We are Brittany and Charlie - a twenty-something American couple that traded the 9 to 5 and the so-called "American dream" to live our own dream and see the world. We sold all of our belongings and left the US in August 2013. Follow us for updates on how we built our online business and a location independent lifestyle, house sitting adventures, budget tips and travel stories from around the globe
It didn't take long for us to realize RV life was a lot more expensivethan we initially thought, and when we considered the type of lifestyle we could be living for the same cost (or even less), we made the decision to sell the RV and go back to our nomadic lifestyle traveling the world. For now, anyways.
Our friend is getting married in Italy in May so it was the perfect excuse to re-visit Europe (for the 5th time), and specifically the Balkans. We fell in love with this area of the world when we visited in 2017 and were keen to get back and spend more time there. We also found the Balkans to be a great value when considering the cost of living and the quality of life.
We visited Zagreb, Croatia during Advent(Christmas markets!) and fell in love with this city. We chose to come back here and base ourselves for a few weeks before renting a car and road tripping to Italy. As promised, we want to give you a glimpse of what life is like as a digital nomad here in Zagreb, as well as the cost of an apartment, food, public transport, etc. We've also just hit publish on a video on our YouTube channel if you prefer to have a visual.
COST OF LIVING ZAGREB, CROATIA | Digital Nomad Guide - YouTube
Airbnb is what we almost always use to book our apartments when traveling abroad. We really have a love/hate relationship with it as their fees have gone up a lot since we started using it 5 years ago. That being said, it is still the most convenient option for booking apartments long term and to be able to hit the ground running when we land in any given destination. Its also nice to have a place to stay with a kitchen so we can cook our own meals, as well as having other conveniences such as a washing machine, dedicated WIFI, and having a separate living area from the bedroom ( a real marriage saver since Charlie is an early bird).
When we first arrived in Zagreb, we rented an apartment for about $30/night that was great for a couple of days. The only thing it was really lacking was a work space and living area, and since we were staying over 2 weeks, we decided to move to our current apartment at $45/night. We are right in the heart of the city center with fantastic views of the city. We have a separate living area from the bedroom, as well as a desk space to work from. Right below the apartment is 2 bakeries, a small supermarket, a tram stop and many cafes and restaurants. You can take a virtual tour of our apartment below.
OUR APARTMENT TOUR IN ZAGREB, CROATIA | ✈️ Flying Tampa to Zagreb on Lufthansa - YouTube
That being said, this rate is based on a discounted weekly rate and was booked at the last minute so there weren't as many options available. The daily rate would have been a bit higher, however, a monthly rate would have been discounted a little more. If you were to rent an apartment for a longer term while on the ground, you could more than likely find an apartment even less than that. It all depends on how long you are staying, how close you are to the city center and how you book.
What Is Food Like In Croatia and What Does It Cost?
Eating food in different countries around the world is one of the best things about traveling. So one of the first things we want to know about a destination is "what is the food like?" and "what does it cost?".
Croatia isn't exactly known as a foodie destination, but we've enjoyed trying some of the local dishes. One of our biggest challenges with the food is staying away from the carbs! Their menus are full of delicious breads, pastas, potatoes and there are bakeries on every corner tempting us with their sweet and savory spreads. Its so hard to pass them up! We try to stick to salads and healthier options when traveling as much as we can, but that has been a little more difficult to find here.
That being said, I wanted to share some of the things we've been eating and how much they cost.
Breakfast at a cafe in the city center:
Croissant, coffee and an orange juice: 34 HRK / $5 USD
Omelette: 28 HRK / $4 USD
Turkey sandwich and a muffin from the bakery: 30 HRK / $4.50 USD
(2) pre-made salads from the bakery: 42 HRK / $6.30 USD
Chinese noodles w/chicken & veggies: 35 HRK / $5.25 USD
Kebab: 30 HRK / $4.50 USD
Lunch at a Beer Garden/Brewery, including 2 meals, 2 0.5l beers and a coffee(pictured above): 137 HRK / $18 USD
Lunch at a local cafeteria-style restaurant: 2 meals (chicken in a cream sauce with side of rice): 75 HRK / $11.30 USD
Grocery Prices in Croatia
We try to eat at least two meals a day at home to help cut costs because eating out does get expensive. Our breakfasts are simple and usually consist of apples and yogurt for Charlie and a granola bar for me. We also try to keep lunch and dinners as simple as possible so we don't have to buy a lot of unnecessary ingredients we will end up throwing out. Wraps or salads are our go-to simple meal. Just to give you an idea of some prices on groceries here, we've compiled a small list of items.
