Family sells house to travel America in a van – and they're saving £1600 a month

When Jem Omohundro, 42, listened to a podcast about a family upping sticks and travelling America, her ears pricked up.

‘The family was talking about how incredible it was and what the kids were then experiencing,’ she said.

While she never thought he’d go for it, she pitched it to her husband, JR, 42. To Jem’s surprise, he loved the idea.

Just a week later, in June 2020, the pair sold their home for a 300 square foot van, which they spent nine months renovating.

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In March 2021, Jem and JR, along with their children, Kelsey, 14 and Lane, 10, and their two English bulldogs moved into the van, which they’ve since upgraded to a 400 sq ft van.

Now Jem, who works in sales in marketing, and JR, a business owner, both work remotely. 

Kelsey and Lane, who were completely on board with the idea, are being homeschooled. 

‘Home schooling has been great for the kids as we use an online programme but back it up with real experiences,’ said Jem.

‘My son is now a year ahead of where he would be if he was still in school.’

She added: ‘We took them to an archaeological site where they were digging up mammoths.’

While the lifestyle isn’t ‘easy,’ it’s rewarding: ‘We’ve had so many experiences as a family that we never would have had without doing this,’ said Jem.

It’s also cheap – Jem and JR estimate they’re saving £1,600 a month compared to their old lifestyle. 

It didn’t take too long for the family to get their pacing right, either.

‘We started out by spending a few nights in each city, but it became very tiring,’ said Jem.

‘We were travelling a lot at first, but we’ve now slowed down to spend longer in each place,’ she added. 

While Jem and JR are always ‘checking in’ with their kids to make sure they’re happy, they’ve never looked back. 

‘We spend so much more time together by travelling,’ she said. 

‘The dogs love it too because we’re always around.

‘We love this lifestyle, but we’ll always go with the flow and what is best for the family.

‘We can buy a house again if we need to, but we can’t get time back.

‘Travelling has deepened our bond as a family.’

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