What if you just took a month long trip?

What if, instead of renting out our house and living in our MotorHome fulltime while traveling the United States, we just saved up money and went for a month long trip?

Honestly, I’m not sure how to answer this question.  What if we did?  Then we would probably have a very nice vacation, not get very far from home (driving only a few hours a day), and come back and resume living in our house and sending David to his 9-5.

Never mind the fact that we have no way to save up money for a month long trip because we use it to pay our mortgage and groceries.  But playing along with the “what if” I reply with the above scenario.

But are you asking whether we are interested in doing that?  Whether it will fill any of our needs or wants?  Whether it could replace the plan of living on the road?  Of course not.  Are you implying that it is a better plan than re-inventing our lives?  Better in what way?  What problem are we trying to solve here?

Because I don’t have any problem with the plan to live fulltime on the road.  It’s not that we’re getting evicted and have nowhere to live but our vehicle.  It’s not that all my friends are doing it and I’m under some sort of fulltime peer pressure.  And it’s not a mid-life crisis.

The fact is, that we have formed a plan that is our ideal scene, that fits with our goals and purposes, that inspires and excites us, and that solves the problems we have with our more conventional home, lifestyle, and schedule.

So don’t worry about it.  We’ve solved the problems, and there’s nothing left to solve.  We’re just revving up now for the grand adventure we can’t wait to embark upon.

Don’t worry.  It’s not a mistake, it’s an adventure, and I refuse not to make mistakes OR have adventures so don’t try to talk me out of it.

I know that the people who want to live fulltime in a motorhome with children are few and far between, so I can imagine that to most of you, this doesn’t sound ideal.  But it does to us.  It’s not a life that will be tough but we’re going to man up and live with it because of whatever-old-reason.  It’s what we dream of doing, and we’ve decided that dreams were made for doing.

Don’t worry.  And thank you for your concern and your love.  And if you have any more theoretical lifestyles to propose to us, perhaps an explanation of what you think would appeal to us about it?  So we have some idea how to answer, “What if?”

Just a Glitch

Saturday we spent the day running errands on diesel fuel, and then we headed out on our first road trip–30 or so miles to my parents’ house in Tampa.  All was well until David switched over to vegetable oil.  The engine died.

Well, seems there was air in the line.  David called Justin (Benny’s previous owner) and got some advice on getting rid of the air without having to stand out in heavy traffic, a police car showed up to sit behind us with lights on and make sure no one ran into us, Annabelle (busy cutting a tooth) became distressed and I went to sit at the dinette and nurse her, and David got the engine started.  We buckled back in and decided to head for home, because the evening was darkening and we no longer felt up to a long two-way dinner trip.

New plan: we would drive over to my parents’ house in the morning to show off Benny, and leave Ada with them for the day.

Morning dawned as early as it does with kids in the house, and David thought he’d drive around for a little why, try switching to veggie oil, and make sure everything seemed fine before he’d get us all in and start across the bay.  I guess it was a good idea because when I called him a few minutes ago he was working on the engine again.  Again it died when he switched to veggie oil.  More air in the lines.  And his pump wasn’t working.  He sounded impatient to get back to work on it so I let him go.

I don’t think we’re making it to Tampa this weekend.

But you know what, somehow none of this is disheartening.  I have a real fondness for Benny and this seems like the inevitable sort of thing we need to go through as new owners/drivers/mechanics as we get to know each other.  Even David told me last night after our breakdown that he still thinks Benny is great and really admires the machinery.  I think with each glitch he learns more and understands more about how it works, and that can only be good.  We’ll see how he feels when he gets home from his current mishap…

And then I have Tara’s account of some of their mishaps and imagining teetering on the edge of the bumper, in the rain, while my bed is getting soaked, just emphasizes how convenient our breakdown was.  We were able to fix it from inside the motorhome (the engine is accessed from between the drivers and passengers seats) where dark, cold, and wet don’t really effect us.  I was able to move about the cabin freely, seeing to my baby’s needs and if either of the girls had needed to get up and move around, they could have gotten out of their seats, used the bathroom, gotten a snack, played on the bed, etc.  What’s more, the size of the motorhome makes it a much safer vehicle to occupy on the side of the road than a family car.  All in all, it turns out I don’t mind breaking down with Benny, and once we’re moved in with all the comforts of home, so much the better!

