The big idea behind our big change
We just gave ourselves a virtual face lift that would make Joan Rivers proud! (RIP Joan) Sure we may look prettier, dare I say hip, but what is really important to us is the idea behind the big change.
We originally started this website for ourselves, to document our personal adventures. We were in search of our own American Dream, a new place to call home and our blog was just a photo album that would be the envy of all of our friends.
But our trip and our lives have forever changed. Never in our wildest dreams could we have imagined that millions of people would tune into our far little corner of the web. So, over the years, our site and our mission have evolved with us.
We realize this incredible potential we have to make a positive change in the world around us…the people, places and things that make the world worth exploring (and preserving). Thank you to everyone that’s come to us over the years and said “you guys changed my life”; hearing those words come out of anyone’s mouth is unbelievably humbling.
We don’t believe or think we are special, in fact we are nothing more than ordinary. Which means: if we can do this, so can you! And that notion is the big idea behind our big change.
We are ordinary people living an extraordinary life. If we can do it, so can you.
We share to show people that no matter what stage you are at in life (working or retired), you can find a way to travel and create the life you want.
For Pete’s sake we didn’t even think this road trip of ours would last more than a year or two much less that it would turn us into perpetually traveling sedentary lifeaphobics!
But alas, almost five years later that’s exactly what we are. Now, as for where we are, well that’s a little difficult to define.
We are at an intersection in our lives. There are lots of different paths we could take and we’re not sure yet which one we want to go down. One thing we do know for sure is: we want to continue to share the journey and hope you will continue to join us.
However, our sharing platform (gonewiththewynns.com) needed a serious overhaul. It was cluttered, outdated, hard to navigate and becoming increasingly difficult to work with. Add that to the fact we didn’t feel our site represented our personal style and we knew we had no choice but to go back to the drawing board and start fresh.
After days, weeks and months of work, we finally have a whole new look! We are a little sleep deprived and in need of some serious outside time (the cats hate us right now) but I think it was well worth it!
We are still putting the final touches together, adding content to the map and fixing bugs. So, if you notice something is off or have any troubles, please let us know.
It may take a little getting used to our new look, but we hope not. We tried to keep everything, simple, clean, easy and colorful (just like us, wink wink) to make it easy to find exactly what you’re looking for.
So please, click around, have a look, find something you haven’t seen before and let us know what you think! Pull up the site on your phone, your PC, your Mac on your friends Linux system; our new face lift is supposed to work seamlessly on all platforms. We would love to hear your thoughts and feedback, after all you’re the ones clicking around and reading our crazy stories!
A few noteworthy new features we’re super excited about with our new site:
- Home Page – We’ve streamlined the home page so you can actually see what our website is all about and who we are.
- Navigation – No more drop down menus from the title bar! Just click one subject and your directed to a page with sortable icons and articles that are much easier to read. We think this is awesome, if you remember our old “RVin” page and compare it to this one…whew, so much cleaner.
- Map – We’ve changed the functionality of our map to make it easier to navigate (there’s still a lot of cleanup work to be done here so don’t spend too much time poking around just yet)
- Footer – You can always find our “where we are now” map, our social links, the website search function and the best ways to support us here…go ahead and scroll down to see it.
- Travel Store – It’s a huge change for us from our last store that was buggy and glitchy. We will continue to grow our store with only our favorite gadgets and gear, anything you find in here has our stamp of approval!
A huge thanks to:
- Our longtime friend Ky Lewis for creating our fancy new logo and video intro. There are advantages to working with friends, they know what you like.
- The WordPress guru Chris at RTW Labs! He has been managing our site now for several months, he’s ensured our safe and happy website swap and he’s saved us a ton of time (which equals money). How we ever survived without him I don’t know.
(these guys didn’t pay us to say that nor do we get a discount for their services, they are just that awesome!)
Every time I go to your website using Firefox, it crashes my browser. No other websites do this, so I know it is something on your site. I have to open a different browser to load your blog entries, which is a real annoyance. I do use AdBlock, so that might be part of the problem, but commercial sites with lots of ads that are blocked don’t crash it. Maybe you have ads from a particular server that are trying to load and refuse to be blocked. Has anyone else complained about this?
