Politics on the Road
August 31, 2012
Many people view my family as a little unconventional. When my husband or I are asked where we work, we can both happily reply, “at home.” Likewise, when asked where our children go to school, we give the same response. As you can see our home is a little busy. We have two adults working full-time jobs while schooling our children, all from home.
As if that isn’t enough to turn heads, we also chose to embrace the world (or at least the contingent United States) for all it has to offer. We decided to take our home to the road. We purchased a large travel trailer and set out for an adventure of a lifetime. We plan on traveling across the United States with our little family in our portable, yet comfortable, home (office/school).
It may seem “crazy” to many people, but we are making memories that will last a lifetime. As I write this blog post I am looking at some of the most beautiful scenery imaginable. I even just caught my first ever trout. Yes, that makes me a professional angler now. We are camped near the White River in the beautiful Ozark Mountains in Arkansas and enjoying every minute of it.
All our children are under the ages of 5, so we feel now is the best time for traveling. We can travel for a couple of years and then settle back down to a “normal” lifestyle when the children are a little older and will crave the consistency. However, frequently traveling across state borders and between cities, there are definitely some political matters to consider.
State of Residency
For most people on the road this will be the state in which they previously lived for two or more years. You will need a PO Box there, and this state is the one you will use on your tax return. Once you have your PO Box you can set up a forwarding service. These services will forward your mail to you wherever you may be. If you find a state or area that you really love and want to set up shop there for over a year, you may need to consider changing your residency. You will need to contact your local City Hall or DMV to find out more information on transferring residency.
Another consideration is schooling for your children. Homeschooling will take care of most of the issues you will have for schooling. However, depending on which state you are located, you may need to fill out an “intent to homeschool” form. This requirement will vary depending on how long you are staying in a location and the local laws there. Virtual schooling is another option. If your home state (state of residency) has a virtual school program you can consider enrolling your children in that option. Many of the states with these programs are perfect for traveling families. This is the option we chose for our children. The teacher keep up with us via phone calls and email.
Laws and Ordinances
You’ll need to know the laws and ordinances for the places you travel. You don’t want to be caught off guard or unintentionally breaking the law, so brush up on the laws before you head out. This can be especially important if you have a gun with you when traveling. Traveling with guns between state lines can be tricky, so be sure that you have all proper permits for the area you will be staying. This may require attending a special concealed carry class in the area when you arrive.
If you understand the differences in laws, and even etiquette in the area you will be going, you’ll find that traveling semi-permanently with your family is not as difficult or “crazy” as you may have expected.
What ways are your families a little “unconventional”?