We did it. We actually left Fort Worth and headed south pulling our home behind us. We are now officially a full-time RV family. I am pinching myself to see if it’s really true. The fact is that I am so tired from all the final preparations I think I could sleep through a pinch. We are driving down the road and everything feels strange. It could be the fact that the trailer is not hooked up properly, or it could be that we are realizing what we have done, the good, the bad and all the rest. My son said it this way, “I keep thinking after a while we will go home, then I remember, our home is behind us. Actually right behind us”.
So, here are some initial thoughts and things I’ve learned on our full-time adventure so far. Never rush to get out without making sure the trailer is hooked up properly and balanced. This causes white knuckles on a steering wheel driving down the highway. It also makes it difficult to stop. There aren’t plentiful places where it is tall and wide and level enough to land for anything that is not an emergency. When we finally found an acceptable place to stop, we were all desperate for fuel, food and a restroom. If the map says you will arrive in three hours, eighteen minutes, add at least an hour. When life changes this drastically, there are smiles and tears sometimes at the same time. The happiest moments are the ones we realize we are free. Really, really free. There are laws of course, but we have no boss, no hours, no schedule and no commitments. We are together and happy and healthy. Today actually feels like the first day of the rest of my life. I realize tomorrow may feel different, but today it is an amazing feeling to be starting a brand new adventure one we have dreamed and talked about for nearly seven years. When we decided a few hours into the trip to change the plans, we just did it, found a cool place to land and in just a few minutes we were sleeping in our own beds everything we needed already unpacked and with us. Today is a great day. It is cold and wet and not ideal weather for an RVer… but we did it. We are actually out here living our dream.
It’s been days since my last post and I have overwhelming guilt. Pile that on with all the other overwhelmed feelings I have these days and that just leaves me too confused to even feel able to type out a few words. When I started this blog I committed to myself that I would write. So, here I am writing even though I can only think about one thing. I want to leave, be done with this place and hit the road. We are so close. What is left is handling all those last little fragments of stuff that nag and drag out and make life so unbearable at times. It feels like two steps forward and three back right now. In the moments when I am procrastinating, unable or unwilling to take the next step with our departure, I have been reading a blog that is inspiring, helpful, smart and best of all not condescending to a new blogger like me. This woman, mother, wife, daughter, is like me and yet very, very different than me too. She has an amazing way with words and instructs, struggles and learns all out in plain view where I can read, change direction, and sift through my own feelings all at the same time. So today I will be grateful for the distraction of Holistic Wayfarer. Tomorrow, who knows, maybe we will be ready.
Love these old shelves I bought. I think they are ten years old. It is amazing the uses I have found for them over the years. I bought them to turn them into a guinea pig’s cage. Now they are custom shelves inside every cabinet. They work great with cable ties. See photos below for examples.
So I cleaned the trailer and have it down to factory like status. Feels like a physical reset to start all over. Now I am making inventory lists complete with weight and moving our stuff in. I never want to be over our limit on weight allowance or really even maxing out. (Don’t ask me how I know this.) So today, I did clothes, built shelves inside our teeny tiny closets and tomorrow I will tackle the kitchen.
Okay, so the bathroom is painted a beautiful blue. It was much easier then the primer to get on and good coverage. The only problem… The masking and trim. One, the masking wasn’t so good and it pulled up paint and trim, plus the weird plastic trim around the ceiling which we chose to leave beige doesn’t look so great. So, the solution? I will re-and fix the small areas and post updated pics soon. See photos below. The overall look is b-e-a-utiful. Still, a good room to learn on before tackling the others.
So, today I painted. Or more precisely I primed. I thought I would start with the bathroom. It is so incredibly small, surely that can be done in an afternoon, right? I figured I could do it quickly and see if I like the repainted look before committing to something bigger that requires window treatments getting removed and such. Well, here is what I have learned so far. The primer is not “one coat” and it doesn’t cover everything. The silicone sort of caulking in the corners are difficult to get the primer to stick to and the room took something like six coats. Maybe it’s just me or the wallpaper is extremely porous, or I don’t know what, but it was a job! I started this morning and had to quit because the light was fading and I don’t see well enough out there to know if it looks good any more. So, it’s on hold til tomorrow, but for now, here are some photos of the progress today.
The bathroom before the primer, then the primer after many coats and a close up of the way the primer won’t cover the silicone corners.
I am beginning this blog, which is about a year long road trip, before the first miles begin. The journey of getting us on the road has officially started. We are in countdown mode with a departure date set for January 29th, at the latest. Me and my family currently are staying in Fort Worth at my Grandfather-in-law’s house. He passed away this summer and my husband, being the executor, needed to spend time here while settling the estate. We have been here for just over four months. Before this we lived in the Middle East for the last six years. My husband and me have dreamed about this year of living in an RV and traveling the USA for nearly seven years now. Our inspiration came after a personal growth seminar we attended. (see Klemmer and Assoc.) And although we weren’t sure what it was going to look like, we wanted to take some time off from the norm and spend time together as a family seeing this great country of ours and learning to live with less. Now, here we are finally about to embark on this dream and the nights have me so anxious I can hardly sleep. Will we really be able to live in something like 200 sq. ft.? Can I really feed all four of us from a kitchen with one cabinet, a few drawers, and no oven? And I don’t even want to think about the bathroom. Really I think about the bathroom too much. Then on the flip side, I have thoughts of what this life could mean for us, the simple life, the closeness to nature and my creator and the whole world and so much freedom right in front of us. It’s enough to make me giddy with excitement even considering the bathroom. So, here the journey begins. I am planning to post my thoughts along with working on my husband to post a few of his own on occasion, for a different point of view. I also plan to post photos of the travel trailer, our modifications to it, the costs and reviews of campgrounds, meals on the road and how we do it all. Welcome to my crazy life.