BURRILLVILLE – Small-town life has been relatively good to the Juneau family.
Since 2016, Aimee, a Burrillville native, has worked for the town processing accounts payable in the treasurer’s office.
Her husband Paul, who grew up in West Warwick, retired from a career as an EMT/paramedic four years ago to pursue his passion for music, and has become a regular sight on local stages, entertaining crowds with country, blues, rock and soul.
The couple’s sons – 12-year-old Joseph and 5-year-old Carter – have attended public schools, making friends in the small, tight-knit community.
But all of that is about to change.
The family has packed their bags and said goodbye to the lives they’ve known. This weekend, they’ll load into their mobile home – a brand new Crossroads Sunset Trail 331BH – destination unknown. They don’t know what adventures await them or when they’ll return.
And they want you to take you along for the journey.
“We want to see all the sights, have all the experiences, travel the whole country,” Paul says in a video on the pending adventure. “We’re starting this trip with a blank page. No directions, no schedule and no itinerary.”
“Come along as we embark on the adventure of a lifetime,” Aimee adds. “Watch us traverse the unknown terrain of full-time RV life, learning the do’s and don’ts, and the ins and outs, along the way.”
The mission, Aimee explains, is to see the country, visit places that until now, they’ve only seen in books, and see all they’ve been missing in life beyond Burrillville.
And so, she gave notice at her job of six years, working her last day earlier this month.
“That was the hardest part of the decision for me,” she said. “I absolutely loved my job.”
The Juneaus may not have a schedule, but they do have ideas of how they hope life on the road will look. When he’s not driving or cooking dinner on the camper grill, Paul plans to write music, shoot video, set up gigs at various venues across the country and live stream to his fans. Joseph and Carter dream of being gaming YouTubers, so in-between school lessons, they hope to set up a channel and play their favorite video games with friends. Aimee, who has a degree in early childhood education, will focus on homeschooling the boys and documenting the family’s experience.
The journey is set to begin this weekend with the motor home pointed toward Niagara Falls, but Aimee says they’re not opposed to stopping sooner if something catches their interest.
“For me, that’s what makes this trip so exciting and terrifying at the same time,” Aimee said. “I’ve always been a planner – probably to a fault at times. So going into this with nothing booked and taking it all day by day is completely out of my comfort zone, but that’s what an adventure is all about, right?”
Equally open is their time frame for the trip.
“We’re waiting to see how it goes, how everyone is feeling about life on the move, and how much of the country we’re able to see,” Aimee said. “If it’s been a year and we are loving it and feel like we want to explore and see more hopefully we can make it work and stay out longer.”
Aimee said there were, “a myriad of factors,” in the decision to hit the road but, “at the end of the day we really just looked at each other and said ‘why not?'”
“We most likely will never have this opportunity again,” she said. “We sat down and asked ‘in 10 years will we look back and regret not taking this chance?’ And the answer was, ‘absolutely.’ We’ve never really strayed far from New England, certainly not for an extended time and we can’t wait to see what else is out there.”
But Aimee says the most exciting part of what she and her musician husband have dubbed the, “Wherever the Wind Takes Me Tour,” is the interactive aspect of the trip. The family plans to update their Facebook and Instagram feeds daily, soliciting tips and advice from friends and followers on everything from where to go next and what to see, to where to eat or where Paul might play a gig.
“Everyone knows someone who knows someone, right?” asks Joseph in video.
“Yeah, and we’re going to need all the help we can get,” Carter responds.
“That’s why we really wanted to do a lot with the social media aspect,” Aimee told NRI NOW. “When we decided to do this trip, we knew we wanted it to be something we shared with as many people as we could. I take more pictures and videos than I want to admit so having content to share on our pages won’t be a problem at all.”
The family launched the “Journey with the Juneaus,” YouTube channel and aims to add two videos a month. And they’re hopeful fans will share their posts, allowing a vast social network to uncover not just the biggest landmarks, but the hidden gems by wherever they choose to park the RV.
“We’re going where the wind takes us, flying by the seat of our pants…. and yeah, we’re totally freaking out,” Paul said.
It will be different way of living for a tight-knit family that until now, has had relatively traditional small-town experiences.
“I can’t wait to teach the boys about the Grand Canyon and then wake up the next day and take them to it,” Aimee said. “The list for places we want to visit is so long. I’m not sure if we’ll ever have enough time to see it all.”
“We are so grateful to have the chance to do what many have told us they dream of doing,” she said.
“Join us for the laughs, the tears, the fun, the stress and the unbelievable sights. We want you to live it all right along with us,” Paul said.