO and NM) when we weren’t performing to building a thriving virtual assistant business to supplement our not-insignificant teaching and performing income.
  • We’ve eaten premium and super premium ice cream across the U.S. in at least 19 states.
  • We’ve made new friends, spent time with family and old friends, fallen in love with several communities and continued to expand our time table from at least one year to coming up on four years this fall.
  • We’ve participated in yoga classes (Ross as a musician, Jamie as a student) in at least a half dozen communities.
  • We’ve created new goals for the future, no longer content to return to the status quo but instead working to remain location-independent indefinitely.

Of course, it’s that last piece that makes us particularly well-suited to endure what’s going on right now. Working remotely combined with relatively diverse streams of income has meant that instead of panicking when our gigs were canceled, we knew we had a lot of other income streams that, thus far, are doing okay. So we live in gratitude for the blessings we have, for all of the privileges that have made this possible and for all of the people who have supported us along the way when our RV needed work or we needed someone to watch our cat or store our keyboard.

We really are making the lives we want. It keeps evolving, and we keep redefining what that means. We aren’t rich, but we’ve lived lives that so many people have only dreamed about. We are rich in experiences, and whatever comes next, we’ll remain eternally grateful for what we’ve had.

Wishing you health, safety and comfort, friends. Take care.

______________________________

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. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! 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.

Passing Time

Time passes quickly and slowly right now. We haven’t been in a store since March 16th. Our days are spent in the RV or at the campground, doing the same things we used to do there – working, relaxing, creating – but there’s no escaping to Disney World or Orlando and the like to break things up. 
In some ways, that should make it easier to focus on our goals. But with the world falling apart around us, focus is a much, much tougher thing to attain than it used to be. 
We interviewed a new potential client yesterday. Video editing and some virtual assistant work – we love the type of work and when the right clients connect with us, it’s an absolute joy! Being able to be picky about what we want to do is a blessing in itself, of course. We remember our blessings and our privilege every single day. 
Life is simpler than it used to be, in some ways. We spend more on food than we used to, and we actually budget for alcohol, so we’ve got weekly produce from Misfits Market, twice monthly food and supply deliveries from Aldi and Amazon (yeah, trying to limit that) and though we’ve only done takeout/delivery once so far, I’m sure it’s a matter of time before we do it again. I also budget for yoga classes, affordable ones but nevertheless an indulgence and an appreciated gift. 
And then, of course, there’s the logistics. Produce delivery means I spend about two hours getting the box in the RV without getting the germs transferred to the RV, and all produce gets washed before it gets put away. Shelf-stable deliveries get quarantined in the car for a few days since we are running low on Clorox wipes and can’t seem to refill them. And as the temperature increases, getting outside for walks requires a system all its own, especially with the addition of a mask. 
Yes, the mask. So far, behavior around us isn’t changing in regards to mask-wearing. We are still one of a handful of people wearing a mask around the park. This last week Florida “opened up” again, at least somewhat, with all but the three hardest-hit counties allowing retail and restaurants to operate at lower capacity, assuming their city or county didn’t restrict things further. 
We know, of course, that that’s a dangerous thing. So we strengthen our resolve to control what we can control and try not to panic when we have to be in shared spaces and around other people. 
Ross said to me last night that the thing he really misses is our ice cream dates. And I agree! Going on an adventure and stopping for a cup (or two!) of ice cream is one of our favorite things to do. Being unable to do that, at least in a manner we feel comfortable with, is definitely a bummer. We are so looking forward to that changing.
Our July gig has been canceled, so we officially have no more reason to be in Florida. And yet with the uncertainty of next week and next month, is there really a reason to go to another state right now? We are residents here. We were hoping to go back to New England in July, but NH campgrounds are closed to non-residents this summer (which we applaud!), and our work seems really unlikely to go on as planned (library performances? Teaching older adults?) so we weigh pros and cons, feeling like sticking with a situation that’s working well could be the best course of action. 
And then there’s the news of Disney Springs, Disney’s shopping complex, opening May 20. We certainly don’t feel comfortable going back yet. But the whole reason we are here is for Disney World. So how long will it takes for us to get comfortable with the idea? A month or two? A year? 
Right now, we feel safest staying put. That may change in the coming weeks or months. 
Meanwhile, we pray for our family and friends and for those less fortunate than us. So many are struggling right now, in so many ways, and of course our essential workers aren’t being given the protection they need to do their jobs, or in many cases, adequate compensation. We continue working to build our businesses knowing that the more we earn, the more we can give back and support others. Thank you to our front line workers in all industries. Truly.
I hope you’re well and taking care during this time. Virtual hugs your way. Thanks for reading! How are things where you are? 

