Last updated: 11:00 PM ET, Tue April 05 2016

Opinion Home | Far-Sighted Field Notes

  • Rosalind Cummings-Yeates | April 5, 2016 11:00 PM ET

    A Gypsy Nesters Q&A

    A Gypsy Nesters Q&A

    Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

    David and Veronica James, owners of the popular Gypsy Nesters website, know a thing or two about facing a mid-life crisis and following nomadic dreams. Rather than contemplate what to do with their empty nest, they sold it and set out for indefinite journeys on the road. The couple’s book, “Going Gypsy" (Skyhorse Publishing) serves as a lively guide to the joys of long-term travel, from RV escapades to European sojourns. The couple is working on their second book of mid-life travel adventures but they took time from their schedule to answer a few questions:

    Rosalind Cummings-Yeates: A lot of your book deals with the emotional letting go of your role as parents and focusing on your life as travelers, why do you think it was difficult and what advice to do you have for parents facing the same dilemma?

    Gypsy Nesters: A little loin girding helps, don’t let it sneak up on you! The teenage years are such a busy time and a lot of us don’t prepare ourselves for the abrupt quiet that comes from the nest emptying. We not only sent the chicks out to fly, but we lose that built in social circle that comes from sports teams, drama club, and mathlete competitions. Our best advice is to focus your relationship with your significant other — go out and try something new, new to BOTH of you. Take a cooking class together, volunteer, take up a sport, audition for community theater, or take a college course — you’ll grow closer, we promise. We did this through full-time travel, but you don’t have to be as crazy as we are to be a GypsyNester!

    READ MORE: The 10 Best RV Resorts Across America

    RCY: You lived on the island paradise of St. Croix (one of my faves) before you embarked on your travels. What was it like living in a tropical paradise and why didn't you just stay and use it as a base for your travels?

    GN: It was just as beautiful as you’d imagine and the people are fantastic. But it’s pretty darn remote. When our kids left for college, then stayed in the States for work, we wanted to be able to see them more easily. Our lifestyle enables us to see our extended family more often as well; we are spread from coast to coast.

    RCY: A lot of your traveling is done in your RV BAMF (Bad Ass Mofo), how is traveling this way different from traveling by plane, boat or train? Which do you prefer?

    GN: Our BAMF is our home, so when we’re not overseas he’s our base — wherever he happens to be. It’s nice because he has all the trappings of home, a kitchen, a bed, a bathroom. Just in a tiny, tiny space. It’s nice to be able to cook and have all of our stuff with us. And, at our age, having a comfy bed is always a plus. Plane "sleeping" is not our favorite thing. David would live on trains if we could swing it somehow, he’s a crazy train nut. Know of anyone that has a caboose for sale?

    RCY: What are the benefits of a wandering life and what tips can you give to people interested in joining this lifestyle?

    GN: Our biggest fear is becoming one of those couples in a diner that just sit and stare at their eggs because they have nothing to talk about. With all of the new experiences we are sharing, we never shut up: we always have things to discuss. There’s nothing more romantic than having a new view outside your window every day.

    The hardest part for us when considering this lifestyle was making the decision in the first place. Once the decision was made, the rest was problem solving. And as parents, we are master problem solvers. We will say that full-time travel is not for everyone (the world would be like “Mad Max” if it were!) and we suggest that folks start out with some exploratory trips to see if they like it first. Luckily for everyone, we were pretty nuts the way we pulled the cord, so we’ve made all the mistakes so you don’t have to!

    RCY: What were your most disastrous and most loved adventures?

    GN: The very first day we had BAMF, David superglued himself to the ceiling. He was trying to fix an overhead light fixture (that he had broken with a broom handle) and ended up stuck to it for an afternoon. Funnier yet, it was in the “on” position. Thankfully, we pried him off and found the gumption to take the show on the road!

    READ MORE: 10 Inspirational Blogs To Get You Excited About Travel

    Most loved, that’s a tough one. It’s usually wherever we happen to be — the world is so beautiful and diverse. That being said, for nature, it’s hard to beat the Galapagos Islands or Queensland, Australia. We’ve fallen in love with some amazing European cities, Prague, Vienna, Stockholm, and Paris to name just a few. We spent an incredible three weeks in Tanzania a few months ago and her people will live in our hearts forever. But please don’t make us pick a favorite!


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Rosalind Cummings-Yeates Far-Sighted Field Notes

Rosalind Cummings-Yeates Rosalind Cummings-Yeates is a journalist, author and blogger who specializes in travel and culture topics. She loves guiding readers through the richness of various cultures and discovering the essence of a destination. Her travel and culture blog, Farsighted Fly Girl, offers travel insights through the music, food, art and history of various countries and cultures. Join her on the journey at www.Rosalindcummingsyeates.
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