Jacob and Kyla Salmond, along with their family of three boys, have stepped out on faith on what is next in their lives.
The family has literally taken the plunge to commit to this next adventure, which has consisted of selling their house and downsizing to a recreational vehicle (RV). The family will be leaving Prineville and making God's creation along their road journey their home for the next year.
"We have had this idea and dream about traveling the U.S. in an RV," said Kyla. "It was kind of a dream we had for several years, and we would always try to think, "How can we fit this into our vacation time or Jake's sabbatical time?"
She added that things started to come together as they realized that Jacob could transition out of ministry and they could homeschool their kids. They began looking at RVs and discovered that there were lots of families who traveled and lived in an RV — including one family in Central Oregon.
"Things like that kind of sparked our interest and showed us that it really would be possible to do something that we just kind of thought was just a dream and sounded nice, but we just didn't know how we would ever drive across the U.S. with our family and have enough time to see everything we wanted to see," Kyla explained.
Jacob indicated that their timeframe goal is to start out with one school year.
"It's kind of go until we are feeling the Lord saying, "this is where you are supposed to be," or until we run out of money — whichever comes first."
Currently, they are staying with friends in Prineville on their property in their RV while Jake is finishing up his job as area director for Young Life. The organization is a worldwide organization for adolescents, where staff and volunteers enter the world of kids, and focus on what matters to kids — fun, adventure, friendship, and a sense of significance. In doing so, they earn the privilege of talking to them about God and his love for them.
Bella Bonano will be replacing him as the local area director. Bonano has been a part-time staff for Young Life for the past several years.
"It's a great fit," said Jacob of his replacement for Young Life.
"We have kind of transitioned with the RV living, we just haven't left."
Kyla recently completed a master's degree in clinical mental health counseling. Kyla previously served as an ASPIRE Coordinator for Crook County High School. She is currently getting certified as a life coach.
"That is something I am hoping to do on the road — kind of remotely," she said.
The couple indicated that their first destination is Yellowstone, Wyoming, with stops on the way to visit family in Boise, Idaho. From there, they will hit the Tetons and Glacier National Park.
"A lot of people ask us about our plans, and we are kind of tentative to make a full set-in-stone plan, just because the beauty of this is that we have the freedom to drive places that we want to go and stay as long as we want to stay without too much of a plan telling us otherwise," Kyla noted.
They are hoping to come back to Prineville around Christmas time and then will head south and southeast so they can drive though all 48 states. Kyla said a lot depends on what states are open and how things transpire with the COVID-19 virus.
"Its not like we just bought an RV," said Jacob of their current home. "We burnt the ships."
He added that they sold their house, including their beds, furniture, and many toys.
"Everything has to fit in our home — a 31-foot motorhome — and everything is in it, and our little 2002 Honda Civic that we tow behind it, with bikes and fun stuff," said Jacob of their current worldly belongings.He said as they pared it down, they discovered that only the things that they loved fit in the RV.
"There was all this extra stuff that didn't fit," he continued, "our family — and the things that we love to do — being outside, going on adventures, meeting new people, and trying new foods. Anything that would have to do with that, it fit in the RV and all the extra stuff that we realized we did not really need didn't fit, so it had to get kicked out. So, we had this little space and that's it."
When asked about their three boys' response to the trip (Judah, age 11, Asher, 9, and 7-year-old Elias), Kyla and Jacob responded, "They are excited for the trip, but because we have had this two-month kind of interim before we leave for the trip and we sold the house and stuff, they don't love living in the RV, but they are excited to go on the trip."
Kyla added that the boys have had to do a lot of transitioning and have said goodbye to a lot of people and things.
"They are kind in the middle of that, but they are excited about our actual trip," she concluded.
In closing, they added, "Seize the day and step out in faith."
To stay in touch with Jacob and Kyla Salmond and family, they have a YouTube channel that will be include posts in each destination. It will be YoloFam (stands for you only live once and family), and it will be filled with a combination of education and fun adventures.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.