Eighteen months, nine kids, two adults, one RV—this was the inspiration that came to Mike and Megan Knorpp as they contemplated the future of their family.
"It was one of those moments where you just feel a flash of inspiration like, 'You're supposed to do this,'" Megan says. "Of course, everyone thinks about traveling in an RV and seeing the country. But when you feel like you get that okay, you're supposed to do it. And we prayed about it and fasted about it and felt like it was right."
And the timing was great.
Their home in North Carolina was nearing the end of its lease. All nine of the Knorpp children are homeschooled and Megan and Mike both work from home and are in "semi-retirement" after building a multi-million dollar business, according to their blog Knorpp and South.
Plus their oldest son is planning on leaving for a mission in a few years, Megan says, and an RV adventure could be the Knorpp's last chance to spend quality time together before he leaves.
But the Knorpps worried about leaving behind their home ward and Church callings in order to begin their 18-month adventure.
Luckily, the members in their home ward seemed to embrace the idea.
"I was in the Primary presidency and I actually asked them, 'Do you guys think this would be wrong for us to do this?'" Megan says. "And they said, 'Why would it be wrong? No, go for it. You guys should totally do that.' And I was grateful for that support from our ward. Our bishop was excited about it. I don't know if that always is the case, but for us it was."
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Megan says her family temporarily moved their records to Mike's parent's ward in Idaho when their son received his patriarchal blessing. The patriarch who gave the blessing just so happened to be that same one who gave Mike his and later sealed Megan and Mike together.
As Megan says, this experience is not a vacation, so her oldest son takes seminary classes online through her in-law's stake.
In addition, all of the Knorpp children continue their education while they traveled from state to state and Megan and Mike continue to work.
And of course, they all continue to attend church—though it is a little different than before.
Wherever the Knorpps go, they look for an LDS ward nearby that they can meet with for Sunday meetings using lds.org.
Though it could be tempting to not fully engage in the wards they visit, the Knorpps decided to become fully invested anywhere they attend.
"We had to recognize that is church for us," Megan says. "We can't just emotionally hold back. So I make comments and sometimes I get strange looks like, 'Wow, I don't know who this person is that's making this comment.' But that's how I participate in church and that's how it's a rewarding experience for me. We have to treat it like this is our ward. We can't just be visitors for a year-and-a-half."
And though it can be difficult to no longer have the friendships they had back in their ward in North Carolina, Megan said this experience has enriched her worship experiences and taught her family the value each member has in a ward.
But their RV experience is not over yet.
With about six months of their 18-month RV adventure completed, Megan says her family plans on visiting the southern states during the upcoming winter and traveling to the northern states in the summer.
And so far, Megan says the hardest part for her husband and nine children has been getting used to a lack of personal space.
But after driving through the entire country and visiting several landmarks along the way, Megan says her favorite part of this experience is pondering the part in "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" about enjoying recreational activities with family members.
"Whether we are hiking to a beautiful place together, or we're in a cave together, or we're on the ocean together, our bond is becoming so tight," Megan says. "I have a testimony that if you love someone and you want to be closer to them and you want to have a lasting relationship with them, you need to have fun with them."