Travel Map & Facts

UPDATED: October 27, 2020

This is the bare-bones facts of our Airstream Living in Beauty, (LIB), adventure, our travel map and facts.

We bought our Airstream, Beauty, in April 2015 in Alabama, towed her to San Diego in July 2015, moved full-time into Beauty April 2016, and finally, took her on the road full-time July 18, 2016.

So, the following statistics begin on July 18, 2016, 1565 days ago.

Below is the map of our journey… so far!

Click the map for an animated look at our LIB travels. Jim’s a Star Trek fan, so we apologize in advance.

Travel Map Legend

  • Year 1 – July 2016 to July 2017
  • Year 2 – July 2017 to July 2018
  • Year 3 – July 2018 to July 2019
  • Year 4 – July 2019 to July 2020
  • Year 5 – July 2020 to Now

Now for the details…

Link to Clearsource Water Filter System
Link to Seagull IV Water Filter System

57 thoughts on “Travel Map & Facts

  1. This is fantastic and so helpful for me. I’m a planner and a bit scared to go fulltime. We are not ready yet still working and in planning stage.

    1. Linda, thank you! We found planning was a fun part of the adventure. The first six months of our blog posts, from January 2016 until July 2016 are all about the planning stage. You might find some of those posts helpful and encouraging. Hope to meet on the road someday!

  2. Would love to know how you did the map and kept track of everything. We’re starting out and haven’t figured out the best way to do it.

    1. TR, here is how I make our animated map. Unfortunately, it is a long process to learn and get it started. I use a Macintosh computer and an application called Keynote, which is the Macintosh equivalent to Powerpoint. I found a map I liked online, took a screen snapshot of it and pasted it into a slide in Keynote. I then drew a line over the map of our first leg in our journey using the Keynote tool “Insert Line Draw With a Pen.” I then used the tool in Keynote called ‘wipe’ and animated the line to go the direction we traveled. Each leg of the journey was drawn on the map using that tool and then animated with ‘wipe.’ When ready for publishing, I used Quicktime to record the screen as Keynote played the animation. Once recorded, I imported the screen recording into iMovie and added the music and sound effects. I then exported it out of iMovie into a MP4 file to upload to the Internet. Sounds complicated and it is, but once I have done it 250 times, adding a new journey to the already created map and only takes about 15 minutes from start to finish.

  3. wOw!! This is amazing how you keep such good track of everything. I just became aware of this page of your blog. I should be this organized….but nope. One thing that really hit me is your health insurance. There is no Medicare here either…even though one of us is eligible. I am just thankful for Lee’s NPS time and the government insurance we were able to carry on with after his retirement. Our’s is nearly a grand less than this. Glad we don’t have to use the marketplace! Hope you spend more nights in AZ in the future…especially the State Park we are currently back camp hosting in. Safe Travels!!

    1. Cyndie, thanks! It is that old CFO in me that keeps these kinds of details. For decades I had to provide the board of directors reports like these in a simple easy to understand way. I love this kind of stuff, even though it drives Carmen crazy. It is also crazy that we spend almost $15,000 a year on healthcare insurance that only covers us traveling if it is urgent or an emergency. Soon I will be on Medicare, but Carmen still has a few years before she will be eligible. AND, someone in their mid 60’s pays the most expensive medical insurance premiums on the planet. When I switch to Medicare, her insurance will double and we will be paying more per month than when we were both on the plan. NUTS! INSANE!, but that is the world we live in at the moment. We do hope to be back in Arizona before the end of the year. So far we have spent 57 days in Arizona and love it!

    1. It was not intentional that we missed Iowa and Missouri. Our plans include a visit to that area this late fall.

    1. Frank, we left off groceries, restaurants, and alcohol because we think that is a very personal aspect of each person’s journey.

      1. Patti, glad we could help. If you have any other questions, please reach out to us! Thank you for following LIB. Safe travels.

  4. You two are inspirational! I’m gonna be brave and show my hubby your site. Brave because I think he’ll want to follow in your footsteps! If (When?) that happens i will be trackin you DOWN! I love all your photos and charts! Safe and fabulous travels to you all!!

    1. Hey Linda!!! We would LOVE to meet up with you ANYWHERE you say! Come join us for leaf time in Vermont!!! xoxo

    1. Don, glad you found these costs and statistics helpful. We retired in July 2016 and sold all our real estate properties. Also, for 30 years I put 20% of my salary each paycheck into a 401K in the hopes of retiring early. In 2016, that became a reality. Keeping our blog up to date is a full-time job for us, although it doesn’t pay. Just a fun hobby. Thanks for your comments! Safe travels. Jim

    1. David, we have not yet had the opportunity to be campground hosts. Maybe someday, but right now we like to move to a new location every week to two weeks. Safe travels!

