Family Adventure Podcast

Erik from Family Adventure Podcast interviewed us recently. Have a listen, be inspired & please comment/share.

49 – Family Travel + Music!

01

Music & Travel!

How about this? A family traveling for years, playing music as a band, and enjoying and savoring every experience that crosses their path? Sounds epic? The Hollands manage their life and business on the road and share their experiences with us!

From Homeschooling, building a bus, to their creative look on finances, these folks are the real deal, and have fun following their dream and passions!

Show Notes:

http://tillersandtravelers.org -Personal Blog with Family updates.

thehollands.org -Music Site. Listen to Music. Find out where they’re at, if at all possible, you need to see them LIVE!

Twitter is used for health, food science, homeschool and social justice issues.

Facebook is used for music updates!

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Thank you so much for the love!

Bus Conversion; Sneak Peak

The Hollands! BusToday marks our Three Year Anniversary!

In August 2011, we gave away all of our possession and bought a 1984 MCI-9 Motorcoach (bus). Over the course of two months we would begin the conversion process with the help of many friends, neighbors and family. We departed Green Bay, WI in our bus on Oct 13, 2011, with the exterior walls, couch, dinette and master bed in tact. The rest of the bus was a container. We set off for our first stop in Sister, OR where another handful of friends and family helped us build out the kitchen cabinets, framing bedrooms and installing the electrical system. We left Oregon and as we traveled we built out what we could, when we had the resources and time. Over the course of the next three years we installed the plumbing system and finished off the bathroom complete with a shower and hot water. We have traveled over 60,000 miles, through 36 states. We are peace pilgrims, folk revivalists, and merrymakers. And, this is our home today.

PS. Video was filmed on an I-Phone 4 and we realize the quality isn’t ideal but hopefully you get a good glimpse for now. Also, here is the first design floor plan drawn by our friend, Marc Brummel. We adapted it as we built, moving the shower, sink and toilet but the basic design is the same.

Bus Conversion Floor Plan

Bus Conversion: Rub a Dub Dub

Bus ConversionHooray! After 3 years on the road we finally have our shower.

When we left Green Bay, WI in our bus Oct 14, 2011 we had the blue print for how our bus would eventually look and we had the walls, dinette, bed and couch built all thanks our friends, Marc Brummel, Allen Gokey, David Baumgartner and our neighbor Jim. It was a few months later, in Sister, OR that we would establish our electrical system thanks to Ben Miller and Craig would learn how to make our kitchen cabinets thanks to Mike Dyer.

For the next year we would roll around with out plumbing and then in Iowa at the Anderson’s, over the course of ten days, our bus would have cold running water, a flushing toilet and the added bonus of a new paint job.

Beginning of this year our building was put on hold to go to Australia for a few months, however when we returned the shower and hot water were next on the agenda. It has taken six months of savings, labor and love.

As for the cost of putting in this fantastic luxury…

Rocks collected from all over the world= Free. Tiles= $340, Seaward 11 gallon water heater= $300, add in plumbing parts, grout, sealer, shower fixtures and extra’s total= $1000.

… After three years without a shower or hot running water, we understand it really is a luxury, not a necessity… None the less, we are so grateful for all who have donated towards this effort. Bless y’all, and if you ever stay on our bus, you are welcome to have a shower, on the house!

 

 

Bus Upholstery Facelift

We have two seating areas on our bus. One long couch and a dinette with two benches. We can seat seven people comfortably but have had up to 10 in our living area. It’s pure bliss to have kinfolk join us on board and over the past two years and ten months we have had so many guests we’ve lost count. The only down side is it ends up being a lot of wear and tear on our little cushions and we were in desperate need of an upgrade. But how to find the supplies with our modest budget?

