Ordinary Elephants Travel Full Time
Ordinary Elephants, Pete Damore, Crystal Damore
MRV: The Buzz, Your RV Lifestyle Insider. Written By: Kim Pezza
RV Road Stories: Pete & Crystal Damore
Members Of The Band Ordinary Elephants Who Have Been Living On The Road Full Time With Their 4 Dogs
When Pete and Crystal Damore attended a wedding in Ashville, North Carolina in August of 2013, little did they know that would be the beginning of a new life on the road. Having flown in from their Houston, Texas home the day before, the couple decided to explore Asheville, and fell in love with the area and the food. This left the couple thinking about being able to visit and explore other places in the United States, especially those they had never visited before. The travel bug began to bite.
The following day, Pete had come across a website called “Technomadia”, written by full time RVers, for full time RVers, and brought it to Crystal's attention. Not only was full time RVing something they had never considered before, it was something they really hadn't even been aware of before then, but they couldn't get the prospect of full timing off of their minds. “We remember thinking ...That's Crazy!...But that's really awesome”, remembers Crystal. So, they began doing more research, a bit of brainstorming along with the back and forth of wanting to do it, but wondering if they actually would go through with it, when the final decision was made a few months later over dinner, when Crystal remembers looking at Pete and saying “We're going to do this aren't we? We have to, right”? She continues, “We saw the potential for a whole different level of happiness....and would always regret not giving it a shot.”
First, they rented an RV for a week, to see how well their dogs would do with the lifestyle. When all went well, the decision was made, and the transition began. As always, when anyone goes full time in an RV, there are lots of decision and purging made of household, personal and even, sometimes, sentimental items, and it was no different with Pete and Crystal. “I did have a hard time with some aspects of the purging process, which I knew I would....but overall, getting rid of non-sentimental things was less difficult that I expected. I (did) pare down the sentimental things, (but) we did leave a few small boxes of things at our parent's homes.”
The next aspect that the couple needed to figure out, were their jobs. Pete was already working remotely from Houston as a software developer, so there were no issues there. He could just keep on as he had been. Crystal, however, worked full time as a veterinary cardiologist in a specialty hospital, so she had to look at some changes, becoming a remote consultant. Not only did this change allow them to begin their full time odyssey, but it also allowed Pete and Crystal to focus more on their passion of songwriting and music, where they are known as “Ordinary Elephant” (www.ordinaryelephant.net).
In August of 2014, Pete, Crystal and their 4 dogs set out on their new life. They began with a 40ft class A, and a Subaru in tow. However, although they loved everything about their motor home, including the space it offered, it was becoming difficult to make their next transition, which was to become full time musicians. They would have to park the motor home and drive the car to their gigs, then would have to run back and take care of the dogs in the evening, making it hard for the couple to accept shows too far away from where the motor home was parked. So, they transitioned to a 27ft travel trailer towed with a converted van (complete with air, storage, high top roof, 30 amp connection and a couch/fold down bed). While they still park the trailer, they can take shows further away, since they can now take the dogs with them in the van when necessary. This has allowed a decrease in living costs as they no longer have a diesel engine or generator to maintain.
In their travels, Pete and Crystal have enjoyed many of the places they have visited. However, according to Crystal: “We are in love with New Mexico and West Texas--the mountains, desert, dark night skies, and quiet—[there’s] nothing else like it. We also love forested mountain areas, and while neither of us grew up in that kind of terrain, it always feels like home in a way when we visit them; so the Pacific Northwest this past summer was wonderful.”
Although they didn't start full time RVing with the intent of becoming full time musicians, Pete and Crystal have decided to take their music career full time and work part time at their other jobs. Although they don't know what the future may bring, they are happy with their decisions, harboring no regrets. “After we had more time to devote to music with the transition, it became apparent that music is what makes us feel whole, both individually and as a couple, and the more we can do it, the more we feel like our true selves. It made us realize that as hard as we know it will be, we want to be full-time musicians. And much like the realization that we would regret not trying full-time RVing if we didn’t give it a shot, we know the same applies here. If we’re going to do this, now is the time, and we would always wonder and regret it if we don’t give it everything we’ve got.”
And their advice on starting a full time RV journey?
“It’s not for everyone, but if you are even remotely considering it, try it. You can always go back if it doesn’t work for you, but you’ll never know if you don’t go for it. It could be exactly what you need.”
A graduate of State University Of New York At Fredonia with a BA in
Creative Writing, Kim is an author for Hatherleigh Press [Random House]
and Seaside Publishing. She enjoys camping, cheese making and historic
Make Sure To Stay At:
South Main RV Park, offering mature shade trees for shaded sites, a dining rec hall, laundro
room, store and while being AAA Approved. The campground is also one mile from
NRG Stadium, site of the 2017 NFL Superbowl.