If you haven’t heard of She Explores, you should go check it out. It is a website and podcast for celebrating woman in the outdoors. The other week I ran across this article which any male or female should read. The author Betsy Dionne makes some fantastic points. You don’t have to quit your day job to enjoy life. All you need to do is make time for what you want to do. This idea is why I wanted to being blogging again. Yes, we live in a RV but it’s not perfectly curated nor do we travel full time and work remotely. We work full time jobs and travel when we can.
We had our rig, a job/relative location and a road ahead of us. We were ready to head back. Between excitement about our new house, the travel trailer, and about moving back to Texas, we were ready to go.
To preface, we were not entirely happy in Washington. I don’t know if it was the rain or the distance from home, home or the vast social differences. We just never felt at home like we had in Texas. Six months in we were ready to leave but I needed to finish my contract. Washington was an important year for us and our own personal stories.
We were only in Washington for 13 months. I did actually blog about our original move from Central Texas to Western Washington. You can read about it here. Martin’s dad and brother accompanied us on that trip but this one was a little more unanticipated so we did it ourselves. Plus, we had done it once so we could do it again.
Trying to leave Washington was trying…
We paid rent through July and I was suppose to start my new job August 1st. I put in my two weeks and was ready to get started but the truck needed a lot of unanticipated work. We also needed to have a yard sale and to get rid of Martin’s highlander. Then, we realized how important having the proper towing equipment is especially when pulling something as heavy as the trailer (with all of our stuff) for 2,000 miles. We ended up leaving two days after our originally scheduled departure date and we didn’t even leave till late into the afternoon. Literally, one new thing after another keep popping up. Our plan was to get to Oregon or Idaho that first day. We didn’t even make it out of Washington. Including being behind time wise, we had a blown tire in Oregon and there were times in the desert we weren’t sure we would make it. I also celebrated by 25th birthday on the road and I was hoping to stay in Moab for an extra day but with a shortened time line and how slow we were moving, we only saw it in the dark.
I had several unmet expectations on this trip. Wasn’t living tiny and on the road suppose to be fun? Wasn’t everything suppose to work out? Wasn’t it suppose to help you save money?
Three days into the trip, we started to hit our groove. We realized that the truck drank oil like an alcoholic so as long as it was kept full, we were golden. We had the best boondock experience at a Flying J in Albuquerque. We ate Denny’s back to back meals and after being well rested and well fed, we headed west towards Texas.
It took us 5 days of 12 hours of driving to get back to Texas but we made it by 2 o’clock the Sunday before I was suppose to start my job to our lot that we’re parked at now.
Yet, for all of the troubles and the tears shed on the side of a highway and sweat poured out, we would do it all over again. The rig was meant for us and so was this journey.
Here is what we ended up purchasing…
28′ 2008 Dutchmen Komfort
1987 Chevy 3500 dually
Like I said in my earlier post, we bought the RV on a whim. Out of all of the RV’s we saw that day, we thought the inside of the one we picked was the most like an apartment. It was the first trailer I saw that felt like a house. Martin also liked the amount of width we got in this trailer due to its two slides – kitchen table and couch area in the living room and the closet in the bedroom.
Once you walk in the front door, you are looking at the living room. It came furnished with a sleeper couch and a recliner. The kitchen is u-shaped at the rear of the RV to your left and it came with a kitchen table and four chairs. To your right from the front door, our sliding door covers the bathroom and bedroom. It is kind of an open concept bathroom which we like because it feels less cramped than a typical RV bathroom. The whole shower where you pee thing kind of weirded me out. The toilet is in its own stall and the stand up shower and the sink sits out into the bedroom. There is an accordion door that separates the bathroom from the bed area if you need to use it. Our bed is full size but that was what we were sleeping on before we moved to the RV so we just brought our mattress with us.
The biggest changes we have made to the trailer is getting rid of what we don’t need. Since we ended up leaving Washington shortly after we purchased it, we got rid of the recliner to make more room for our belongings. Originally, we only had one dog and Martin had a larger composing station. In the last few months, we have gained another dog so we had to make room for a crate and Martin has been able to set his drum set in the trailer and condense his composing station to the place where the TV use to sit.
We lucked out purchasing a trailer that already came insulated for weather. Not all trailers are fully insulated or recommended for use in colder weather. This past winter wasn’t too bad. Also, it was fairly mild. We only had one week of weather truly below freezing. As long as you take the necessary precautions, you can live in your RV full time even in the winter.
We picked our truck purely because it could pull the trailer but we love it. We love the bench seating and how low it sits compared to more modern trucks. It’s big. We call it Moby Dick for a reason but when I drive it, I never feel like I’m driving something that big.
Initially, we had to put a large amount of work into it but the bones were good. It has a 454 engine which is a simple engine that can take a beating.
During this time, I took a job back in Texas so we packed up our rig and our Camry and moved half way across the country again.
We literally bought the RV on a whim.
When we lived in Washington state, Martin came back from a trip in Texas. He said one of his friends there had bought a RV and was going to move his family of four into it. Their reasoning was to save money to buy a house. I was skeptical.
Everyone thinks tiny homes are cute. They’re quaint and trendy but are they realistic? Plus doesn’t living in a RV make you trailer trash or something? The only RV roaming our street had seen in the last few months was what we thought was a homeless drug dealer. Was he actually homeless??