______________________________

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. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! 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.

Feeling frustrated working from home? Good news – our course is live!

Hello, and big virtual hugs from Ross and Jamie! We are well, and we hope you are too. We’ve been hard at work on our ukulele course while spreading the word about our collaborative course bundle covering ALL types of topics for those working from home.

Did you happen to catch the FB Live we did on Saturday? If not, no worries – I know we’re all being pulled in a million directions right now….which is why we’re even more excited “The Essential Work From Home” Expert Collaboration project has gone live to the public!

If you missed our interview with Kelly Abanda, you can still catch it here. We talked all things RVing, plus some tips for navigating relationships while working from home and some of our best travel tips too. Thanks for the opportunity, Kelly!

As one of our faithful blog subscribers, I want to make sure you have access to the full platform with the best possible rate, which we just made available.

WFH FB Post NowOnSale

Here’s the scoop!

  • The full bundle of “Essential Work From Home Survival Kit” includes not only our course on “Navigating Relationships When You’re Both Working From Home”, but 25+ other courses from experts across 10+ fields, all who work at home already!
  • The platform and content are evergreen – it’ll be live indefinitely, and it will continue to have more courses added in the future. But if you use our code below, you never pay more than the one time purchase, and you still get access to ALL NEW COURSES. FOREVER. We’re anticipating another 10 or so course in the next month!
  • There are already over 25 courses, which if you were to buy these courses independently, it would cost well over $2,000.
  • The bundle is available to the general public for $499, but my link gets you the FULL BUNDLE for only $99!
  • Here’s the link to check out the full platform.
  • We’re throwing in an extra bonus—if you order the bundle in the next 48 hours and send me a copy of your confirmation email, I’ll send you a coupon for a free 30 minute music lesson with Ross or I! (The offer is good until 4/19 midnight EST!)

Please let us know if you have any questions! We’ve been working really hard on this to ensure the content is top tier, and I know the rest of the experts have as well.

I can’t wait to hear how these courses help you gain confidence, tools, and a sense of control and calm while you work, live and begin to thrive from home.

Thanks for reading, let us know what you think of the course, and stay well! Take care, friends.

______________________________

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. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! 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.

Partner struggles with both of you at home? We can help!

It’s time for some positive and productive good news, am I right?! Ross and I have been working on something big, with a group of experts on a lot of topics, and we can’t wait to tell you about it!

With the continually evolving news and social media noise, it’s easy to get overwhelmed right now. Even more unnerving is the fact that we can’t predict when this will end or the full impact it will have on any, and all, of us.

The switch to working from home, full-time, is one of the huge shifts for many in this season. We’ve been working from home since we hit the road in October of 2016, so we know how challenging it can be; setting up an office in your home, navigating the new “normal”, avoiding feeling isolated – it can be debilitating. Which is why I was so excited when I was contacted to be a part of a huge panel of experts from across the country to bring video resources (and other downloads) to a national platform.

The “Essential Work From Home” project has developed in the last few weeks to specifically get all the expert tactics, strategies, supplies and contacts into the hands of those who need it most now, and Ross and I are thrilled to be a part of it.

The panel consists of dozens of experts in their field from across the nation, who created practical and timely resources that will help you—and your friends, family, colleagues, and networks—adjust to all the complications we face while working from home in this season.

One of the courses I’m most excited about is “Money Talk: How to Adjust During Crisis”. There are also fun courses covering nutrition & organizing your meals like a chef (aka super efficiently) while working from home, and they’re great…and I can’t wait to check out the rest! There will be over 30 courses by the time we complete the project…they are relevant with actionable information you can put into effect immediately to reduce the churn, confusing and overwhelm. It’s like having a team of experts right by your side!

