Family to Travel Across the US, Spending Only Bitcoin

The Blush family embarks on a four-week cross-country road trip during which they'll spend only bitcoin.

AccessTimeIconJun 22, 2014 at 12:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 10:54 a.m. UTC
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John Bush and Catherine Bleish began a road trip across the US with their family of four this week, during which they will only spend bitcoin.

Beginning in San Marcos, Texas, they drove into Washington on Friday, the first stop on their 'Uncoinventional Living Tour', for the Bitcoin in the Beltway conference.

The self-dubbed 'Blush' family will drive for four weeks and 4,400 miles, also stopping in Lancaster, New Hampshire for the 11th annual Porcupine Freedom Festival and then to Kansas City, Missouri – Bleish’s hometown – over the Independence Day holiday, before finally returning back to Texas.

They will shoot five episodes of their reality show 'Sovereign Living' during their journey.

Fighting a different way

Bush and Bleish are both grassroots activists that spent years fighting the political system in the US. Each helped start local political action committees that focused on constitutional activism, civil liberties and anti-police state causes in their hometowns of Austin, Texas, and Kansas City, respectively.

Deciding to build a family brought them to the realisation that they needed to change their lifestyle choices – opting instead to look for ways of being self-sufficient and building communities separate from government influence.

Bush told CoinDesk:

“We started to think that if we really want to change the world to create a more free society, the first thing we can do is to change the way we live and start to live more free ourselves, and stop participating in centralised or coercive institutions [...] Both of us began to realise that a lot of work we were doing wasn’t making us more free. In fact, it was just exhausting us and spending all our energy and our money and our time.”

The Blush family farm

For their first step in moving off the grid, the family started a farm, just outside of Austin, which has its own source of water and lets them produce their own food and harvest alternative energy.

For the vision of their lifestyle to be realised, they’ve set goals: to produce 50% of their own food, store 50% of their own water, and reduce their dependency on the central energy grid by 50%.

“That’s what the show’s all about,” said Bush. “Trying to document and educate people about the values of living a voluntary, natural life.”

Their show intends to document their lives as they learn each day from their lifestyle, their communities and themselves, as well as teach others how everyone can be self-reliant and free from government influence – without fighting.

After they’ve wrapped up filming for episodes five and six of 'Sovereign Living' they hope to be able to share it with the world through a media streaming service like Netflix or Hulu.

Planning ahead

Bleish mentioned that this is the first time in their experience where they’ve had enough tools and resources to live on bitcoin alone, citing platforms such as Gyft and eGifter, as well as the recent news by Expedia, as businesses that empower bitcoin users.

Nevertheless, she emphasised the large amount of effort it takes to plan a bitcoin-only itinerary:

“It’s hard, it’s taken a lot of pre-planning. I had to look at every single stop along the way and see what gas stations they had to make sure that we were buying the appropriate amount of gift cards for each gas station.”

For example, Bleish explained that, driving to the northeast of the country, she found Exxon gas stations at each stop, but on the drive back home there weren’t any. There were BP stations, however.

Despite the need to “really be on top of things” she added, “I want the world to know that it is possible to travel the country using bitcoin only. And it’s not only possible, but you can do it comfortably and take care of a family of four along the way.”

For the full itinerary and updates on the Blush family's trip you can read their blog.

Road image via Shutterstock


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