Milk (1 Liter)
Apples (per 1 KG or 2.2 lbs)
Chicken Breast (per 1 KG/2.2 lbs)
4 pack 0.5l beer
Deli meat (ham); 100 g
Gyms in Zagreb
When we stay in cities longer than a couple of weeks, we usually try to find a gym near us. Its really hard staying in shape while traveling and splurging on all the of local eats, so we try to get in as much exercise as our schedule allows. We visited a couple of the gyms when we first arrived in Zagreb, and we eventually decided not to join one. For one, we were only going to be here for 2 weeks and the cost just didn't make sense. We also found the gyms to be small and very crowded so didn't think we would get much use out of joining. Since we are walking everywhere and using the stairs frequently on our 5th floor apartment, we decided we would just get our exercise in other ways this time around.
That being said, we wanted to share with you what we learned. Forma Fitness was probably the best option as it was centrally located and prices were fair. We were told it was 260 HRK ($39 USD) for one person for one month. Alternatively, we could get a family plan and pay 400 HRK ($60 USD) for two people for one month. Membership included various classes as well.
We also checked out Body Art, but it was a little too far out of our way and prices were a bit higher.
We have T-mobile plans that allow us to use data internationally, however, they throttle the speeds down to 2G. Its really nice to have internet on our phones immediately when we land, but the speeds are really only good enough for maps, messages and emails. We usually try to get a local SIM for faster internet speeds and also to use as a hotspot for working on our laptops. There are 3 main carriers here and our Uber driver informed us they are all pretty similar in terms of cost, but the best coverage is likely T-mobile. We headed to the..
At the end of our RV journey, I promised I would keep up with our expenses while living in Florida to have a comparison to what we spent while RVing America. It's important to note, however, that we have been living our typical lifestyle that we would live anywhere in the world, whether that be in Florida, the RV, SE Asia or even Europe.
Our goal of these posts is not to show you how to live on a budget, but to compare the different lifestyles and locations and how much it costs without having to sacrifice on those creature comforts. For going on 6 years now, we have been traveling the world looking for the best value for our money and best quality of life (not just the cheapest place to live).
When thinking of Leavenworth, most people picture a quiet, charming Bavarian village nestled in the heart of the Cascade Mountains, and it is. Don’t let that serenity fool you though. Hidden in the mountains are secret adventures and adrenaline inducing activities that you will never forget and beautiful memories to be made after the majestic mountain sunsets.
The charm of this little mountain town is nostalgic with its Alpine-themed setting and specialty beer, wine, and eateries. If you've ever been there during the winter, then you know that there are few places more enchanting than Leavenworth during the holidays. If you haven't been there during the holidays, but you are planning a trip, then you are in for quite a surprise. No matter the season - Summer, Winter, Spring or Fall - you will find so many options to keep you busy during your stay.
From the Nutcracker Museum to the slopes, whitewater rafting and more, this is a place that becomes a small part of you each time you visit.
Shop Bavarian-themed gifts and souvenirs.
If you like shopping, then Leavenworth is nothing short of perfect for you. Many of the shops are Bavarian-themed. There is a wide variety of souvenirs, wines, gifts, chocolates and more to suit your mood. A few suggestions on your shopping adventures are A Book For All Seasons, where you can find great reading to snuggle by the fire at the lodge with, Leavenworth Boutique to find awesome clothing and accessories, or Alpen Haus Gifts. You may also want to check out Jubilee Global Gifts and Gifts From Russia to only name a few of the many shops located in this serene mountain town.
Take a trip to Waterfront Park.
