Our arrival at Bisbee, Arizona marked the beginning of our Big Trip as we had imagined it. We met people like us, a family with young kids in an Airstream.
Seeing mention of Dan and Marlene Lin on another Airstreamer’s blog, I decided to get in touch. Internet dating for families. Lucky for all of us, the chemistry was good.
Like us, they have two daughters – Ava, who’s 3, and Mila, who’s five months old. Oh, and a cat named Yoda, also a girl. Dan says this is all part of his primal plan to ban males from his household.
Unlike us, they are working full-time while on the road. One-third of an internet-based start-up that helps media companies turn vouchers into cash, Dan mainly works mornings and nights but also has to be available to take calls during the day.
Managing two kids, an RV and travel plans, we have had very little time to do anything like read a book, write postcards or keep up to date with this blog. Adding real jobs to that is really hard to imagine.
Luckily, though, they do have extra space – in the form of a 25-foot Airstream, the same model we enjoyed staying in at the Las Vegas KOA. So they can put the girls to bed in their (separate!) bedroom, and then set up shop at the dinette table (which they never have to fold down into a bed).
They also have kids’ DVDs and toys aplenty, to keep the girls occupied when they need to work during the day.
The main drawback for them is the need for reliable phone coverage and internet connections, making remote stops – or visits to natural places - more difficult.
Having owned a small ‘teardrop’ trailer before having kids, they were familiar with the lifestyle, and knew that they wanted to simulate a home environment as much as possible. So, after lots of preparation, they departed from their home in Ventura, California – just north of Los Angeles – with Key West, Florida as their destination.
A bit apprehensive about taking to the road long-term, though, they left their plans fluid – their house is empty and ready to go back to if they so decide.
If they manage to balance work, a home-on-wheels, travel and their kids, they could end up staying on the road for a year. Who knows?
Claire – On maternity leave from career as editor of monthly finance trade magazines, and occasionally a freelance translator. Half-American/half-English, raised in the suburbs of New York, has lived in London for almost nine years.
Daniel – Furniture designer/maker based on London’s Columbia Road flower market, for ten years, also an aspiring painter and DIY supremo. On one-year career break to reconsider options. English by birth, but mother is half-American and spent part of her childhood in Bronxville, New York.
Sophia – 3.5-year old spitfire who loves school, singing, swimming and being a big sister
Lulu – Born May 8 of this year, a model baby who eats, sleeps and gurgles.
Special guests – American, British and international friends and family who drop in along our trip to see whatever part of the country they fancy. They’re welcome to travel in the car with us and sleep in an adjoining tent.