The Koby family from Goodyear has taken on a whole new approach for what it means to go on family vacations.
In early 2019, Monica and her husband Bob, and their two daughters, Autumn (11) and Jade (7), decided to sell nearly all of their belongings and their house to become full-time travelers—settling into their truck and 37-foot travel trailer as their new home on-the-road.
With Bob working remotely and Monica deciding to leave her job as a Nuclear Medicine Technologist to assist the girls with their online schoolwork through the Arizona Connections Academy, the Kobys had the flexibility they desired to start exploring.
“Family is very important for us and we knew we only had 18 summers with our kids and wanted to make the most of it,” said Monica. “We knew a couple of people who traveled full-time and thought we would give it a shot. Instead of just getting one or two vacations together a year, we could travel while working and doing school and see things that would take us years to see.”
In just the two and a half years since the Kobys began their travels, they have been to 35 states and explored 29 national parks.
“We generally stay on the road most of the year and spend a few months in Phoenix during the winter and spring,” said Monica. “Depending on where we are and what our travel plans are, we may stay in an area for a month, or at times have moved weekly.”
Monica said one of their favorite adventures was in Vermont. There they spent three weeks seeing the fall foliage, going on a private tour of a syrup factory, touring the Cabot cheese factory, the Vermont Teddy Bear factory, Ben and Jerry’s headquarters, roaming the countryside, visiting Vermont’s “Little Grand Canyon” and exploring several hiking trails and state parks.
While on the road, Autumn and Jade work on their school work and Monica says they have both adapted really well to the online learning platform.
“We focus on staying on top of their assignments daily and if we have a ‘field trip’ we love the flexibility to work ahead or catch up as our schedule allows,” Monica said.
When the pandemic hit, Monica said they felt fortunate that it didn’t have a big impact on them.
“We pretty much were already living a quarantine life,” she said. “Nothing changed for us; timing was on our side for sure.”
Although living in close quarters can have its challenges at times and sharing one bathroom between the four of them has been a struggle—Monica says they’ve never looked back.
“When we initially started in 2019, we gave ourselves one year. One year to make the best of our new lifestyle even if we hated it. We never towed a trailer before and we had never taken the kids camping before,” she said. “Going from the normal–take the kids to school, go to work, come home, cook dinner, homework, shower, bed, repeat…to what we do now…I wish we would have started this years ago.”
For anyone thinking about traveling more with their family, Monica’s advice: Do it!
“The amount of experiences we have enjoyed as a family is just a dream come true,” she said.
To follow along with the Kobys traveling adventures, they can be found on Instagram: @kobysfromheretowhere