Less Is More

Less stuff is less time spent cleaning things and putting them away.  Less space spent storing them.  Less money spent on the space to store them.  Less tripping over or reaching around them for other things, and less trying to remember where all our stuff is.

Less stuff is more freedom.

The Plan

My perfect husband, our two amazing daughters, my belly and I are going to move into a 22′ MotorHome named Benny.  We are trading in all our savings for Benny because, well, we’d rather be traveling than staying at home with savings.  David is going to quit his day job and be a musician.  I am going to take my wrap business with us on the road.  And the soon-to-be-five-of-us will spend our days together on a journey of adventure, discovery, and living our passions.  I can think of nothing more educational for me or my kids.

Problems to solve (and here “problem” is not a dirty word, but part of the fun, challenging nature of the beast):

  • Rent our house out for enough money to cover our mortgage payments.
  • Find a home for our cat, who was our first baby and is more than just our cat.
  • Earn money to pay for six months of RV insurance, cell phone and internet service, and an emergency fund.

One of my favorite things to do is simplify.  This doesn’t mean lack of ambition, by the way.  It means that everything you do is part of your dream and aiming at your goal, and the other things . . . have been simplified away.

Ways that the new lifestyle will simplify our lives:

  • no more lugging gabillions of things from my house to my car and back everyday, while carrying a one year old, and no more tremendously messy, disorganized car because I can only carry so many of them back to the house again when we get home.  Instead, everything we need will come with us . . . . neatly put away in it’s drawer at home.
  • no more dragging worn out kids on another errand.  They can stay home with one of us in the parking lot of the errand that the other one of us runs in to do.
  • no more having to walk away from my six year old while she’s talking to me and she has to chase after me to finish.  In our tiny home, all of the cooking, cleaning, laundry, diapers, and babycare will happen in one place and I can keep up with things while staying in her line of sight.
  • no wondering if my one year old is climbing a bookshelf in the other room while I’m nursing the baby in the living room.  The living room IS the other room, and whatever she falls off of, I’ll only have to extend my arm to catch her!
  • no more scheduling meals and lives around my husband’s 9-5.  We’ll sleep, cook, eat, and play when convenient.
  • no more waiting for daddy to come home and missing him all day.
  • no trying to figure out how to take care of a newborn and a one year old all by myself.
  • no more wondering how to go turn off the burner in the kitchen with a sleeping child on my lap.  Two parents will make everything easier.
  • no more endless hours of cleaning just to get it up to the point of “messy.”  With so few things, and such small space, cleaning will take 5 minutes.
  • no more of our life taken up paying the mortgage.  Instead we’ll spend our money on festivals, concerts, events, and attractions that we can’t resist.
  • no worrying about my husband being able to work the next day if we have a rough night.  We can take turns sleeping in, or nap during the day as needed.

Things that I can’t tell you yet how they will work, but I look forward to finding out:

  • Nighttime parenting of a newborn and a one year old who still wakes several times a night in a single room domicile.
  • Nighttime parenting when our RV is parked near neighboring RVs that expect “quiet hours” to be respected.
  • Driving for hours a day with 3 children aged new, one, and six.
  • Running two businesses and storing inventory in a 22 foot home that only has two dresser drawers for the five of us to share.
  • Fitting our clothing, a few toys, musical equipment, CD inventory, wrap inventory, a laptop, 3 books, kitchenware, towels, diapers for two, coats and jackets, barbecue, box of important files, first aid kit, games, arts & crafts, printer, car seats, tools, camera and video camera, bedding, and my wraps in the rig.
  • Finding a post office in every town to ship out products to customers.
  • Rainy days or sick days spent at home.
  • Finding hours each day for David to work on his music.