Meet the Gypsy Nesters, David (56) and Veronica (52) James, who sold everything and hit the road in a motorhome. With their worldly possessions reduced to sixteen boxes that sit in a storage unit, the two empty nesters travel the USA and the world enjoying a newfound freedom from schedules and obligations.
The adventures of that first year are chronicled in their first book: Going Gypsy: One Couple’s Adventures from Empty Nest to No Nest At All. The James’ lifestyle is supported by sales of their book (book number 2 is in the works), and advertising revenue from their website. How do they pay for all the travel expenses? The couple’s social media followers have grown to such a large audience that tourism boards, airlines and hotels foot the bill just to get them to visit and write about those adventures. Sound like a nice gig? As you will hear in this episode, it’s not all fun and games, there IS work involved, and for David and Veronica, it works.
Their message to other empty nesters includes:
- how to start a new life with your spouse
- how to reconnect as you did before children
- how to stop being scheduled
- how to laugh at the bumps in the road
David and Veronica share their stories with Mary Rogers, during a three month hiatus from travel while working on their second book.
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Here is David and Veronica’s short story bio of Gypsy Nesters:
In 2008, when we launched our youngest of three children off to college, we had what we call our “now what?” moment. There was a big empty nest looming over our heads (and it certainly didn’t help when we Googled “empty nest” and a big ad for an Alzheimer’s patch popped up!).
So we chose to look our next phase of life as a beginning instead of an ending. Rather than staying put and facing the constant reminders of empty bedrooms and backseats, we sold the nest and hit the highway.
Our website, GypsyNester.com was initially meant to keep family and friends abreast of our goings-on (an offshoot of my techie ways), so we were surprised when kindred spirits outside of family and friends started following our adventures.
Fast forward six-and-a-half years and we now have branched out to world travel and are writing about the empty nest lifestyle as well. After numerous prods from our readers to write a book, Going Gypsy:One Couple’s Adventure from Empty Nest to No Nest at Ally was born (Skyhorse Publishing, 2015):
Filled with a sense of adventure and humor, Going Gypsy is the story of a life after raising kids that is a celebration of new experiences. Pulling the ripcord on the daily grind, David and Veronica throw caution to the wind, quit their jobs, put on their vagabond shoes, and go gypsy in a beat-up old RV found on eBay. But could a homebody helicopter mom learn to let go of her heartstrings and house keys all at once?
On a journey of over ten thousand miles along the back roads of America (and a hysterical, error-infused side trip into Italy), they conquer old fears, see new sights, reestablish bonds with family and friends, and transform their relationships with their three grown children from parent-child to adult-to-adult. Most importantly, they rediscover in themselves the fun-loving youngsters who fell in love three decades prior.
Our journey is made all the more joyful when folks let us know how they are Going Gypsy – not by being as crazy as we are – but by finding their own way past the “now what?” moment and discovering new horizons in this phase of life.
We’re honored every time we hear that we were the kick-in-the-butt inspiration that was needed to follow a dream! – David and Veronica James