I’m a self-proclaimed treasure hunter and decided to start at the local thrift stores. I ended up finding exactly what I needed at St. Vincent DePaul thrift store in Green Bay WI. The choices were limited but the fabrics were sturdy. Next I asked around for a good place to find foam for our dinette. We decided to make due with the couch cushion and just recovered it with the staple gun method. For the dinette however, we wanted the cushions covered individually with zippers which would allow for washing access and for ease when converting the dinette into the spare bed for guests. I picked up a high quality grade cushion at Al’s upholstery on Main St and then found Wendy’s upholstery in Shawano, WI to do the handy work. She did a fantastic job and came in just at budget. All up our project cost just under $200.00

It may not be as flashy as our original blues and patterns but the fabrics and cushions are sturdy and hopefully will wear better, offering many more years of sharing life with kinfolk and hosting fellow travelers.

Original cushions, October 2011:

Celu'haven floor

Wear and tear as of April 2014:

Facelift, July 2014 :

 

 

Dream Talk 2014

…But when desire cometh, it is a tree of life!

We were able to travel over 17,000 miles, repair the brakes on our bus, create a new album, start a new way of home school (road school), welcomed travelers on the bus, begin the healing process from Skin Cancer, and learned so many wonderful things from experts and laymen alike. We were graciously welcomed into over 40 communities and homes through out the USA, all open to hearing our message of reconciliation and restoration, sharing our gifts of music, craftsmanship, mentorship, merrymaking and community building. 

Dream Talk for 2014.

These are all tentative plans and dreams. Your prayers and well wishes are so appreciated as we move forward.

Jan-April;  AUSTRALIA, excited to see what adventures wait for us down under.

April-June; 

-A young friend, Greg, has graduated from University and is looking for an opportunity to serve, play music and seek mentorship. He has asked to ride the bus.

-We hope to serve again, alongside Hope in Transit in Show Low, AZ and East Central Ministries, in Albuquerque, NM

– We hope to connect with communities in Austin TX, Hot Springs AR, Memphis and Nashville TN, St. Louis MO and Mt. Vernon IA, and anywhere in between.

June/July/Aug,  We made a commitment to volunteer at a Catholic youth camp in Shawano, WI June and July. We will be helping with maintenance, mentoring counselors, bonfire jam sessions once a week with the campers and working in the kitchen.

Sept-Dec, We are looking for a community that is open to caring for us for a season. Our hope is to rest, create, record a new album, and prepare for 2015 where we hope to nurture verbal invitations to Australia, New Zealand, Cambodia, Philippines, Israel, Germany and Italy. We’re delighted to go where ever the doors open and are actively pursuing what it might look like to serve globally.

Will you consider helping us on our way in 2014? 

We have partnered with Modern Day Missions and hope that you find the giving process safe and efficient.

Please visit Modern Day to set up your tax-deductible giving account TODAY. 

 

 

Interview with Florida Outdoor RV

The Hollands! – Merrymaking Nomads

December 3, 2013 By  

Jana from The Hollands kindly offered to do an interview with me! They travel the world singing and bringing joy to people everywhere. Enjoy it and let us know what you think!

The Hollands! Bus

What inspired to you to hit the road and do full time RVing…or I guess “Busing” in your case!

At the end of 2010 we, The Hollands! (Americana Folk Band and family) recognized a huge disconnect in our marriage, family, spirituality, global footprint and finances. Typical to most middle American families, we were working full time, pursuing our musical passion, school committee’s, organizing neighborhood gatherings and with what energy we had left, dreaming about a slower more deliberate pace. A pace that included deeper connectivity, reconciliation and purpose. Thus began the process to align all of those areas in our lives.

We started by casting a dream/vision for a life that was simpler, less fragmented and community driven. We released our possessions, bought a bus and began a journey converting it into a home on wheels, learning to home school, connecting with communities across the US and Australia and making music.

How has this decision affected your life? Your Family? Your lifestyle? Your values?

A paradigm shift has taken place in our ideology about most things in our life, especially “wants” verses “needs.” The effect has been more than noticeable.  Downsizing from 2000 sq ft home to 300 sq ft bus has been quite the process. I would say especially for our children, ages 17 and 12. (girl and a boy) They share a 7 x 71/2 bunk room and each have 4 drawers and shared closet. We left in a bus that was unfinished and have been building it on the road. The first year we had no plumbing, but somehow found plenty of toilets to use. I will say, however, that when the plumbing was finally installed we celebrated.

