Welcome to the Cunningham Adventure!
Let me introduce myself. My name is Jamie Cunningham.
My Family and I are Full-time RV’ers.
The suggestion was made early one Saturday morning over coffee when the subject of vacations and family reunions came up… We had finally come to terms with the fact that for us to take a vacation it would require too much time off work and money.
We are a larger family which includes: My Husband: Bill. Our Children: Lilie, William, Nathan, Gabriella and Myself.
We are your average broke American family, so the thought of a vacation is overwhelming. From where we lived (Connecticut) it’s pretty much a 2 day drive to visit friends and family (Florida)… We would want to spend at least a day or three with them, plus the 2 day drive back… You can see how this can start to add up.
In June 2011, we got the news that my Husband’s Father passed away. When the topic of his ashes came up, we thought it might be cool to spread his ashes all across the Good Ol’ USA, as he was always “on the road”.
Thus the idea was born.
I think it took an entire day for the thought to really sink in.
What would that really mean for us?
It would mean yanking the kids out the their school, taking them away from their friends, saying good-bye to our own friends, parting with the fur balls (our 3 ferrets) and taking out the time to contact the Family Doctor, the Eye Doctor and the Dentist to collect all of our records, contacting both of the children’s schools and the board of education to learn about homeschooling. Where I was directed to that county’s website.
It would mean parting with our brand new 52 Flat Screen LCD Sony TV (moment of silence).
Getting rid of the bookcases, and my LARGE collection of books, our beds, toys, a large amount of clothing and linens, dressers, brand new bunk beds, the kitchen table and chairs, 2 washers and 2 dryers, heaters, the microwave, the brand new toaster, all of the baby’s things (high chair, crib, walker and so on), my holiday decorations, my plants and so much more…
It meant basically 90% of everything we have acquired over the last 10 years had to go.
(And to think, we had just upgraded EVERYTHING in the last 2 years.)
An amusing part about all it is, we have finally moved into a position to buy our 1st home, which at first was pretty exciting. But in the state of Connecticut, they tax you for everything…
So I was weary…
Plus, I had overheard a conversation between 2 older gentlemen when I was at work one day about the housing market and how bad it was here… So that weighed heavy on my mind, too.
Now over the years, Our Friends and Us have always joked about us being Gypsies at Heart, for my Husband and I have moved 37 times in our 15 years together.
Thirty Seven times…
We have friends who have lived in the same house for 20 years. So they look at us sideways when they learn the plan. Having 4 children in a 34-ft space full-time homeschooling… working, and traveling….
You know, just winging it.
As it stood, My Family complained about being Bored all the time. With or Without a Tv. With or Without their Massive stack of Books. With or Without their Arts Supplies. With or Without the Video Games, the Computer or iPod.
This boredom was ruling our lives.
Plus, no matter how you look at this, the children felt they weren’t getting enough time with us. They felt weekends were never enough and you know what… I had to agree with them. My Husband and I worried we aren’t going to get to visit these places we have always talked about if we settle down and buy a house.
In fact, not only would we have to work harder but we would actually have even less time with our children… and any extra dollars would be sunk into the house.
So then talks of traveling… Well, I do not think it would not come back up for many years…
At this point, we have been traveling on the road for the last 2 years and 4 months…
We are watching the things that we once thought was wicked important vanish right in front our eyes. We are learning to slow down and enjoy our lives in a way we have never considered before. Life is all around us and yet we missed so much of it every day by just being too busy.
So I guess it’s safe to say that everything about how we viewed life has changed.
All our priorities have shifted. It’s an amazing concept. To except the change so freely, bracing the unknown with a cheerful heart is amazingly uplifting.
To have complete faith, true complete faith… is challenging. –laughs- But we love a good challenge, something to stimulate the soul. –smiles-
The funny part is that every reaction is different and yet the same, them telling us how they would love to do it but would never have the courage.
Have we forgotten how to trust ourselves…?
Why are people so afraid to take that first step? It’s a step of Faith. That’s what they teach us, to reach out our hands and grab what we really want.
Yet we don’t.
Yeah, it’s scary but that’s part of the Fun. Yeah, a billion things could happen. But let’s face it. A billion things could happen right outside your own front door.
So what once started as a simple plan to spread “Papa’s” ashes (which by law you are not allowed to do, by the way)… turned into something truly amazing… No longer do we focus on the pointless materials of the world but now search for new ways to help those in need around us.
We have already met some pretty amazing people too, and we have already visited a nice handful of our family (many whom we have not seen in 2-5 years, some even longer… like 20 years long).
Everywhere we have stopped Bill has built something for someone or another. He has really shown a side that I am truly enjoying watch emerge.
From repairing, remodeling, repainting and rearranging to deep cleaning, reorganizing, gardening… minus one epic fail. Either way we have been making our mark as we go.
This experience has brought this family closer with every step we take. Sometimes we all freak out and get homesick but no one wants to go home, at least not yet.
With such a fast paced life style, let’s face it, we are NOT PROMISED tomorrow.
So in this website, you will find a jumble of enlightened thoughts, freshly learned facts, neat photos, fun videos and weird encounters…
Hopefully you will enjoy learning right along with as we travel around the United States.