Back Home!

20170411_065651_001So it has been a little while since our last post. With all the farewell parties while in Johannesburg coupled with all the welcome back greetings in California, sandwich in a work trip to Atlanta combined with picking up our travel trailer and beginning our nomadic lifestyle. To say it’s been a whirlwind, seems to be the understatement of the century! We are super excited and constantly on the move but life has been a constant case of fun with family and friends and endless adjustments (This is Leigh…and work. he keeps forgetting work). We have changed our plans since we left South Africa no less than ten times and have now resolved ourselves to just making plans on a month to month basis to remedy the situation (For those of ya’ll who know me & my A-type personality, I am going a bit crazy, but I am learning to cope). The funny thing is as I am typing this post, we are contemplating adjusting our plans again to accommodate both work and travel situations. Brings to mind a DMX tune…”here we go again.” Lol. Such is life!
We would like to thank all of our South African family for such a warm send off and the persistent feeling of home we felt while in your company. We are eternally grateful and humbled by your hospitality. We feel completely loved and accepted and are already planning our return trip (In pencil, of course). We are also holding to task those of you that promised us that you would come to the USA. We look forward to returning the warm hospitality. We are waiting to hear from you!
We are also really thankful for those of you here at home that greeted us so warmly and welcomed us back to our native soil. We have not been able to see everyone yet but know that you are on the list and we are moving in that direction as quickly as we can!
So on to this intoxicating lifestyle of ours.

We picked up our travel trailer on April 14th and I have to say for me it was all that I had hoped for and all that Leigh and I had discussed. We stayed at a KOA RV park in Las Vegas the first night we got it. The small quarters were quite cozy and intimate. There was enough room for the things that we brought along with us to get settled in. The second night we decided to stay on BLM land (Bureau of Land Management) and see what this boondocking phenomenon was all about. We found a piece of land where I-40 and Historic Route 66 intersect in Ludlow California. The space was clear and there were no other visitors staying that could be seen (Some showed up later, but left driving further into the abyss). The view was breathtaking. Mountains surrounded us and we were able to view a spectacular sunset over the crest of a mountain top! So yeah! Now we get the whole boondocking thing. We look forward to more and more opportunities to do so! Something about being out in nature with our home and a panoramic view that sets the soul free and we are hooked! OMG! Words cannot describe the bliss we felt waking up to such serenity.


Now on to moving past the last vestiges of our former life. Betty our beloved Mercedes has now moved on to a new owner. Breezy my BMW X5 has also found a new home, both gone on to family and friends that will love and appreciate them as much as we did. Bonus is at least get to see them when we come to visit and maybe even get to take a drive still! (That was his baby ya’ll)20170521_110730
On the flip side, we picked up Gizmo, our tow vehicle, a 1995 Geo Tracker. It is a fun little vehicle that we think will make a great grocery getter when we are out on the road and need to get to places that **Stevie, our new-to-us 36ft Foretravel dare not go! Thank you, Becky and Joey, for your hospitality and generosity during the purchase. It was great to meet like-minded folks and the homemade Enchiladas were amazing! (They made me want to slap my momma!) We look forward to seeing you guys on the road. Speaking of our land yacht, we are here in North Carolina only days away from taking possession of our new home (Every second feels like a year…seriously). Just a few adjustments left to make at the shop and we will be on our way. Special thanks to Momma Jean and Poppa Jim for being our rock and helping to make all of this possible with your support and love! We love ya’ll to the moon & back.


We are super excited to get going. Plotting and planning places to visit and stay for a while is part of the fun and we cannot wait to get going. (tick, tic, tic, tic)
Til next time

Peace and Blessings!
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And a Seed was planted….

My name is Leigh Lester-Holmes.  I am a pre-retiree. I have been with my partner, Tim, since 1995. We have been downsizing our “stuff” and our “lives” since 2012 when I decided to go back to school to get my PhD.  (I am still working on it). Currently, we are volunteering in Johannesburg, South Africa and living in the smallest space since we left our home in 2012.   I also have my own business, Holmes Unlimited. We are happier than we have ever been. We recently came across a Youtube Channel for Technomadia and that was all she wrote. We made the decision right then and there to go full-time when we return to the USA this fall.  We will be blogging and taking pictures along the way.

