‘A lifestyle, not a vacation’

BEN BEIERMAN AND AIMEE OLSON took some time last week to share their unique story of how they have combined travel, sightseeing and work. Photo Per Peterson

By Per Peterson

If you didn’t know any better, you might think Ben Beierman and Aimee Olson were simply just another couple on vacation.

Truth is, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

“Retirees always ask us, ‘Do you still work?’” said Olson. “We say, ‘Yes, we do, we still have jobs.’ The second thing they say is, ‘Good for you, we wish we would’ve done it sooner.’ It does feel good to be an example that life doesn’t have to look a certain way. Be a traveler, don’t be a tourist.”

No, Ben and Aimee aren’t traveling the country on vacation from their jobs. They’re not snowbirds, either. They’re living their life, as non-traditional as it may seem. In an RV.

“It’s a lifestyle, not a vacation,” Olson said. “We’re probably more intentional with our planning. We don’t plan it all out — there are people who don’t plan at all, and there are people who plan an entire year from spot to spot — we’re in-between.”

In a matter of three years, the couple went from a 1,400-square foot apartment to a 900-square foot apartment. From there, they transitioned to a 500-square foot apartment. This intentional downsizing was a means to cut debt and to push the limits on what they could live without.

“I think the step-by-step decrease in how much space and how much stuff that we had made the ultimate transition from 500-square feet to 180 a little bit easier,” Beierman said. “And being without kids also made it easier for us.”

Beierman is a 2000 graduate of Tracy Area High School and attended Southwest Minnesota State University after five years in the U.S. Army. He has a degree in Business Administration/Marketing from SMSU.

The always-on-the-move couple has logged nearly 15,000 miles in covering 18 states since September 2018. They have visited 22 national parks and have hiked almost 260 miles and average 140 nights per year in dry camping, otherwise known as boondocking.

This year’s loop will take them about 7,000 miles. They left Sunday, en route to North Carolina. Then it will be off through the southern states, west to Arizona and California, then up to Canada.

“It takes a little bit of forethought — what does it mean for budgeting?”

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.