    1. Denise, thank you for your kind words. We do feel blessed being able to journey through this amazing country and meet folks along the way. It gives us such an appreciation of the diversity, beauty and wonder of North America. Hope our paths cross some day!

      Safe and happy travels!!

      LIB

  5. This is the most useful RV full timing information I’ve ever read. Thank you for putting this together. I am also a finance person so I dig all the financial info. We are still working but planning an early exit in the next 8 years and this has been really helpful.

    1. Matie, thank you for your comment. We planned our exit for 2 years, although we have always been campers spending weeks at a time in National and State parks. You also being a finance person, you realize that way of thinking never leaves you. Numbers are always popping up in our heads. I am just glad I found a way to channel that into something useful by showing costs and statistics of the fantastic ‘on-the-road’ lifestyle. Safe and happy travels! LIB

  6. Only one night in Utah? 😱 You’re missing out! We went full-time 2 years ago (also from CA) and Utah has been one of our favorite states So many stunning State, County and National Parks. An incredible amount of public lands…boondocking paradise!
    Now that that’s been said 😉…Compliments on a wonderful blog full of great information that has one of the best layouts I’ve seen!
    Happy travels!

    1. Tam, we know, only one night in Utah!? We keep making plans to spend some quality time there and something has always got in the way. Usually family issues, like illness or spur of the moment family reunions. We do have plans to dedicate weeks, if not months to this amazing State sometime in the near future. As you know we love boondocking! Thank you for your kind words about our blog, we do try to make it as useful, helpful, and organized as possible. Thanks for being a LIB follower! Safe travels! Jim and Carmen

  7. I’m impressed and envious every time a new blog shows up. I hope you turn it into a book one day. Maps, photos, reviews, opinions, stories…I would be first in line to buy that book! My fear is that I’ll do something stupid and lose my Living in Beauty file. I’m not particularly computer competent… perhaps I will print them out in the mean time. I’ve read them from the beginning and LOVE them. I’m so glad you have gotten this amazing chance and are having such a wonderful time and sharing it with the rest of us. You inspire me with every single installment! Travel on!
    Jo

  8. A beautifully written blog…..I so enjoyed reading this, it was enlightening as well as sometimes familiar to me in the maintenance details……a wonderful life and totally doable! Thanks for your diligence to keep all this information for an extremely helpful project!

    1. Cindy, thank you for your kind words. I do indeed enjoy keeping all this information. It comes from my years as a CFO producing reports in a graphic matter for the board of directors of non-profits.

  9. Thank you so much for sharing your info. We’ve only been on the road for 4 mos and we soak up as much info as we can from experienced FT RVers. Love your financial breakdowns.

    1. Ah, we remember when we were on the road for only 4 months. That would have been in November 2016. My how time flies by when you are experiencing so much beauty in nature. Thank you for your comment about the financial breakdowns. MY CFO past life influences my preoccupation with numbers, statistics and data. How our paths someday on the road.

  10. This is a really detailed summary of everything. Thank you for sharing it. We are moving from Hawaii July 2020, we are going to buy an RV and start full time from Georgia. We have followed our daughter’s adventures for the past 1 1/2 yrs. traveling full time and we can’t wait. We are going to go from Georgia to the east coast, we’ve never been anywhere near there, so any suggestions would be great. I want to see the leaves change. Also we have our 8yr. old granddaughter living with us, are kids allowed at the vineyards? Thank you

    1. Anne, congratulations on your plan to start full-timing this summer. As far as recommendations for the east coast, we have several blog posts about our adventures on the east coast. We have posts on Savannah, Hilton Head, Myrtle Beach, Acadia, Booth Bay, Newport, Mystic, and several more that you might find helpful. We tried to see the leaves change in Vermont last year, but it came too late.That post is called “Campground Review – Little River State Park.” We did see the leaves change in upper New York. That post is called Adirondacks. About Harvest Hosts and children. It all depends on the vineyard. In the 60 Harvest Hosts we have stayed at, none of them have had a rule about children accompanying their parents for a wine tasting. Some of them even have games and things for children to do. When you call to set up your visit, we suggest you ask the question, but I think you will have no problem with youngsters standing next to you while trying out the various wines. Unfortunately, some of them do not allow pets, so ask that also if you have a pet. Thanks for following Living In Beauty. Safe travels and we hope we meet you someday on the road.

