Project Retreat Forward
Retreat Forward: The Refuge

Stefanie D. Warren, Inspired Dreamer

The Refuge

A place for travelers to call home,
Escape from the stresses of modern daily life,
Find peace and serenity among the trees and wildlife,
Slow down and enjoy the simple pleasure of being away from it all.
The Refuge sits on four and a half acres of gorgeous treed land on the Key Peninsula, about 90 minutes from Seattle. It is a place of lush natural abundance, with towering Cedars, Firs, Alders, and Maples dripping in moss. Huckleberries, sword ferns, bracken ferns, and salal bushes contribute to the rich tapestry of native greenery secluding The Refuge from the outside world.
Dave and Stef live full time in RVs. We love getting out in the world and adventuring into the unknown, but a life of full time travel becomes difficult and exhausting, so we decided that we need a piece of land to call home. And with that, the idea of The Refuge was born.

We envision The Refuge as not just our home, but also a peaceful, beautiful place to be shared with family and friends – both known and unknown!

A Couple of Dreamers

The Refuge is the product of two dreamers who found each other and chose to share an unconventional life together. We each had “good jobs” in the 9-to-5 world. We each lived in comfortable traditional homes. We were each dissatisfied and searching for some momentous change that we didn’t know how to define. 

Stef was overwhelmed by the stresses of her job, burned out, and feeling too low to come up with inspiration for a better life. So she made her escape plan, taking three years to save as much money as possible before leaving her career to travel around the world for six months.

Roaming freely around the world enabled Stef to release years of pent up stress, and to regain hope and a positive outlook for the future. Upon returning home, inspiration struck again, and she decided to sell most of her possessions to live full-time in a motorhome, after adopting two sugar glider joeys.

Two Lone Wanderers Find Each Other

Then shortly after Stef hit the road, Dave and his menagerie rolled into the picture. We both love animals of all shapes and sizes, but it was our shared love of sugar gliders (the marsupial version of flying squirrels) that brought us together.

Dave had already left his 9-to-5 behind and was on the road in his extra-large 5th wheel trailer (sharing the home with his two beloved border collies and six sugar gliders) when he noticed Stef talking about her RV adventure in an online forum dedicated to gliders.


He struck up an email conversation about Stef’s travels, and only six weeks later we had grown close enough through our correspondence that Dave decided to leave his gold mining operation behind in the desert, and drive 1,500+ miles to be with Stef in a mountian campground where she was working.

We’ve been together ever since, caravanning our two big rigs up and down the west coast boondocking (free camping on public lands) in beautiful remote locations.

Then at the end of 2017, Stef unexpectedly sold the condo that she had rented to a friend when she moved into the motorhome. With the proceeds from that sale, the longtime dream of owning remote property became a very real possibility.

Unexpected Possibility

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