Jonathan and Ashley Longnecker, 38 and 35 years-old, used to lived a life not so different from many of us. Jonathan, web designer by profession, remembers how their lives seemed to just revolve around making mortgage payments on their 4-bedroom home.
Tired and “bored of suburbia,” the couple, who used to live in Knoxville, Tennessee, had an idea of setting out on a wild adventure: to travel around the U.S. with their four children. Since Jonathan’s business allowed him the freedom to work from home or on the road, and their children were already being homeschooled by Ashley, the couple’s outlandish plan might not be impossible after all. In April 2015, Jonathan and Ashley sold their home, paid off the remainder of their mortgage and used what was left to set out on their dream adventure.
The couple first bought an RV and used that to travel to Maine the following month of May, 2015. The spent a few months there and then travelled south to Florida for the winter. They decided to let go of the RV in exchange for a 1972 Airstream trailer home which they fixed-up. Six months and $30,000 later, the family was back on the road and has been travelling ever since.
The trailer’s features were far from what their large house had back in Tennessee. Inside it is a small table that transforms into a queen-sized bed which the couple uses. The kids, Adali, Jett, Jax, and Ada, each get bunk beds that turn into couches when not in use. There is no washer dryer in the trailer, a perk that Ashley misses but for her, the price for giving that up in exchange for the positive experiences that their children get to enjoy now, was more than worth it.
The family has already traveled 100,000 miles, visiting 30 states after making that brave decision to let go of the normal life. They more or less spend an average of 20 days in each destination, enough time to soak up what that new “address” has to offer.
Their daily routine is no different from what normal families have, with work and schoolwork taking up their mornings. Expense-wise, food and fuel are the biggest they spend on but for the Longnecker family, it is but a small price to pay for being able to live their dream: To spend beautiful afternoons hiking and tent-camping under the star-filled skies, together.