The New Year (2019) marked a few firsts for us. Our first real boondocking experiences, our first Xscapers Convergences, and the end of our first calendar year on the road! These have helped us expand our community of friends and our goals for this year.
We will both admit that, even though we’d been able to see some friends and family over the past 10 months, we were getting kind of lonely. The last month has really changed that for us! Besides meeting up with family for a few (very short) days, we’ve attended two Xscapers convergences, and had a surprise visit with some Seattle friends who just happened to be in the same town and posted it on Facebook.
For those who don’t know, convergences are basically RV rallies. Escapees RV club is a paid membership group (very inexpensive) for RVers of all kinds, and Xscapers is a free group within it. Xscapers was created for working full-time RVers, but you don’t have to be full-time or working to join. They hold several gatherings all around the country throughout the year, and most (maybe all?) are boondocking. (Boondocking = no water, sewer, or electrical connections = dry camping.) Some Xscapers convergences are on public land and some are on private land. They range from free to a few hundred dollars depending on where you’ll be and what you’ll be doing.
Convergences are always about getting together with community, seeing old friends, and making new ones. They are usually a mixture of exploring the local area, experiencing an event, and learning. Offered presentations by the Xscapers typically include things that are important to us as working RVers such as the best ways to access Internet, ways to power your rig (and computers), how to save money with your parking locations, and more. Two important things I appreciated are that they make sure good cell service is available and most of the official weekday events at a convergence start in mid-afternoon. Members also come up with things to do on the fly such as off-roading, dog walks, yoga or meditation, musical jam sessions, visiting local landmarks, and more. Oh and don’t forget the partying (which you can avoid if you want). This year’s Annual Bash had five live bands, including fellow RVers the Status Crowes and Drivin’ and Vibin’, and one crazy DJ! We had three throwdowns: margaritas, guacamole, and mac and cheese. Beer was provided by a local brewery three nights with food trucks one of those same nights. The organizers of these events do an amazing job!
Our Favorite Things
The absolute best part of the two convergences we attended is the community. Both of us are introverts, as are so many in the RVing world. We can be social if we prepare for it, though, so we put ourselves out there to meet as many new friends as possible. Yes, we were definitely peopled-out by about day 6 of the 9 day Annual Bash and took some time to ourselves toward the end; but we had an amazing time and loved meeting all our new friends as well as people we’ve known only online until now. We’ll be collaborating with some of these new friends over the next several months (and further), so keep an eye out on our YouTube, EPIC Nomad Life, and Facebook platforms for those!
Some of those new friends are John and Brenda Nejedlo of GeoAstroRV. They have a few telescopes that they set up for people to view the sun and the stars (and planets and nebulae and the moon, and…) They’re a cool couple with an amazing amount of knowledge and an uber-passion for teaching people the world of astronomy. They do this all for free at National Parks and various gatherings, and encourage people to contact them if you’re boondocking with a small group. They’d love to join you and set up a presentation! Check out the GeoAstroRV website for more information and their future travel locations. (Didn’t mean for that to be a pitch, but we’re very passionate about what they’re doing!)
Brian being the total astronomy geek that he is, was super-excited to not only use the telescopes but to be able to help out and learn how to work each telescope. He was in his element and loved every minute – even when it was bitterly cold! Besides viewing so many amazing things through the telescopes, which in itself was totally cool; I had an awesome time listening to Brenda talk about the different stars, planets and constellations. It wasn’t just about seeing things out in our universe and learning more of the science, it was also very much about sharing the awe and wonder with others.
We were excited to meet Ben and Rebecca (and Shelby) of His and Hers Vlogs! They’re one of the few we first started following when we were looking into full time RVing. They hosted a small breakfast meetup and a YouTube discussion. We’re grateful for the shared tips from everyone there! Ben and Rebecca also offered to do a video with us (and others.) This was the first time Brian and I had been on camera together and the first formal style of video we’ve done, so we were both excited and nervous; but Ben and Rebecca helped us feel more comfortable and I’m sure we won’t look like absolute dorks in the final video. We’ll let you know when they publish it. We’re looking forward to their upcoming courses and future adventures!
We thoroughly enjoyed meeting John and Peter of the RV Geeks and hearing their talk about batteries. Yes, Julie the non-techie, actually listened and learned something! They’re really a lot of fun! (The RV Geeks, not batteries.) This is another couple we’ve been watching since we started researching RV Life and we were thrilled to find out they’d be at the Bash. They’re so genuine and we loved all our conversations with them!
Last and definitely not least, getting to see Kyle and Olivia (and River) from Drivin’ and Vibin’ was a huge highlight for us! We’ve followed them for years and enjoy their content so much that we support them via Patreon. They’re fun to talk with and it’s pure pleasure listening to them sing! They really are as they appear in their videos – down to earth people who are very humble about their success and gracious with their fans.
There are so many other people we met that it’s impossible to list them all out, but we appreciate getting the chance to talk with all of you!
Oh yeah! As I mentioned above, we started a YouTube channel! Crazy! We have a few videos up already and are working on more. That whole introvert thing has us starting out mostly behind the camera, but we’ll get in front of it more as we get used to it. Hop on over there and let us know what kind of videos you’d like to see from us!
We also started a Facebook Group where everyone can join the conversation about RV life, science, nature, my 100 Days of Salad challenge, and lots more!
We’re doing all this because we want to share more of our experiences with everyone and we want to bring you further into the discussion. As before, we still have The Wandering Gants Facebook Page and Instagram, which are typically quick posts about our day.
In addition to all the social media, I have a couple of ideas for short ebooks I’ll be working on this year and Brian bought a drone that he plans to use for a number of things. There’s more things forming and we’ll let you know about them as they become more solid.
We’re in Arizona through the end of February, exploring New Mexico a bit in March, then we’re off to northern Texas for a while. The rest of the year will see us in the central and some of the southeastern part of the country, visiting family and friends, savoring good food, finding more amazing music, and exploring new places! We’re expanding our world and how we share it this year!
Thanks, friends, for living the journey with us!