In 2014, Bryanna and Craig Royal sold everything, bought an RV and have been traveling full-time around North American ever since with their four kids and the family dog. Their adventures are chronicled in their blog, Crazy Family Adventure. Bryanna loves writing and sharing their experiences and tips for traveling with children along with the family-related activities that are available in the destinations they visit. Crazy Family Adventure is a ‘full-time road trip’ family travel experience and a delicate interactive balance of working sharing, experiencing and educating. She joins us this week to share more about her family’s nomadic lifestyle.
What was the catalyst for your decision to pack up and hit the road for a full-time travel lifestyle with the kids and the dogs?
We had built our dream house and loved it but never had any money or time to get out and travel! It felt like we were spending every weekend going to Menards and Target to buy more things for the house and really started feeling suffocated with our stuff. We also felt we didn’t have enough family time.
We saw that a few other families were out there living and traveling full time and figured we could do that too. We sold almost everything, sold the house, bought the RV and went for it! That was over 5 years ago and since then we have traveled all over North America. It has been quite the adventure.
How do you manage the demands of work, school for the kids and travel?
It is constant chaos, but we chose to set it up that way and live that way. Some days we are just hanging out around the RV and can get things done and other days we are out exploring from morning to night. We “Unschool” our kids so the learning is happening every day all the time no matter what we are doing. It works out well for this lifestyle. Plus our kids are getting to touch, feel, smell and truly experience all of these amazing things that most people only read about in books.
As for work I have been able to build both of our businesses (our travel blog: www.crazyfamilyadventure.com and my Pinterest business: www.virtualpowerhouse.com) into businesses that only need about 20 hours a week of my time. Our travel blog will hit 6 figures this year and the majority of the income is passive off of ads and affiliate sales. For Virtual Powerhouse I have built an amazing team of 10 people and have an Operations Manager that handles the day to day. It allows me to only work about 20 hours a week and to be able to do a lot of work from my phone as we are out and about.
What key advice do you have for someone considering a similar lifestyle?
You have to really know your why! Why do you want to upheaval your life and go live an unconventional lifestyle? This life is not easy and being a digital nomad has a lot of challenges not to mention raising kids while traveling! So know your why—ours is family, freedom and travel—so when things get tough you can remember why you did this. Getting on the road is a roller coaster of emotions so knowing your why really helps.
The other piece of advice is if you want to do it then just go for it! It will never be the perfect time so if you wait for all your ducks to be in a row they never will be. Instead, take a leap and make it happen as you go.
At TBEX North America you’ll be sharing advanced Pinterest strategies to grow your blog traffic. Can you share with us an overview of that topic?
We have managed over 60 Pinterest accounts over the last few years. Throughout that time we have continued to fine tune our strategy to figure out what you need to do to drive more clicks back to your site from Pinterest. We really focus on stripping away all of the extras and instead focusing in on exactly what you need to do to see your clicks increase to your site. In my session I will explain how to do just that.
As the children get older, how do you see the RV lifestyle evolving?
That is always a good question. I can’t believe we have been on the road for over 5 years already. We have thrown around different ideas and would really like to add more international travel to what we are doing. I don’t think we will ever give up RV travel but I do think over the next year we will be exploring a few other options that we can mix in with the RV Travel.
And finally, please share with us one of your favorite adventures to date with the kids.
Just a few weeks ago we did a 14-mile hike with our kids (longest to date for all of us) up to a Glacier in North Cascades National Park. The kids did amazing and were such an inspiration to us to keep going – it was a hard hike! We saw 3 bears on the hike and then made it to the Glacier that we could actually walk out onto. The views were amazing and the accomplishment for all of us as a family to do a hike that was 14 miles with over a 4000-foot gain was something really special.
If Bryanna, Craig and the kids (& dog) aren’t climbing mountains, hiking to a waterfall or playing at the beach they are most likely at the local donut shop tasting their way to uncovering the best donuts in the country. Follow their adventures on Twitter, Facebook , Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.