I am sorry to hear you are having trouble. We have lots of mac users and no one else has reported a problem. We are switching our hosts soon as we have had other issues with our site being down too much. Maybe that will fix the issue? As for ad blocker, we only have the one and its from google so I really don’t think that is the problem.
I still have problems with your website using Firefox on a PC. You say you have lots of Mac users who have not reported a problem (and yes, I can view your blog on my iPad), but not everyone uses an Apple computer. It’s such a problem, that I only open IE and check your blog about every few weeks. Is there any hope you will fix this in the near future?
Donna, I am so sorry to hear you are having trouble. If I could identify the issue I would love to fix it but others also use firefox and are not having issues. Have you thought about using google chrome as a browser instead of firefox? I will continue to look into it.
My mistake, I found the searh option and it works great!
No worries! Glad you found it and found what you were looking for. 🙂
There new website is looking good. I do have two suggestions: Turn the “notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail” to ON. On small screens you don’t even see it until after you hit the return key to send the message. Next, if it is at all possible, have a search box on the opening screen. So many times I have wanted to go back to a post and look up something you talked about only to no be able to find it. For instance, I am sure you mentioned a movie that inspired you to full time. I cannot find that post again. Unfortunately, that is not the only example. Youf website is so rich in content. It is amazing and inspiring. Thank you for all you post and the time and care you take with it.
My wife and I are getting ready to move aboard full-time(tomorrow!). I’ve setup a website so my wife can keep a travelogue and I really like the map you have at the bottom of the page that displays where you are currently. I could swear I remember seeing somewhere in the comments on this page a short reply about how you accomplished it but I can’t find it now. I spent a few hours practicing my google-fu and still came up empty handed. If you could point me in the right direction I would really appreciate it. Thank you.
P.S. I don’t know what your old page looked like but this one is great looking. I do wish there was a way to look at the posts chronologically other than the four on the front page.
Every time I click on your “gonewiththewynns” or the picture in Facebook, it starts to connect, then it doesn’t. I thought I’d tell you about it since it doesn’t happen anywhere else. Maybe you have got a bad connection problem with your link???
Has anyone else mentioned the unresponsive script issue on FireFox when viewing your website? It’s only something that has been happening since the changes you’ve made. It ends up freezing my whole computer. I took a screen shot of the error message that comes up, if you need to see it. Thanks!
Sorry about that, it seems to be isolated cases. Do you mind sending that screen capture and I will forward it to our developer? Thanks for letting us know!
I can,y seem to get your post about a new rig the same windo keeps poping up and same window keeps coming back but goes no placs???
If you can copy the web address and paste it in a comment I will better be able to help you. The web address is the text at the top of the screen that looks like “www.gonewiththewynns.com/xxxxxxxx”
You guys are awesome, and I love tracking with you online! I’m not real smart, though, so I’d suggest making an obvious link to your videos on the home page of your blog (for those of us who are not smart enough to find them on your site). I think your new design makes those a little tough to find. It would be super-cool if you had a link that said something like “videos,” and then I could click that to find a list or library of all your videos you’ve produced. That’s my two cents worth. Keep up the great work, guys!
I very well may add a button back somewhere to make that easier. Until then, you can always click over to our YouTube channel to see all of our videos. There is always a link at the bottom of the page or: http://www.youtube.com/user/gonewiththewynns
Your old website was MUCH better as far as being user friendly. I’m On an iPad, maybe it’s better on a different machine.
We are very interested in making a 2011 Monaco Vesta with 10k miles our first MH. I really love how it drove and it’s in pristine condition. During a test drive I could detect a faint diesel odor. Is that normal because this is a front-end diesel, or is this a potential problem?
Thanks for your thoughts. Any other opinions you have about this MH would be tremendously appreciated. Pat
Took a little getting used to. Don’t really like the social media links / tabs on the left hand side. On most pages it blocks some of the content.
Really looking forward to your Alaskan trip this summer. Planning ourselves to go next year. Have flown up many times to visit family in North Pole. When you get closer to your time in the North Pole / Fairbanks area I can give you a few hints of “must does” and “forget it”….
