An Idea is Born
The short version of our plan is that Matt and I left our jobs to travel the world in an overland military truck converted into a self-contained RV with our (now) four-year old son, Wolf, and our Rhodesian Ridgeback dog, Casey. Now that we have the big picture out of the way, let’s back up to the beginning.
About a year ago, Matt asked me what I thought about getting an RV and I told him that I didn’t want one. I’ve never been drawn to RV life, and the introvert in me didn’t at all like the thought of being in a crowded RV park. But then his question reminded me that in my 20s I had seriously wanted to drive all the way up from the continental U.S. to Alaska.
I didn't pull that trip off, but the idea still appealed to me a lot. The rugged, wild beauty of places like Alaska and northern Canada really pull at me, which has a certain irony to it because I'm also incredibly intolerant of the cold. If left to my own devices I would keep our house temperature around 80 degrees, and would still want to sleep with the mattress heater and my furry slippers on. And yet, I dream of activities like dog mushing through the Scandinavian Arctic, driving the Trans-Siberian highway, and tracing polar explorer Shackleton's footsteps across South Georgia Island.
What if there were RVs out there that could handle traveling on rugged terrain away from the amenities of RV parks, could accommodate a family our size, and would still be comfortable? Curious, I did a little online digging.
A quick search turned up a tough-looking 4x4 truck-based RV by Tiger called the Siberian. Designed for going both on and off road, the company's marketing described it as "hardened and fearsome on the outside, but gentle and welcoming on the inside". My kind of RV! On closer inspection it looked too small to be practical for our family of three plus dog. But, it proved that the kind of RV that would enable family travel away from RV parks and on tougher roads existed, and that there were probably other vehicles out there that we would like even more.
This led to the big question: What did we really want to do? Before going too much further, Matt and I needed to spend some time defining our mission.
Next: A family mission starts to take shape