Hello! We are Mark and Andrea Ballard. Mark is a retired Air Force Master Sergeant and I am Andrea, Mark’s wife and partner in this great adventure.
Welcome to our blog: The Ballards’ RV Life! Here you can follow our travels and experiences living full-time in our Grand Design Reflection 337RLS fifth wheel. Our fifth wheel is named “Old Glory” and the blue Ford F350 that tows her is lovingly known as “Babe,” named after Paul Bunyan’s Blue Ox.
Why? you may ask. Why would someone sell their home of 14 years, sell most of their belongings and choose to live in approximately 350 square feet? Why would we choose to downsize our lives after 32 years of marriage into this small home on wheels?
Well, I’m not sure exactly when or how it started but we both began to feel like we were missing something, something greater than the same old day after day routine. There had to be something bigger and better than making a huge mortgage payment and living paycheck to paycheck. And that “something” was experiences, travel, family, fresh air and God’s creation. We wanted to see things and meet new people and experience more of this world while we are still young and healthy enough to enjoy it (we are both in our early 50s.) We also wanted the freedom to see our family more often. Both of our sons, Tim and Grant, are grown and out of the house and we have family in Maryland, New York, Oklahoma, Nebraska, North Carolina, Colorado and Texas.
So we began to sort and sell and trash all the “things” that were holding us back. We had LOTS of stuff, too much, and it was an overwhelming task. We set goals, had garage sales and listed things on Facebook marketplace. As we downsized we also made an appointment with our realtor friends, Jim and Karen Beall. They guided us through the process of preparing our house for listing and then selling it. Thanks to them, in less than 6 weeks we closed on the sale of our house!
After the house sold we planned to live on Ft. Meade in their family camp and continue in our jobs at Wegmans for about a year before heading out to begin our travels. Plans evolved and numbers were crunched and we decided to just make the leap and put in our notice at our jobs. We officially began our full-time travel adventure in June 2018. We have been able to see family, travel through Maine and we made our way to Prince Edward Island, Canada by our 33rd Anniversary in August 2018. Life is short and the world is wide, stay tuned for the rest of the story of the Ballards’ RV Life. To see our weekly blog posts go here.
Babe and Old Glory
The Story Continues…