We are still finalizing all the technical details, so the # of courses will continue to grow in size. HOWEVER, as we prepare everything, we’ve been asked to do a FB Live where we’ll share some of our expertise and we would LOVE to see you there!

What expertise, you may be wondering, are we offering? Well, our specific course is called Navigating Relationships When You’re Both Working From Home. As you might imagine, it’s both helpful and hilarious (because, hello, it’s us!) and we are super proud to be able to help people with such great content during this time.

Screenshot 2020-04-09 at 7.46.02 PM

Want to join us for a Facebook Live? We’ll be going live from Ross and Jamie Adventure’s Facebook page (as well as Jamie’s personal page) this Saturday at 5 p.m. EST. (Also,  people on the live will get a special link with early access to purchase the bundle of over 30 courses at a super introductory rate, so don’t miss this chance!)

Whether you want to purchase or not, it’s going to be a very fun interview where we talk about what we do and how we do it, so please join us if you can.

Let me know if you have any questions and if you can make it to the FB Live session so I can keep my eyes peeled for you!

Be well, take care, and hope to see you Saturday!

P.S. We’ve also added a few new affiliate links below – for Built Bar and for Misfits Market if you’re looking for amazing protein bars that taste like candy or for cheap organic produce, delivered to your house! 

______________________________

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. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! 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.

Thankful and Fearful for Stay-at-Home

So the order to stay at home has finally come down from the governor of Florida. Since we’ve committed ourselves to staying here for the long haul, and since we’re Florida residents, staying put at this campground in central Florida remains our best option.

When the order came down on Wednesday, my feelings of thankfulness quickly made way for fear. Had I done enough to stock up on supplies? What if deliveries didn’t go as planned? What if my clients don’t need me to work for them anymore? What if we can’t get the aid we need? What if, what if, what if…

There are so many unknowns right now. I can’t do anything about that. All I can do is put one foot in front of the other, and hug my immediate family (my husband and my cat), and enjoy the meal in front of me or the beautiful sunny sky.

So each day, I will try to soak in a little bit more of the things that I love that I can control or enjoy right now. I’m having tea with family this weekend. I make phone calls, I write emails, I send texts. I relish “virtual happy hours” with co-workers and remote yoga classes and days without needing a/c and nights full of sleep. I write letters to representatives and know when to turn off the news stream. I discover new TV shows with my husband, appreciate his cooking evermore and work my way through my client checklists to keep my clients as happy as possible.

I know I can’t control it all forever. I know my family can’t either. But we can take care of ourselves as best we can. We can do the work to clean and isolate and exercise and give ourselves room to grieve and cry and also laugh and breathe. And we can know that whatever tomorrow brings, however long this journey is, we will have done all we could to live our lives in joy and thankfulness in the midst of adversity.

Sending so much love to all of you. Thank you to everyone who is making it possible for me, and others like me, to stay home. And thank you, for doing your part each and every day as we work to kick this virus to the curb.

Stay safe, friends.

______________________________

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. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! 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.

The Practice of Finding Joy Daily

We’re on Day 10 of our self-imposed quarantine, and we are healthy and I think handling things about as well as can be expected right now. Since last week’s blog, we’ve been getting a lot done:

  • We signed up for, recorded, edited and submitted a lecture & questionnaire as part of a new course on working from home.
  • We sent out an email to our ukulele list with a video lesson and all the materials needed to learn to play the song “Wagon Wheel”.
  • We created and completed about 2/3 of an “In Case of Emergency” doc that had been on our to-do list for several years, in the event that one of us becomes incapacitated and the other person has to step in for them.
  • We had lots of phone and video calls with friends and family.
  • We had a virtual Happy Hour with some of Jamie’s co-workers.
  • Ross played a lot of Animal Crossing.
  • Jamie took four yoga/meditation classes with great instructors.
  • Ross edited several podcasts & Jamie completed a week’s worth of virtual assistance for her clients.
  • We researched online food ordering options, put in our first orders & made decisions about how we’ll be proceeding in the near future.
  • We had a game night and played Sabacc (from Star Wars).