About Denali, There is a national park campground near the entrance (Riley Creek Campground @ mile marker 1) & on at (Teklanika Campground mile @ mile marker 29) for RV’s. All the other campgrounds inside the park are for tents. Riley Creek didn’t really impress me, just basic semi-private sites. Teklanika is the place to be. I have heard some people making reservations months ahead of time and others say a 2-3 night stay can be had midweek without. Normal driving public can only drive to mile marker 13 (Savage River) without a special permit. After that, there are many restrictions on when you can travel to the other campgrounds after mile marker 13. There are two visitor centers, One (large one) at mile marker 2, and a second one (Eielson) at mile marker 65.
Been following you two from just about the beginning. Can’t imagine all the web work involved to keep the site flowing. Plan to retire in (275) more work days, and really get to explore this country. Told my sis-n-law in North Pole at our last visit (2013) to make room in the driveway for our RV in 16′. Been blessed with 6 weeks of vacation which affords us 50-60 nights of RVing mostly to more rural state and national parks. I just love the feeling of openness in the woods. Been to very few private campgrounds, just don’t like the sardine feeling.
Hey Jim, thanks for the feedback! We are getting rid of those social icons on the site so they won’t be there much longer. We are excited about Alaska too! We will definitely take you up on the North Pole do’s and don’ts. It’s always so nice to have a locals perspective.
Just discovered your website and learned about your lifestyle. My first wife and I lived full time in a ’76 FMC Motorhome with Toyota pickup tag-a-long and a pair of Schwinn touring bikes. From 1983-1992 (ages 55-74), we travelled 135,000 miles throughout all continental US states and Canadian provinces plus Labrador. I refitted FMC interior, adding Yahama organ, more tanks and storage. We removed generator and installed solar panels on roof for silent camping. We could dry camp for two weeks. Ultimately we settled in Seward, Alaska. I now live on Lummi Island, Washington with my second wife of 22-1/2 years. She’s also an RV’er (Clark Cortez).
I’m a fairly new follower so I’d just gotten used to your adorable (former) logo and how to navigate the site. But I also understand about getting a new site set up! So well done on the hard work (but I miss your other logo). The social media icons on the left overlap the text. I’m using a Surface, just fyi.
But, as others have said, this is your site and YOU are the ones that need to feel satisfied when you look at it. We’ll get used to it and keep following and being inspired.
Thanks for sharing all of your fun and great information!
Really like! And am inspired, as prepping for a website restyle myself. trouble with links but think you are already on it!
Hey Jason, I sent you a message on Facebook with some feedback on the website, a few things that can be fixed up (some responsive issues with embeds and CSS). Easy stuff! I can talk with you more if you’d like, just shoot me a message back 🙂
I’ve come across a couple other glitches for your web guy. I am on an iPhone with iOS 6.1 btw
1. The video links (frames)are huge and run off the viewable page. Some are so big, that the “play” icon is not always accessible.
2. Many links in your (the Wynns)replies/comments don’t work. They have to be copy and pasted.
3. As I mentioned below about the advertising frame, it runs off the page and the ads don’t display properly. This was on every page, not just the two I previously mentioned.
4. My messages have been “red flagged”, Here is the spam msg and URL from the page:
“Sorry, but our system has determined you may be a spammer. If you believe this to be an error, please contact us so that we can rectify the situation”
Still love your site and I know you’re working hard at fine tuning it!
Thank you for taking the time to write and help improve the new site.
1. We will hopefully get this taken care of this week.
2. Didn’t even think to check this, I’ll have our developer see if we can add the hyperlinks back.
3. Got it, noted.
4. Did you click the link to confirm you’re not a spammer? I am not sure why you received this message.
Did I click _what_ link to say I wasn’t a spammer? Lol
If that was an option, I didn’t see it. I am on a phone, so it is quite possible I didn’t notice it because I needed to scroll to see it.
Hopefully all is good now, and I won’t need to look for it again!
Awesome new, sleek look. Well done! I know how much time and effort these revamps take. Congrats!
Thanks so much Nina, it will be tough for a bit but in the long run this new site will surely be easier to navigate and most importantly find information!