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Our living quarters 2011
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Our finished living quarters 2013

Through this process our family has grown tremendously closer. We live in a small space and the four of us are together 24/7 so it’s obvious when the harmony is off. We respect each others space and process but the commitment to finding that harmony again moves much quicker than when we used to live in a large home, all going our different directions.

We’ve also found a deeper connection with our music, performing over 90 shows a year, writing new material, and having other musicians travel/tour with us. It’s proving to be a very good education for us all.

I’m not sure our pace is much slower than our former lifestyle, but it is much more purposeful. Over the past two years we have traveled to 32 states and all but a handful of nights were spent parked with “host” families.  We’ve connected with most, if not all of the ‘host” families through our social media networks or from referrals from friends. Those times when we did not find a host family or needed time to ourselves we stayed at State Parks or RV Parks.

Our greatest joy on this journey has been being invited into the lives of so many families, to share in community and see all sorts of different ways to do life, from carnivores to vegans, Republicans, Democrats, Anarchists and everything in-between, a plethora of religious ideals to those who claim no faith.  We’ve had the opportunity to try all sorts of foods, music, sports, outdoors activities, etc… We’ve been invited to share sacred space, learn new customs and rituals, and have heard stories of trials, pain, betrayal, hope, joy and faith.

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What does a normal day look like for you?

It looks different every single day. There is no normal.

What advice would you give to the beginner full time traveler or RVer?

If you are a family, the most important thing we could advise is to move forward with purpose. Discuss as a family what your hope is in traveling, are you looking for the crux to be educational, service, rest, exploration, tourist, or a combination of those. Revisit that conversation regularly. Dialog about your strengths and weakness as individuals and as a family whole, decide to use those strengths for the greater good, lift each other up in your weakness and be open to the entering the unknown. Be open to moving upstream.

Please visit FLORIDA OUTDOOR RV for more fantastic stories of FULL TIMERS.

Two Years Baby!

Today marks our two-year anniversary of nomadic life. Thinking about all of the individuals and families that helped to make all of this happen. Those at the very beginning and those we continue to meet along the way.

When we pulled out of Green Bay, Wisconsin we had our couch, dinette and bed built, the rest of our belongings were in boxes on the floor of the bus. We had $1800 in our pockets and our first week on the road we trekked over 2000 miles to Sisters, OR. We arrived with only two hundred dollars left in our pocket and wondered what in the world we were going to do.

Little did we know that there was a community and purpose waiting for us!  We spent three months in that community finding our legs and experiencing a massive shift in our thinking about life, purpose, humanity and God.

Every single thing that has been built on the bus has a story that involves donated or refurbished materials and/or kinfolk offering a helping hand. Story upon story, layer upon layer of community, beauty and worth.

Today we don’t celebrate our efforts but we celebrate all of those who have persevered and come along side of us through this journey.

We celebrate those who have hosted us in their driveways, allowed us to use showers, laundry and space.

We thank those who have allowed us to invade their lives, shared story, community and meals.

We thank those who have graciously offered us the cash in their pockets to help us with gas, repairs, and groceries.

We celebrate those who have invited us into the fold, those who have trusted us to lead them in sacred space.

We thank friends who continue to hold us accountable, challenge and encourage us in our marriage, family and faith.

We thank the youth we have met along the way, that open their hearts to our children, that inviting them into their lives, sharing the experiences of football games, dances, going to movies, parties, and staying in touch with them when we leave.

We celebrate those who have educated us along our way, homeschool parents, teachers, and those with special gifts and resources, offering us opportunities to learn to surf, horseback ride, ski, mountain bike, hiking, fly fishing, work with fine art, graffiti art, CSA farming, and building/flying RC Planes.

We thank those who are doing amazing things to advocate for the marginalized and their willingness to allow us to come along side and encourage, serve and learn.

We celebrate you! Every single one of you! Thank you for loving us and cheering us on.

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