We both individually were attracted to California about 20 years ago. We moved to Los Angeles as we were enticed by the opportunities and energy of the city. LA has served us well and brought us together as a couple. However at this time in our lives, with our goals of living a more healthy and sustainable life, we are feeling held back by city living. We have dreams of owning land, growing our own fruit and veg, composting and utilizing thermo-solar heating and cooling. We have no idea where we would like to move to and set down roots, so we have been playing with the idea of full-time RV travel. This way we can spend time visiting different States and Cities and get a feel for the climate, culture and if we could turn it into our future home.
There are so many things to consider for full-time travel. How would we work, what would our internet connection be like? Would our 3 cats adapt to living in a small space and cope with the driving? What about us as a couple, would we drive each other crazy in a tiny home on wheels spending 24/7 with each other? So before diving into a new lifestyle with so many unknown variables, we decided to take a trial run by renting an RV for a week and hitting the road, with 3 cats in tow!
El Capitán State Beach Park
We rented an RV from RVshare and selected a few of our favorite spots along the California coastline. This time we’d see them in a whole different light though, through the RV windows! We knew this would be a big change and stressful to our cats, so we eased them into it with short travel days.
Cats generally don’t like riding in cars and most RVs are rackety and clamorous. Zuri, our oldest cat with more travel experience settled in quickly and enjoyed looking out the windows. Pizzicato complained pretty much the entire drive, while Mr. Sweetface hid under the bed cover and the driver’s seat and pretty much checked out.Our first stop was at El Capitán State Beach Park just north of Santa Barbara. Our parking spot had an amazing view of the ocean and we arrived just in time for sunset. With big grins on our faces over the enthusiasm of actualizing our dream, we moseyed on down to the beach. We found a perfect rock to watch the sunset from and much to our excitement we immediately saw a gray whale, probably about 50 ft away from us. I couldn’t believe it was so close to the shoreline, we felt elated by our luck!
Redwood Resort in Boulder Creek
Boulder Creek is a charming city nestled amongst the redwood trees in the mountains about 14 miles from the beaches of Santa Cruz and 30 miles from San Jose, the leading tech hub known as Silicon Valley. We have visited Boulder Creek before and enjoyed the artistic and friendly community, availability of fresh produce and bulk products, and the remote location with yet easy access to whatever you may need. The deterrent for us making this California mountain town our home is the cost of living. The current median home cost in Boulder Creek is around $620,000, compared to the US average of $220,000. Considering this is in California, it’s not the most expensive place to live but if we are going to leave Los Angeles, we’d rather find somewhere more affordable.
We had a very pleasant and restful stay at the Redwood Resort, just walking distance from Boulder Creek’s downtown. The neighborhood’s white peacock would come visit the grounds daily looking for treats, which started to help change our cats attitude towards traveling. We found a peacock feather that had fallen out and this became THE BEST new toy, highly exciting in the lives of our furballs. So far on our RV adventure, the nights had been rough. The first couple nights Pizzicato had been burrowing under our bedding, not sure if she was trying to dig her way back home, but it meant we were not getting much sleep either. By the third night she was starting to get used to her new “home” and we breathed a huge sigh of relief.
We loved being able to walk out of the RV in the mornings and enjoy our morning coffee and breakfast outside in the fresh air. We pulled our yoga mats out into the sunshine and did a Pilates workout. Yes, the ground might be a little bumpy, but working out outside was invigorating. What we quickly learned we did not like about this lifestyle, was emptying the black tank. Man oh man is that a gross chore!
Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Something new for us was that our home went with us wherever we did. So a day trip to Big Basin meant the cats would be joining us. Big Basin is California’s oldest state park and home to some of the largest ancient redwoods south of San Francisco. As we went out to hike some trails, we left the cats with a window view of the forest, squirrels, and birds. Being amongst these giant ancient trees is humbling and great place to reflect upon life itself.
We were halfway through our RV experiment and already had learned a lot. What worked for us in the RV and what didn’t. What we would do different and what the challenges are for us living on the road, but grateful that we have this time to figure it all out.
We head back down the coast to the area we thought was our ideal place to live. Heaven on earth can have its drawbacks though!
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If you're thinking about going on a cross country road trip, camping, or renting an RV for a special event, RVshare makes the whole process simple, easy, and fun!
Getting behind the wheel of a motorhome is a great way to explore the country while still having all the comforts of home. Did you know that going on an RV vacation is one of the most economical ways to travel with your family? On average you can save up to 57% on vacation costs compared to other forms of travel.
El Capitán State Beach Park
El Capitán State Beach offers visitors a sandy beach, rocky tidepools, and stands of sycamore and oaks along El Capitán Creek. It’s a perfect setting for swimming, fishing, surfing, picnicking and camping. A stairway provides access from the bluffs to the beach area.
Big Basin State Park
Established in 1902, Big Basin Redwoods is California’s oldest state park. In the heart of the Santa Cruz Mountains, its biggest attractions—literally—are its ancient coast redwoods. Some of these giants are more than 50 feet around and as tall as the Statue of Liberty. At 1,000 to 1,800 years old, some may predate the Roman Empire. The park also offers spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, lush waterfalls, and a fascinating natural and cultural history.
Boulder Creek Current Median Home Cost - Best Places