We love wine and whisky and hope to visit as many wineries and distilleries as possible. We also plan to  track down as many “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” locations as we can. We are foodies to our core!  Plus, we’ll be reviewing locations as well. I love to cook and I am learning to sew. Tim loves Football especially the Carolina Panthers so we plan to catch those games too.  We hope to find a company who wants to wrap the RV and we can earn a little come from it. Fingers crossed!

For us, this is about financial freedom and quality of life. We will share what we learn along the way. We look forward to getting your feedback on our blog and meeting up with you along our journey.

Day 4 El Paso

Good Morning NN Fans!

Leigh and Sherri are on the road again! We got started a little late. I blame it on the CBD. 😜

We had a beautiful stay at an adorbs Airbnb last night. The only thing missing was the wash cloths but we made due. Was that TMI? Teeheehee 😂😂😂

Our host recommended a great lil taqueria, L & J Cafe, for Taco Tuesday and let me tell you, it was great! Yelpers did not disappoint. They recommended the green Chile enchilada that was to die for! Wow! Click the pic for a link to the restaurant!

Green Chile Chicken Enchilada

Of course, the trip would not be complete without a lil sister squabble. Enjoy! Feel free to weigh in on who you think is right 😜

Anthony, New Mexico

Our lunch yesterday was not as exciting, but decent. My sister with her happy-throwing-away ass, threw away my cornbread. Dang Sherri! Not the cornbread! 🤦🏾‍♀️

All I ate was the meat….

Due to poor planning and a sense of gotta-make-this-money, I have 5 zoom calls today. I will have to pull off the road for two of them. See ya’ll tomorrow!

Peace & Love

Day 3 Heading into Texas

THE HOTEL: So we left our Econolodge and let me tell you. My last time. The staff was great! However, there were no masks in sight. I recently had a negative COVID test and wanted to keep it that way. No thank you for being a choice privileges member Ma’am. They started off a little rocky because our room which was supposed to be a non-smoking queen had been smoked in the night before….pause. They gave me no offer to switch rooms. So I asked if I could have a double since my room was no longer available and I was told that they would offer me a double at only a $10 upgrade fee versus the $15 upgrade fee. (The website shows that the upgrade fee is only $10). LIES!!!! Then, I asked if they charged the gentleman who smoked and the staffer said yes and I said, if they charged him then I shouldn’t have to pay for the upgrade. (DUH!!!) He looked perplexed. Plus, my sister has asthma so there was no way we could take a smoking room. He must have seen the look on my face because he looked again and gave us a King-Sized bed upgrade. Once, we got our key and checked in, I realized that I forgot to ask for the wifi code. I tried to call the front desk. The phone did not work. I walked back to the front desk. He saw me coming. He gave me the code and reminded me to give him a good review because he upgraded me. Ummmm…No! There was also a smell that I can’t really explain. But it made my allergies kick up. Ugh! Needless to say, we were glad to leave this morning.

LUNCH – We decided we wanted to sit down and enjoy lunch. We saw an Applebee’s so we decided to stop. We had not eaten out since we took off. And we wanted to sit down. They were social distancing which was nice. However, one of the waitresses kept her facemask positioned below her nose. Not cool. I got the Chinese Chicken Salad with Shrimp instead of chicken. Now the shrimp was cooked to perfection. However, the salad dressing was cream-based and tasted like cole slaw dressing. The waitress swore that in her eleven years it had not changed. I have eaten a lot of Chinese chicken salads and have never had one that was cream based. Other than that, our waitress was nice and the tea was tasty!

FELLOWSHIP The best part about the trip is undoubtedly, the company. I am having the best time riding with my sister. We are planning our LESTER empire. We will be launching some really excited services soon! #StayTuned

We also discussed some childhood trauma and how it has impacted us in our adult life. This was cathartic. We will be sharing some of our stories in hopes that others might be able to join us in healing. #ItTakesAVillage

We both really enjoy helping others. We got this from our Maternal Grandmother, Ms. Della Cotton Craig. She was an amazing woman!