So despite lots of mind wandering and wondering about how we and those we love will be able to get through this, we’ve still been quite productive, and while everything is still surreal and frustrating and frightening, we’ve got a clear road map to follow as we move forward. And I think that’s the key for us. By having clear goals, a schedule (especially for Jamie) and taking time each day for gratitude, I think we’re going to get through this. And I hope and pray that you will too.

How are you getting through this? Any suggestions you’d share with others?

Take care and be well.

______________________________

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. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! 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.

The Best Part

The best part of waking up early is getting to see a gorgeous sunrise.

The best part of a nutritious breakfast is how it fuels you well for the day.

The best part of a bowl of ice cream is how delicious it is! Though science would say the first eight bites.

The best part of visiting friends is creating new memories and reminiscing on old ones…well, unless the food is amazing, in which case that’s pretty great too.

The best part of working hard is the financial freedom you can create for yourself and how you can spend the money.

The best part of living in Florida is the sun and the Disney time.

Hope you’re enjoying the best parts of your week, even if there’s a lot you’d like to change.

Our First Disney World For RVers Meetup

Last weekend, Ross and I, for the first time, met up with a couple that we only met because I started the Facebook group Disney World For RVers. Lily and Anthony are, as it turns out, absolute gems of human beings, full-time RVers, fellow geeks and nerds and just truly lovely, kind human beings.

We spent four hours hanging out, and if Disney Springs hadn’t closed an hour prior, we may well have stayed even longer than that! We enjoyed dinner at Cooke’s of Dublin (amazing gluten-free food for me!), wandered World of Disney a bit and then had delicious goodies at Amorette’s – two out of three were gluten-free! In fact, I took home a mini-cake that I indulged on during the week too. Yum. Coffee cream…

We wish them the happiest of weddings this week and a beautiful life together, and we look forward to spending more time together soon.

Here are a few pictures from our fun! Cooke’s of Dublin, Disney Springs, Florida | Ross and Jamie AdventureCooke’s of Dublin, Disney Springs, Florida | Ross and Jamie AdventureAmorette’s Patisserie, Disney Springs, Florida | Ross and Jamie Adventure

______________________________

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. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! 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.

Visiting Sanford and DeLand, Florida

If you haven’t figured it out yet, Ross and I spend a lot of time at Disney World when we are in Florida. In fact, it’s our favorite thing to do in our free time, in part because we want to get as much value from our passes as possible. But every now and then, we get an itch to check out a non-Disney spot, and that’s just what we did on Friday for Valentine’s Day.

After spending the morning working (me) and waking up (Ross), we made our way toward Sanford, a town the bloggers Technomadia had fallen in love with. It’s got a great downtown, with friendly people and excellent food, and we also found a wonderful used bookstore/record store etc. with great deals. Parking wasn’t too stressful and we loved our visit to Wondermade for local marshmallows and delicious ice cream.

Sanford, FL | Ross and Jamie Adventure

They also have a great coffee shop where all the proceeds go to fight sex trafficking, and another ice cream shop across the street serves ice cream and waffles for the same cause. The coffee shop also had a board where you can pay a cup of coffee forward for the next person who needs it. So sweet!

After enjoying our Sanford visit, we hoped back in the car to drive another 40 minutes or so to DeLand, and we were not disappointed! We came for a museum event that was kind of a bust, so we skipped that, but we got a primo spot downtown for their Friday farmer’s market (tons of arts stuff, food trucks, health supplements…it was awesome!) and we had an amazing time meeting people and exploring it all. After that, we made two more stops for ice cream (ever important for the ice cream blog!) before making the drive back through Orlando to our RV park.

Wondermade, Sanford, FL | Ross and Jamie AdventureIt was our kind of Valentine’s Day, with treats and adventures and quality time. It also confirmed that we’d be excited to spend more time in both locations, especially DeLand, so if we ever decide we want to live in Florida in the future, we’ve got more options.

DeLand, FL | Ross and Jamie AdventureHope you had a nice holiday too, and even if not, know we are sending our love from Florida to you!

Thanks for reading, and have a great week!

______________________________

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. Capital One 360 is one everyone can take advantage of to save money! 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.