Travelling (and Living) on the Outskirts

Even when you’ve downsized your life, you may find you can downsize even more. Duncan and Jessica, of Traveling on the Outskirts, found this out when they decided to get rid of the trappings of modernity: the house, car, big TV and full-time jobs.

They initially bought a fifth wheel trailer and a large truck to tow their new home, which they planned to see the country with and do some work along the way. After a few months, they decided to simplify even further by purchasing a 1999 Starcraft pop-up trailer and a smaller Suburban.

Their blog (and nicely done videos) chronicles the lives of two professionals who had enough of the rat race, and decided to hit the road. They work in campgrounds as workampers, usually getting a free camp spot, amenities and a few dollars in their wallets. These jobs are normally seasonal, allowing Duncan and Jessica to stay mobile and work where the good weather is. What I really appreciate about their blog is that they take the time and effort to show important details in the lives of nomads and workampers, including how to find jobs, save money and live in close quarters with your partner.

They are still experimenting with their trailer and see it as a stepping stone to another choice down the road. They’ve done their research and have a list on their blog of the pros and cons of various types of RVs and trailers. The pop-up suits their needs for now and allows them to spend more time outside and by the campfire. There’s even enough room for their dog, Patience.

“We were a young, newly-married couple who was living the life the way that we were told to. We had the house, the car, the big screen TV… everything that society told us to aquire. We had the regular 9 to 5 jobs at an advertising agency. The alarm goes off, we get up, go to work, go home, eat a little something, reset the alarm clock, and go to sleep. Repeat forever. Next thing you know it’s fifty years later and we wonder where it all went.

Sound familiar?

That’s when we decided to break away and leave it all behind. We’ve sold it all, the house, the car, the TV and we’ve bought an RV, hitting the road, making everyday different. New experiences, new people, new life. Turn off the TV and enjoy everything that this world has to offer. Follow our adventures while we are traveling on the outskirts.”

By Christina Nellemann for the (Tiny House Blog)

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Cori - February 8, 2010 Reply

Love it! THIS is exactly what I want to do.

    Dee - November 28, 2010 Reply

    I think this would be wonderful.
    Although, if you need medical help….how could you possibly afford it?
    If you get cancer… would you find free chemotharpy in order to continue any life at all?
    In the picture it shows a dog. Vetenarians aren’t cheap. Or do you turn your head and just let them exsist until they expire, even if it means suffering?
    If anyone can answer. I’m In, in a heartbeat!

Bill - February 8, 2010 Reply

I have watched the first few episodes. This is an interesting story. I will be watching the rest soon to pick up a few tips and ideas.

rubyspirit - February 8, 2010 Reply

I’ll check it out. Thanks

Anoa - February 8, 2010 Reply

The two of you have taken a giant courageous step to being truly free, truly alive. Our Earth is one big incredible, beautiful, exciting amusement park that most of us never experience. The majority of humanity is stuck in giant hampster wheels runing and getting off to nibble,drink,shit,and sleep so we can get back on the wheel to run some more. I always thought that was total madness even as a child. I am close to 61 now and have no regrets for choosing to explore amusement park Earth. There is an equivalent experience on this planet that is equal to and most times surpass anything you will find at Bush Gardens, Six Flags or any of the so called amusement parks. They’re fun to go to so that you can compare your experiences that you will have hiking in one of the canyons or riding the rapids on the Rio Grande, or camping in the Avenue of the Giants. There is soooo much to see here. Chasing the so called american dream has become the great american nightmare for many. There is no way I would change my choices even tho they came with many personal relationship sacrifices. My epitap will read “I DID IT MY WAY”

Lucas - February 8, 2010 Reply

Anoa, preach it!!! I’m on here everyday looking at ways I can go mortgage free. You want to see a nightmare? Go work around people everyday that have their livelihood suspended above their wheel like a carrot. Work harder or you don’t get to keep the new SUV. Uh, we’re going to need you to put in some OT on Saturday. These people will cut your throat in a heartbeat if it means maintaining THEIR lifestyle. The cars, the house, the perfect career is all just a hoax to get you to play the big roulette wheel. Remember the house is always up! Ya’ got me going. Sorry for the rant. I hope they have trouble planning my memorial service because there’s too much to show and tell.

Peggy - February 9, 2010 Reply

LOVE THIS! I’m 41, and it did not take me long to come to the realization that everyone else EXCEPT ME is benefiting from my labor. My son is not yet old enough for us to “hit the road” but I am on here all the time looking at tiny houses and the developments in alternative power to accompany same.

I was simply amazed at how much one’s life can be affected, by making little changes. I quit cable approximately 1.5 years back and I really haven’t missed it with exception of when we get snowed in.

At this point in our Nation’s present times, I can definitely see quite an advantage to being totally mobile. You’ve got the job factor (or lack of, as may be), and lots of friendly govt people wanting to keep tabs. I want none of it. I want to be free, as we are all supposed to be, in America!

You guys are awesome! I applaud anyone who lives the lifestyle of less! 🙂

Benjamin - February 9, 2010 Reply

I’m finding the comments here as interesting and inspiring as the article. Thanks all!

Liz - February 14, 2010 Reply

My husband and I did that for 10 years! It was great fun and we crossed from coast to coast three times. We finally reached a point where we longed for roots and traded the 5th wheel for a tiny homestead.

Stickt - February 26, 2010 Reply

I am not sure this is the real deal. From what I have seen there is nothing new in terms of information “CheapRVliving site” is a better source of information. Who would go in a pop up in winter?!? Sorry… but it does not make sense (especially for those that have lived first hand in colder climes)

Anne - February 27, 2010 Reply

They are in Florida, Strickt. Like many nomads, they travel with the weather. Winter isn’t an issue for most.

Ross - April 12, 2010 Reply

Looks like Wokamping costs $100/week for a popup trailer parking spot. Does this article say it’s usually free? I very much encourage everyone to try alternative lifestyles. But I wonder if is profitable for someone (here) to to make this lifestyle look economical? These folks sold their traveling home in March 2010. I will be back to see the next chapter in their adventures on the “outskirts”.

contact info at

Renewable Ray - April 20, 2010 Reply

Homestead or traveling? I say both, just no work. Life is just to short.

Great post guys!

Al Mollitor - November 21, 2010 Reply

…and then there’s that little problem of health insurance. I suspect Mom & Pop’s Kampground doesn’t offer much of a plan or pay enough to buy your own.

    TR Kelley - February 8, 2011 Reply

    health insurance is the last big scam that people are systematically frightened into thinking they need. Learning to care for your own body is the height of self-reliance. Death happens. I’ll take freedom over stressed-out gambling scams any day.

Eva - October 22, 2011 Reply

I had o add something on here for Dee. There are Drs everywhere, and clinics to go to, and if you have health insurance – they have doctors you can work with anywhere. Veterinarians as well. You CAN also make quite a bit of money (I guess the young people haven’t discovered that yet) from your computer. I’m doing that – I have an advertising agency which I run from my 7 year old laptop. I even have employees…in India and PH. I make more money than I made before in any job. I just need an internet connection – Where there is a will, there is a way! Congrats to you “kids”!

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