When thinking of things to do in Leavenworth, Waterfront Park is at the top of the list. Check out Wenatchee River off Blackbird Island where you can go tubing or bird watching. Hike the trails or go with the Enchantment Park System for a moment to remember. This park adjoins Barn Beach Reserve where you will be able to fish, go on outings and attend local events. You can soak in nature and see the diverse wildlife native to the region including cougar, deer, and bear to name a few. Since this wildlife is very much a part of mountain life, it is encouraged for visitors to take precautions and closely supervise children or pets while maintaining a safe distance from the animals. This park is open from April through October. However, trails can be utilized during the winter for walks, snowshoeing, and skiing during the winter months.
Have a craft beer at Icicle Brewery.
This is a local and tourist hotspot offering beer tastings and events. The view to the brewery from the tasting room is outstanding, and the craft beers are delicious. You can inquire about free tours which are offered on weekends from 11 am and again at 1 pm. This brewery uses local ingredients wherever possible, even with the water used in the process. This place is always buzzing with locals and tourists alike, so its a great spot for socializing. And a pretzel and cheese is a MUST with your beer!
Hike Icicle Gorge trail.
If you like walking, you will love Icicle Gorge Trail. You will be able to take in the natural waterfall while running into several activities available on this four and a half mile journey. You can hike as long as you wish on this pet-friendly, family friendly trail great for all skill levels. Stop along the way for a picnic or go all the way up for an unforgettable view into the valley or the town. Just be sure to stay Bear Aware! We suggest bringing your bear spray and talking loudly during your walk. There was a bear spotted on the trail when we were on it earlier this year!
Whitewater rafting is an unforgettable adventure for all skill levels.
This is one of the most exciting things to do in Leavenworth in summer! Whitewater rafting is available through several locations. From the class III rapids on the Wenatchee River to the lazy float in from the Icicle River to town, the water activities in Leavenworth are hard to beat. Even the kiddos have rapids as low as a class II, and for the real adrenaline junkies, there are Class IV rapids available to shoot over Tinley Falls and the Triple Shot.
Some of the most recommended places to ask about whitewater rafting are Osprey Rafting offering rapid guides for all classes II-IV and more. They also have paddleboarding and floating to name some.
You may also check out Orion Expeditions. The guides are very knowledgeable of the river, and there are a lot of amenities that come with this company including wetsuits, professional guides, and a shuttle.
Blue Sky Outfitters, Inc lets you opt for tubing or rafting with full day specials and BBQ, or you can take an express trip if you prefer. Have a glass of wine and enjoy the guided experience, or see the friendly folks at Leavenworth Outdoor Center for cruiser bikes, river tubes, lessons, stand up paddle boards, kayaks, and more.
Christmas markets in the winter provide magical moments.
photo credit: leavenworth.org
When thinking of the holidays, one first thinks of the annually celebrated Bavarian Christmas Market, Christkindlemarkt, for great and memorable family fun.This celebration is held on Thanksgiving weekend every year. The entertainment is Christmas themed, and it offers a ceremony unique to the culture of this fantastic Bavarian setting.
Looking for more things to do in Leavenworth in winter?
The Christmas Lighting Festival is a must see if you are planning a winter trip. This begins November the 30th and runs through December. You will want to check the dates so to be sure you do not miss out on the fun as the entire town becomes a village of beautiful lights only adding to the magic of this little Bavarian town.
Fridays begin with lights and music from local artists singing Christmas songs. Visits from ole’ Saint Nick are not uncommon, and on Saturdays and Sundays, the real fun begins. Carolers accompany the town and the true magic of the holidays electrify the air, truly coming alive.
photo credit: leavenworth.org
Throughout the winter you will be able to sled, tube, attend concerts or even experience dogsledding. Snowmobile rides provide an accelerating time and skiing the slopes is always good winter fun. You can enjoy this winter wonderland in the “village of lights” through mid-February on Valentine's day. It's no wonder Leavenworth is said to be one the BEST places to visit in the US during the holidays!
Leavenworth Ski Hill is a hidden treasure!
This is another one of everyone's favorite things to do in Leavenworth in winter. Whether you are mountain biking during summer or hitting the slopes in the winter, you are going to love this magical place where endless adventures await.
photo credit: leavenworth.org
Get away from the town and enjoy nature, get unbelievable views and view the many species of plant and wildlife native to the area.
Go mountain biking, hiking, or enjoy the endurance course to get your blood flowing. Summer Theatre is another must-see location on your trip to Leavenworth at the Ski Hill Amphitheatre. The possibilities are endless year around.
