Full-time travelers, best-selling authors, foodies, neurodiverse, etc. But in short, we are the Mendenhalls.

Between the five of us, we’ve visited almost every state in our country and dozens of countries worldwide.

As an expert in understanding why travel is developmentally beneficial for kids, I am on a mission to help you travel where we can when we can.

Welcome to my page! Learn more about me

Who Am I?

And hi, I’m Laura! The author and CEO of O Family, Where Art Thou. I am a full-time nomad exploring the country in an RV called, “The Mendenhauler,” with my husband, three kids and dog.

With a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a Master of Arts in Discipleship, and years of extensive research with my children’s Neuropsychologists and Play Therapists, I can see clearly that travel can significantly accelerate a child’s personal growth.

I am also the author of best-selling Love Fast Live Slow: Discover the Simplicity of Reflecting Jesus in a Stressful World.

Nice to meet you!

Meet the Mendenhalls

Why We Love Traveling

My awesome husband, Nick, and I met in 2004, married in 2007, and became parents in 2012. I worked as a National Event Planner from 2008 – 2012, which meant I got to travel to the coolest cities in the country for my job (yes, please!).

While working as a National Event Planner, Nick and I were able to work in Boston, San Francisco, Houston, San Diego, Seattle, Orlando, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Atlanta, and New York City.

In addition to all our stateside travels, we were also able to serve on mission trips to Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, and Elderslie, Jamaica

Being an Army brat (aka my dad served in the Army), we lived overseas when I was younger. My dad was stationed in Heidelberg, Germany. My parents loved to travel and we were able to explore tons of countries which included adventures like skiing the Alps, taking trains to and from London, and visiting castles on the Rhine River.

Worked as a National Event Planner until my son was born

My parents instilled in me the love of travel and helped me believe traveling with my family was attainable. That is why I was excited a job that let me travel around.

Sounds too good to be true, right? It was great…until it wasn’t. Everything changed once I became a mom (best job ever) and I wanted to stay home with my new baby.

Our growing family and new jobs put a pause on our exploring. We took a few family road trips but it wasn’t until 2020 when we decided to homeschool our three kids that we were ready to explore the country again.

A memorable 17-hour road trip to Texas sparked our interest in becoming full-time RVers. A few months later, we sold everything we owned and hit the road as full-time travelers in a 40-foot Super C Gulfstream Motorhome. 

This was the start of O Family, Where Art Thou.

Where We’ve Lived/Traveled

To date, we’ve spent months living and adventuring in various locations around the United States. We typically spend 2-3 weeks in each destination we visit. Here are some of our favorite destinations:

📍USA – Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia

📍Belize – Belize City

📍Dominican Republic – Punta Cana, Sanctuary Cap Cana

📍Grand Cayman Islands

📍Honduras – Roatan

📍Jamaica – Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, Elderslie

📍Mexico – Cancun, Costa Maya

📍United Kingdom – London


How Do We Afford To Travel?

The best advice we have for being able to afford a travel lifestyle is to set up multiple streams of income. Whether passive or active, pinpoint a skill/passion and monetize it with patience and diligence. 

💵 Laura became an expert in selling at-home workout programs and supplements. She already loved health and fitness and was able to organically grow a side income by recommending her favorite fitness solutions to friends. 

💵 Nick used his knowledge and grit in all things construction to work alongside General Contractors to remodel, renovate, or build homes for local families and companies from the ground up. This skill has allowed him to pick up contracted jobs in various cities we’ve traveled to. 

💵 Also, Nick and Laura have co-authored a few best-selling books about their faith and journey to live slower. 

We are not rich but small profits add up to allow us to live as digital nomads.

Why Do We Blog?

⭐ We want to inspire you to travel while your kids are young, whether you feel ready or not. 

⭐ We also want to share solutions to the number one obstacle that stopped us for years: How to afford travel? 

⭐ We want the accountability of documenting our adventures. 

Our kids are only young once and we want to make these memories as permanent as possible. The benefits of travel for kids are endless.

While traveling, we will sometimes have to push through discomfort — whether that means trying unfamiliar foods or crossing a swaying rope bridge over a river. Doing unfamiliar things can actually take a lot of bravery.

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We want to collect memories, not things. 

Likewise, we want to be meaningful in the places we choose to visit and not rush a trip to check off another state or country (although that does feel good). 

Combined, we’ve visited almost every state but we want to create memories TOGETHER as a family of 5 in all 50 states. So as of Fall 2022, we started fresh and started counting our visited states with a clean slate.

Create Your Own Visited States Map

We want to visit all 50 states together by the end of 2025. 

  1. Alabama
  2. Alaska
  3. Arizona
  4. Arkansas
  5. California
  6. Colorado
  7. Connecticut
  8. Delaware
  9. Florida
  10. Georgia
  11. Hawaii
  12. Idaho
  13. Illinois
  14. Indiana
  15. Iowa
  16. Kansas
  17. Kentucky
  18. Louisiana
  19. Maine
  20. Maryland
  21. Massachusetts
  22. Michigan
  23. Minnesota
  24. Mississippi
  25. Missouri
  26. Montana
  27. Nebraska
  28. Nevada
  29. New Hampshire
  30. New Jersey
  31. New Mexico
  32. New York
  33. North Carolina
  34. North Dakota
  35. Ohio
  36. Oklahoma
  37. Oregon
  38. Pennsylvania
  39. Rhode Island
  40. South Carolina
  41. South Dakota
  42. Tennessee
  43. Texas
  44. Utah
  45. Vermont
  46. Virginia
  47. Washington
  48. West Virginia
  49. Wisconsin
  50. Wyoming

Ultimately it’s not about the checklist but rather the experience. 

We want to extend our kids’ childhoods and squeeze every ounce we can out of the years we have them. We want to instill a belief and confidence that anything is possible and that every person we meet gives us a chance to show kindness, humility, and generosity. 

International Travels

While we haven’t conquered any international travel with our kids yet, we have visited many countries before kids and know our current cross-country journey is preparing us for broader travel in the years ahead. 

We also have an S2 9.2 sailboat (about 30 feet long) that has a forward and aft cabin with a full galley and full bath. Perhaps our future adventures will include travel by RV, plane, and boat. The sky is the limit. 

our sailboat

Where We’ve Been Featured

We are authors who take pride in writing books, articles, and blogs that inspire others to step into a pace that gives their soul peace. 

Some places you can find us: 

  • She Works His Way – When Our Doing is Overdone
  • Her View From Home – My Mom Made It Look Easy
  • A Cup of Gratitude Podcast – Season 2, Episode 10, Finding Gratitude in the Fast Lane
  • Here Goes Anything Podcast – #23 Laura Mendenhall
  • Self Publish-N-30 Days – Author Spotlight: Nick and Laura Mendenhall
O Family Where Art Thou Featured In

Travel Resources

I’ve learned a thing or two about what to and NOT to do while traveling as a family. I will be sharing tips and tricks on how to save time, money, and stress in our upcoming email newsletters.

The last thing I want is for you to hang up your travel goals because life gets in the way. Travel should GIVE you life, not compete with it.

I’ve listed every excuse in the book too. Money, work, schedule, safety, logistics, etc. The rewards far outweigh the sacrifice. Having traveled most of my life (to most states and dozens of countries), I have worked diligently to share the solutions I’ve found to make travel easier.

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Nick and Laura’s Books

The coolest part of being on the road is meeting many new people. We’ve been able to connect with a variety of people from different backgrounds of faith, culture, and neurodiversity. Learn more about our priorities and worldview by visiting our Christian ministry blog: Love Fast Live Slow

 Thanks for joining us on this journey!