Tumblewagon: A Family of Web Workers


tumblewagonLast month, Webmonkey ran a charming story of a young family of web workers, who are quite literally working on the road as they travel across the United States.

The family of three – a young boy Tristan and his freelancing web designer parents, Olivia and Nathan, are living an extraordinary life, partway through a year of traversing the US and maintaining healthy web industry careers as well as roadschooling their son.

Interestingly, Olivia and Nathan have almost ‘open-sourced’ their journey, sharing how they worked with a consultant to prepare a study plan for Tristan, based on the Waldorf Method and illustrating how they live in an RV,  equipped with iPhones and a combination of wireless data cards, Macs, Airports and Time Capsules – what sounds like a mobile Apple showroom and probably relatively reliable in comparison with other technologies! However, the family do omit GPS devices and television from their lives.

Though necessary for Olivia and Nathan’s working lives, the technology is enabling the family to videocast, photograph and podcast their journey for others to follow.

It’s a charming, romantic notion that speaks to the inner nomad of web workers and indeed the roadtripping wanderlust of America itself. Tumblewagon illustrates that the conventions that bound people to desks and factories in the 20th century are slowly giving way to new possibilities for living. To paraphrase Ronald Reagan…

We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them…as they prepared for their journey, waved goodbye and slipped the surly bonds of work to touch the screen of Jobs.


Read more at Tumblewagon and Webmonkey.


Taryn Merrick

I follow Tumbleweed and love reading about the life of the full time, web working, RV family. As a Virtual Assistant who will soon be a part time RV’er, I love learning about this lifestyle.

Imran Ali

Hey Nathan – great to hear from you and glad you liked the article and commenters…keep us posted with stories from the road :)


Hey there! Nathan from Tumblewagon here, thanks for the reference and thanks to all of the commenters, it’s always nice to hear some positive reinforcement!


This is one of the most awesome stories I have ever heard/read. What they’re doing is amazing and wonderful for their son. What an adventure? I’m so jealous.


This is similar to an idea I had quite a few years ago. Mine then involved a converted school bus and satellite internet connection – not sure how viable that is now, let alone then!

The idea of being able to park up on the beach on the western seaboard and watching the sunset seems somehow overly romantic – that would no doubt be tempered by some IE6 CSS annoyance or an elusive PHP bug! :)

John Knotts

yea man, my wife and I have been talking about doing this for a while. we just need to get a few more things lined up… well that and thoroughly convince ourselves that we could live in a RV without going crazy!


How can you compare Reagans quote about the doomed Challenger Pilots to this? In very poor taste

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