Leavenworth Ski Hill is located in historic district and Wenatchee National Forest. Activities are numerous, and its very budget friendly. Many events are free, and it is only two short miles from downtown. You can even rent the lodge if you are planning an event.
You can also check out Airbnb. With Airbnb, you can book cottages, vacation homes, cabins, bed and breakfast locations and more for a fraction of the cost of a hotel. If you sign up through this link, you can receive up to $50 credit towards your first stay!
A visit to Idahos capital will prove to be an adventure that you are not soon to forget. With a population of around 200,000, the city is very culturally diverse, and there is always something interesting going on. It offers beautiful, lush scenery and boasts small-town charm. This hidden treasure sits on the river, and it offers adventure and arts, gardens and one of a kind opportunities to explore some very unique pieces of history. This city has a personality of its own, and there is literally something unforgettable waiting for everyone in Boise, Idaho. Looking for somewhere to stay? Skip down to see the best places to stay in Boise.
1. Start by checking out downtown Boise
Boise has a unique business district that offers a host of things to do, shopping, places to eat and nightlife indulgences. This is where you will be able to see the Stadium, the Capitol Building, the zoo and a lot more. There are always events in downtown Boise many of which you can check out at downtownboise.org.
You can find many of the best things to do in Boise by simply biking the city and its surrounding attractions. There are rentals available for traditional or electric bikes if this is something you are interested in trying. You will definitely get a better feel for the city and its local culture through this more personalized adventure. If biking just isn’t an option to it is not your thing then there are ValleyRide Busses. All you have to do is make your way to one of the community centers where they pick up and drop off. You may opt for a rental car, a scooter, limousine, commuteride, Uber or take a taxi as well.
2. Visit the Old Idaho Penitentiary
A visit to the Old Idaho Penitentiary is almost haunting. It was closed down in 1973 following a riot, but the prison opened in 1872. Some say they can still feel the energy from the 13,000 plus inmates that lived and died in the cell blocks and the gallows of Old Pen that still exist within the hallowed halls of the prison for tourists to see. While children are allowed, let it be noted that some of the information along the tour is very graphic.
3. Freak Alley Gallery
Freak Alley Gallery is an exceptional find even for those not so artsy folks to take in. Children and adults alike seem to rave about the location, and it said to be a one of a kind show. You can visit there 24 hours a day seven days a week. This is thanks to its outdoors location sporting amazing murals. There is also an indoors gallery which features a lot of local talent. Sales from the collections fund the amazing exhibit venue. This has become a hotspot for locals and tourists alike.
4. Bike the Greenbelt
This is a relaxing way to enjoy the not too crowded Greenbelt. This area spans from Lucky Peak to West State St. and on to South Eagle Road with several restrooms, trail options along the way including Kathryn Albertson, Barber parks, and Julia Davis. You can do a bike share, and the bikes rent for $5.00 per hour. The trails, however, are free, and they are open as long as its light out.
5. Visit the Capitol
The Capitol is a very open and visitor-friendly option to consider seeing on your trip to Boise. You can take a guided tour, or explore it on your own. On the 4th floor, you will find a public gallery where one can view legislature n progress as well as check out the Senate Chambers. If you want a guided tour then you will want to book at least two weeks ahead, and there must be a minimum of five attending. The kids will love the games ranging from a scavenger hunt to several word searches. You can easily book your tour online.
6. Julia Davis Park
This is no ordinary park. Not only is this the oldest park in the city, but it features a rose garden, zoo, black history museum, art museum and more. It spans 43 acres and truly is the heart of Boise. Be sure you check out the discovery center on your visit because you won’t want to miss any of its hidden treasures. There is a playground, a tennis court, pavilions which can be reserved and a duck pond. This venue is open from the time the sun comes up until midnight. Be sure to take your camera so you can take photos of the various birds and wildlife as well as the Abraham Lincoln Statue. You can relax while doing some fishing and overall charm of this historical park. Take in a game of horseshoes and visit the plaza while your there. You can also get guided tours and history walks through the park through the Second Century Coalition.
