Get To Know Us
First, we want to thank you for wandering with us.
But you’re probably here to learn a little bit about who we are, so we’ll get right to it.
Let’s start by talking about why we’re here… why we’ve made this website.
Initially, the idea was we’d wander around the country for a few months, maybe a year, to find a place where we’d like to settle down (as that’s what everyone says we’re supposed to do).
Now, years later, we’ve given up on the idea of finding the “one” place we want to live.
Instead, we’ve found that we love moving from place to place.
This way, we see new things, meet new people, and get to explore new places.
If we had decided to stay in one place, we would have missed so many wonderful experiences.
And that brings us to why we’re here – right now. In 2014, we decided to focus our energies on sharing our experiences with you.
Our hope is that we can encourage you to step out your door and begin your own adventures.
In case there is still any confusion, I’m Chris.
And I’m Christina.
Together, we’re affectionately known as The Wandering Cs.
I think it was my mom who gave us that nickname. She’d call us “C-squared” and “The Cs” instead of saying Chris and Christina. She may have tried to throw in a “Chris’s” at some point, but I vetoed that one real quick (I have a pet peeve against being called something other than Christina).
Once we started wandering together, it just seemed appropriate to expand our title. Thus began the legacy of “The Wandering Cs.”
Even though we make a great team and spend most of our time together, we are still quite unique individuals, with our own stories and experiences.
And I’ve been to Hawaii but I haven’t quite made it to Alaska yet (and a couple of others states but we’re planning on getting to them in 2015).
I’m looking forward to getting to Hawaii as well but its a little hard getting our RV over there.
I keep telling him we can just take a plane but he won’t listen.
Anyway… I love anything related to travel, the outdoors, and education.
We have all that in common too, but I would add that I love to cook.
And I love her cooking (especially her cookies!). I’m also interested in photography.
Nearly all the images on this site are from our cameras (usually Chris’ Canon 5d MkII).
While we share a lot experiences, I have a bit more teaching experience.
That is actually how we met. I was an intern and Chris was my “master” teacher.
I prefer “Dominus” over “Master.”
Chris often taught his students Latin and “Dominus” was one of the words that he made the kids learn. It means lord or master.
You definitely made it interesting… for me and the students! All of my years as a teacher were with Chris in middle schools. On my own, I taught science and electives, and we also team taught IPBL (Integrated Project Based Learning), among other things.
My experience is a lot more varied. I’ve taught every core subject from kindergarten to 8th grade and more electives than I can list here.
You’ve also taught in more states, like Alaska.
And California, Utah, and Idaho. Even more if you count my time as a corporate trainer or as a Marine.
We won’t. You already win.
Oh, come on!
And not that its a competition, but Chris has also won the contest for the number of states he’s lived and worked in.
What can I say? I get around.
Hmmm. Well, I grew up in Southern California and didn’t venture out beyond vacations until Chris and I started traveling full-time.
And I grew up moving all the time, my dad served over 20 years in the Marines (and we’d move every few years). When I was in my early 20s, I also joined my beloved Marine Corps and spent 6 wonderful years serving this great country.
Please don’t get started with the Marines again (if you’ve ever lived with a Marine, you know what I mean – he says he bleeds green).
What’s that supposed to mean?
Remember our first camping trip and the lovely little hikes we took?
Remember how I had to keep reminding you that I never graduated from Boot Camp, that I required regular showers to stay sane, and that I wouldn’t/couldn’t carry a 50lb pack for a day hike?
Yes, and I also remember making you a shower out of a tarp and screen tent and washing your hair in a bucket in the car when it was too cold outside. Plus, I’m pretty sure I ended up carrying your pack for most of those hikes.
All true. But I think we are getting a little off point.
You? Off point? Never! (Christina likes to, shall we say, wander through her thoughts and stories just as much as she likes wandering around the country.)
Be nice! Anyway, we’re basically two people who enjoy adventure, fun, and travel.
I think they know that. I made a whole graphic about it and everything in the last section.
I’m getting a Muppets flashback….
Maybe we should move on to what get out of traveling. I think they get the picture of who we are in a nutshell.
Since we started traveling, we are often asked what we actually get out of it. Many people think that it must be constant work and frustration to always be on the road. The reality is quite the opposite. For us, there are countless benefits to traveling.
If I had to narrow it down, my top 3 benefits of what I’ve gotten out of travel are:
1. Greater understanding of America and it’s history. As far as I was concerned before we started traveling, the Revolutionary War and Civil War could have occurred in Europe 1000 years ago. I had no perspective growing up in SoCal (southern California) of what the East Coast was like, now or historically. It was a foreign land to me. Chris and I have actually spent a majority of our time together on the East Coast because of this. I did a lot of local travel growing up, so getting to live on the East Coast has been a really eye opening experience for me. I’ve had a lot of my assumptions about life upended – what I thought I knew has turned out to be only partially true in some cases and completely wrong in many others. (I should point out that Christina likes her lists – as you can see).
