Hi! I’m Cat and I’d like to personally welcome you to The Compass Is Calling. We are the Holladays – a family of three who currently live in a Class A motorhome and travel full time across the US. We took a year off to explore our country and reconnect with the things we feel are truly important. What we have come to realize over time is that nothing is more important or valuable to us than the memories we make together. In the last year and a half, we have made some big changes – including selling nearly everything we own – in order to live with more freedom to do the things we want, when we want. We hope you find something in our adventures that excites and inspires your own adventure – whatever that may be!
Who are we?
Cat – The voice behind the blog, the recovering type-A personality (it’s hard to be type-A on a trip like this!), and the main photographer. I love a great deal or sale, a good historical fiction book, and a steaming cup of hot chocolate. In my past life, I was a corporate drone, managing more people and projects than humanly possible and hating every minute of it. Recently, I’ve rediscovered my passion for writing and have been able to share this both through the blog and various digital and print publications.
Growing up we traveled. My memories from those trips to the Grand Canyon, the monuments of Washington, D.C. etc. have always been vivid reminders of family, experiential education, and the pursuit of happiness. Opening a book in a classroom to learn about a culture when you’ve visited the ancient site upon which they made sacrifices solidifies a connection that only fellow travelers can relate to.
Travel – and the opportunities it provides to learn at a deeper level – is something we can’t live without and I am so happy Adam and I have made it a priority in our lives.
Adam – The motorhome captain, the drone pilot, and the number cruncher. I love the thought of the open road and not knowing what lies around the next corner or over the next hill. We’ve planned, saved and budgeted for quite some time to realize this dream we are currently living. Prior to setting out on the open road, I made a career in the construction industry. I thrived on continually pushing myself to build bigger and better projects and I love the teamwork and camaraderie created during the building process. However, as my career progressed I found myself sitting in boardrooms discussing legal claims, fighting with insurance companies and constantly chasing new corporate policies. I had turned from a builder of projects and teams into a corporate paper pusher and legal mediator. It was time to hit the reset button…
Travel has always inspired me. I think the greatest thing about travel is meeting people and seeing places that are totally foreign to your ideas, upbringing, and philosophies. In order to continue our evolution, it is critically important to see and try to understand different perspectives. Mark Twain once said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” That pretty much sums it up.
“G” – The storyteller, mischief maker, and chief treasure hunter. No, “G” is not my real name. But because of my age, my parents don’t think it’s appropriate to use my full name since I can’t technically give consent yet. I love to bust ghosts (Venkman is my hero), meet other kids everywhere we go, and sneak into bed with mom and dad in the middle of the night.
I’ve been lucky enough to travel to more than 18 countries with my parents so far. I’ve also been to 17 states. This trip traveling full time is exciting for me because I get to see more of the country I was born in and learn about our history. Storytelling is one of my favorite things to do and I love visiting places that give me plenty of material for my next epic tale. It also doesn’t hurt if there are ghosts involved.
My favorite place so far has been Finland – the snow, the playgrounds, and the castles. I’m looking forward to seeing which state will be my favorite – Florida ranks high because of Grammie, but I’m sure there are other amazing places.
Why take a year off to travel full time?
Living in Finland, we saw firsthand what could be accomplished in a 37-hour work week. Dad was home every evening for dinner with time after to play, read, explore town, and more. It was an amazing work-life balance.
Moving back to the States, that balance was shattered. Although we had done the 50-60+ hour weeks before moving overseas, coming back to it was a tough pill to swallow. We found that we accomplished LESS in more time on the job, we were irritable at the end of the day, our son was stressed because we were, and we had no time to enjoy being together.
Sadly, this is the reality that many families in America face. Sure, we traveled on weekends and holidays, but we were never able to turn work mode off. We needed something more meaningful.
We sold everything a while ago and have been living with less in order to experience more for a while. So that concept isn’t new. Tiny spaces aren’t scary for us either, although there will be challenges.
We’ve traveled the world, but there is so much in our own back yard we have yet to explore. The plan is to really connect with our country – it’s people, its places, and its cultures.
For one year (thereabouts) we are living a life free of the confines of society’s plan for us. No work unless we want to, although we will still maintain the blog (which is definitely work mind you – but it’s work we truly enjoy). Cat will also continue travel writing as she finds unique stories on our sojourn. The difference is that we will be doing something because we choose to, not because we have to.
We created this community in order to help families learn how to travel more on any budget. Travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer, and we believe that travel is imperative to gain a broader knowledge of the world we live in, as well as develop tolerance and understanding. However, travel doesn’t have to mean taking your family around the world, it could be as close as your neighborhood park. However and wherever you like to travel, The Compass Is Calling can help you do it more often, for less.
We really enjoy reading budget, travel, and life articles/blogs and have several inspirational families we look up to. For a quick guide to our main travel-related resources, visit our Resources page.
If you’d like to get to know Cat a little better, watch the video below. We look forward to connecting with you and your family soon!