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A thing happened on our way across Canada this summer.
Alyssa and I had just crossed over into British Columbia and Alyssa woke me up on the morning of September 11th.
I struggled to open my eyes, but when I did I saw what she was holding in her hand.
A pregnancy test.
I cried. She cried. 🙂
It didn’t feel real, but we were beyond excited.
And just to be sure that it was real, we spent most of this day inside a grocery store clinic in Prince George, BC, awaiting the results of an official doctor’s pregnancy test (you can watch our video below from that day).
Why We Went MIA the Rest of Our Canada Trip
Alyssa and I had grand plans of shooting 30 vlogs while we ventured across Canada (similar to our New Zealand series). But shortly after we found out Alyssa was pregnant, she started experiencing severe morning sickness and we dropped filming altogether.
Here’s Alyssa describing her sickness in her own words.
Back in September, Heath and I were thrilled to find out we were expecting. We kept the secret for about 24 hours before I called my sister to share the news, since just 48 hours earlier, she had called me to tell us that she is expecting.
We were that mix of shocked and excited and overwhelmed for about a week before I started getting sick. But according to all the pregnancy apps and my sister, these were all normal symptoms of pregnancy.
But things started getting worse and soon I could barely get out of bed. Heath and I grabbed a hotel room for a couple days so we could take a break from van life travels and take some much needed R&R.
It was miserable.
I couldn’t eat anything. I couldn’t even get up to walk to the bathroom without getting dizzy and grabbing Heath for support. I was constantly exhausted and nauseated and complaining to Heath that there was a blueberry-sized baby trying to kill me.
Mom friends that I talked to assured me that yes it sucked, but this was all a normal part of pregnancy and in the end, it would all be worth it.
I was pretty sure they were all lying.
Because there was no way what I was experiencing could be normal. That, or I was the biggest wimp ever.
I was trying every remedy I could find online to get better. Teas, crackers, supplements, rest, eating the right foods, walking, sour candies—everything either didn’t work or made me feel 10x worse.
After a week of progressively getting worse, one night it became clear that not only was this not normal, but we needed to see a doctor right away.
We found the nearest clinic and after taking one look at me and the jam-packed waiting room where every seat was taken, the nurse led me straight to a room. I don’t think she even asked me what was wrong. I’m guessing she could tell I was about to lose it in her pristine white waiting room, while Heath held me up for support.
There’s nothing scarier than a doctor looking at you and saying “Yes, you should be concerned about the health of your baby.” Especially knowing that the only reason I am sick is due to the pregnancy, but it’s that sickness that’s endangering the baby.
Heath took notes on what the doctor told us to do and picked up my prescription with the instructions that if the medicine didn’t work, I was to “go immediately to the ER.”
Fortunately, the medicine helped Alyssa finally start eating food and keeping down water again.
Our friends Kara and Nate arrived during the worst of the morning sickness and I couldn’t be more grateful for these two. We spent two weeks traveling with them across BC and Alberta and having friends nearby made such a big difference. Kara and Nate, thanks for the onesie, crackers, Gatorade and just being awesome people during this time.
What the Next Year Looks Like for Us (travel-wise, business, etc)
48 hours before Alyssa woke me up to share the pregnancy news, we found out that Alyssa’s sister was also expecting. Alyssa and Natalie are one year apart in age and they’d always dreamed about how cool it would be if they were ever pregnant at the same time (our babies are less than a month apart).
Because of this, we decided to come and spend a year in Alyssa’s hometown of Denton, Texas.
All of Alyssa’s family lives within 20 square miles from here and our OB is the same doctor who delivered Alyssa when she was a baby. All of these reasons made us feel like coming back to Texas during this time was the best decision for our growing little family.
Will we keep full-time RVing?
This was a question that friends and fellow travelers have asked Alyssa and I quite a bit over the past 4+ years. I’ve never felt like I had a good answer for it because honestly, I had no idea. I think for some life scenarios it’s hard to know what you’ll do until you’re actually in that situation.
While we have dear friends and met fellow travelers who go through the pregnancy and newborn process in an RV, we have decided to not continue full-time RVing during the pregnancy.
And as a couple who has been really vocal about all the reasons why we love full-time travel, I felt it would only be fitting to share a few of the reasons why we made this decision.
1. We’re going to be stationary for a year.
This next year our focus is going to be on getting ready for the baby, spending time with family, and growing Campground Booking. While we still have a few trips planned out for the next year, it’s going to be small potatoes compared to our travel schedule this year (I calculated that we’d packed up an RV and drove roughly 150-200 days this year!). We’re still traveling each month up until the last trimester, including traveling to Alabama for our Summit in March.