The Rose Garden is a wonderful site to take in. The history behind it when it all began makes it even more intriguing. It was once a club of only twenty, and no women were allowed to be seen there and there could be no publicity of any kind. This garden produces more than 2,400 rose blooms annually.
7. Tube the Boise River
You can drift down the Bosie River on a tube taking in the lush scenery and wildlife surrounding this natural oasis. You can also rent a boat, picnic waterside or fish to name a few. Check out Boise River Raft & Tube for lifejacket rentals, kayaks, tubes, rafts, and more. There are places to stop and rest along the designated floating path. Here you can toss your trash and use the restrooms before heading back out onto the river. You can check out this map which will tell you exactly where the designated stops are. From put in to drop off is about 6 miles. There is also a map that will show you exactly whereshuttle bus locations are. Many say that mornings and early afternoon is the ideal time to float.
8. Surf the Rapids on the Payette River With Cascade Raft & Kayak!
Speaking of the fun on the river, if you love adrenaline, you’ll love rafting the rapids. While not in Boise, about 45 minutes North you will find Cascade Raft & Kayak located on the Payette River. While the Boise River is a State facility, the company hosting river adventures on the Payette are family owned and have something for all ages and skill levels. Depending on the river you may venture through almost 20 rapids ranging up to a class three. No worries, because the guides are very knowledgeable of the river and safe maneuvering through it.
9. Hike Table Rock
Table Rock is a great place to get a Hollywood style view of the city. The trail is an incline so wear climbing friendly shoes, and be sure to stay hydrated. It takes about an hour, but it is an unforgettable journey.
10. Coffee at District Coffee House
Get a bit of the hipster culture of the city at this internet equipped funky hot spot. They have fresh baked goods, and their drinks are excellent. Tourist and travelers agree this is a favorite, must stop location, located in downtown Boise. Its also a nonprofit raising money for India, so be sure to get the details when you arrive. Not only are they helping abroad but the assist in the economy of the city through the jobs offered through their business to refugees looking to resettle.
11. Ski at one of the many nearby Ski Resorts
While there are several places to ski, one of the most talked about ski locations in Boise is only about a 20-minute drive known as Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area. If you’re too late to ski, they offer hiking too. Never skied before? Sign up for skiing lessons or snowboarding to have a once in a lifetime experience and have a few drinks after at the lodge.
12. When talking about fun things to do in Boise you can’t leave out the eating and drinking.
One favorite hotspot for great cuisine is a little place called Fork. If that’s not your speed 8th street is filled with amazing places to dine or have a few drinks. However, Fork has an outdoor area where you can eat and soak in the culture and energy that the city offers. Their foods are locally grown, and the atmosphere is very inviting decorated with strung lights. There are many places to get your drink on, but visiting some of the local breweries is a must. And there are plenty to choose from! Head over to White Dog Brewing for a cool atmosphere, friendly bartenders and great brews.
Best Places to Stay in Boise?
There are hotels for every budget in Boise. Hotel 43 is high on the list of luxury. It comes with all of the amenities you could ask for and is not far from the airport. Another hot spot for those looking to really live it up lavishly is the Inn at 500 Capitol. This location has a lot of displays from local artists and murals to take in. They offer bikes for the guests and a very high tech experience in a beautifully decorated establishment. If you are looking for something a bit more on a budget then you also have Hilton Garden Inn Downtown, The Riverside Hotel, Red Lion Hotel Boise Downtowner to name a few.
Many are going with a more modern lodging option, booking homes and private rentals. You can check that out on Airbnb. Through this site, you can book entire homes, rooms, cottages and more for a fraction of the price of a hotel. This is always the first place I look!
Visiting in an RV? We really enjoyed the Boise-Meridian KOA, not too far from downtown Boise. More on our RV trip through Idaho here…
Whatever you decide to do, however you decide to travel, and wherever you decide to stay, one thing is for sure you are going to love everything that Boise has to offer. It is a place that you will want to return time and again.
This month took an unexpected turn. It wasn’t supposed to be our last month on the road. We spent the second half of September, enjoying fall in Colorado and the beautiful, golden Aspens. The second half we planned to head back east, where we would hang out in Tennessee and North Carolina for the month of October into November. However, due to a multitude of events, our month didn’t exactly go as planned. More on that as we recap our last (and maybe final) month full time RVing across America.