2. The ability to do more with less. I was a little spoiled growing up. I always had my own room and bathroom (and good sized ones at that). I had stuff and lots of it. When you don’t move around a lot it is easy to accumulate things. When we downsized to under 400 sq ft and I had to share a closet (and a 6 ft one at that) for the first time in my life, I had to get rid of a lot of excess baggage. (True, but she’s still not very good at sharing). Now what I do own is meaningful and purposeful, and I don’t feel overwhelmed with so much stuff.
3. A more positive outlook on life and a greater emphasis on the present. Prior to traveling, I felt like life was always a series of steps to get to somewhere and then once you got there, there was no appreciation for the present. Life was about finishing something and moving on to the next thing. Now I slow down to take the time to enjoy the present and the journey.
I actually have an article talking about this but to summarize, I love learning new things, seeing new places, and meeting new people. I love that our time is spent doing meaningful things. I am grateful that we are constantly exposed to new ideas and new information.
Exactly! We travel full-time so that we stay truly engaged with life. We’re always someplace new, learning new things, so it makes it pretty hard to become complacent.
Or bored. I can’t imagine life now without always looking toward the horizon. Wondering what’s down that road or over that hill. In a way, it is almost like Christmas morning every day – I never know what will be outside our door and can’t wait to find out.
Travel has always been a part of our lives to one extent of another.
For me, it was moving to new places all over the country, visiting family, and camping trips during vacations.
My travel was a little more localized for the most part, with weekend trips to the desert, river, and mountains, mostly camping, overnight hotels, or staying with family and friends. My grandparents owned a fifth wheel and would take off every summer, so I guess RVing is kind of in my blood.
Travel was kind of how our relationship got started. The school year was over, and I had been really looking forward to a “real” summer camping trip (weeks long with nothing but a tent and a backpack). Christina and I had been working together and at the end of the school year, we started spending more time together as friends. At at some point, that morphed into us dating (I don’t think we ever had a “first date”).
As I recall, this camping trip was sort of the “first date.” I was really nervous when he asked me to go. I mean 8 weeks in a tent is a looong time (we did eventually compromise by staying in hotels every week or so). I figured that if we could make it through that together, it was meant to be. Either that, or we would end up getting on each others nerves really quickly and know that being more than friends was not going to work for us.
Well, we didn’t end up killing each other. We actually really enjoyed spending ridiculous amounts of time together. In that first summer we stayed in Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, and Washington. Not a bad start.
I’d even say it was a good start. We returned to teaching, and in the following year, we moved to Idaho. We knew it would be temporary, and as our time there came to an end, we had no idea where we wanted to go next.
We talked about where we wanted to go, what we wanted to do. For a while, we had all the “normal” ideas – stay in the same field (teaching), live in a familiar suburban area (think anywhere with a WalMart and Best Buy), and continue moving through life. Then Christina came up with an idea.
Lucky for us (and thanks to Christina’s stepdad), we had just started working online, so we really could work anywhere that had an Internet connection.
Also lucky for us, one of my brothers owned a Class A motorhome and let us rent it from him for the summer. It was one of those scenarios where everything just seemed to line up. My parents are great people and were nice enough to let us store our stuff with them.
In May of 2010, our RV Extravaganza began. We loved it, and that September bought our own truck and fifth wheel.
Which we call HeMan and SheRa. (The truck is obviously HeMan.)
Someone insisted that they have names.
We can’t have an About Us page without at least introducing the two most important players in our travel game.
Well now that we have that accomplished, let’s move on to where we’ve been.
At this point it is probably easier to say where we haven’t been than where we have been.
Mine is easy, I’ve been all over, everywhere states except Hawaii (but you already knew that).
But together, we haven’t been to not only Hawaii, but Alaska, Kansas, and Missouri (and we will get those latter two in 2015).
When deciding where to go, we have to balance our wants (quiet, beautiful location, near attractions we are interested in) and needs (cell service, reliable Internet, and large enough full hookup sites that can fit our fifth wheel).
Life is full of tough choices.
It sure is, but it is all worth it.
We have traveled to places that, for one reason or another, “draw” us to them. Sometimes, we go to see a region during a particular time of year (like Autumn in New England), attend a particular event (like when friends are performing in the Nutcracker), or just because it is someplace different (like the Deep South).
We laugh about it, but some of our hardest decisions over the last few years have been deciding where to go next.
That sounds like a pretty good segue into why we travel if I’ve ever heard one.
