Once again we found ourselves in the middle of nowhere on the coast of Northern California, without the luxuries of any wi-fi, cell service, radio stations or television. Thankfully, the views, the atmosphere and the peacefulness, more than made up for it. It’s amazing how quickly you can lose touch with what’s happening in the outside world (except for my occasional access while at work). And now that we have it, I didn’t miss most of it. Although, just having the access whenever you need it, is quite nice (Thank you Roseburg, OR for bringing us back to the 21st century).
Now, all of that said as “justification” for why my blog posts have been so sparse; however, our Facebook page has allowed for more frequent updates to our adventure!
And on to my thoughts….
When we started this adventure almost 9 months ago, we had no idea what to expect. Neither Tim or I had done much RV camping when we decided to take the plunge into full-time RV living. However, we have learned to adjust to the subtle and drastic changes that have entailed. Here are five things we’ve learned in our travels and why we are embracing them, although, this lifestyle is not for everyone.
1. It’s not just an extended vacation
Many of the people we’ve met in the RV parks and campgrounds are there on a vacation of some sort. So, after hearing our story, they compare our situation to an extended vacation, in which we nod our head in agreement. All the while, in our heads, we’re thinking “raising a one year old and a three year old rarely feels like a vacation!”
Yes, our unconventional lifestyle does allow us to travel to see new places and explore new areas often, but none the less, we are still just living. One of us leaves everyday to go to work and the other stays to take care of the kids, dogs, and house. (Who has the easier job is a topic for another blog post!). We have more time together than we’ve ever had and so far it’s great (despite the above pictures)!
2. Finding everything
I have become an expert user of Google maps to search for anything and everything while researching our possible next location (I actually have a list of things to search for, not surprising to most). Once we figure out what stores we will be supporting while in a particular location, we get to navigate the unknowns of the current store. About the time we have the area figured out, we get to pack-up and start all over, which has become all part of the adventure! The newness of always being a “tourist” has allowed us to find places and information about areas that some locals didn’t even know. It’s actually quite interesting and exciting to see and learn how others live. All the while working to enmesh ourselves in the community and make an effort to view others’ perspectives.
3. Cleaning is a breeze
With just over 400 square feet of living space, we find cleaning to be much less of a chore now, than when living in our stick and brick. I can thoroughly clean the inside of our home in less than 45 minutes (that’s without “help” from the kids). However, living in a small space does not favor messiness or toys being left out, so our kids are great at picking everything up every night. (Which makes this “OCD” momma very happy)
4. Everything is so much smaller
And I mean everything, from the oven, to the closets, to the size of the beds. We had to purchase new pans that would fit in the oven and significantly downsize our kitchen supplies (Let’s face it, most of that was rarely used anyway). We have three RV “twin” beds and one RV “king” bed, that are smaller than its conventional counterpart, so the sheets are always too big. We were fortunate to have the option of a washer and dryer in our RV, which we gladly took advantage of. But of course it’s smaller, so a load a day is essential to not getting behind on laundry (or so I’m told). I’m lucky enough to have a husband that does the laundry, I can probably count on one hand how many loads of laundry I’ve done in the last 10 months.
5. Living with less really is more
We definitely go with significantly less than most Americans, but on the flip side we still have significantly more than those in the third world, which can be humbling. Our kids are learning at a young age to live with far less than their fellow playground friends, but you sure wouldn’t know it. Especially when they can be entertained far longer with a box or a blanket than a new matchbox car or doll. Griffin has a saying, “you don’t know what you don’t know!” (He’s quite the little philosopher).
We’ve actually noticed on many occasions that our fellow “campers” tend to bring more with them for the weekend than we have in our entire home!
These are just a few things we’ve discovered during our new adventures. We are loving this different lifestyle and all the “different” is exciting (at least for now), however; we may still be in the honeymoon phase (check back in another 10 months).