The 50 State Honeymoon

Partners in Adventure

Heath and Alyssa Padgett Heath and Alyssa Padgett  |  11.26.2015

I should’ve known when I married Heath that our life together would never be “normal.” After all, for our third date, he flew me up from Austin to Colorado to spend spring break with his entire family. I’d never met anyone so full of adventure, or someone so crazy.

When we decided to get married I casually threw out the idea of visiting all 50 states for our honeymoon. Our wedding date was three months out and we both were looking for a good reason to quit our jobs and pursue our dream of writing books. I guess I shouldn’t have been so surprised when he started pricing out RVs on Craigslist. Nothing says unconventional like two 23-year-old newlyweds living in an RV.

GettingMarriedThe adventure begins as newlyweds Alyssa and Heath sparkle.

The more we talked it over, the more we realized buying an RV would allow us to not only travel to 49 of the 50 states, but it would also allow us to travel indefinitely — if we could find a way to make money on the road.

One day after confiding in a mentor about our tentative honeymoon plans, Heath came to me with the craziest idea I’d ever heard. “What if I work a job in each of the 50 states?” Heath asked.

“You want to work throughout our entire honeymoon?” I retorted, rolling my eyes. I wasn’t sold.

Fortunately for us, he was persistent. Typical of Heath, he kept pursuing this idea, doing research online, and trying to find out how he could find 50 different companies to hire him. Google quickly directed him to a company called Snagajob, the largest online hourly job board.

afterbuyingfirstRVThe new honeymoon suite awaits.

Within two weeks, my adventurous husband had a signed contract with Snagajob for them to essentially sponsor our honeymoon and help him find hourly jobs in each state. Six weeks before our wedding day, we found the perfect RV on Craigslist to take us around the country: a 1994 Coachmen Leprechaun Class C motorhome. Everything fell into place for us to start our marriage on the road.

DCIM106GOPRONo tin cans on the bumper, just seven months of travel ahead.

Four days after we exchanged vows, we left Austin, Texas and started driving west. We spent the next 200 days touring the US filming and writing about Heath’s jobs in each state. (And before you ask, no, we did not drive our RV to Hawaii.)

DCIM106GOPROOne of many interviews along the journey.

As we traveled, people started to take notice of the two “kids” traveling in an RV that was almost as old as we were. Our project, named Hourly America, has been featured on CNN, CBS, Fox, Yahoo, Business Insider, Huffington Post, and more.

workingatDenaliA long way to travel for a day job, but the scenery is worth it.

After returning from Alaska in June, Heath and I knew we weren’t ready to give up the RV lifestyle and return to the normalcy of living in one place. That’s why we decided to keep RVing full-time and upgrade our 21-year-old rig for something we knew could keep us on the road indefinitely: the 2016 Winnebago Brave.

So, where to first?  I’m almost afraid to ask, but now that the honeymoon is over I know it’ll still be interesting.


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