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“The kids are really cute, you should come join me,” Heath texted to me. He was in the rec room at our RV park using the Internet while I hung out in our RV. It was eight o’clock on a Sunday night and we planned to lay in the loft and watch a movie, but as soon as I tried to hit play, Heath popped up frantically saying that he almost forgot about an interview he scheduled.
An interview? On a Sunday night? That’s peculiar. But he said it wouldn’t take long so I waited, playing sudoku on my phone until he texted me about the cute kids.
“Haha,” he messaged me again. “I accidentally just sent that text to the guy interviewing me. Oops!”
I had no idea what he was talking about. Kids? In an interview? On a Sunday night? Surely he wasn’t being interviewed by kids.
Heath’s odd texts intrigued me, so I walked over to the rec room to figure out what on earth he was up to. Heath quickly explained to me that was being interviewed by a man who heard him on a podcast interview with Grant Baldwin. The man, Paul Shafer, runs a website called ShaferPower.com, but instead of running his website on his own, he does it all with his wife and two kids, Owen and Malia.
I was astounded and taken aback as I sat down and joined the interview. I listened to Paul and his children ask Heath and I questions about what it’s like to travel in an RV and how many stuffed animals we bring along with us (answer: we travel with one teddy bear, because we are total adults). We explained what RVers were like, and how most RVers are retirees, not 24-year-old kids. We just shared a little fifteen minute snippet of our story.
Unlike every other time I’ve been interviewed, I walked away learning something valuable.
Together, the Shafer family—kids and all—interview interesting people about their lives. They meet paleontologists, chocolatiers, and pilots. They ask questions and learn about their work.
Interviewing people about their work is nothing new. There are hundreds and probably thousands of podcasts on iTunes devoted to interviewing people about their lives.
But I’ve never seen or heard of a family doing this together. So I sat there answering their questions and reveling in what I knew would be a life-changing moment. Because in that moment, I knew that in addition to not holding traditional jobs, or living in a traditional home, or traveling on a traditional honeymoon, Heath and I probably won’t raise our kids very traditionally either.
Most families I know play games together and maybe even work on projects together, but I don’t know many families that actively pursue goals together. And the Shafer family has been running ShaferPower.com for three years. That’s insane! They even have a page on their website where they talk about their specific goals for their work.
There’s an author I met last summer named Tsh Oxenreider who is currently traveling the world with her husband and three kids. And when I mean the world, I mean as I’ve followed Tsh on Instagram, they’ve visit four continents and I don’t even know how many countries over the past few months. That’s insane.
Plus, as we RVed the country, we met couples who work remotely and travel full-time all while homeschooling their children. There’s even one family who travels by RV with all 12 of their kids. Now that is insane.
All of these families believe one important thing: there is more to life than work and there is more to learn than can be taught in a school. I suppose if there’s one thing that I’ve learned in this past year, it’s that. And when Heath and I start our own family, those are the values we want to teach them. We want to show them a life of possibility and options outside of institutions.
Below is the video to watch our interview with the wonderful Shafer family. If you’re reading this post, you probably already know our story, but I encourage you to watch this interview to learn more about our interviewers. When Heath and I married last year, we decided to be a couple who pursues our goals together. I hope that, like the Shafer’s, we pursue our goals as a family too.