No. Oh no. What Have We Done? (The Unbelievable!)

Over the last week I’ve questioned my sanity thousands of times. Thousands. But I’m happy to say, I’m sure we did the right thing. I realize that this post may also make most folks who know us think we are crazy, but that’s okay!

Okay, let me back up. Oh where oh where do I start?!

We purchased a truck and travel trailer back in August, and soon there-after sold our house. All has been relatively great in regards to some of that, but not all. Sometimes, it simply takes true-life experience to evaluate goals and see how they really pan out. As it turns out, it isn’t that we weren’t meeting our goals, but in fact, our goals have changed.

Initially we simply wanted to be house-less, and at the same time, have a better work-life balance and see the country very slowly. We figured we would hop around from one place to another staying in places for long periods of time (a month to a full-time traveler is a long time!) – but that isn’t quite working out for us.

As we made the journey to South Dakota, and then back to warmer weather, we realized how much we were missing out on by our restricted travel method. Going from Point A-to-Point-B without an option to stop along the way to explore cool things that caught our attention was very frustrating. It felt like trying to hang glide with a cement block tied to our ankles.

With a truck and a 30-foot travel-trailer, there isn’t an option to go exploring without proper planning. The method of travel  with a travel-trailer is setup like a Hub and Spoke. You park the trailer somewhere (often at a campground, or bookdocking location if you’re lucky) as your hub – and then use your tow vehicle to explore in as many different directions you like, each time returning back to your hub location.

The Hub and Spoke method of travel feels like such a huge waste, and overly planned. Also, every single time we have a travel day to get to specific area (or time to explore), we have to “pack” for the day. With our rapid travel pace to South Dakota, we found ourselves “packing” EVERY DAY! With an average of at least four hours in the truck, we had to pack everything we wanted with us for the day – water (multiple bottles), snacks, cameras, you name it. Sure, we did stop at rest stops and switched over to eat lunch in the trailer, but each stop like that adds a large amount of time to an already long day of travel. Restroom breaks can be frustrating as well because sometimes there is a long break between rest stops – and our bathroom was behind us, but inaccessible. When we did have an opportunity to stop, we were usually limited to truck rest stops where there was enough room to drive through with our full rig (50 or so feet of vehicles).

What has surprised both of us is how our goals have changed since we first set out on this path.

We want to travel much more frequently than we originally planned. We want to drive from one area to another and see what we like in between – and simply see where that takes us. We want to have the freedom to go in any direction we choose and simply “go”. It seems silly when traveling with your house behind you that you need to pack for the day, but without any way to access our house from the road – that’s how it is. So, we wanted to change our travel method. It would appear that many full-time travelers change their RV setup on almost a yearly basis, though before now I couldn’t figure out why people make the change. Now I know! It takes living on the road to gain the experience of what it’s really like, and see what you think. We never would have predicted we would feel the way we do, or guess the direction we are headed.

After hours and hours and hours of research to determine our needs, and the options available, we have changed our setup!

Here’s the thing. In addition to traveling on a frequent basis, we also want the flexibility to go anywhere. If the downtown area we are near looks cool – we want to go walk around and take photographs! We also need to be able to run regular errands such as get groceries, which means fitting into a normal parking space (or close to it).

After exploring all the various RV options out there, our needs, and budget to make the change – We found something perfect. So…

We sold our Airstream. It’s gone. We have sold our truck. They’re both gone. I’m sad about the truck, I LOVED our truck! We are continuing on with our travels as planned, living full-time on the road only…

We are now living in a Class B RV. Not familiar with the term? It’s basically a van, with the various things we need such as a kitchen, bathroom, and a place to sleep. At 22’9″ it has everything we need to live comfortably, and travel spectacularly.

Yes We Live in a Van

My life will never be the same. Neither will Dave’s. I hope you continue to follow us along our journey as we continue to see this fantastic country of ours, and see just exactly how we are managing to live in a space so small. I’m sure we’ll have a lot more to say about tiny-house living!

Wait – Was That Today?

This evening I sat down to review my photos from today for a quick review of the day’s events, and saw the photo I took early this morning while we walked Frodo. At first I was fondly remembering what a nice day it was yesterday, until I remembered that I took that photo TODAY.

Oct 14 2015 Morning Photo

Have you ever had one of those days where you can barely remember what you did? It’s been nice lately using my camera roll to keep up with what we’ve been doing – there’s just been so much!

After work today we had an appointment with Habitat for Humanity to pick up some miscellaneous furniture and odds and ends from the house. As it turned out, one of the guys on the pick-up team took a cross-country trip several years ago and has been to all 50 states – which is rather impressive! We’ve met many people recently who would love to travel but I believe he was the first person we’ve met who has done it and he had some cool stories to tell us!

Oct 14 2015 Habitat for Humanity

Once the Habitat for Humanity pick-up was complete, we finished some last minute cleaning (which reminded me again how much I prefer Tiny House living and will NOT miss a “sticks & bricks” house AT ALL) and then headed to one of the local Pawn Shops for our final sale-run. Yes, we finally reached that point. We have nothing left to sell or donate! With that complete we had dinner, Frodo got another walk, and I sat down to tally some numbers.

In three months we have down-sized from 2,200 square feet to 240 square feet, and sold or donated more than 90% of our possessions. In the process we have met many amazing people in the community, helped out several individuals working to reach their goals, and, liquidated enough of our belongings to make a huge contribution in the financial impact of what we’re doing. I’m really happy with where things are ending up as we wrap up our stationary lives.

The biggest lesson I have learned from everything we have done so far is how much of a physical drain belongings can be, and the decisions involved with what to do with them when you finally decide that you do not need them. Wow. It can be debilitating. I have a much better understanding about minimalism, Tiny House living, and why various people wear uniforms (simple repeating outfits) to reduce decision making. The itty bitty meaningless decisions you make everyday DO add up, and they DO wear you out. When you make a few hundred decisions in a day it probably isn’t noticeable but if you need to make a few thousand decisions in a day, it makes a huge impact.

Though I have never considered myself a minimalist, I now realize I will always be striving to work toward becoming one. It seems like a process that will be ongoing, and something I need to do for myself for my own peace and happiness. I’m sure I will write more about the mental and psychological aspects of this decision in the future, I’ve had a lot to think about and very little time to write!