  11. Awesome discovery of your blog! We also hit the road full-time in 2016 after selling our home, our business, and most of our “stuff.” I’m a writer and graphic designer, and run a small business from our RV called Real Visuals for RV Parks (print, digital and social media marketing for the RV industry.) My husband is preparing to become a certified RV Inspector. I would love to know how you created all the graphics that describe your trip and financial details. Great job with this blog!

    1. Pat, glad to hear from some other full-time travelers. Congratulations on being on the road for close to 4 years. We are meeting more “Digital Nomads” on the road lately. Hopefully our paths will cross someday on the road. You asked about the graphics on this page. All the the infographics were created in Photoshop. Most are a combination of a few things I found online and used Photoshop to morph into what I wanted. A few are made completely from nothing but my imagination. As far as financial details, they are kept in a Macintosh application call Banktivity. This is where all our expenses are tracked, and have been since 1994. The details of where we have been, how far we have gone and what kind of campground is done in an Excel like spreadsheet on the Macintosh called “Numbers.” Before I retired I was a CFO, so I love statistics, numbers, and any kind of data. Hope this answers your questions. If not, you can reach us anytime through this sites “Contact Us” form. Safe travels!

  12. Ahh, i grew up on the gulf coast in the little town of Pass Christian and was curious. I also wonder if you guys are really happy with those recliners that you have! I’m getting ready to go in my 25 footer down on the gulf coast for 3 to 4 months and I need a good recliner! Thanks so much.

    1. Jack, we are very familiar with Pass Christian. Our son was stationed at Corpus Christi for several years and we have hung out in Bay St. Louis, Ocean Springs and Biloxi. My dad grew up in Port Gibson and my mom grew up in Crystal Springs. Carmen’s mom inherited 80 acres near Decatur that has been in the family before the Civil War. I spent every summer of the childhood in Mississippi during the 50’s and 60’s. And yes we love our recliners. Here is a link with more information about them.

  13. Jim & Carmen, Another great blog. I am always amazed by your detailed accounting of all of your costs. I did see one thing that you need to improve on. You need to increase your time in North Carolina!

    1. Frank, you are so right, we do need to spend more time in North Carolina! It has been two years since we saw each other at the Airstream Rally in Salem Oregon. Way too long! Say hi to Debbie for us. Stay safe! Jim

  14. Terrific blog, just found it. Look forward to sharing in your adventures in the future. My wife and I had a similar problem several years ago in VT/NH looking for fall foliage.
    Steve Heslin

    1. Steve, glad you found us. It was a bit frustrating planning to be in the northeast for fall foliage and last year it was unusually delayed. We at least finally got to see the colors in Montreal and upper New York. Hope our paths cross some day on the road. Be safe at there.

  15. I see you only spent 6 nights in Washington. You missed the Olympic National Park. Amazing place. You must get there on your next go around.

    1. Tamera, we realize we messed up not planning for more time in the great northwest. We had just come down from Canada in late October and the weather was starting to get too cold for us, so we headed to a warmer area. The beauty of traveling full-time with no end date is we can always go back, and we do plan to go back to that area one of these days.

  16. Wow! I love how you have kept track of all these numbers and the way you present your annual and monthly expenses here. A lot of work, but so well-done and a pleasure for the eyes. Sorry to see your high medial insurance costs. Only for a few more years, hopefully. Monthly camping fees seem high to me as well, but I’m sure you are much more comfortable and enjoy your stays much better than us, always boondocking! 🙂

    1. Liesbet, thanks for the compliment on our infographics. I was a CFO before I retired and this is the kind of stuff I did for the Board of Directors. Before I got on Medicare, we were paying $1,400 a month medical premium, so what we are paying now is less than half. Welcome to the USA and its expensive medical system. We do boondock, but not all the time. About 25% of the time. We especially like state parks which can cost between $24 and $45 a night. We also occasionally like a nice resort with all the amenities. What can I say… we’re old.

  17. Good day! We live in Edmonton, Alberta. Happy to see you have been in our beautiful province! Come back soon (when the border opens). We are looking forward to going full time once we empty and sell our house. One of 0the questions I’d like to ask is if you have encountered any dangerous situations or been apprehensive in parking in certain locations? I keep thinking of the horrible passing of the Butler’s last year in Texas. I hope this is OK to ask.

