Nikki and Jason Wynn setting up camp for the evening. (All photos from Nikki and Jason Wynn)
It seems unlikely that I’m currently living, working and perpetually traveling in 250 square feet with a person whom I despised less than 15 years ago, but that’s where life has brought me.
I met Jason at a Starbucks the summer of 2000, shortly after moving to Dallas, Texas for college. Like many coffee shops, it was a meeting place. For me, it was where I visited with friends for hours of deep conversation. For Jason, it was where his friends would gather before heading out for a night of debauchery. We disliked each other from the moment we set eyes on one another. I found his arrogance intolerable and he couldn’t understand why I was so hard to impress.
Checking out Bryce Canyon in Utah.
Time slowly buffed away our blunt first impressions. His arrogance turned to charming confidence and my demeanor revealed determination and independence. Fast forward ten years to the ripe old age of 28. After four short years of marriage we were living the American Dream, or so we thought. We had successful careers (Jason, a photographer, and me a, makeup artist) and an upscale urban life. Still, we felt like something was missing. We were craving adventure. That’s when we made a major change in our lives. We sold it all (and we really mean all 4,000 square feet of it), packed up our two cats, bought a 32-foot RV and hit the road! Some people thought we were insane, others called us genius…the debate is ongoing.
Four years later we have more than 75,000 miles logged, 45 states visited, multiple countries entered and more experiences than anyone could hope to have in a lifetime and, surprisingly, our marriage is stronger than ever. Not only do we live and travel together, we also work together! We document and share everything on our site, Gone With The Wynns.
Driving up to a farm stay.
We share our experiences to inspire others to do the same and this sharing is what gives our travels a greater purpose, ultimately bringing us closer together. We never intended to be on the road this long and if I said every day was marital bliss, I would be lying. Traveling as a couple has its ups and downs. In our experience, it’s been mostly ups, but we have learned some intimate lessons along the way.
Nothing goes unseen You are far more vulnerable and more aware of each other’s actions. Nothing goes unnoticed, not a heavy sigh and most certainly not an upset stomach. You learn to address issues quickly since there is no one else around and nowhere else to go.
We actually couldn’t be happier.
Communication is key You hear it all the time but communication truly is the key to all relationships…especially in tight quarters and on the move! It’s better to say how you feel and what you want in the moment (while you can say it in a ‘normal’ voice) rather than wait until you are on edge and everything sounds more dramatic.
Everything has to have its place.
Compromising is necessary. You have to be willing to give and take. One of you may be a dare devil while the other is a total scaredy cat. One has to be willing to take a step back sometimes so the other can take a step forward and vice versa. We all need our personal time When you do everything together and go everywhere together you can forget to carve out personal time. It’s important to maintain your independence. It can be as simple as running errands on your own or taking an impromptu yoga class. Sometimes you just need to hit reset Sometimes no matter how hard you try to be in a good mood, everything just seems like crap. Those are the days you just need a pass. This is also a good opportunity to take a little personal time to get back in your happy place. Remember the romance!
Marriage is a compromise, no matter where you live.
So many couples don’t talk…but that isn’t an issue when you have long drives, day hikes and quiet nights with nothing but stars and a campfire. You naturally become BFFs. The only downside is, in such close quarters, you sometimes have to remind yourselves that you are more than just buds…you are friends with benefits! Snuggle, hold hands and make out in the woods! It’s said that travel (especially long-term travel) can make or break a relationship. We say, if you are truly a good match, traveling together is the quickest route to a solid, long and happy life together.
So raise a glass for a toast, couples that travel together, stay together!
Nikki and Jason Wynn left their home and jobs at the age of 28 for a life on the road and haven’t looked back. Now they’re a couple of perpetual travelers, RV’ers (for now) and modern day documentarians who share their tips and experiences for RVing and traveling through the U.S. on their popular website and YouTube channel. Learn more about their adventures at Gone with the Wynns or follow along on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.