What a wonderful experience we had this past weekend attending the first (annual?) Nomadfest in Wellington Texas. We met such wonderful people, attended some great seminars, had some good food, and heard some exceptional live music.
Here is my summation of the event in the five W’s of journalism:
WHY: We made our reservations last October, well before filming even started on RV Nomads The Movie, an independent documentary film. As soon as we heard about the project we wanted to be part of it by attending the world premier and Nomadfest gathering. We just knew it was history in the making, and I’m so glad we were there.
WHAT: The film far exceeding my expectations. It tells the story of several RV travelers (Nomads), many of whom we had already met at other gatherings. They all have Youtube channels and we’ve followed several of them over the years, but this project was much bigger. A full length film talking about this incredible RV Nomad movement: People unplugging from regular society and venturing out like pioneers of current times. It was spectacularly well done cinematically speaking, painted a perfect picture of the ups and downs of full time RV life, and wove a story about the roots of the movement. My favorite aspect was how it connected to the soul of the movement, and related how special the RV community is. Truly, if it hadn’t been good, I would still have said nice things about it, but it was SO good we actually felt slightly euphoric after watching it. Probably because of the energy in the theatre. The best part was to watch it with 400 plus other RVers, who recognized themselves in the story.
The Nomadfest event also included jam packed days of socials and seminars and presentations, along with a music party Friday night. So much fun!
Audrey Callahan and Shane Snyder opened the evening with songs woven in between stories she told of their adventures, and what the songs meant to them. Totally awesome!
Kyle & Olivia of Drivin’ & Vibin’ performed with their band that traveled from Alabama. This was Olivia’s public singing debut, and it was wonderful to hear her pretty voice in person – and see how much more comfortable she became as the evening turned into a dance party.
WHERE: They had the premier in the same tiny Texas town where most of the filming was done: Wellington Texas. In our five days there, we were able to interact with many of the locals and I can’t express enough just how nice they were. The whole town welcomed the RVers to their fairgrounds with open arms and went totally out of their way to see how they could help us. We met one wonderful couple who live in the town square, and they said they were already coming up with ways to entertain us next year – like perhaps a haunted town-square tour. The Lions club had a pancake breakfast while we were there and invited all of us to attend. We made a point (at 7am!!) to go, and the people there welcomed and waited on us like we were long lost family. It was extraordinary.
Above are photos from inside the Co-lab – the business offices and film studio they opened in the town square. On the left is where all the interviews were done and on the right is a bar where I’m sure a lot of relaxing was done.
WHO: Eric Odom was the visionary behind making the movie, and is a full time RVer for the past year now. I really appreciated how he related what a fundamental shift he experienced when he found out that full time RVing was a real thing. He clearly understands how our country is being divided and how the RV community is able to rise above their differences and relate on a truly human level, thus creating an example for society at large. Really great stuff. Also in the film (in no particular order) were Mortons on the Move, RV Love, PauHauna Travels, Drivin’ & Vibin’, Always On Liberty, More Than A Wheelin’, RV Chickadee, Hebard’s Travels, 1st Class RV Adventures, Audrey Callahan Music, Less Junk < More Journey, Exploring the Local Life, Chickery’s Travels, Xscapers, and maybe some more that I missed. We were able to meet and visit with most of the cast, and I’m very excited for their futures.
WHEN: The movie, RV Nomads, will be released online around mid November. Early next year it will be available through Amazon Prime, and hopefully Netflix and other outlets. The fact that they tacked 2018 onto the Nomadfest, leads us to believe there will be an annual gathering of Nomads in Wellington in 2019. I hope so. The best part of these rallies are the people that you meet and we met a lot! What was interesting to us, being only on the road for nineteen months now, is how many people that were there that have been full time for less than a year. I know not everyone that reads this will believe this, but it really is a movement!
So that’s the five W’s of our weekend event.
I’m sure I left out a lot, like all the new social media ways to get involved and stay tuned for upcoming productions. Like their platform, ENTV, and their mobile app, Epic Nomad Life, and their facebook page, Epic Nomad TV. We can’t wait for more content to be produced, and it’s probably being worked on as we speak. If you want to help with future funding, visit here.
In looking up a few things for this article, I found there is an RV Nomads book in addition to the movie. What a wonderful surprise because I was wishing I could read some version of the narration of the movie because I enjoyed it so much. Guess I’ll be downloading this book to my kindle!
What’s most epic about this movie is the way it was produced. We learned that it was completed in just six months with less than a shoestring budget. Everything was purchased and implemented on an as needed basis – because nobody in the cast and crew (except maybe the editor) had any filmmaking experience. Tom Morton did an excellent job in his directorial debut. Audrey Callahan’s beautiful singing voice was used for narration because she rose her hand and said “I’ll do it!” It was amazing to learn how these people came together to form a formidable team and just ‘gotter done’. I was thoroughly impressed, especially when hearing about the hardships they faced with wind and hot weather. Absolutely amazing what they accomplished and I hope to see them all on stage at the academy award show!
Above are a couple of random pics I took at the event. They even had tethered hot air balloon rides that were offered to the locals in addition to us, but we didn’t partake.
Now we’re off to. . . uncertainty. We have no formal plans between now and next January, and it feels a little like we’re drifters.
Peace & Love, Joy
PS – We later found out there WILL be a Nomadfest 2019 – and we’ve already signed up. Have you?