Snowy Peaks RV Park; Buena Vista, Colorado
Campground cost: $276/week
We finished up last month excited to be staying in the SAME place for 2 whole weeks. This is the longest we’ve stayed anywhere throughout our entire trip. It was nice to be able slow down and hang out around one of our favorite parts of Colorado – Buena Vista, Leadville and Salida. We were there at just the right time. It was almost as if you could just watch the leaves changing colors.
We took a day trip to Leadville, where we got to see their St. Patrick’s Day Practice Parade.
We had a hard time figuring this one out too, and then I overheard a local telling someone that they do it in September because the weather is usually nice and they never know what its going to be like in March. Who are we to judge? It was a fun event and cool to see all the locals hanging out downtown decked out in green and having a great time. On our drive back, we stumbled upon Turquoise Lake, which was just as beautiful as it sounds.
We then made a detour to Twin Lakes, which was even more of a surprise. The lakes are gorgeous. It’s incredible how crystal clear the water is, and with the mountains turning shades of gold, there is nothing more stunning. We ended up returning to the lakes later in the week to relax and enjoy the views.
We made a couple day trips to Salida as well. This is a place we fell in love with on our first trip to Colorado 4 years ago. We mostly just hung out along the river and soaked up some sunshine and some of Salida’s coffee culture at the Brown Dog.
Our last day of the trip we celebrated Charlie’s birthday by relaxing at the Cottonwood Hot Springs.
Boulder County Fairgrounds; Longmont, Colorado
Campground Cost: $25/night (for water and electric; $20 for water or electric; $15 no hookups)
It’s month 4 and we finally made it to Colorado, a state that stole our hearts years ago and we keep coming back to. In fact, a huge part of us wanted to come straight here in May and ride out the summer. But that would mean not seeing all of the incredible places we’ve seen on this trip thus far. And we’ve seen some pretty awesome places, but our hearts are happy to be back in Colorful Colorado for the entire month of September. And maybe a little more…
Let’s go back to the beginning of the month, where we ended in Portland dropping Charlie’s parents off at the airport and making our way east for the first time since we started this trip.
If you want to skip straight to the money talk, click here.
Boise/Meridian KOA; Boise, Idaho
Campground cost: $44/night
Originally, we planned on spending a lot more time in Idaho. Unfortunately, we were on a bit of a schedule because we had less than 2 weeks to make it from Portland to Denver where my parents were flying in to hang out with us for a week. We only stayed 2 nights in Boise, which was very unfortunate. We LOVED Boise. For a State Capitol, its extremely chill and laid back. We encountered virtually no traffic. The city is exceptionally clean.
We loved the vibe, and we talked to so many other people visiting that felt the same. We loved the coffee shop full of students studying and online entrepreneurs, the funky street art on Freak Alley Gallery, the amount of green space, the Boise River that flows through downtown and opposite the university, the surrounding mountains, the people (so friendly!) and…do I need to keep going? See more on our full post of things to do in Boise.
Intermountain RV Park; Twin Falls, Idaho
Campground cost: $30/night
From Boise, we headed to Twin Falls. We literally knew nothing about this city but it seemed like a good place to stop on our route to Denver and we hoped to use it as a base to visit Craters of the Moon. Unfortunately, we never made it to Craters of the Moon (didn’t feel like driving that far), but we found plenty to do to keep ourselves busy.
Like Boise, we kind of fell in love. Its a super cute and quaint town, but has a lot of to offer. Its one of those small-town America places that we could totally see ourselves settling down in. The Snake River Canyon offers so much to do for outdoor-lovers, from the incredible Shoshone Falls to kayaking, SUPing, rafting, and even base jumping.
Jordanelle State Park & Salt Lake City, UT
Campground cost: $30/night
We didn’t really plan to visit Utah this trip as we spent quite a bit of time there in 2016. However, Salt Lake City made a good stopping point and that was one place we missed before. In my search for campgrounds, I came across Jordanelle State Park, which was set on the beautiful Jordanelle Reservoir and a good base for visiting SLC, Park City, and the surrounding mountains.
