Updated: Dec 7, 2020
Life can change – we all know that. Life had changed for all of us in these past few months, but for Monique and William Matos, that change happened in April 2014. Their story is so incredibly inspiring – how a loving couple can take life’s lemons and turn it round into the most delectable lemon meringue pie. I caught up with Monique and she was kind enough to grant Fern the Camper an interview and tell their story.
FTC: Can you tell us a little about yourselves and your RV?
LTGL: “We are Living The GoodLife Rving, Monique and William Matos and our doggie Ariel. We have been married for two years but have been together for over 8 years. In April 2014, our lives changed forever, William Suffered a Stroke. It took his memory, his vision and coordination and left us to figure out how to navigate the health system, disability and other services needed. Not only was William not able to work but I had to leave my job and become a full time caregiver.
“I (Monique) had to go into survival mood and figure out how to make money to survive. We were living in California at the time and everything was getting more and more expensive, so I decide to pack up everything we had and move to Florida to stay with William family for added support. We stayed in Florida for over 4 years.
“One day we seen a show on TV - not sure the name, but bells went off, and we said we could do that. We could move in a RV and live full time. So, I got out the computer and stated doing research and found out that a lot of people where living this way. So, we gave ourselves a deadline and said we were packing up and heading back to California to get a RV and start our adventure.
“So, after the search for our perfect rig for us, we set our eyes on a 2814 PowerLite Toy Hauler Made by Pacific Coachwork.”
FTC: When did you know you wanted to go full time and how did the fam react?
LTGL: “We knew after we came back to California for a visit with family and friends. And was given an opportunity to go out with our friends, Cathy and Brett, in their RV for a weekend getaway… that it was the life for us too!
“They only ‘weekend warrior’ but we could see ourselves do it every day. At first, we kept it to ourselves and were worried to tell anyone. But then I (Monique) told my family first and they were onboard with it, even took us to look for RVs.
“William’s family… we waited until we were leaving Florida (like weeks before we were leaving) to tell them. And they did not take it too well not only because we were moving out and away. But now everyone is incredibly supportive.”
FTC: Tell us about your business on the fly? Is it easy to be mobile will working and traveling?
LTGL: “So, we have a Travel Agency that I (Monique) can run from anywhere called ‘Living The GoodLife Travel Agency’ and we book Hotel, Cruises, and Family vacations. We started the business out of the love to travel and wanting to help others travel at low cost.
“Due to the pandemic we decided to place the business on hold until travel got back to normal. Since things are get back, we have been able to get a little business. I have not found it hard yet to navigate work and RV travel. Just have found it hard when it comes to finding internet… but so far, I have made it work!
“We learned quick that you cannot rely on campground internet. They have it but it’s always hardly a signal, no matter where you are in the campground. As long as we can make phone calls and text, we are ready for business.”
FTC: If we could have done anything different what would it be?
LTGL: “We would have gotten our tow vehicle in better position to travel. We do routine maintenance, but we should have looked into getting more repairs done for long term. But we also feel like we could have started this lifestyle sooner. Like, before we moved to Florida, sooner.”
FTC: What has been your favorite spot to travel to?
LTGL: “We have been on the road now for two months and our favorite spot to travel to is Glamis. Yes, the desert… we love it there! Right now, it’s hot but when the temperature is cooler it is so much fun to be with friends boondocking and enjoy the sand fun. We have also traveled without a trailer and would love to travel to North Carolina again but this time with our trailer. It was so beautiful there.”
FTC: What was your first camping adventure like?
LTGL – “Our first camping adventure is a crazy story, lol. The day we picked up our RV for the first time was our maiden voyage. We threw in everything that we thought we needed for a couple nights and took off to the desert, Glamis, to boondock and get to know our RV. We only had the starter kit the RV dealer gave us. We knew we needed things but just wanted to make sure what we really needed. We made it, but we were not prepared.”
FTC: How has your rig been treating you? Do you see yourselves going big or smaller?
LTGL: “Let see… we knew that even with a new rig we would have some issues, but as far as the layout it has been the perfect fit for us. We have had some major issues with this rig (like our solar and inverter had issues, our drain in our bathroom shower broke twice and had to be rebuilt, and the underbelly insulation had to be replaced, and our refrigerator had to be replaced). But our manufacturer has be awesome and getting the items repaired and getting us back on the road.
“The longest so far we have been without our RV is 3 weeks. So, we are blessed to have them to take care of the issues. We don’t see ourselves going any bigger at the moment and we can’t really see ourselves go any smaller, because William is 6’6 and this was one of the few RVs that he could fit in, but maybe if we hit the lottery or find another money making business, maybe a Class A Diesel Pusher would be in our dreams.”
FTC: What advice would you give someone who wants to make the jump into full time RV life?
LTGL: “First Watch our journey on YouTube, then do your research and just do it. Ask yourself if it something you really can see yourself doing for long term. If it is something you think in a couple years you are going to change your mind, then just try it out. Rent an RV or find friends that have one and stay in it for some time just to get a picture of what it would be like. And remember the hardest thing is downsizing. Getting rid of the thing you cherish the most is incredibly hard. We have cried, had arguments over not keep things we felt we wanted to keep. But in the end, they are just things and we have the memories. So just let it go!”
FTC: Who or what has been your motivating force to live the RV life?
LTGL – “First it was William’s stroke that motivated us to live life to the fullest and to live our dreams. Then it has been other Youtubers that we see out there just doing it and not letting anything age, disability, or life stop them! We want to be able to see the world we live in and enjoy the moments with each other.”
FTC: What’s next in our life adventure?
LTGL: “We have some trips planned out for the upcoming month. But we are Livin’ Our Dream and the road is unlimited. For us it not about the destination it’s about the journey! So Livin’ the GoodLife, And Livin’ the Dream!”
All photos credited to Living the GoodLife RVing
All words copyrighted to Fern the Camper