The new look is great! I love it. It is much easier to navigation too. I love the minimal look. I recently did a facelift with the same thing in mind for my website. Hubby and I have started our transition to our nomadic lifestyle by moving into our RV. We plan to depart July 1st. We’ve learned a lot from you guys and others. Thank you for all the great information you share.
I really think it looks great. I have always enjoyed your e-mails watching you people go places one could only wish to go. Please stay in touch. Your adirondack friends.
……but when it comes right down to it, YOU are the ones matter! It’s YOUR site, YOUR logo and if YOUR happy, I’m happy! Just keep your VIDEOS coming….I LOVE THEM!!!!!
I am from France and I need a special tools. Can you insert a translator just for me.
I like very much your new logo.
Thank you, have a nice trip
I really loved your OLD web site, I could find my way around easily, guess being a senior I am not very internet savy and this just does not do it for me. I have no clue what F, bird, g, P and something else is down the left side of the page. Your stories are so interesting and I loved the pictures now I can’t follow you as well.
Scott and Tammy Cissel
I like the new look. The simple design of the fonts and the ‘spin’ of the weathervanes is creative, as you don’t know which way the Wynns will blow. I do agree somewhat that yellow on white is difficult to see. I do not agree though, that it looks western, but rather classic and simple, as is the trend today in design.
Nice! Keep up the great posts.
We agree with Peter and John. Peggy and I think you hit a HOME RUN!!!!!!!
You asked for feedback concerning the new look of your website. First off, I really enjoy following your adventures and input on various RV related items. Two things about the new format………..where do I go to find the “latest” happening with the Wynn’s? and do you have a direct email contact, or do we just use this place? Looking forward to following you on your Alaska trip. By the way, when will you be heading north, to Alaska?
This is exactly why we asked for feedback, we’ll add the “blog roll” back to the menu bar, or somewhere easily accessible.
The new site looks great! I always enjoy reading about your adventures, and dream of someday doing the same. With our oldest about to hit high school, and then move on to college, and our little one still in elementary, full time travel isn’t in the cards for now. We satisfy our love for travel through my husbands job for an international company. We are a few months away from moving to London for a few years; an excellent jumping off point for lots of weekend adventures!
I’m sure the nomad life is a lot of work, but you two look like its the best decision you’ve ever made, and it certainly comes through here on the site! Happy Travels!
the impression I immediately get when I look at the now logo is a “Branding Iron” and think that you are Western Folk. Personally, I like the old look better.
I agree with Sean Novak comments. Plus, I too think the weatervanes get lost yellow on white. They need a thin outline in teal blue.
Hi Wynn’s! I think your new look is great, very fresh. I know how much work it must have been too. My own website hasn’t been updated in years because it is just too daunting. I’m looking forward to seeing where you take it all. Ever since I ran across your website I have been fantasizing, and now planning about life on the road for myself. Thanks for opening my eyes to the possibilities and for all the practical advice and how-tos. I will see you on the road one of these days!
FYI – though you probably already know this, on the iPad your icons at the bottom of the page are out of alignment. The social media buttons are overlapping the map and the find box on the search button is covering some of the text.
My husband got me following ya’ll (yes I’m a Texan) I love seeing the places you travel to. I’m hoping in the next year we will be able to sell everything and do exactly what ya’ll are doing. We have our work plan figured out it’s just a matter of getting it all together. Love the new logo and website Keep doing what your doing!! Love you guys!!!
I like your new logo, but not a fan of the new website. It’s a little too “corporate” looking. I don’t know you two personally, but from what I’ve seen, you are not the corporate type. But, it’s your website and your life, so do what you like! 🙂
Bravo!!!! I’m really digging this new you!
Never stop! Big hugs!!!!!
Hello Fair Wynns!
I think I see where you were going with the change. It looks a more country store/print press, especially the font used with the single letter. I like that direction for you! Though, I think the font comes off less polished in the fully spelled out version. The former logo looked more playful/whimsical and graphically aesthetic, varied, custom. While the new font and type placement comes off as, “stock font”. I DO like the incorporation of the windvane. It really helps with memorability mental cues of the brand.
I’m sure the new logo looks great on a business card, or on the side of the rig. Though, I feel it’s less prominent and a little out of place on the webpage. It feels crammed in it’s little area in the upper left there.
