The Whitmore’s 40-foot motorhome
“Successful Pizzeria for sale. Good location, great lease. Call Frank for information.” The date was February 21, 2005 as I read the ad in the Classified section of our local newspaper and wondered how almost a decade of hard work, great memories, funny employee tales, a handful of horror stories, blood, sweat and tears of both joy and agony could be summarized into these 12 simple words announcing that our business was for sale. Owning and operating a family-style restaurant is very rewarding, as long as you are willing to put in countless hours and realize the fact that you are married to the business more so than your own spouse at times. After reading the ad again, a smile came to my face as I realized that we were really doing this. We were going to live out our wildest dream, and it would turn out to be even greater than we ever imagined. Before I go any further, allow me to introduce ourselves. We are Frank and Suzy Whitmore and we have been traveling this amazing country in our 40-foot motorhome for the past eleven years. We have logged over 200,000 miles, seen all 48 of the contiguous states, worked in over half of them, and made friends and treasured memories in almost all of them. We have done this because it was and still is our dream, and to turn this dream into reality wasn’t as hard as we thought it would be. It took a bit of planning, a lot of gumption, but most of all the realization that we wanted to live a more intentional life, freeing up time to live a happier life. A life with more enjoyment, more exploring, more relational things like family, friends, adventures, and less material things. We wanted to live an adventure, and we are.
Back in the day when we lived in a permanent home that was cemented to the ground and couldn’t drive away at a moments notice, we would take trips in our house on wheels when the restaurant would let us out of its clutches. When these times would occur and we felt like being adventurous we would go as far as we could as long as we could and do as much as we could in that short period of time. When we needed some down time, we would take the motorhome to the lake, or the mountains, or the ocean and just sit, relax, and enjoy the scenery, and each other. On one of these return trips Frank and I had a conversation that went something like this.
“Why are we going back home? Why don’t we just keep driving and not go back?”
“Well, we have to go back to work.”
“Why do we have to go back to work?”
“In order to pay for our house, the cars, the boat, the motorhome, our lives and our stuff.”
“What if we didn’t have to go back? What if we could just drive around the country, work when we wanted, enjoy more free time, and have less stress and less stuff?”
“That would be incredible. How do we do that? Is that even possible?”
What started out as a pipe dream, a “what if …” scenario, slowly developed into a real dream, and then became reality.
Since our departure date of May 22, 2005 when we downsized our home from 1800 square feet to 340 with all our necessary worldly possessions along with 3 precocious parrots and drove into the sunset, Frank and I have done all sorts of things to pay for our lives and our future. We’ve run corporate hospitality functions for a professional racing team all over the country, which gave us amazing connections and opportunities. Connections and friendships we would have never made had we sat still all this time. We have stood on the wing of an F-16, been on the starting line of historic NHRA events, and rubbed shoulders with TV and movie stars. We have put quite a bit of our traveling knowledge into action by helping RV resorts all around the country market themselves to people just like us. But most importantly we have been able to take time off work when necessary to spend time with family, friends, and each other.
We have spent holidays with friends and family in different locations almost every year and the last 10 anniversaries have always been celebrated in a different state. There are places in this country where we have had the time of our lives and been in towns and cities the average person has never heard of, let alone think to spend a week of their vacation in.
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Sunset in Santa Barbara
One of my favorite quotes is “Life passes most people by as they sit around and make grand plans for it.” We didn’t want to wake up one day and realize this happened to us, so we set out at a young age to live the life we always talked about doing “someday”. When our friends Tennille and Shawn told us that they were starting goHappy to inspire people to focus on the relationships and moments in life that matter, we were thrilled. Not only is it a great place to keep track of life’s moments, it’s a wonderful concept that we immediately connected with since we have been living it for over a decade.
Over the years we have always said to each other that if we died tomorrow, we wouldn’t have any regrets. We have lived the life we’ve wanted to live and we would die happy. We look forward in continuing to live the “goHappy” lifestyle, and even more to sharing our future adventures and moments while doing so.