Boulder family sells house and buys RV to travel the country in the ultimate family adventure

Kathy and her husband Peter sold their house, bought a Winnebago, and set out on the ultimate adventure with their daughter, Abby, in 2014. It was only supposed to last a year.

You always hear of people talking about giving it all up - their house, their car, their stuff - to hit the road and go on an adventure. But it's pretty rare that anyone actually does it. None

BOULDER - Many people say they would love to give it all up—their house, their belongings, their normal life—and travel the country.

The Holcombe family of Boulder, CO, was no different.

“It was one of those ideas that just didn’t go away—so we talked about it for a year,” Kathy Holcombe said. “So we just took the leap to sell our house and gave it a shot.”

Kathy and her husband Peter sold their house, bought a Winnebago, and set out on the ultimate adventure. 

They would take their successful photography business on the road, and explore the United States while also working. And they even convinced their young daughter Abby that it would be an experience of a lifetime.

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The Holcombe Family sold their home in 2014, bought an RV, and set out on the ultimate family road-trip. 3 years later, they're still at it. Watch Storytellers Sunday 5/21 at 9 & 10PM. None

“At first it was like, ‘Man, I don’t want to leave my friends,’” Abby said. “I was really sad to move away and do something unknown and not go to normal school like all my other friends.”

It did not take long for Abby to change her mind.

“It’s neat that they did something that they always wanted to do and pushed through all the hurdles,” Abby said. “They did something really cool, and they brought me along and I get to travel and do unusual things.”

The Holcombes planned to be gone for one year, then come back to Colorado and resume a “normal” life. But Kathy said life was great for the family.

“Before our life was always punctuated with the normal life between the really good stuff, and we just decided that the really good stuff should be our normal life,” Kathy said.

So they decided to stay on the road—and have been traveling since 2014. For the past three years, their RV has taken them 120,000 miles through 49 states.

“I think that’s the hardest thing is taking the chance and putting your house for sale, buying an RV, and hitting the road—that’s crazy stuff,” Peter said. “But we’ve never once regretted it--it’s been so amazing.”

Abby takes classes wherever there is internet access.

Her online school gives her the flexibility that is required while traveling to remote locations. Kathy said before the trip, Abby was shy, and not very interested in school.

“When we started traveling I just watched her blossom—she is so outgoing,” Kathy said. “I think it’s the best thing we could’ve ever done as parents--I wonder what she’s going to do when she grows up after all this? It’s got to be something extraordinary.”

Abby is already on her way.

Just this spring, she paddled the entire 280-mile stretch of the Grand Canyon on her own, in her pink kayak. She has been confirmed to be the youngest person, at 12 years old, to do so.

Abby Holcombe from Boulder kayaked all 280+ miles of the Grand Canyon in Spring of 2017. Meet her on Storytellers 5/21 at 9&10PM. None

“I paddled 30 mile days and I worked really hard and I finished it,” Abby said. “I did something that I really wanted to do.”

The adventures keep coming—and the Holcombe family has no intention of stopping anytime soon.
“We decided not to put an expiration date on it we’ll do it as long as it makes sense,” Peter said.

The family said they hope they are inspiring other families to spend time outside together.

“Sometimes life gets in the way of living—so make sure to get out and live and do incredible things together,” Kathy said.

The family takes pictures and blogs about their adventures. To learn more about what they have done together, go to their website: http://famagogo.com/

Peter Holcombe’s photography can be seen on Instagram @peterholcombe

The Holcombe's story is part of a week-long Colorful Colorado series by Senior Multiskilled Journalist Anne Herbst.

Colorful Colorado, a 30-minute special, will air Saturday, May 27 at 9:30 p.m. on KTVD (Channel 20- or Channel 5 on Comcast). Set your DVR!

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