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Escaping Winter

2022 started with a push to get Old Glory (O.G.) ready for a Road Trip to warmer weather! The bike rack was re-installed and propane tanks were filled. After multiple trips between the Homestead and the storage lot with supplies, beach gear, and tools, we felt ready to head south for a lengthy stay in a warm location.

Of course we took some photos of Leila -and our kids- along with us.

This trip would be our first RV adventure since becoming Homesteaders. We thought RV life would be easier this time since we didn’t have to pack EVERYTHING we own. It still took many trips to restock O.G.

Before leaving North Carolina for our extended winter vacation, we explored options for making a little vacation money remotely. We submitted our applications and became “Mystery Shoppers” for Market Force. This side hustle is a convenient way to make a little extra fun money. The assignments are listed on their website or app and we can choose which ones to commit to. Mystery Shopping assignments are available throughout the U.S. and Canada. Just to get our feet wet and see if it was a good fit for us, we took a few assignments in our area of North Carolina. Each assignment is different and requires reading and preparation to know what exactly they will be looking for in the final report or assessment. The pay varies for each job as well. There are multiple Mystery Shopping companies but the thing we like about Market Force is their app that lists all local assignments. We can submit reports directly through the app. They pay once a month via direct deposit. There are many scams out there so do your research before signing up with a mystery shopping company. Our plan was to supplement our winter vacation fund with Mystery Shopping income.

Along with prepping O. G., the Homestead required a little pre-vacation attention. Saying good bye to our Homestead was not easy. We love our homestead life, but winter…not so much. We loaded up the bird feeders so our feathered friends wouldn’t think we forgot about them. The basement got a few extra dehumidifiers and we installed a couple of cameras on the property for our peace of mind. Our great neighbors and relatives keep an eye on the place while we are away so we let them know about our departure date and itinerary. The good thing about taking a trip in the winter (besides escaping the freezing temps) is the lawn and garden don’t require any extra care.

The day before our escape, we turned on the propane and started our RV fridge. Loading up the fridge and freezer with frozen water bottles helped cool down the fridge over night. We brought all the freezer and fridge food over the morning of our departure. Of course there were a couple of glitches that kept us from getting an early start. The tires on the truck and RV needed a little air (due to the freezing cold temps) and one of our tire pressure monitor sensors on O.G. was not reading (it needed a new battery.) Mark took care of the safety issues and then we hit the road to our first destination: Falcon’s Nest Famcamp at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, South Carolina.

We only add stickers to our RV travel map if we actually stay over night in that state. Our next blog post will be all about 2 new states we added to our map: South Carolina and Georgia!