FUEL COSTS – Oh My Goodness!! In California, I am used to paying over $3.30 in gasoline costs. In Texas, the gasoline was less than $2 in many places. I saw it as low as $1.77 but I couldn’t change lanes fast enough safely.

Good night and more tomorrow!

Day 2 Cross Country Sister Trip

So day 2 began with an amazing discussion of the state of our country between a conservative and a progressive who have loved and respected each other since high school. Plus, a homemade veggie quiche! Delish! Then off to Arkansas we went.

Edit: My apologies for my crooked glasses and my ashy lips….lol!

The Econolodge was an adventure with no face masks in site. 🤦🏾‍♀️ More about the hotel in the video below.

My sister decided to add stevia to her pasta since we had no cheese. Who does that? Eeeeewwww!! And it’s late and I can’t sleep.

On the Road Again

Hi! This is Leigh and I am on the road again. However, not with Tim. But this is a short trip. I am heading across country with my sister, Sherri. We are looking forward to some great adventures. We plan to see a few really good friends and enjoy a “Sister Trip”.

Our 1st stop was just outside of Nashville with my #LACHSA classmate, Kim! I have known her for over 30 years. She gave us a very warm welcome. I am so glad to see her. It’s been too long. I hope you enjoy this trip with us. If you do, please like and share.

Leigh, Kim and Sherri - Click Pic
Leigh, Kim and Sherri – Click Pic for vlog

P.S. Yes, there will be lots of wine!!! Tonight, we are enjoying a wine local to NC called Carolina Red from Duplin winery. Check them out. Did you know that an aerator makes it stronger??? Me neva! LOL!!!

Ready for our Next Adventure!

26905816_10213455022263615_411289703_oHi!  This is Leigh.  I don’t usually write the blogs but I felt inspired.  I just finished reading a blog by A Girl and Her Commander.  She made me want to really get out into nature like we had originally planned. We were so excited when we first began a year ago. We have lost our way a bit.

How did this happen?  I’ll tell you. The reason I think we lost our way is because we lost our focus. We forgot why we decided to do this in the first place. It didn’t happen quickly. It was gradual. It started with the number of repairs we had to make.  Before we left North Carolina, we had to put a new set of tires on the RV. That was over $2,000.  Ouch!!!!  When we got to California, we had some steering issues. We paid to have it fixed. It is still not completely fixed which makes Tim not really want to drive it because it pulls a lot and when you are dealing with high winds, it can get downright scary!  We paid to have the awning fixed; the refrigerator, the generator, the icemaker too. We had the flooring replaced…just to name a few.  Of those items, only the refrigerator is still working. I think the generator is working but we don’t know because we had a problem with our propane tank (It would not fill) and of course, the generator runs off propane.  We had planned to get solar added so we could boondock more, but no luck yet. We knew that we would encounter some repairs with an older coach. We just didn’t know how many.

I am still working full-time and going to school and working on a dissertation so I haven’t been as focused on the repairs but without the repairs, we don’t get to roam like we had dreamed of doing.

We are heading back to California next month with a dose of reality pie.  We will be staying at an RV Park to be close to work and friends.  However, I am hoping we can get the repairs done and hit the road soon for some adventure….even if it’s just short weekend outings.  If Stevie J won’t make it, I am buying a tent!pexels-photo-176381.jpeg

Thank you for sticking with us and supporting our dreams with your positives vibes and love.  Hope to see you soon!

NubianNomads

Til Next Time,

Peace & Blessings!

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We Survived the Winter

The RVing lifestyle is not for the faint of heart. Adjustments have to be made for limited space and conservation of water and other resources (Hi! Leigh here. Not everyone who RVs is a conservationist, but it is important to us to reduce our footprint on the planet.) 

