Going Solo in the Winnebago + Adventure Wagon After Being Raised on the Road
Learn how this road-schooled athlete plans to continue her RVing adventures!

By: Abby Holcombe

"Sit down. We have something important to talk about,” my parents said abruptly.

I nervously sat down and looked back and forth between them in hopes of getting a clue as to what sparked such a serious conversation.

"Did I forget to do my homework?"

"Did they catch me sneaking ice cream from the freezer…”

My anxious train of thought was interrupted by my parents asking, "Remember how we talked about moving to the mountains after the school year?”

Of course, I did. I was so excited to move, and for the last six months we had been slowly packing up our entire life in Boulder, Colorado, to live in a quiet and adventurous Colorado mountain town.

"Well, how would you feel if we put all of our stuff in storage, moved into a Winnebago for the summer, and explored the country, biking, climbing, and of course, kayaking?”

The Holcombe Family warming up by the fire before falling asleep in their Toyota Tundra. All three of them would live out of their truck for months on end anytime Abby had a break from her brick-and-mortar school.

Up until this point, I had lived a life full of adventure. I started camping at two weeks old, skiing at two years old, and kayaking at age four. I had traveled across the country multiple times with my parents in their bright red pickup truck. 

However, even with as many crazy adventures as my parents had gotten me into that far, moving into an RV was the absolute last thing I imagined my parents asking me. Still, the idea of an unknown adventure and further exploring the wonders of North America sparked my curiosity. Without hesitation, I eagerly agreed to a summer of adventure.

Embarking on My First Winnebago Adventure as a Child

As the months went on, I paired down my playroom to a small duffel bag full of dolls, stuffed animals, and board games. As we anticipated our once-in-a-lifetime summer vacation, my parents kept bouncing ideas off of each other of where they wanted to take me. Yosemite, Zion, Washington DC, New York City, Ottawa, Key West, Alaska, and more. 

The list was growing by the day, or maybe even the hour. Our once-in-a-lifetime summer of adventure slowly turned into a longer and longer trip to ensure that my parents could show me all their favorite places across North America.

Before I knew it, my parents were enrolling me in an accredited online school program and purchasing a Winnebago View. We were trying to cram our brick-and-mortar house into our tiny home on wheels as we anxiously anticipated the next YEAR of travel.

A snapshot amid the chaos of moving, selling, and consolidating a brick-and-mortar life to fit into a 24-foot-long Winnebago View.

I was excited but nervous to leave the stationary life I knew and my friends from my school. My parents noticed, and we agreed as a family that it was time for me to get my first phone. My new phone ensured I could keep in touch with my school friends from the road and put my 10-year-old self at ease with such a life-changing adventure.

With my new phone in hand, I watched my parents back out of the driveway of our old house from the dinette of our new, beloved Winnebago, and we hit the road for what was undoubtedly going to be the beginning of the best years of my life.

Abby kayaking with humpback whales during the Holcombes' two-month-long stent exploring Alaska in 2016.
The Holcombe family finishing their work and school for the day before they went off on another adventure.
While kayaking around Santa Cruz Island just off the coast of Santa Barbara, California, Abby became enthralled or, better yet, etangled in her surroundings while paddling over a kelp forest.

Looking Ahead to My Own Winnebago Travels as an Adult

Nine years of full-time travel later, I have been to all 50 U.S. states and 24 countries. I lived in Europe for six months with my parents in their Winnebago Revel. I kayaked all 280 miles of the Grand Canyon (twice!), I learned how to believe in myself and push past my fears, and I have found such an incredible community of friends along the way. 

At nineteen, I am a professional athlete, World Champion Kayaker, social media influencer, and Winnebago Ambassador.

Abby Holcombe standing on the Junior Women’s podium during the 2022 Freestyle Kayak World Championships in Nottingham, England, alongside Niamh Macken (silver medalist) and Makinley Kate Hargrove (bronze medalist).
Abby taking a break to look at the abundant sea life during their circumnavigation of the Isle of Rab, Croatia, in 2019.
The Grand Canyon became Abby’s place of solace during her first 25-day sel-supported trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon in 2017.

And I just finished my first cross-country road trip last week … my first cross-country road trip in my very own Winnebago + Adventure Wagon, that is. I am now working from my tiny home on wheels to continue exploring, progressing my kayaking, and figuring out how to travel as a solo female. 

Over the next six months, I plan to visit 18 states, two Canadian provinces, and way too many rivers to count! I have five freestyle kayaking competitions, including the infamous GoPro Mountain Games in Vail, CO, this summer and the 2023 ICF Freestyle Kayaking World Championships in Columbus, GA, this October.

The Holcombe family together with both of their vans – Abby’s Winnebago + Adventure Wagon and Peter & Kathy’s Revel.

Learn more about how the Holcombes have passed on a love for RVing and adventure across four generations, in this article.

Abby getting cozy for her first night in her van.

And I can’t wait to take you all along for the ride. Stay tuned for more blog updates from my solo adventures in my very own Winnebago. And make sure to follow me on Instagram @adventurous.miss for more updates along the way.


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User commented on June 8, 2023 2:31 PM
Way to go, Abby! What an amazing life you have led! Can’t wait to follow your solo adventures.
User commented on June 8, 2023 3:07 PM
Great blog Abby!! You are an accomplished writer !
User commented on June 8, 2023 10:13 PM
You continue to amaze all of us I’m sure. Please keep safe and enjoy the ride.
User commented on June 8, 2023 10:26 PM
Awesome article!! So very excited for you and this next chapter of your life!! 💕
User commented on June 10, 2023 7:47 AM
Excellent article- truly inspiring! You are indeed a brave young woman - respect! Look forward to reading future articles about your adventures in your Winnebago 😁
User commented on June 18, 2023 11:52 AM
If you visit Calgary, Alberta my wife and I would love to connect with you re your van. Thanks Kerry