One Sunday, a week or so after his return, Martin says lets go look at RV’s so we went and the rest is history.
We did the math. We did the research (do people in their twenties live in RV’s full time?). We narrowed our searched to two trailers. We bought one two days after looking and a truck a week after that. I took a job offer in Texas and we packed up our 700 Sq. ft. rental house into our trailer, truck and Camry and caravaned back to Texas. That story is for another time.
Our reasoning for the trailer was that rental prices and housing prices are high in Western Washington so if we ever wanted to buy a house, we were going to have to reduce our costs. Plus, we have student loans. Also, the PNW was too pretty not to have a more scenic location for our home. Seven hundred square feet was also the largest house we had lived in as a married couple, and between that and work, it was never clean enough for my liking. Plus, we figured it would be a little cheaper and a larger range of people who might be interested in it if we ever wanted to sell it versus a tiny home.
Finding the truck and trailer was an emotional and spiritual experience. I seriously think this specific combo was meant for us. Feelings and affirmation ya know? We had an idea that we might not just be moving into our new home but also to a new state but weren’t sure yet.
It has been 10 months since the last time I’ve posted and man it has been a good 10 months. Don’t they say that the more a couple posts on social media, the less secure and healthy their relationship is? So I guess you can say that the last 10 months have been good considering my absence.
I have never been a super good blogger. It just takes too much time I suppose but because of the 3 extra likes and the 2 extra follows I got from using the #rvlife I have decided to give this another go.
It is interesting thinking about putting yourself out online or in publication (no matter how small). It takes a certain amount of guts because you’re saying “I think I have something important to say” and giving yourself that voice in a crowded space like the internet is conflicting. Conflicting due to ideas like “is it narcissistic” or “does what I have to say matter” or “why should I even do it” or “how will I be judged?”
But I think I have something to say.
In the instagram world of alternative living, I think my husband and I have a unique situation and I think its worth sharing.
It is worth sharing because we don’t live in a perfectly curated airstream or tiny home, our RV isn’t even renovated. We didn’t give up normal jobs to live full time in our RV and we are stationary the majority of the year except for a few planned trips. Our location doesn’t include incredible, jaw dropping backdrops. We didn’t perfectly plan any of this and were riding by the sit of our pants. It’s messy and imperfect but wonderfully ours.
In the next few days, Martin and I are heading back to Texas. After 13 months in the upper left, we decided to return to semi-familiar territory.
We just didn’t love it and life is too short to not do something that you love.
In response to this, we bought a truck and a travel trailer so we could downsize. WE CANNOT WAIT FOR WHAT IS IN STORE.
Now, if only, our truck would work….
Occasionally, an ordinary word you never would have thought about in any profound or deep way sticks with you. For me, it has been the word perspective and man, it is a doozie.
Perspective (n): a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view
This word has been coming up a lot lately.
This move hasn’t been the easiest, definitely not as enchanting as Texas. Martin and I have both been struggling, struggling to find the right balance, struggling to find the purpose. I think it is because I haven’t had the right perspective. I’ve been looking for instant gratification and happiness not joy. I thought a real job would bring more money for more pleasure. Rather, I just have more bills to pay and still sit at home during most of the time I am off.
I haven’t been looking at anything from God’s perspective.
During the sermon tonight, the pastor said that work in God’s eyes is to bring hope to others. Pleasure, by God’s definition, is wonderful and unexpected. We hold ourselves back from seeing things from God’s perspective because we are fearful or anxious or _______ (fill in the blank).
For me, it is fear. Fear has been a huge factor in my life for a long time, the fear of failure, the fear of injury, the fear of what others think.
I am making a choice to find my joy, in my current situation, by declaring that I am loved by my heavenly Father despite of my fear so that I may change my perspective.
Here are a few things that I miss about the South.
1: I get funny looks when I say yes ma’am or no sir.
2: I stick out like a sore thumb when I say Y’all.
3: Air Conditioning
To move from Texas to Washington, we drove. We drove about 2,400 miles to get here and it took 5 days while pulling uhauls behind our cars. It was a heap of fun with a side of mushy tush. I did enjoy it but you learn a lot about the people you’re with when you spend that much time in a car with them.
This was our trip:
Waco, TX to Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs, CO to Moab, UT
Moab, UT to Idaho Falls, ID
Idaho Falls, ID to Spokane, WA
Spokane, WA to Marysville, WA
Talk about one long trip but an exciting trip because I had never driven to Washington. I had only flown. We saw flat plains, the Rocky Mountains, Canyons, Desert, Arches, and Farmland. Basically, everything the United States has to offer. Here are some of my favorite parts.
We stopped at Cadillac Ranch in Texas.
This canyon in Colorado was incredible. I felt like I was in the movie Avatar in real life.
We also stopped at Arches National State Park in Moab, Utah. It was really beautiful. Martin and I are talking about going back to go camping. One of the top places to visit.
Coeur D’Alene in Idaho was breath taking. We will also be back to there. Idaho in general had super nice people and I really liked staying in Idaho Falls.
Also, we really wanted to stay in Missoula, MT but it’s a mountain town and pulling the uhauls through there was not very easy. We’ll be back though!
This was truly a trip of a lifetime and I can’t wait to revisit some of these places!