Amick and Christy are traveling the country with their three wild boys. Together they are learning to live with less so that they can enjoy life more by finding miracles and joy in every day, simple moments. The Cutlers RV in a 2017 Dutchmen Denali Fifth Wheel.
Making Memories and Music
With the Cutler Family
Amick and Christy Cutler
Amick and I used to dread Mondays. Our alarm would go off and the weekday morning chaos would begin—the rushing, the cramming, the arguing. Breakfast was usually eaten standing or on-the-go, and goodbye hugs were always short. Our family was constantly heading off in different directions. Our three boys spent the day at school, while Amick and I went to work at our respective jobs. Then, before I knew it, we’d all be back together again, with just enough time for dinner and homework before the cycle repeated itself. Going to bed felt like hitting replay on the same day. Amick and I were constantly tired and constantly stressed. We weren’t parenting at our best, and our kids paid the price. Our marriage paid the price, too. We both knew something had to change…
I’ll never forget the day I called Amick with a wild idea. “I think we should buy an RV and travel the country full-time,” I said into the phone. There was a brief pause on the other end. “I’ve been waiting for years to hear you say that,” he responded. We both agreed that we were working too much, and working for a lifestyle that we didn’t even get a chance to enjoy. Every hour of every day was accounted for, but there seemed to be no purpose in any of it. We had always admired tiny living and a minimalist lifestyle (I mean, who wouldn’t want to clean 240 square feet instead of 2,400). Plus, we knew—above everything else—that we needed to be more present with our boys.
And so we decided to take steps to gain that sense of purpose back. We began planning, researching, comparing, and budgeting to see if we could actually sell our house and move into an RV full-time (turns out we could). At the same time, I quit my job and Amick began to scale back at his branding company. He chose to keep only a few core clients on retainer—ones that offered him the ability to work remotely and to do projects that tapped into his true expertise and interests. Upon making these changes, his productivity increased almost immediately. He was spending less time on more meaningful projects, yet still able to help support our family. With his new work schedule in place, we knew we could make our dream RV lifestyle a reality. So, in May 2019, after our work had been scaled back, our house sold and our possessions gone, we hitched up our 2017 Dutchmen Denali fifth wheel and never looked back.
Those Monday mornings of pure chaos are now gone (for the most part), and we’ve found that this simpler way of living is exactly what we needed. We’ve learned how to be a family again, and how to truly enjoy our time together. And even more incredible is that Amick has found music again.
Before we ditched our hectic schedules and moved into the RV, Amick rarely had time to enjoy music and songwriting—his true passions. He had his own studio with an endless amount of equipment and instruments, but was only writing about five songs a year. And even when he was writing, the external pressures of writing a mega hit, while also trying to balance a full-time job and a family, were straining on his creativity. But as soon as we moved into the RV, Amick’s love for music was reignited. The different places we’ve seen and experiences we’ve had provide an endless supply of inspiration for his songwriting. Without all the external pressures from his former job, and worrying about spending enough time together, the songs flow so much easier now. Because of our new lifestyle, Amick’s song count went from five a year to five-hundred. RV living didn’t inspire his music, it literally breathed life into it. So much so that his lyrics and song licensing have become another source of income for us while on the road—something we never could have imagined in our former life.
By making time and space for more living, we are now getting so much more out of life. Our jobs are no longer all-consuming, our goodbye hugs are no longer rushed and our days no longer feel purposeless. Our lives are full of imagination, exploration, togetherness and, of course, music. And that is a gift we only could have received by actively choosing this way of life.
For anyone considering a transition to remote work and life on the road, we wanted to share a few valuable lessons that we’ve picked up along the way.
- Find a support system. When you’re going through a life transition, it’s important to have a support system that breathes positivity and wisdom into your life. Find a community or group of people who will encourage you to keep chasing your dreams, even when it gets hard.
- Be patient with the process. The journey ahead might look long and impossible, but remember that you don’t need to figure it out all at once. This patience applies to the whole picture... the planning, budgeting, job searching, income creating and traveling. It will be a process, but it’s an unforgettable journey. Focus on tackling one step at a time and, before you know it, you’ll be at the top of the staircase.
3. Learn from people who are doing what you want to do. Life experience is the best field guide, so reach out to others who have done what you want to do. Lean on people who can offer advice and guidance as you transition into a new way of living. Use your energy to learn new things, and use your wisdom to learn from others’ mistakes.
4. Don’t be afraid to ask for the things you want. If trading a traditional nine-to-five job for remote or part-time work seems absurd, why not at least ask? Sometimes we truly have not because we ask not. Some things are possible simply because we create the space for them to happen.
5. Put your eggs in different baskets. When it comes to finding a source of income, don’t assume that income has to look just one way. Our family now has three sources of income because we were open to different avenues of creativity. Start small, start with what you know and only water the opportunities that grow.