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So when we were chatting via email last month, I asked if they would be interested in doing an interview about their life on the road and they graciously agreed!
In this interview we talk about:
- What inspired Hayden & Aaron to start traveling in an RV
- Their AMAZING RV renovation
- How to travel with pets
- What it’s like traveling with dietary restrictions
- What’s up next for these two adventurers
These two have easily the most unique lifestyle of any RVers I’ve met on the road, so I know you’re going to love this interview! Let’s dive right in…
We are Hayden & Aaron Hall and we’ve been living and traveling full-time in our Travel Trailer for almost a year now with our 5 cats; Iggy, Mr. Man, Paco, Boo, & Jack, a dog; Lulu, and a Silkie chicken; Brienne (of Tarth- for all you Game of Thrones fans). We blog over at the Vegan Voyagers.
Where are you writing to us from?
We finally made it coast to coast after leaving Los Angeles in early April and have landed in Maine. We are currently staying about 30 miles north of Acadia National Park. From here, we will be heading down the coast to ‘winter’ in Florida.
What inspired y’all to move into an RV and travel America?
One of the very first conversations we had was about tiny houses & shipping container homes, so our desire to “live tiny” has always been there. Similarly, we have both always had a strong desire and passion for travel.
In the first 2 years we were together, we had moved 3 times; from the San Juan Islands in Washington state, to Portland, Oregon, then to Austin, TX.
Turns out, it’s really expensive to keep moving so much! Hayden has a friend who was traveling in an RV with her husband and 2 kids and following their adventure was so inspiring, we thought “hey, we could do that!”
Our tipping point was a camping trip to Inks Lake State Park in Texas. While sitting around the fire, we decided we could live every day like that. Fast forward 2 months and we had sold nearly everything we owned, bought our truck and trailer and were off on our adventure!
Okay, I know y’all have a lot of pets on the road, including a chicken! What is it like traveling with so many animals? Do campgrounds care if you have a chicken?
We knew going into this that we had to accommodate for our fur kids, since leaving them behind was not an option.
The dog absolutely loves this lifestyle and gets to go on some amazing adventures with us. The cats seem to actually enjoy our travels very much as well. They get crated inside the truck when we are driving, but when we arrive to our new destination, they come back into the same home but with a different view. The new view out the window helps them to not be so bored with new birds, squirrels, even rabbits sometimes for them to watch.
Brienne has always been an ‘inside’ chicken. She came to us when she was only a couple weeks old and was raised inside. We think because of that, she has adjusted to this lifestyle really well. She has a custom coop built inside the RV and wears a diaper when she’s out of her coop. She also has a pen to run around in outside, where she loves to scratch around looking for bugs, take dirt baths, and lay in the sun.
So far, we haven’t had a problem with having all our animals, but prefer to stay at state and county parks where the rules are more relaxed. We do highly recommend the Canary temperature monitor and camera. It alerts us if the temperature in the RV goes too high and we have the ability to pull up the live feed in the app on our phones and even talk to the animals while we’re gone. It’s very reassuring to have this system in place to know they are all safe when we are away.
I LOVE the renovations you did on your rig. Tell us about the rig you chose and what updates you made to it.
We ended up purchasing a new 2017 Crossroads Zinger travel trailer and the interior was SO brown and boring (as most of them are). We started making renovations right away.
The very first thing we did was pull out one of the back bunks to make way for a cat tree, chicken coop, and cat box setup. It was important to us to have a back bedroom for the fur kids and to have a bed for Aaron’s daughter to sleep when she comes to visit.
We then pulled out the built-in dinette and couch and replaced them with nice big recliners and a proper table and stools. That small change alone made a world of difference!
About 7 months into our journey, we spent a whole month at Aaron’s parents’ house who let us move into their basement while we completely renovated the inside. We painted everything white which makes the space feel much bigger and brighter, updated the curtains, put peel and stick backsplash in the kitchen and bathroom and painted the countertops in black chalkboard paint.
We also ripped out the carpet that was on the slides and replaced it with ‘wood’ looking vinyl floor. It took us the whole month (on top of our full-time jobs) to finish everything and we are so happy with the results! If you want to see the full renovation, you can check out our blog post and videos here.
Many people are worried that dietary or lifestyle restrictions will inhibit their ability to travel full-time. How do y’all manage the vegan lifestyle while traveling full-time?
One of the myths we are trying to dispel is that it’s difficult to travel and be vegan.
We have an entire section on our website about vegan restaurants that we’ve eaten at all around the country. We use a super helpful app, called Happy Cow, that will tell you where there are vegan, vegetarian, or veg-friendly restaurants in your vicinity.
We’ve been able to eat at some truly amazing places! Of course, there’s always Taco Bell & Denny’s, which are 2 of our most frequented fast food chains. We’ve seen that more and more restaurants are realizing the demand for vegan options and consumers are eating it up!
What do y’all do to make money on the road?
Aaron is a Software Engineer for a fully remote company called Simucase and Hayden is the Grassroots Campaign Manager for an animal rights organization, FARM (Farm Animal Rights Movement).
Additionally, Aaron does contract work on the side to make some extra money. We are also trying to make money through Vegan Voyagers with affiliate marketing. So far, we’ve made a couple hundred dollars!
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve encountered trying to work while traveling?
Internet and cell service are always our biggest problems. We have the top 3 internet hotspots; T-Mobile, Verizon, & recently acquired AT&T.
Now that we have all 3, we seem to be ok in coverage everywhere we go. However, we do avoid places where people have written reviews about no cell service. We have gotten ourselves into trouble in the past and ended up having to drive into town and work from the truck in a Burger King parking lot, which just isn’t fun for 5 days straight.
With the amount of work that you do, do you find that you have still plenty of time to get outside and explore?
We definitely wish we had more time to explore!
We work in the Central time zone no matter where we are. So when we are west, we work 6am- 3pm which gives us ample time after work to get out and explore. Currently, we’re on the east coast and working 9-6. Unfortunately, it’s starting to get dark sooner, so we don’t have much time to explore during the week. We have found that 2 weeks at each location gives us 3 full weekend days to explore the area, which has worked well for us.
What’s coming up next for y’all?
Our big plans are to visit every state and every National Park.
To date, we’ve stayed in 15 states and been to 6 National Parks. We still have a long way to go!
Currently, we’re in Maine and will be working our way down the coast to ‘winter’ in Florida. We had plans to spend Christmas and New Years in the Keys, at a campground we had to book 11 months in advance for, but with the recent hurricanes, one of our scheduled weeks there was canceled- bummer!
From there we will do another loop to hit what we missed on the East Coast before heading back west. We’re also scheduled to get solar installed next summer, so we won’t have to stay at RV parks and can enjoy some solitude, which we are very much looking forward to.
We estimate it will take us about 6 more years to finish the US and to get out of debt and save enough money for our next plan, which is to open up a tiny house hotel or shipping container/earthship compound in Nicaragua or Belize. The details haven’t been worked out yet, haha. From there, we plan on traveling Internationally while having a “home-base” that will be generating income for us. We don’t have any plans to settle down- there is so much of the world we want to see!
Where can people follow your adventure?
In addition to vegan restaurant reviews, on our website you will find campground reviews and blogs about our adventures. We have been trying to incorporate more videos into our travels and reviews, so make sure to check out the videos at the top of our blog posts or subscribe to our Youtube channel.
Thanks Aaron & Hayden so much for taking the time to share y’all’s story with us! Drop a comment below to say hi to Aaron and Hayden and their fur babies 🙂
PS: We post interviews with full-timers on our blog each month. To nominate someone for an interview, shoot us a message!