Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park
It was April 26, 2011 when we left Homer, Alaska to begin our Epic Expedition - a road trip from Alaska to Argentina.

It's been just about two months on the road. So what's our analysis so far? How are we surviving?

How much has it cost us and how far have we driven?

Here's the breakdown:

Previous Month(s) Expenses

Total Miles Driven:

  • Mileage 4/26/11 - 98,475
  • Mileage 5/27/11 - 104,345
  • Mileage 6/29/11 - 106,404
  • Miles this month - 2,059
  • Total Miles Driven - 7,929

Locations Visited This Month:

Locations Visited (Total):


  • Groceries $791.40 (a little better than last month, that's good)
  • Savings $677 Gotta build that nest egg
  • Veggie/Truck Parts & Service $486.16 This includes a new 40 gallon veggie tank from GoldenFuelSystems.com, as well as other misc. supplies to fix and outfit the truck for the rest of our trip.
  • Charity $205.00
  • Truck Insurance $150 This is actually for two months because I forgot to pay it last month.
  • Travel Expenses $84.98 Expenses for making organizing our life on the road to make it easier - organizers, toothbrush holders, totes, etc.
  • Family Expenses $60.60 This includes diapers/wipes, new shoes/clothes, birthday presents, movie rentals, etc
  • Dining Out $53.58 - Papa Murphy's, Cabutos in Salt Lake and organic ice cream at Moo's in Jackson Hole, WY
  • Medical $30
  • Education $27.37 Books, audio books, etc.
  • Diesel Fuel $25
  • Souvenirs $6.23 - Postcards, car decals, etc.
  • Laundry/Showers $0 We're staying with friends and family, so far they let us shower for free 😉

Total Monthly Expenses - $2,597.32 (This includes $677 in savings)

Not bad for a month of travel with a family of seven, including the 'investment' in our future.

Wait a minute, where's your fuel expense?

Maybe you noticed? During the last month we only put in about $25 in diesel.

That's because we don't use diesel when we drive. Our vehicle runs on waste vegetable oil (veggie) thanks to Golden Fuel Systems.

Most of our trip has been done on FREE waste veggie that we collect from restaurants along our way.


We were anxious to get to Utah because of the issues with our truck, and the whole trailer of 'stuff' we were pulling behind, which we planned on dumping at our storage unit (mostly books, some clothes, crock pot, snowboard, etc).

So after our stop in Redding, CA and meetup with Adam Baker from ManvsDebt.com, we bee-lined it to the Beehive State.

We've had a great time since we arrived about three weeks ago - visiting with grandma and grandpa, cousins and siblings.

Greg's been busy doing some work to pick up some extra cash. I've been busy with the kids education and working on the blog, now that I have consistent internet.

When we have the chance we do 'home improvement' projects on the truck:

Here are some projects we're working on:

  1. Our organizational system- kind of like a big puzzle I'm trying to put together. I'm cataloging and counting everything we need and want to take. First I'm finding a place for the stuff we need, getting the totes to contain in it, and designating a place in or on the truck. If there's room after that 'needed' stuff, then I'll find a place for the stuff we want.
  2. Internet- right now we're leaning toward the Verizon Global Fivespot which would give us internet access in the countries we're traveling to with just a sim card.
  3. Truck repairs/outfitting - Greg bought the parts so we can replace the ball joints which are apparently bad. We've cleaned, painted and prettied up our veggie-powered beast. We created a new system under the carpet kit for storing our 'kitchen'. We also need to make some improvements to the roof rack, seal the shell so it doesn't leak, and maybe replace the windshield.
  4. Our online courses - one on designing a 'dream' family life and the other on Worldschooling.

Everyday we're becoming more excited about our adventure, more accustomed to the nomadic lifestyle, and more anxious to get south of the border!

We're also very grateful for all the new friends that we've made - readers who have contacted us and we've been able to meet up. It's so great to meet with other like-minded people, and it's been so fun getting to know you!



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10 Responses

  1. Michelle M.

    Hi everyone!!!!! Great to hear you’re all doing well. I read your updates every time you send them so I’m quite familiar with where you are.
    Hope to meet you all soon in Argentina, whenever you make it here. My family and I are excited we’ll meet you some day! I’ll keep in touch and let you know we’ll be driving to whatever part of Argentina you’re driving through.
    Love your posts!!

    Michelle Martoglio
    Villa Maria, Córdoba – Argentina

  2. Heidi

    Very helpful post. Thanks! We’re researching hot spots right now. I’ve spent some time on verizon but it’s kinda confusing. It doesn’t look like you can use that in Central America but again its hard to tell. What have you found out? It also looks crazy expensive once you leaave the U.S. but that may be the case with any device. OH yeah and Sean wants unlimited memory usage.

    It’s frustrating because there is no perfect device for us. Anyway I’m interested to see what you guys end up with.

  3. quinn cummings

    I just wrote a wish-list on my blog of people I want to interview about homeschooling for my book which is to be published next year by Penguin. One of my wishes was for a family who homeschools so they can travel. Wow. I can’t even fathom how crazy your life is right now, but I’d love to interview you for my book.

  4. Cortney

    I had asked about health insurance costs before (even if it’s just catastrophic coverage for emergencies like an accident or a long term illness). If I missed that post could you point me to it? And if it’s not up yet I understand, just curious!

    • Rachel

      Yes, sorry, I am slowly getting to that post. I’ve had several questions about it. I’ll get to it soon 🙂

      • Cortney

        Oh, no worries at all! I just wanted to make sure I didn’t miss it if you had already been so kind as to answer my question when you are all so busy on the road :)Happy and safe travels!

  5. Mac

    Wow, this sounds like a dream trip. Nice to see you could recycle the old vegetable oil and us it for fuel. I would like to take a month long road trip someday like you.


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