Winter, however, brings a new set of challenges. First being the COLD. (It was colder than a witch’s teet!  Brrrrr) Now cold to me is not so bad (He’s broken, ya’ll). I don’t love it or hate it. Just prefer not to be cold and if I am, it’s a minor inconvenience. Leigh, on the other hand, detests cold weather and goes to great lengths to avoid it. (You can say that again!  I am a Cali girl to my bone. Cold, to me, is the low 60’s.) So it was an exercise in preparation and quick learning to get through a North Carolina winter and keep Leigh comfortable! (Epic Fail, but he tried)

The first line of defense was ” Shrinkable window film.” It was amazing to feel the immediate temperature difference after the window film was installed! Thin adhesive strips are applied around the circumference of your window. Then the film is cut to fit and applied to the adhesive. Once its all done you take a blow dryer and heat the film and it shrinks to an airtight seal. (It helped a little bit. No cigar though.)
Condensation…will be the bane of your existence in winter time RV’ing. (We only saw one video on youtube on this and they were in Canada so we didn’t think we’d have to deal with this.  Boy, were we wrong!) I should mention here that we have an older rig, a 1990 Foretravel Grandvilla U225. I say this because I understand some of the newer rigs have “R” values on them and ours does not. Nevertheless, we love it and are willing to take these extra steps to stay warm in colder climates (Yep, like move to warmer weather, dat’s right). When we are all grown up we may have the finances and the want to upgrade to a newer unit but for now, we are golden! (He lying!  We already want the IH45 or the Realm but they are for the Uber rich and we are just not there yet!) Anyhow one should have lots of…paper towels or just plain towels to soak up all the water that will be produced from condensation. Also, a dehumidifier may prove valuable in this situation. (Thanks to my sister, Sherri, for the recommendation. I can’t believe I didn’t think of it after living in a basement flat in Iowa one year. Now that is REAL cold also known as hell. You know…so cold it’s hot!  Well, that’s Iowa, but I digress….) I know we have used ours quite a bit. The amount of water with and without one is noticeable. To further assist in the war of moisture, we used a product called “damprid”. It was some beads placed into a container that also pulled moisture out of the air. (Thanks to our wonderful RV friends, Judy & Fast Eddie for that recommendation, but don’t spill it. The liquid is weird and must be washed off.) We placed a few in the cabinetry and other hard to reach places. They performed well so be sure to check on them often should you decide to go this route.


With condensation comes mold and mildew. (Ewwwww…not only did it look gross, but It made my throat scratchy and made me feel like I was getting sick. We didn’t see it growing because other things stored here.) Get yourself some spray-on bleach or its equivalent. Be prepared to look in some pretty strange places for mold if you can’t get to all the water from condensation. I don’t think I have to tell you about all the health concerns that can come from unattended mold and mildew. I think I actually caught a cold/flu. We are talking a good scrubbing and new mattress and bedding to be sure we got it all! So leave no stone unturned when tracking moisture!
Space heaters are your friend. At least they were ours! The on-board propane heaters put out plenty of heat. On a rig as old as ours, however, the direction or flow of the heat can be an issue for you. Having the space heater as a back up to fill in the gaps has been a tremendous help for us. It is weird to have the left side of your body be warm and toasty and then your side be cool to cold (Or your whole body cold. Welcome to my world.) A space heater on that side can be all the difference in being both warm and toasty or just annoyed!
Electric blankets… enough said! Get one or two for that matter, don’t ask questions … and you’re welcome! (This kept me from running screaming into the night!)
Freezing pipes… We didn’t really experience this. (Thank goodness!) Our rig has a pretty hefty holding tank and our solution was just to fill the tank ahead of a below freezing stretch so there was more water than could freeze in one night. Also, we removed the water hose so there was nothing left in it to freeze. Our heating vents sat directly above the holding tank, thank you Foretravel, so no worries about freeze ups and we got down into the teens on quite a few nights. (You already know!)
Pets … Brini, our precocious mixed breed dog,  got her very own space heater right next to her crate. Morning walks were fun. Who knew dogs like to eat snow! Or was that just Brini. She is a bit strange but so are we so it’s a good fit! (Remember he said that!)
All in all, we stayed pretty comfy through a pretty decent winter (Speak for yourself…I might not thaw out til April!). The biggest thing is to stay as warm and dry as possible. We hope this will be helpful to someone considering the full-time RV lifestyle. There are tons more information out there on Youtube and the like. So study up and I think you will be just fine.

I will say this…If you must spend the winter in a cold climate, make sure you have some good dark beer….Trust me, it helps!Guiness 2018

Til Next time

Peace and Blessings

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Being Us!

