It's crazy to think we've been living in hotels and traveling full-time for one year already but here we are! It seems like only yesterday we walked out of our house of 14 years for the last time and began our new journey by crashing at Staybridge Suites OKC. What a ride it has been!!!
Donetta and I didn't know what to expect as we took a drive into the unknown. It was scary.
All those travel blogs and videos make living on the road look like fun, but you just don't really know until you experience it for yourself. Would we actually like the digital nomad lifestyle and could we survive being with each other 24/7 in smaller spaces?
The short of the story is it's been amazing.
Not only have we survived being together (which really wasn't a true concern) but we've thrived on moving around to new places. Waking up and seeing the ocean or mountains is edifying to the soul. Meeting people from all over the country has been rewarding. And discovering new places like National Parks has been exhilarating. Life on the road has changed my life.
There have been no regrets in our decision, even when people thought it was stupid to do during a global pandemic. We are thankful to God for this opportunity and we don't intend to stop anytime soon.
One of the best things about our lifestyle is getting to spend time with people we love all over the country!
Travel Stats for Year One
We've tried to keep up with a variety of stats as we travel the country and blog about the experience. It's not always easy to do while balancing work, play, and driving days, but we do have some details we can share ...
- 26,000 Miles Traveled
- 28 States Visited
- 69 Cities We've Stayed In
- 73 Hotels Crashed (Estimated)
- 36 National Parks or Monuments Visited
- 60+ Destination Stickers Purchased
- 15 Arguments Had. 90% Started by James. Zero Winners.
I've also managed to consume hundreds of craft beers and espressos (much to Donetta's displeasure) while not growing my waist line or exploding my heart. She has bought a dozen bracelets which she believes to be a better investment than something I'm just going to piss out. :D
What's It Like Living in Hotels?
Hotel crashing - as it's become affectionally known to us - is something we have come to love. Sure there are pros and cons to hotel living but to us it's a great lifestyle and it works.
I absolutely love being able to move to new places.
Aside from packing up a variety of buckets or bags depending on our length of stay, it's very simple. Though 12 of those arguments probably had to do with how to "properly" pack Belle, our Chevy Silverado. LOL!
Not having to do home maintenance puts a huge smile on my face, as does having access to nice pools and other typical hotel or resort amenities. Most often we stay in places that are super nice and budget friendly and we even get free or discounted rooms because of our travel.
Living in hotels can be problematic as well -- like today. We always request the top floor because loud people dancing like a herd of ignorant elephants really chaps my hide. I mean it really pisses me off. So there are days when we get the "luck of the draw" and end up in a property that can be really frustrating.
Regardless of those inconveniences, we still prefer hotels over the thought of hauling a trailer or owning an RV.
These are a Few of Our Favorite Things
We often get asked questions about the best places we've visited so far or what we've discovered that we absolutely loved. So why not share those in our one year anniversary post?
Our Favorite Place to Visit
This is REALLY tough because there are so many places we've loved and each for different reasons. Both of us would probably say Colorado Springs and Rocky Mountain National Park were the best overall due to the mountains, hiking, outdoor lifestyle, and peaceful vibe.
Our Favorite Hotel to Stay In
Living in hotels has given us a broad range of experiences and properties. We were huge fans of Staybridge Suites in Colorado Springs because we could look out at the mountains and the location to Garden of The Gods and other hiking areas. It was a very nice place!
But I would choose Scottsdale Links Resort as my favorite because it was spacious, peaceful, and had an incredible pool with amazing temperatures in February.
Our Favorite Excursion or Activity
There's certainly nothing quite like hiking in the mountains or tanning on the white sands of Coronado Beach, but I have to say that renting a Polaris RZR and hauling ass on the trails in Sedona was probably the best memory and fun. We spent an entire day traversing rocks and spinning tires in the mud. We cannot wait to do this again!
Would We Change Anything about Our Life?
Donetta and I have had dozens of conversations about traveling full-time and whether we'd change anything at this point. And we've been asked if we plan to stop and settle down again.
Right now we wouldn't change a thing.
OK, I'm lying a little. I'd be super happy if other travelers would be courteous of other people around them and would practice common sense. That's my biggest pet peeve to living in hotels or traveling. Humans can just suck. Other than that life is good and we've been stoked to visit with so many of our friends across the country.
There are also no plans to quit traveling anytime soon.
While we do miss being able to see our kids and other family, we love our life and we can't imagine doing anything else at this point. Not many people get the chance to pursue their dreams. Every day we're blessed to be on this adventure.
Cheers to Our One Year Travelversary!
We thank everyone who has continued to support us by reading our blog, sending words of inspiration, or providing recommendations on our Facebook page. It really does mean a lot to us and we appreciate it.
If you have any questions about the digital nomad lifestyle or hotel living, we are here to help answer questions. It would be awesome to see more people exploring the world (quietly, of course) and living their travel dreams.
So cheers to living in hotels year one! We look forward to the next year and sharing more with all of you.