Why travel? Leaving the comforts of a stable home and consistent life were really hard for me at first.
I’m not naming any names, but someone would breakdown in tears every time we moved spots.
For me, there have never really been any downsides to traveling. I’ve always enjoyed being spontaneous and living life day-by-day. I don’t have a lot of attachment to things and could have lived in a car instead of buying a big old fifth wheel.
The things we do for love.
We touched on why we travel a little in the what we get out of traveling section, but for me, traveling is life. Literally. As far back as I can remember, I grow restless when I’ve been in one place for too long. The Germans have a word for it. The word is “Fernweh” and basically means the opposite of homesickness. If I live another thousand years, I can’t imagine spending any length of time in one area. There’s too much to see, too much to do, too much to experience.
For me, I travel because I can’t imagine being confined to living in one spot. I love the variety. I love the planning. I love the anticipation of going to new places and returning to old favorites. I love the freedom.
I guess it just comes down to traveling works for us.
It just feels right. It’s natural and comfortable.
It’s exciting and challenging.
Speaking of challenges, here is how we do it.
We introduced you to HeMan and SheRa already.
That would be our diesel Ford F350 truck and our Heartland Bighorn 3670RL fifth wheel.
We don’t only travel by RV though. There are times where a hotel or tent better accommodate our experience. Sometimes flying is the better solution if we need to get somewhere quickly.
I really, really want to add a long distance train trip to our itinerary. My mom and I took the train to Oregon when I was a kid (which turned into a bus ride due to a derailed train) and I think it would be such an awesome way for us both to relax and take in the scenery.
That brings up a good point. There are times when we do long drives (which I really dislike) and even with us both taking turns driving, you miss so much of the scenery. To help the time pass on those long drives we listen to a lot of books.
That we do (at least, she does – I listen a lot). I think we’ve covered just about every topic in triplicate.
Now we try to limit our drives to about 4 hours. This was something Chris always wanted to do (and that my grandpa told us to do from his years of experience) but it took me a little longer to slow down and appreciate the off the beaten path places. There is just so much to do and see, I get impatient.
Travel has helped you gain some patience. Patience with wheels falling off. Patience with various infestations of bugs. Patience with slow Internet.
I don’t know if I’ll ever have patience with slow Internet when I’m trying to get things done. I frequently say that my level of happiness directly correlates to the speed of our Internet connection.
Which is why we have all kinds of handy dandy devices so that we can connect to WiFi that would normally be out of range, enhance cell phone signals, and connect through our own data hotspot.
The only thing missing is satellite.
Technology really has made traveling a full-time possible for us during our working years. Many RVer’s we cross paths with are retirees and while we still hope to be traveling when we’re retired (and hope that can happen sooner rather than later), we are grateful to be able to do it now. I actively encourage EVERYONE (regardless of age, financial situation, etc) to get out and travel NOW!
No need to yell. Its also nice to be able to keep in touch with family and friends no matter where we are. I talk to a lot of people more now that we are traveling because they are interested in where we are and what we’re doing. It’s fun to share photos and stories.
Our travel includes a lot of different activities. We really enjoy being outside, especially biking and hiking. And history. And art. And science. And…
We like museums, monuments, battlefields, gardens, architecture, unique shops, local cuisine…
Anything that is new and informative.
Which brings us back to where we started. Our triad of Travel, Fun, and Adventure.
I’d say we’ve come full circle, but our Venn Diagram is more of a triangle….
You did so well with staying on topic. I think we pushed our limits.
Oh, look – a squirrel!
Unfortunately, there’s no way we could tell you everything about us on one page.
We have a couple of sayings in life, “It’s either a good time or a good story (and usually both).”
And, “We can laugh about it now; we’re OK!”
This site is a collection of those good times.
And good stories.
Not only can we laugh about it because we are OK, we can share our experiences with you (and show you that you’ll be OK too!).
That way you can just skip to the laughing part and not have to deal with the whole getting to OK fiasco. We’re excited to have you along for our travel adventure and want to take a moment to thank you for coming here to wander with us.
Steven Rogers wrote for the movie Hope Floats, “Beginnings are usually scary, endings are usually sad, but it’s what’s in the middle that counts. So when you find yourself at the beginning, just give hope a chance to float up. And it will.” We gave hope a chance to float up and hope you will too. If your hope needs a little extra lift, we’re here for you.
And not only at the beginning. We want to be part of your whole adventure.
But no sad ending. I don’t like sad… or endings.
Thank you very much for your support and interest. We hope you’ll find as much enjoyment from wandering as we have over the years. Please feel free to drop us a line, make a comment, visit us on social media, and join in our ever-growing community of wanderers. We look forward to hearing from you!
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Come Wander With Us
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