A once in a lifetime trip for most people has rolled to a stop for the Pritts family.
In June 2016, Jeff, the former manager of the Uptown Normal Marriott Hotel and Conference Center and Marci,who worked for a non-profit foundation, headed east on a 13,000 mile, 10-month trip that took them, their kids, a Great Dane, a second dog, and a cat through 30 states with 70 stops.
Jeff and Marci saved and planned for years so they could both take a year off work and travel the country and Jeff said the financial planning generally worked out okay, although there were some unexpected bumps in the road.
"We had a lot of crazy things happen," Jeff told GLT's Mike McCurdy during Sound Ideas. "Our tenants never moved in and then didn't pay rent, that was supposed to cover (expenses). The other tenants had to move out. We had to replace the water line, sewer. We had to do the roof, we painted, carpet."
There was also a crash that totaled the car they towed behind the RV, the expense to buy a new car, paying for repairs on the new car, and then Jeff had unexpected knee surgery. The upside of the knee surgery is that it cut the trip a little short saving a few dollars. Also, shaving a few weeks off the trip: weather, which interfered with planned journey up the west and northwest coast.
Jeff said depite their credit rating, assets, and savings, the struggle now is getting a loan for a home in Denton, TX, where the family is relocating.
"Once you haven't worked for a short period of time it's like you've never worked. We have great work histories," said Jeff. "We found some lenders we think will get us there, but I've had to go through some work to find those lenders."
Jeff will manage a new Gold LEED certified hotel in Denton. Marci is interviewing for jobs. Their children Wayne and Dorothy will be enrolled in schools. They'll be tested after a year of homeschooling, or road schooling as Marci puts it.
"I will honestly say that was the most challenging part of the trip for me," said Marci. "We had no schedule, there was no continuity with our lives and it made it real challenging because everyday the kids would wake up and say 'do we have school today?'"
Marci said, in a normal home schooling situation, there's a routine and a home.
Their blog about the trip has attracted some attention and questions from people also interested in a similar trip. Jeff said his advice is to write down the dream and work steadily toward it.
As for the RV, named Someday, because everyone they talked to about the trip said something like "I'd like to do that someday," will not be sold right away. The Pritts family may have to live in it a while longer as they locate their new non-rolling home in Denton.
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