Hi Veronica! Tell us about you.
Hi there! This is Verónica, I’m originally from Spain and I’m living in North Carolina, USA. I’m an online Spanish teacher since May of this year, and I’m truly enjoying all the experiences that teaching online and meeting new people from all over the world are providing me with.
I’m sharing this adventure with my husband (he’s from Colorado) and our cute bunny called Mango.
How long have you been living in the caravan?
I’ve been living full time in my RV for 2 years now. At first, we bought a ¨project rv¨, but after a while, we decided to invest a little more and buy something better, because the repairs on the old one were taking up too much time and money. So now we’re living in a different one that has a better layout for us as well.
Where has it taken you so far?
We’re living in, as in the RV world is called, a “stationary” way, which means we travel slowly and stay for a long time in an area. We lived in Florida for a while, visited the Keys and moved up to Georgia and then North Carolina.
The last trip wasn’t planned. Actually, we evacuated the area that we were at due to a hurricane and drove up north but we never went back hahaha. That’s the good part about this lifestyle, you take your home with you and “home” is where you park it.
Where are you planning to go next?
We’re planning to go to Texas, then go up to Colorado to visit some family and, after that, drive to California. It would be sweet to go kiteboarding in California.
Where do you park it? Do you have neighbors?
Living full time in an RV in the USA is pretty common compared to other countries so there are lots of rv parks and campgrounds where you can get a spot, and hook ups for water, electricity and sewage.
As right now I’m in a long term spot, I do know my neighbors because everyone is staying for a while due to work. The enviroment is not as festive as it could be in a short term one, so it pretty much feels like I’m living in a neigborhood. Most of my neighbors work normal jobs that involve travelling and others like me and my husband are working towards online jobs.
Why did you decide to start living in a caravan?
When I first came to USA I lived in Florida, once I was able to work we saved up some money and because we didn’t want to lock ourselves in a contract or a big loan, we thought about different possibilities and came up with the idea of buying an rv instead, so that we could travel all the states and decide which one we’d like the most.
Now, our goal is to be both working online so that we can travel at a faster pace and see the 50 states.
How big is it? What’s it like inside?
This rig is 25 feet, with a slide out on it. The slide out makes it more roomy in here, and that is our working space. We ripped out the old dinette and built a desk with a pull-out table, so we can work and when it’s lunch time we just pull out the table in the middle and we can eat together.
Inside, it feels to me like a normal house. It’s like living in a 25 feet room with all you need together. So the layout is pretty simple, at the very end we have a complete bathroom with a shower, a sink, toilet and some storage furniture. The bedroom is next to it and it’s very simple; the bed and on top some storage for our clothes and a couple of spice racks that I mounted to the wall to use them as bookshelves. The bed area is separated with some blackout curtains that I made so if one of us wants to be working on the computer doesn’t bother that one that wants to sleep.
The kitchen has everything we need an more, this area is not minimalist at all, I have to say. We got a tiny counter dishwasher, my Italian coffee maker (I love good coffee! What can I say?), a small air fryer and even a tiny oven!
In a corner, we set up a comfy but foldable chair (Foldable and vertical storage is key in the RV life), and that’s the chilling spot where I read, or play the guitar.
For winter we have an oil radiator and a tiny space heater to help if it gets too cold. The rv comes with a propane heater but that system eats up propane quickly so we rather save that propane for hot showers and to cook some Spanish stews 🙂
Tell us about how you teach in the caravan.
Teaching in the rv is easy and flexible. I got myself pretty well set up. I have a computer desk and all I need on my desk: my laptop, a headset, my bullet journal and I have some foam dices that I use with boardgames in my classes.
Most of my classes happen to be between 9-5, and because the hours can change I schedule my week on Sunday so that I can do something else between them, like sending some materials to other students, correcting homework or make and post some videos for my students on Instagram.
How do you connect to the internet to teach online?
This was one of my main concerns about teaching online in the RV so I decided to get the unlimited data plan with T-Mobile and it works great! At first, I didn’t have too many classes but now the number of classes has increased and still working perfect for me. Actually, sometimes my students have some trouble with their connection, and mine still worked just fine. It was a heck of relieve, honestly.
Since I’ve stayed in populated areas, probably that has made it easy for me. However, in a near future, I’ll be investing in a cell phone signal booster for when we go to places where the signal might be not as great.
What do your students think about your way of living?
Some of them get shocked, others find it normal because they might be backpackers, travelers, digital nomads, etc… But that topic always brings a good conversation related to lifestyles, experiences, sustainability, minimalism, and so on.
Are there any advantages or disadvantages of teaching online in a caravan? Would you like to tell us any anecdote related to teaching?
I haven’t found any disadvantages. For me, this is home; I have everything I need available and even closer than in a normal house (such as the fridge that allows me to reach snacks anytime).
I have a roller blind behind me that I roll down in the ¨class hours¨ to avoid visual distraction or feeling shame if my dishes aren’t done since the kitchen is right behind me hahahaha.
Normally, my classes take place as planned. However, living in an RV has taught me that I have to be aware of the weather. I live in USA so in hurricane season sometimes I’ve had to reschedule classes due to the fact that we had to prepare the RV to ride it out, and while it’s rocking it’s kinda hard to focus on the classes.
But so far I’ve got lucky and my students are understanding and flexible as I always do the same since they’re mostly travelers as well.
Due to such little space, I guess you left many material things behind when you decided to live this way, what’s it like to be so minimalist? Do you like it? Do you miss anything?
I left a bunch of stuff behind when I left Spain. I sold my car and because I’ve been always into sports I had to leave some sport gear and clothes. I downsized so that I just had a suitcase, a laptop, a longboard and my kitesurfing gear. When I found myself just with this, sitting on a plane flying to Miami, it just felt right. I felt lighter by keeping just what makes me happy and the emotional baggage became lighter too.
I have to say that I didn’t downsize in a week or two, it was a process of letting go. It’s funny that I didn’t know we put so many emotional feelings on things and that sometimes these emotions are not even good for you. Some of the stuff that you own can bring you sad o bad memories, and by letting those things go you free yourself from that emotional attachment. Once you have more space (physically and mentally) you have now room for new things to come to your life.
I don’t miss anything. In fact, once in a while, I go through my stuff if I feel that I’ve been piling up too many things.
What advice would you give someone who may want to teach online and travel in a caravan at the same time?
Go for it! I always try to motivate people around me to go for their dreams. So if you want to live in an Rv, in a boat, or somewhere else, just do it! Teaching online is becoming more known and you have a bunch of resources online right now, and other teachers’ experiences that can guide you in the process.
Sometimes, society dictates the pace and the steps to follow, but we have to remind ourselves that there is only one life and as I read once: ¨Live your life, in the end, nobody will die for you¨, so if you want to become an RVer and teach online just plan your goals and act on it.
Is there anything else you would like to tell us?
I just want to thank you, Elena, for the opportunity to be part of your awesome website! And also for all the help you’re putting out there for other knowmad teachers.
Where can my audience find, follow or contact you? In which social networks are you most active?