Driving it home: couple RVing after job losses force radical change
Couple now "workamps," trading work for an RV site, at Jellystone Park in Borden-Carleton
When Kate McCallum and Adam Doolittle lost their radio jobs after many years in commercial broadcasting, it felt like the end of the world.
In fact, going off the air was just the beginning, as the couple decided to tune into another way of living.
McCallum and Doolittle, who had been working in New Brunswick, sold their worldly possessions, bought an RV and are now part of a growing number of people known as "workampers."
As McCallum explains on her website, FullTimeCanada.ca, "workamping" is an exchange of services (usually 20 hours per week) in exchange for a full-hookup RV site.
"You work in return for your rent and utilities and sometimes there's other perks as well," she said.
Doolittle points to the freedom of the lifestyle as one of its biggest perks.
"It's kind of relieving and freeing, I guess. There's very little pressure on us now, which is nice. We kind of just do what we want to do when we want to do it, we go where we want."
Now about a month into their new adventure, they work at the campground and pick up other jobs on the side and they both say the lifestyle suits them.
"It's to have a happy life," said McCallum.
"What I was doing before wasn't working, and I was doing it over and over again, and that's the definition of insanity right?"
They're sharing their adventures through their website Full Time Canada, where they both write blogs about their adventures. They plan to travel throughout the country and say they can't imagine going back to their old life —
the plan is to keep this up as long as possible.
Doolittle says it's nice to do this kind of thing now, while they are still young.
"A lot people do this when they're older once they retire, but I kind of wanted to reverse things."
Jason Decourcey, manager of Jellystone Park PEI, says his park has a couple sets of "workampers," and it's working out well for everyone.
"It's great for campgrounds that are able to bring on workampers. [It] allows them to put some of the funding into other areas of the park. We also have paid employees," said Decourcey.
"Kate and Adam are very hard working, they're great 'workampers' and very friendly people"
McCallum is happy to no longer be tied to her phone "24/7" and says her old way of life was making her sick.
"It was causing me to not to sleep at night because of the stress and the worry," she said.
Now, with their new mobile lifestyle, life is good.
"Kate and I both love to travel and neither of us have been west of Ontario, " Doolittle said.
"That was one of the first reasons I said to myself this would be really fun, let's get an RV and let's see Canada."
With files from Laura Meader