Chelsea Gonzales
by Chelsea Gonzales
Posted December 2, 2020

Sonya Lowery and Ray Young are adventurers to the core. It hasn’t always been this way, and you can read about Sonya’s amazing journey in this article. However, the point is that they are adventurers now.

In fact, Sonya’s whole life actually revolves around seeing new places and experiencing new things. “I’m the Chief Adventure Officer of World Next Door, a travel and bucket-listing group,” she tells us. “We have traveled internationally for over 10 years to places like Thailand, South Africa, Greece, and Egypt, and I host group ‘eventures’ here in the Washington, D.C. area, like skydiving and a big outdoor nighttime climb called Forest of Fury.”

Of course, her fiancé, Ray, travels right alongside her much of the time, and he has an amazing time doing so.

When the pandemic hit and international travels were put on hold, the couple wanted to find a way to continue exploring the world. So, they turned to RVing.

“We loved the idea of RVing because it gives us the freedom to get out and seek new adventures even during COVID-19,” Sonya says. “We purchased our RV with the intent of using it ourselves, with an option of renting it out to help pay for it.”

And rent it they did.

The first step? Choosing a rental platform. “We did a bit of research and found that most owners like the Outdoorsy platform better than others for ease of use,” Sonya explains. “My profile wasn’t even finished, and we got our first booking!”

Being brand-new to the world of RVing at that point, there were some kinks to work out at first. Fortunately, the amazing Outdoorsy community was there to help. “When we first started renting, I posted a problem on the Outdoorsy platform and got some help from a lady named Brittany Kay,” recalls Sonya. “She was a godsend, especially because I had never camped or RVed before. She knew exactly what to do to fix the problem. It was a very simple problem, but being new, I had no idea.”

This leads us to Sonya’s advice for those considering renting an RV: “Be a renter first. See what you like about it and what you don’t. Get ideas from the owner you’re renting from and go from there.”

Other bits of advice she offered include: “Be prepared for when things go wrong and be prepared to hand-hold first-time renters. Be available for questions and for the rollercoaster ride that will no doubt come.”

At this point, Sonya and Ray are five super busy months into their rental business venture and are already old pros. They even go above and beyond with some amazing videos! “We have videos to help our renters use the RV,” she shares, “along with a vlog on YouTube to help renters see ideas on destinations that are not so far away.”

Of course, the RV is also still in use as a personal adventure vehicle for Sonya and Ray, and they have plenty of RV adventures planned for the future. “We plan on staying in our RV on our wedding night and possibly using it to go to Florida for our honeymoon next year,” Sonya tells us.

“There is a place in Florida called Devil’s Den — it’s a cenote near Gainesville, Florida. We love the cenotes in Mexico, so finding one in the States was super exciting! We also want to venture out west and do some serious wine tasting in Sedona. We’ll probably stay at some Harvest Hosts while we’re there. Also, we would love to venture into Toronto, Canada, and try out the Edge Walk, the world’s highest outdoor walkabout. It’s there, so why not!”

Clearly, the RV has been an amazing purchase for Sonya and Ray, and it looks like it will continue providing them with the opportunities for exploration they crave. That said, this isn’t all the couple wants from their vehicle.

“Our hope is that people are able to find a bit of normalcy in being able to get away safely during this time,” Sonya shares. “It has allowed Ray and I to reduce anxiety and the effects of cabin fever. The hope is that couples and families will be able to feel some of the release we feel each time we go on another adventure.”

All About Sonya and Ray

Favorite morning beverage: “Coffee and chicory.”

Favorite campsite meal: “A beautifully marinated steak with potatoes. (Ray is an excellent griller.)”

Music you like to play on the radio: “Old school hip-hop and R&B.”

Best game to play on the road or at your campsite: “Spades.”

Favorite season: “Spring — all things become possible again.”

Last photo you took: “The last photo was us on the beach in Cape Cod.”

What’s your Outdoorsy spirit animal? “Jaguar and Black Panther.”

If you could travel anywhere in an RV, where would you go? “Key West. It’s on our list, and we are going!”

Chelsea Gonzales

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