I’m currently sitting in a coffee shop in Twin Falls, Idaho – a place that was never on my radar, but also a place I find so charming and kind of don’t want to leave. We just hit our 3-month mark on this road trip and its funny that its the small-town America kind of places that seem to leave a lasting impression on us. This is really the entire reason for this trip – to discover these gems throughout the US that we would have never considered visiting or got on a plane to go see. Of course, we want to see all of the National Parks and monuments that make every top 10 travel list, but we always seem to get more out of the places that we can slow down and just live our day-to-day life. And this has been one of those places.
But I’ll pick up in Idaho in month 4. Right now I’m sifting through credit card statements and reflecting on where month 3 took us. It flew by so fast and its kind of hard to believe we only visited 2 states this past month – quite the change of pace. Let’s dive into what we got up to and then I’ll go over how we fared with expenses this month.
This is what our route looked like, starting things off in Seattle.
Washington State Fairgrounds, Seattle
Finding a place to camp near Seattle was almost impossible, but I finally managed to find availability at the Washington State Fairgrounds RV park. It wasn’t an ideal place to stay, but convenient to the city and only $30/night for full hookups. When we arrived, the camp host informed us that I-5 into Seattle would be shutting down for the weekend (construction) and getting into the city would be nearly impossible. Fortunately, we decided not to let that scare us away – instead, we woke up at 6am and headed into the city managing to breeze right through with zero traffic.
Arriving in Seattle at 7am on a Saturday was a little sketchy as it was pretty much just us and the homeless people and junkies (a lot of them) shouting in the streets. But the good thing about it was hitting Pike Place Market early and not waiting in line at Piroshky Piroshky for a delicious breakfast treat. WORTH IT.
Campground cost: $30/night
Lodgepole Campground, Mt Rainier National Park
A few days in the city was all we needed and we were excited to get back to the mountains. We dry camped at Lodgepole Campground, which is a National Forest campground near Mt. Rainier. It was a nice campground and great base for exploring the National Park. The downside was that it was 45 minutes from any cell reception, which meant we had to start and end each day with a drive into the nearest town (Packwood or Greenwater) to check in on work.
Mt Rainier National Park blew us away though! Everywhere you turn, there is Mt Rainier looking back at you in all its glory. The wildflowers were in full bloom and the weather was simply perfect.
Campground cost: $18
Minnie Peterson Campground, Olympic Peninsula
Minnie Peterson was a free campground on the Olympic Peninsula near the town of Forks (hello, Twilight fans).
Yes, I geeked out a bit over all of the quirky Twilight references and filming locations while Charlie made fun of me. But we also got to explore the Hoh Rainforest, Rialto Beach, Port Angeles, Hurricane Ridge and Lake Crescent. All beautiful places and completely different from the rest of Washington we had seen.
Its hard to believe its been a month since our First Month RVing update, and two months since we set out on this trip. Actually, its been over 2 months because this post is a bit overdue! This is what our route looked like this month:
We tried to slow down a bit this month, and even though we are not traveling as great of distances now, we still seem to be on the move A LOT. This is due to a mix of factors, but mostly because the amount of people with RV’s these days is astounding and there just aren’t enough campgrounds to accommodate them all (business idea?). Finding a spot for longer than 4-5 days at a time has proved nearly impossible. At least for now in these summer months and not booking far in advance.
The other reason is because finding good Wifi is still an issue, even with our cell booster, and that work-life balance we were hoping to find RVing is proving more difficult than we anticipated. This is why this website hasn’t been updated much since we left, and why we are two months behind in posting videos on YouTube. The travel updates take the back burner as we are having a hard time just keeping up with our real work.
That being said, I am still keeping up with our expenses and trying to watch them more closely. I was very optimistic that month 2 was going much better on the budget side of things, especially considering we camped for free for 1/2 of the month. I figured I would do another recap of this month’s expenses and what we got up to (and tons of pictures of course).
Henry’s Lake State Park, Yellowstone, & Grant Tetons
We began month two camping at Henry’s Lake State Park in Idaho. The park is actually only 17 miles to West Yellowstone so made a great base for exploring the area. Obviously, we didn’t book ahead for Yellowstone and I was really anxious about taking our chance at a first-come-first-serve site in the park, considering the crowds. I also knew that cell reception would be out of the question.