26942136_10213457433643898_1084804984_oOur travels have taken us to lots of places. We have experienced many things culturally and spiritually. All have been amazing in their own respect. I am not here to decide which is the best or value one over the other. They each create a tapestry of feelings and emotions that we will treasure for a lifetime. From our travels abroad to Johannesburg, SA to the quaint RV parks in the Mid-West. All have added tremendous balance and depth to our lives. Not to mention the priceless friendships we have developed at each and every stop along the way.
This weekend Leigh and I attended a craft weekend put together with friends we had never actually met outside of cyberspace. I sit writing this blog entry after only one day of a three day weekend and let me tell you. I am blown away. There is something very comforting and reassuring about being in the company of like-minded, creative and very thoughtful individuals that even though from diverse backgrounds have similar interest and visions for humanity. Although I suppose it should be expected from the artistic types, It is still nice to experience a place where you can truly spread your wings and let all your colors be not merely seen, but with support and true genuine interest for you and the things you love. We have a whole other day and a half of this!26854515_10213457438284014_729550649_o
The Food!
If you follow this blog you know Mrs. Leigh and I are foodies at our core. Let me tell you Mrs. Ace and Mrs. Na are straight “Putting in work in the Kitchen.” Our ancestors would be proud! Shrimp Fra Diavlo ….. I can only say the party in my mouth was epic! I think my teeth are still hungover… I’m just saying. A fresh cut Salad, Pickled Okra and topped off with homemade peanut clusters for dessert. I did not partake in the Okra personally but it seemed to be a hit! (This is Leigh. I loved it!  It tasted just like pickles without the gooey okra stuff. Very cool since okra is supposed to be good for you) I am very satisfied taking their collective words on it (Wuss..lol). Some days I am daring, today was just a day I was not so brave. Besides…who would want to take the chance of ruining such a delicious pasta dish with Okra? I mean really! There was just enough wine to lubricate the situation…The Australian Malbec was a group favorite! “Not your Fathers Rootbeer” was another hit libation shared by us (My recommendation). Lord only knows what goodness lies in front of us! Did I mention the HOME MADE PEANUT CLUSTERS?


The Conversation!
Nothing really moves me like the free exchange of ideas. Normally when you meet folks for the first time there is the typical getting to know you hesitancy in the initial conversations. Not so here. We dove right in like we were old friends that had been away for far too long and needed to catch up on how and what everyone was doing. It was a blast! Not sure if we just clicked that well or if maybe our many short interjections via Facebook facilitated such familiarity but it doesn’t matter which contributed to this feeling. As an added bonus all our musical tastes aligned…even the young buck who hipped us to some new sounds that fit right along with some of our old-school sensibilities. I will take it all day, every day… and twice on Sundays. We hashed out several broad-ranging topics of discussions and philosophical ideas. The kind where you find yourself learning just a bit more and feeling a little better about you and the future when concluded!

The Fun

As Tim said, we came for a Crafts weekend, he worked on the blog. I had planned to just relax, but I was quickly asked to help with the beading which turned out to be quite fun and I got a cool souvenir to show for it. Others painted, while some worked on graphic designs. Some sketched. Some danced. Some enjoyed the hot tub. Some played games. I am not going to go into details because what happens at the Craft Cabin weekend stays at the craft cabin weekend.


The Place
Mineral Bluff, GA in the Amazing Views Cabins. Aptly named I might add. The house we have is quaint and cozy. Nestled near the Blue Ridge mountains in a quiet and remote mountaintop. Just the type of place needed to unwind, recharge your batteries and enjoy some time with new found friends. Only one drawback here, there just happened to be a warm up during the winter months and as such, the ladybugs that were usually asleep at this time are awake and flying around our oasis. Not really horrible but you must pay attention while preparing or trying to eat a meal… they want to share. Not really anyone’s’ fault but a nuisance none the less. Not really enough to put a damper on the event but enough to make us take notice. Needless to say, I love this place and would come back often given the opportunity.

We have said many times that the benefit of living life on the road is the amazing experiences we get to have with so many different types of people. This will definitely go down as one of those. I didn’t think about watching TV, not once! I highly recommend everyone jump out of their comfort zone & make some new friends. Hear some different perspectives. Travel. Live.

Til next time

Peace & Blessings!

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Nubian Nomads