November 30, 2020

Student traveled the country with family in RV

Lindsey White’s family sold their house and belongings in July 2006. Then they packed their remaining belongings in an RV and traveled to 36 states in nine months.

“We started to question what was most important in life,” Tammie White, mother of Webster University sophomore Lindsey White, said. “And realized it was relationships.”

Sophomore Lindsey White and her brother, Jeremy White, pose at Crater Lake National Park in Oregon in 2006. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED BY LINDSEY WHITE

Tammie White said the family’s RV venture started after her father died of cancer. The family then took a camping trip and realized they wanted to spend more time together.

Tom White, Lindsey’s father, retired early from his job of 31 years. He purchased an RV and decided his daughter, his youngest son, his wife and their dog, Maizy, would travel north from their home in Chicago.

“In terms of space there wasn’t much and there wasn’t any privacy,” Lindsey White said. “But it became our new way of life and we got used to it.”

In the RV, Lindsey White slept on a pull-out bed while her younger brother slept on a collapsed dining room table covered with cushions. Lindsey White compared living in an RV to dorm life. She said the RV still had a refrigerator and an oven although her family couldn’t store a lot of food. Lindsey White recalled her family’s Thanksgiving turkey being burnt on top because it was too large for the oven in the RV.

Lindsey White was homeschooled all her life. She learned on the road and said school in an RV compared to her home didn’t make much of a difference. She said being homeschooled was a lot like college. The only difference is in college she has several teachers. Tom White said traveling gave his children a hands-on learning experience.

When the White family arrived at a new state they spent the majority of their time outdoors hiking and camping. Keeping in contact with family and friends back home was one of the challenges Lindsey White faced.

“I missed the stability of being in a house, of being in a home, of being able to have consistent friends,” Lindsey White said. “And not just be able to meet certain people in an RV park and not being able to see them two days straight.”

Lindsey White said her family’s journey led her to the choice of her major and college — vocal performance and Webster.

“It was the first school that I toured and really saw myself in the people that were going (to Webster),” Lindsey White said.

After traveling for nine months, the White family parked their RV in Franklin, Tenn. They spent another nine months searching for a house. Unable to find a home, Lindsey White’s family bought land and built a new one of their own.

“I really thank my parents for taking me out of my bubble and saying we really want to take this opportunity to grow as a family and really get to know each other on a deeper level,” Lindsey White said.

Lindsey White’s parents said the majority of their trip was unplanned and they placed a lot of faith in God.

“It wasn’t the possessions that you had or the size of the home you lived in, but the relationships you build that are really important,” Tom White said.

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