I think the Yellow of the windvanes gets a bit lost on the white background,, it needs the turquoise behind it to pop the way I think it is intended.
Wishing you the best on your current and future journeys!
Hey, thanks so much for all of the honest feedback! Very much appreciated. I am not in love with the placement on the site either and will eventually figure out something else. You got it, the new logo is simple but that is what we wanted. Thanks again for the comments.
Remember that the medium is not the message. I’ll need to give it some time to work on me, but the design seems to have lost some of the quirky style that is Nikki and Jason that drew viewers into the depth of the site.. The old logo was eminently distinctive and your font usage for headlines was great and starting to be emulated by other blogs because of its visual impact. I’ve seen and produced “clean & simplified” websites only to see them wither for lack of an emotional connection to the warmth of the site visuals.
But life is all about change. Your ideas will live on but its time to refocus on the readers and contect.
Despite the fact that we love you, Nikki & Jason, and are honored to be your friends, you know that we design websites for a living. So to be fair and honest here, we have to brutally objective in our critique of the design and functionality of your new website. Friends have to be honest with each other, so it wouldn’t be honest for us to do anything other than call a spade a spade. And frankly, the new website… well… how to say this delicately… rocks.
Seriously you guys. From an objective standpoint (well, as objective as we can be) we love it. The clean, crisp, open design, layout and functionality are a testament to Chris, and to you both, as your hip design ethic is written all over it. It’s been carried out like the finest re-design of an automobile… one that that clearly evokes the previous design and lineage, while somehow feeling completely new at the same time. You hit it out of the park.
The tremendous amount of work and love that went into this is obvious. Congratulations on pulling it off while still managing to travel, video, write, edit and publish so much great material all at the same time. It’s exhausting just to imagine the amount of sleep you’ve lost.
Wishing you two a long life of continued sedentary lifeaphobia as an inspiration to the rest of us. Thank you for all your do. Love, miss and respect you both so much. — Peter & John
Peter & Laetitia Van Der Spuy
We all need to change and keep up from time to time – go for it! We are 2 x 60 year young South Africans taking a keen interest in what you 2 are up to 🙂 Blind date 40 years ago turned into a happy marriage of 37 years! And 2 big strong boys and one daughter-in-law added. What do we get from you 2? LOTS of ideas and tips shaping our dream and planning of packing it all up and exploring our beloved Southern Africa soon in something like this: http://www.motorhome-world.com/Xtreme%20mini%20site/index.htm or http://www.earthcruiser.net.au/ – on AND off road.
Hey Peter and Laetitia! Sounds like you have a very exciting adventure coming your way and in such a beautiful country! We hope to do the same in South Africa one day. Maybe we can be camping neighbors!
I like your old logo much better. It was very unique. It’s your website, though, so you do what you think is best, and I’ll still read it.
I like the flow if your newly designed web site, but I like your old logo better. I thought your old logo reflected more of the couple and individuals you are. Just my 2 cents!!
Looks great! Love the streamlined look and easier browsing!
Gotta keep things up to date. Nice look!
A couple of little things (requests): will we still be able to see your latest blog entry from the Home Page? Any chance you will add an old-fashioned RSS link to your footer?
Nikki & Jason, great new site. Very clean and functional, however, it lost a bit of the original quirkiness. Intended? You inspired me to buy a motorhome to where I ended up with your “Windy”. If all goes well I’ll be back on the road, this time with company, in May.
Improvements are always welcomed. Congrats!
Just helping…The “load more” button on the shop page doesn’t work…was looking for your water purifier 🙂
Good job on what must have been a huge task !
Have enjoyed your escapades in the past, looking forward to what your future holds!
Yes, you did change my life. For a long time I wanted a class C. Your video on the class A’s
made me realize you can get a class A 26-27 foot in length. Now I’m looking don’t know it will happen
but I will keep my eyes open. Oh if you get a comment from FREEDOM 2 on You Tube that’s me.
My sign off is: As always Happy Trails
I love the new look and the connections to products. The Tip Jar does not appear to be working yet.
Love your new look and the new way to follow your adventures !