    1. Hello Sandy! We miss Canada so much! We had intended to pop over the border this summer, but it was not to be. Thank you for reaching out. Your question about safety and security was foremost on our minds too, when we were in the preparation and planning stage. At that time we were operating on the assumption that if so many people our age were out there doing this, it must be safe. We did some online research and asked a few people we knew who were full-timing about their method of self-protection. Most people have a story or two about situations when they felt uneasy, but nothing serious happened.

      Now that we’re in our fifth, year we can honestly say that we had more scary encounters when we lived in our house than in our trailer. There is no similarity between “house security” and “trailer security.” They are both very unique situations. Because a mobile unit can move you have a primary source of built-in security. Also suburban living kind of blinds one to real dangers that are lurking everywhere. When you are living mobile your senses are heightened, and sharpened. Your awareness of everything peaks when you’re on the road because you are always moving into a new neighborhood. Just like when we move into a new house in a new neighborhood, we do not presume that everyone who camps near us is the salt of the earth. We don’t have to be suspicious of everyone and everything, we just practice awareness – listen and look. We are both constantly sharing observations about where it is safe to walk, to shop and whether or not the bath houses feel safe. Does this place require a light? or is it better if we keep a low profile near the road? When we come to a new place, we stroll around together before splitting up for dog walks and personal exercise. Observe everything … is this tree safe? Will it fall in a storm? Is that dog leashed? Is our vehicle safely locked? We keep all keys close at all times. You’ll see. Your senses will develop quickly and new intelligences about living mobile and the mobile community at large will set in. Four eyes are better than two, and shared observations enhance your ability to stay safe.

      As for security, nothing compares to a good watch dog with a keen sense of hearing. It’s just so comforting to get a warning BEFORE a stranger approaches the camp. Some campers in the US carry guns. But having a gun increases your chance of getting shot. Jim and I would not be living this lifestyle if we thought that gun-ownership was vital. In the event of a confrontation, a gun makes you a target by another gun-owner who might come to see what all the fracas is about – or even by the police officer if they mistake you for the intruder. And, while having a gun might make some people feel safer, advertising gun ownership is never advised since it attracts gun thieves.

      A mobile-living unit has the advantage of enabling a quick exit when one perceives danger is nearby, but there is also the disadvantage of not having no back door when danger is imminent. For some, a stun gun, a very loud alarm, or a container of bear spray near the door provides a sufficient sense of security against a threatening person and a quick opportunity to make a get-away. I say “sense of security” because nothing (not even a gun) is guaranteed. That’s why Jim and I have an agreement that if one of us feels unsafe in an area – day or night – upon the moment of arrival or at any time – whether in a resort or boondocking in the countryside … we instantly skedaddle if one feels unsafe.

      Now, a story…

      You mentioned the Butler’s tragic demise. I thought about writing a post about this, but I do not want to disturb the Butler family with anything that might come up on an internet search because my thoughts, observations and response could be taken negatively – as if I am finding fault in the poor couple’s approach. From what I understand no one really knows exactly what happened and I certainly do not claim to understand the details.

      Jim and I had planned to camp on the same beach during that same summer, a bit east of the Butler’s location, and just a few weeks before the horrible event took place.

      Before setting up our first-ever on-the-sand beach camp (something that thousands of campers do every year in the Padre Island area) we went to investigate as we often do – just have a look around. Whether it was because I had just read “Inside The Labyrinth” by our good friend and author Bobby DeLaughter, I do not know – but I did not like it – Beautiful as the location was – soft caramel sand, grassy dunes, flocks of exotic sea fowl, the intoxicating ocean breeze – I had a positively sickening feeling about it. Just, NO. This was not going to happen. Jim was so disappointed. He did not share my feelings at all. But, from Day 1 we kept an agreement: If one of us says, No, the answer is No. That goes about locations, people, events, restaurants … at any time whether it is four in the morning or midnight. We’ve kept to it and we know of two times now when it could have saved our lives.

      When you are living outside, instincts sharpen. Feelings are so much more important. Sometimes it is my instincts that prevail, sometime’s it is Jim’s. We have learned to acknowledge and respect these feelings and to welcome them as gifts. And, that is our best method of security.

      Thank you for asking this important and honest question. Hopefully, this answer does not scare you away. Travel would not be so amazing if it didn’t involve some risk. To us, the real tragedy would be to take no risks at all.

      Now, when the Canada border opens, last one in’s a rotten egg!

      Safe and Happy Travels!

      LIB

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