Q: barenakedfamily? What's that all about?
A: We are actually a very modest family and keep our clothes on. What it means to us includes getting rid of stuff to simplify our lives and live our dreams. We started this site for our family and friends to keep up with our travels and had named it GregJennandKids.com. We always had to spell it out multiple times and slowly. We knew we had to come up with a name that we could say, that meant something about who we are, and that would stick without having to spell it out. We knew barenakedfamily fit after using various stupid names we came up with (although P.FamDitty remains a favorite). Aggravating conservatives is just a bonus.
Q: What is it your family does?
A: Since May '01 we have traveled and lived full time in our RV. We are committed to living, playing, learning, and working together as a family ~ living in an RV enables our desires to play with and learn from and with others and their cultures ~ working to share our travels and adventures with anyone that will listen ~ encouraging other families to live their dreams.
Q: What'd you do before this? (American translation: what kind of work?)
A: Greg worked with Dell at Microsoft and Jenn worked with the kids ~ hobbies, camps, school, activities, etc... Pretty typical but fortunately we were able to see the best of the best within the corporate world. Our family worked WITH Dell and they often sent us all on biz trips together to accomplish their goals and ours. Greg started working with Dell in manufacturing in 1992, to tech support, to engineering, and then started the Dell engineering team at Microsoft in 1998. When we relocated to Redmond, WA to work between Dell and Microsoft, circumstances left us alone there for over 1.5 years before we could grow the Dell team. It was then we realized how well we could work together. Jenn and the kids complemented Greg's career so much that we knew we had to work together which led us to our current life. There's more babble on Gettin' BareNaked next in the menu.
Q: I wish I could do this ~ how did you pull this off?
A: We won the mental lottery. If money were no object, we would eventually get bored with buying stuff and investing, we would have to decide what to do with our free time. We decided we would live, play, learn, and work together as a family. We would have a Prevost rock star tour bus and tow a VW Eurovan camper and have many home bases around the world. But in our mental lottery reality, we could afford a '92 Winnebago and a '74 VW Thing ~ we took the time to customize these ourselves into a Rock Star Family VW Tour Bus and an ass-kickin' funkified car. We had to get rid of everything else and spend less.
If you wanna learn more about full time RV'ing, check out familiesontheroad.com where there's a fantastic forum to discuss traveling logistics. Traveling jobs are out there and just as tricky to find and do as working in one place. The really hard part is finding ways to work together as a Family ~ so wrong.
Q: How can you afford to do this?
A: No Bills is the goal. Pretty much the first year was vacation and soul searching for a way to work together using equity from homes sold. The second year we ran a mobile graphics vending business making custom T-Shirts, decals, signs, and RV/auto/boat graphics. The third year we found and ran the BNFamily Foundation and did fundraising and Family events full time coordinating programs to help Families Play, Learn, and Work Together. We're also working odd jobs (retail, construction, contracts...) while developing barenakedfamily. Our goal is to work together, live simply, and create opportunities and inspiration for other Families to reconnect. Pray for abundance.
Q: How is it living in such a small place?
A: Love it. Since April '01 we've lived in 333 sq ft (RV outside dimensions). We house sat for some friends in a 2/2 700 square foot house and thought it was too big! We're used to the small space. When we watch TV, we're all in the same bed. When we eat, we're at the same table. When we go to bed, most of our space is used. And ~ our backyard is maintained and owned by others and is HUGE! Check out Livin' BareNaked for some pictures of RV life...
Q: Where are you from?
A: Jenn and Greg were raised and met in San Antonio then moved to Austin in 1992. All the kids were born in Austin. We moved to Seattle in 1998 and have been on the road since 2001.
Q: Do you home school your kids?
A: No. We register them in the public school systems for days at a time in each and every location we visit, NOT. Of course we home school and this is a good thing. We're allowed to learn about creation and evolution theories!
Q: How do your kids socialize without school and activities?
A: They are socializing better than before. They have learned to make friends of all ages anywhere, anytime, and immediately. They make friends with many foreigners that don't know English which is exciting to watch! They also seem to appreciate their parents and siblings time and friendship more now that we are together so much.
Q: What's your favorite place?
A: Earth. So far. And Austin. And Seattle. And Malibu. And Prescott. And Kingston Ontario. And Salem. And San Diego, And Monterrey County...
Q: Does Jenn drive the RV with the tow car?
A: Yep. And quite well. We're talking over 50ft of vehicle with five axles!
Q: Are all those kids yours?
A: Yes. Except Jenn - She's the wife and mother.
Q: What's that Thing?
A: Our Family car - It's a 'VW Thing' built in 1974. They only sold for two years in the states but remain popular in Mexico.
Q: Does it float?
A: "Yes, right before it sinks" (-The Thing Shop). The Germans did build an amphibious Schwimwagen for WWII that looked similar.
Q: Are you crazy?