When I came across Henry’s Lake during my research, I was pretty excited. We had a water-electric site (the full hook-up sites were booked) with the best views of the lake. Even better, our Verizon coverage was excellent. We first booked 5 nights at the park, but ended up extending to 8 nights total. This is the longest we’ve stayed anywhere on this trip so far.
We had a lot of rain while we were here, which really just gave us much needed time to catch up on work. We spent some days in the camper, and other days we headed into West Yellowstone where we found plenty of cozy coffee shops to warm up and peck away at the laptops.
We entered the park on 2 different days when we had some sunshine. Yellowstone was beautiful – there is no denying that. But we both agreed that the crowds, tour buses and traffic jams in the park really took away from the enjoyment. To be honest, we had more fun exploring outside of the park AND saw more wildlife outside the park as well.
Well, we wrapped up our first month on the road full-time RVing. Its been a while since we updated the blog, as not only have we been busy overcoming new challenges that living in an RV presents, but we’ve covered over 3,000 miles since we left Florida in May.
I thought I’d do a one month update to share where we’ve been, what we’ve been up to and how much we’ve spent. Its a good refresher for us too, as one month goes by so fast and its easy to forget what’s happened. I was also really curious to see what we’ve spent so far. I do these expense reports every so often (like in Europe hereand hereand New Zealand here) as we always like to compare the cost of living in different cities and different lifestyles. I have to say, I was pretty shocked when I saw the numbers. We both felt like we’ve been swiping that card a lot lately, and sure enough, the numbers proved that to be true.
I’ll cover a little about our adventures over the past month before diving into the fun (or not so fun) stuff. This is what our route so far has looked like.
Vogel State Park, Blairsville, GA
We were anxious to escape the Florida heat, so we beelined it to the mountains for 3 nights in North, Georgia. Vogel State Park is a place I visited when I was younger but never camped there. We love the area and we were excited to get back to the mountains, to do some hiking, see some waterfalls and just soak up the fresh air. Unfortunately, we had a bit of a work crisis and ended up spending more time working than anything, but that’s just part of this lifestyle. At least we had a pretty awesome office while we worked.
Forest Lake Thousand Trails, Winston-Salem, NC
After we left Georgia, we were supposed to head to Asheville, NC (one of my favorite cities in the US). Unfortunately, the rain had moved over the entire east coast and it was dumping buckets for days. We also couldn’t find an available campground near Asheville, so we decided to make use of our Thousand Trails camping pass (more about Thousand Trails in this video) and headed to the Forest Lake RV Resort near Winston-Salem for 5 nights. Because of the rain and our work crisis, we figured it was a good (free) place to buckle down and get some work done. We did manage to get away one day and explore Winston-Salem. My brother and his girlfriend met us from Raleigh and we spent the day bar-hopping with them (per the usual!). Check out our video from GA & NC here →
Bull Run Regional Park, Fairfax, VA
We continued north to Fairfax, VA to meet up with some of Charlie’s family and friends. We stayed in Bull Run for 3 nights, which was a decent campground and a good location, despite some unhelpful staff. We had a nice time catching up with family and friends and visiting Charlie’s old stomping grounds.
Beaver Creek State Park & Cleveland, Ohio
It was officially time to start heading west. It was the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend when we left Virginia and we knew finding a place to camp last minute would be difficult. A few weeks prior, I did a search of any campgrounds available within a 6 hour drive which led me to Beaver Creek State Park in Ohio. I knew nothing about it, except that it was in the westerly direction and not too far from my friend, Karen, in Cleveland. I snagged the last spot and I’m glad we did. We had an awesome time exploring Cleveland and catching up with my friend. The park itself was pretty cool, too! Check out our Cleveland vlog here →
Findley State Park, Wellington, Ohio
We saw our friends, Home on the Highway, posting pictures of their recent visit to the Ohio State Reformatory which was the primary filming location of The Shawshank Redemption. Being Charlie’s favorite movie of all time, he insisted we add it to our itinerary. It was practically on our route anyways, so we made the stop at Findley State Park, which was less than an hour drive away from the prison. It was actually really cool to tour the prison, and we enjoyed the mix of seeing the different filming locations and the ghost stories that have taken place there. See our Shawshank prison tour..