Since we’re not moving much in the next year, we didn’t want to stay in an RV and just sit still for a year.
2. The desire to have a home base.
When we came home from New Zealand this summer, I felt for the first time a really strong desire to have a home base. We’d listed our RV on RV Trader, removed all our stuff, and intended on coming back from New Zealand RV-less (and then finding another smaller rig).
When it didn’t sell before we left, we were kind of in this weird limbo state. We came back to Texas from this incredible trip and all of our things were in a closet. It was the same unsettled feeling that I remember having in college when I was in-between apartments. Like this feeling that you want a place to call home, a place you can come back to and call your own after leaving for a while.
For the past four years, this “home” has been our RV (first Franklin and then Merica). Because we only traveled domestically, I never really had this unsettled feeling before. I was always in my home.
However, our next big dream is to travel more abroad. When we come home, Alyssa and I have decided we want to have a home base of sorts to come back to.
3. RV life and morning sickness don’t mix well.
We borrowed a 24 ft. Leisure Travel Van this summer during our trip across Canada. While we loved the van, being sick in a small space isn’t fun. I would try to cook a meal and the smell would make Alyssa sick. I walked around the RV and the movement of the rig made her sick. We drove the RV and it made her sick (okay, you get the point).
With Alyssa’s health as poor as it’s been during pregnancy, it was clear we need a non-moving floor and home.
Plus, we under doctor’s orders for Alyssa to not be in a moving vehicle for more than two hours.
4. It felt like the right decision.
Honestly, I could give several more reasons. But the truth is, moving out of the RV for this year while we prep for the baby just felt like the right decision for our family.
Life is all about seasons. The past five years have been a season of amazing travel and adventure. This next year’s season is about introducing a new member to Team Padgett and a new kind of adventure is going to start.
As soon as the baby is old enough we might hop back in an RV and go travel some more or we might buy one-way tickets to Europe to see new places, it’s really all up in the air at this point.
What I do know is that for the next 5 months we’re going to be getting ready to raise a human, and for me, that is enough life plans.
If we won’t be in an RV, where will we be living?
Alyssa’s hometown of Denton has really cool, historic square at the center of town. I’ve always loved the idea of living in a downtown city for a period of time and while 150,000 people is a far cry from a big city, we found a nice little apartment here on the town square.
We have a view of a beautiful courthouse built in the late 1800s, tons of restaurants nearby, fiber internet (which WOW, I forgot internet this fast existed), and all of Alyssa’s family a couple miles away.
I don’t know how long we’ll be here in Denton, but we signed a year-long lease until the end of 2019. Denton isn’t our forever home, but it’s the right place for us right now.
It was kind of funny moving into this new space because our only real piece of furniture was a little Amazon desk (above) I bought for the RV this year. Most people say that they didn’t realize how much stuff they had until they moved. In our situation, we didn’t realize how much stuff we were going to have to buy that we didn’t already own.
What’s next in our business and work?
Since we’ve been stationary for the past month in Denton, I’ve been devoting way more time to CampgroundBooking. In the past couple of weeks, we’ve added on 3 more campgrounds to our reservation system, hired another developer and part-time sales role and have some exciting things in the works for 2019.
Will we keep hosting The RV Entrepreneur Podcast & Conference?
We have no plans to discontinue the podcast or RVE Summit. For starters, the RVE podcast is really about creating the freedom to live the life that you want. I love business and travel and RVing and just because we’re taking a year off of RVing to have a baby doesn’t change anything. I’m still going to continue publishing weekly episodes of travelers and entrepreneurs building cool stuff.
As far as the RVE Summit goes, I see this community as something much bigger than Alyssa or myself and we have no plans of discontinuing the conference. I honestly think it would be selfish to quit hosting a conference that brought together so many like-minded people, just because we aren’t on the road for a bit.
RVE Summit helps people in our community start and grow a business, meet other travelers and spend time exploring the country. I love the mission of our event and the people it attracts (we even have attendees who no longer RV full-time but just want to come back and hang out, which is awesome).
Life Today: 17 Weeks Pregnant
Alyssa is 17 weeks pregnant today. Her morning sickness has let up a bit, but she’s still pretty tired and nauseous at times. With her condition, it’s expected she gets to suffer from morning never-ending all day forever sickness for a bit longer.
Yesterday we found out that we are having a little girl, which makes all things all the more real and terrifying (in a good way). As someone who grew up in a house of boys, I can only imagine the things this little girl is going to teach me and all of the ways I’m going to spoil the mess out of her.
Now we just have to wait until May to meet her 🙂