Today I will be interviewing a couple of former police officers who have found a new life in traveling and Workamping around the country.
Hakam Salahuddin, who goes by the nickname “Sal,” is a Wisconsin native who first joined the Navy in 1990 and became a police officer after he retired from the service in 2012. But, four years ago, he gave up his law enforcement career to start full-time RVing in a 23-foot Airstream.
His partner, Rebecca Bailey, is from Chicago, which is about 90 minutes south of Milwaukee. She, too, was in law enforcement working as a detective in South Carolina where she met Sal.
Together, they have been Workamping ever since they embarked on their travel adventure. They primarily serve as campground hosts; however, they have also worked a beet harvest and helped out in an Amazon warehouse.
They were attracted to the travel lifestyle because their lives had become way too routine. After their children left the nest, they decided it was their turn to have a little fun.
Of all the Workamping jobs they have had, being a campground host is by far their favorite. It’s relatively easy work and the jobs give them plenty of time to pursue other activities they enjoy, like mountain biking and hiking. But the best benefit is the people they have met on the job, including, employers, fellow Workampers and other RVers. Some have become very close friends.
The couple provides an honest review of their experiences working at Amazon. It can be difficult work walking, bending and standing all day, but the job pays very well and helps them keep fit and trim. That’s why so many people love Amazon as a short-term gig to earn lots of money to pay for other recreation opportunities during the rest of the year.
Sal and Rebecca also developed an appreciation for what farmers have to endure after working a beet harvest one season. Most people just go to grocery stores and have no idea where food comes from. The couple describes shoveling and bagging sugar beets in all kinds of weather to prepare them for transportation to factories where the beets become raw sugar.
I like how, as a campground host, Sal sees himself as more of a camping ambassador in greeting guests and helping new campers and RVers get a good start on their experiences. By easing them into a travel lifestyle, it creates much more enjoyable experiences for everyone.
Rebecca likes to help people make the most of whatever amount of time they have to spend in an area. So, she gets to know where the fun, out-of-the-way things to do can be found, and then she shares those with other guests.
When it comes to finding Workamping jobs, Sal and Rebecca typically don’t plan too far in advance, and they haven’t had problems finding positions. This fall, the couple is planning to head to the East Coast to do some family things and check in with their doctors and dentists.
The only really big challenge they have faced is getting major service work done on their truck due to a lack of technicians. Like RV service, sometimes there is a waitlist today to get cars and trucks repaired as well.
The couple also encourages Workampers to do their homework before accepting a job. For example, will they be able to get cell phone signals or have internet service in the area they’ll be living for six months? Also, be sure you understand what employers consider to be a full-hookup campsite because sometimes it may differ from your expectations.
Sal and Rebecca started a website for other people traveling in an Airstream. Called the Tin Can Travelers, it connects people with one another and describes the Workamping jobs they have held over the years. They have also produced a variety of videos describing things to do in areas they visit as well as offer tips on improving the travel lifestyle. You can connect with Sal and Rebecca and view all their blog posts and videos by visiting www.thetincantravelers.com.
I know they have a lot of adventures still left on their bucket list, so I wish Sal and Rebecca the best of luck for a fun and memorable Workamping experience.
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That’s all I have for this week’s show. Next time I will be speaking with an employer who will describe an outstanding way for Workampers to truly experience all that Yellowstone National Park has to offer. I’ll have details on the next episode of The Workamper Show. Thanks for listening!