Wait, did we decide to move into an RV? Did we seriously sell our house? What happened to all of our stuff? Is this some strange, extended-cut version of THE weirdest dream I’ve ever had? Where am I? Who am I? Mommy???
Some days I wake up and I cannot believe that this is my life. It takes me a minute or two to right myself again. I blink away the fog enough to piece together the blur of the last year. And then it hits me… Yes, this is, in fact, my life.
This is real.
In short – One year ago Chris and I decided to downsize our home. Eight months ago, we began toying around with and researching nomadic, travel lifestyles and how people (and families) are able to live, work and thrive that way. Six months ago, we decided that we, indeed, wanted to move into an RV and “try on” the travel lifestyle. Four months ago, we made a plan with our realtor to put our house on the market. Two months ago our house hit the market and sold within a day (our heads are still spinning). Then, Christmas happened. Then, we took a family trip to Florida, because….why not? Four weeks ago, we sold/gave away/donated all of our furniture and most of our household items/clothes/books/DVDs/and lots of other miscellaneous stuff. Three weeks ago we signed the final paperwork to close on our house and moved our remaining belongings up to my parents’ house. And, two weeks ago, we flew to Arizona to pick up our new tiny-home-on-wheels, a Winnebago Sightseer 35j – who we now affectionately refer to as “Walter.”
It’s been a year, y’all! Full of twists and turns and unexpecteds. It’s been crazy and hard and amazing and there have been lots of surprises and tears and laughs and losses and triumphant wins.
As we continue down this road, you can expect more blogs, perhaps a video or two and possibly a podcast (yet to be determined). We’ll see what the future holds for us…
What I do know for certain is that the greatest joy of this adventure so far has been the people we have been able to share it with. Whether you are a new friend that we are eager to meet out on the road or an old friend that we can’t wait to connect with on your turf…if you are one of our most cherished people, family, friends and most loved ones… or someone we’ve only just gotten to know over the last several months… We SO appreciate you. Thank you for what you’ve brought to this journey. Thank you for what you’ve brought to our lives and to our little family. We wouldn’t be who we are, we wouldn’t be where we are, without you.
We’ve had a lot of questions along the way.
So, to answer some of the most common questions we’ve had so far:
What’s been the hardest?
Everything I mentioned above. 🙂 These last couple of months have been really challenging for this Type A, planner. I’ve likened this little season to what it might feel like to be an event planner, juggling multiple weddings with lots of balls to keep in the air at one time. Things need to get done, people need to be contacted, stuff needs to be sorted and people still need to tend to their actual jobs and stomachs and needs for sleep. It. Was. Stressful. And when I’m stressed, I have a tendency to over plan, over think, over organize and all the mental acrobatics have me awake at all hours cataloging and categorizing, stress-eating, heartburn-fighting, and basically swirling around in to-do lists and anxiety in an effort to attempt to walk through the mess while being thoughtful and efficient and mostly not mess up and forget stuff. I think that everyone has felt like this at different points in their life. Some seasons are just like that, aren’t they? You feel a bit underwater for a while. Then you remember that you have arms and legs…and slowly, methodically, you paddle and kick yourself upward until you can breathe again.
What’s been the best part?
Driving home with the RV was a mountain-top kind of feeling. Aside from being a completely new and terrifying experience of driving a ginormous vehicle, the moment that Chris and I were sitting side by side in our captain’s chairs, looking out at a panoramic view of mountains and lakes and pine trees – I felt a little catch in my throat partnered with simultaneous disbelief that we had actually walked through all the crazy to make it to this point. I looked at my husband, my chosen partner and I felt so grateful for him and for the ability for us to be there, sharing that moment together, doing something that we worked so hard for. It was an overwhelming mixture of pride and gratitude and awe. My words fall short to really describe it.
When will you officially “launch”? 🚌
Our original plan was to leave yesterday, the Monday after the Super Bowl. But…. lesson numero uno in transitioning to RV life is that “RV Time” is a lot slower than normal people time. Getting places takes longer. Communication takes longer. And dropping your new home off at the service department for a little TLC before you hit the road takes longer. And why shouldn’t it? The whole point of RVing is to be able to travel at a pace that allows you to press pause to enjoy the full experience of the places you visit. We chose this life, yes, in part for the idea of adventure, but also for the ability to take the slow road. To take the scenic byways of America and of life. The little winding, craggy, off-road paths that build memories and relationships and character.
Not to mention, we are going to be living in this beast, so if it takes a little longer for it to be in ship shape, then, so be it. Might as well start off on a good healthy foot, knowing full-well that we are about to put our house through a daily earthquake as we drive it down the road. Things are surely going to break. So, we should probably not begin this little adventure at a deficit.
So, all that to say, we will be waiting a bit longer for our house to be travel-ready and right now, our target “launch” date is February 18th. Fingers crossed.🤞🏽
Where will you go first?
Probably Arizona by way of Colorado. Then, we’ll cross into California and wind our way up the coast and cut back to Minnesota through Nevada and Wyoming.
That’s the basic “plan”. But everything is subject to change based on weather and campground availability. It’ll be a free-flowing, living, breathing kind of plan. Definitely an adjustment for me, but everything is an adjustment right now, so what’s another stick in the river? Eh?
How do you feel today?
Lighter. Today, I feel lighter.
Yesterday, I finished closing out all of our utility accounts from our old house and I removed no less than 20 saved logins related to our old house from my 1 Password account. The day before that, I paid off two credit cards. On Friday, I finalized our RV budget. Today, I donated three more bags of clothing and other unused items and took three additional bags full off old pillows and other unusable items to the dump.
Every day of this journey, I see the rewards of our hard work so far and I witness the power of intention and purpose coming to fruition. I watch as old burdens fall away and make space for things I was so craving like new pathways, and more time, and freedom, and breath, and stillness.
We have none of this “figured out” yet (or very little, anyway). Every day contains an opportunity for new learning and more information than I thought possible. But with each challenge comes a new corner of the world to peer into that I didn’t see before. I want to fully immerse myself in the excitement that accompanies fresh experiences as I feel the weight of things and obligations – that once felt like heaviness pulling my feet and my spirit downward – begin to diminish. I notice my little world growing and I stand in awe as I watch my son navigate it alongside me.
We can do hard things. And we can grow as humans because of it.
This has been one of the biggest challenges we’ve taken on as a family. Certainly one of the biggest I’ve ever climbed as an individual.
And I am filled with overflowing gratitude. 🙏🏽❤