Family Leaves It All for the Simple Life - NBC 6 South Florida

Family Leaves It All for the Simple Life



    A former South Florida family gave it all up to go on the road and pursue the simple life. NBC 6's Keith Jones caught up with the family in Las Vegas. (Published Thursday, May 15, 2014)

    The simple life. It’s something everyone would love to enjoy, but believe they can’t because of work, school, and other normal life events. A family from Delray Beach has a message for everyone wanting the simple life, it’s out there and can be yours.

    For the Travaglino family, adventure is an everyday occurrence. They are on the highway almost every day. They travel the country pulling their camper with each day a new adventure. It all started four years ago when Chris and Kim quit their jobs, sold 93 percent of their belongings, pulled the kids from school and hit the road to never look back while looking for the simple life.

    “I said to Chris, ‘We’re going to live in a camper and tour the country,’” said Kim Travaglino. “He said, ‘You are nuts.’ I said, no, no we’re going to do it. And for three years I sold everything out from under him.”

    The family gave up living in a 2,000 square foot home in Delray Beach for 450 square feet of a home on wheels.

    “We are finally living,” Kim said. “When we were in our house and keeping up with the Joneses, trying to get the next best thing; we weren’t actually living.”

    The camper is decked out with a full-sized couch, a plasma television, and gaming consoles for the kids. The family operates some parts of their lives like any other, though they start a little later, usually around 9 a.m.

    After breakfast, the kids hit the books and the iPads for what Kim calls Road School. From spelling to history, the kids are exposed to different elements while traveling. Kim and Chris said they believe the kids get a better education on the road.

    Courtesy Fontenelle Forest Rehabilitation Center

    When NBC 6’s Keith Jones caught up with the family in Las Vegas, they had just come from Antelope Canyon, Arizona where they learned how wind and water formed the caves and hollows. In Vegas, the family was planning a trip to the Neon Lights Graveyard where the kids would learn Vegas history.

    That trip was sidetracked a little to visit the Pinball Hall of Fame for a little bit of fun. After a quick lunch, they got back in the truck and headed back to the RV Park where the kids have their own chores just like in a normal home.

    The monthly expenses can be as much as $4,000 a month, or as little as $600. Some might assume that Chris and Kim are financially well-off to live such a mobile lifestyle, but that’s not the case.

    The couple pared everything down to the bare essentials, paid off all their debt, saved money, paid cash for the truck and camper and pull in some income while on the road.

    “We started with a magazine, website, and we’ve since built a membership club,” Kim said. “We hose annual rallies. We host a radio show. We still have a magazine. I’ve written four books.”

    The company is called Full Time Families. The company’s website caters to other full-time families who need support and offers advice to those who are thinking about living on the road. While being a family on the go is liberating, it does come with some challenges.

    “We are a full-time family,” Kim said. “There are no babysitters to send them to on the road. No schools. We are together 24/7.”

    The full-time family and constant movement forced Christ into new roles.

    “Refrigerators, toilets, and sinks and so on need to be taken care of,” Chris said. “And it can get very costly if you don’t know how to handle things yourself.”

    Chris and Kim found out on their journey that they are not alone in pursuing a simple life. Road families are a tightly knit group that travel together, have meals together, and share experiences that bring them closer.

    “As soon as we started meeting other families and the kindred spirits and having time to really build a relationship with people, it’s definitely the best part of being on the road,” said Kim.