We have a launch date! We are aiming for 8/1/18! If we can go sooner that would be wonderful! But that is our target date. In some ways it seems like there is so much to do and it will be here before we know it. In other ways it seems like an eternity. We would love to go now! We are planning to buy our travel trailer early next year, preferably in March. Then we will start moving things into the trailer and work on finalizing the house clean-up and some minor renovations (bathroom upgrade, paint inside, maybe pull carpet and refinish the hardwood). Then put the house on the market in April. We want Katelyn to finish the school year. Beyond that it all depends on the house selling.
I’m having a hard time working on purging things in the meantime. I think once the spare room is cleaned out more it will get easier because we’ll have a place to put things, a staging area of sorts. We can haul stuff off to be donated or trashed but we need a spot for bigger items we want to sell in a rummage sale, very few things to keep in storage with family, and that’s it. Anything we are bringing along we are using now already so not much to be done there, yet. This has turned into something I’m thinking about every single day. We both are. Every day I research something new and I can’t believe the amount of information I’ve absorbed in the last 6 months! The more we read and learn about others doing this, the more we solidify our plans for what we want to do. I absolutely love that part! We are so very excited. We’ve been talking to Katelyn about it on a regular basis, getting her ready. I know she doesn’t totally comprehend it all. But she is excited too. She knows she can’t take everything but we’re going to be lenient, she probably will take most of her stuffed animals and a fair amount of toys. She knows she won’t be in regular school but she will be with us and meeting new friends and seeing new places. She knows she will be able to decorate her room and have her own space like she does now, our pets are coming along, and so is our Sunny Jeep! She was really concerned a few weeks ago about the Jeep and how we’d bring it with us. I just can’t put into words how excited we all are about leaving in an RV next year. It’s definitely not for everyone! I know it will be challenging! I have no illusions there. Well, maybe a few. I know it won’t be like an endless vacation. I know we’ll meet challenges but I’m confident we’ll handle them. We always do! We aren’t jumping in blind, head-first. Although in a way it seems like jumping off a bridge into the unknown. But we’re not. We’re planning a safety net and we’re gathering every bit of knowledge we can from people who are already doing this.
We have family and friends supporting us, and a few people who think we’re nuts (we always have been, a little so that isn’t anything new!) The most common theme so far is, “You have to have a place to come back to” (Bryan’s dad) and “You aren’t going to do this forever so you need to keep lots of things for later” (my mom). They are our parents and only trying to look out for us so I can’t blame them. The reality is, I have a gut feeling this will be a long-term undertaking. This is something we have both wanted for so long but never thought we could do before we retired. There are many others doing this, many who thought they would do it for a year and a year turned into ten. I have a strong suspicion we will get into it and have no end in sight. I may be wrong. If I’m wrong, then we are already primed to move to another long-term place by embarking on this journey. Katelyn is still at the front of my mind in this, too. If she wants a more “normal” life and traditional school and a stationary place to be, we will consider that going forward. I recently read a very heart-wrenching blog about that, I wish I could link it but I can’t remember the source. But the gist was, both adults loved the nomad lifestyle but their sons got older and wanted a traditional junior high and high school experience so they left the road and settled back down. Neither parents wanted to do it and they struggled. Not the best story but they did it for their kids. Hoping we won’t be in that boat but we very well may be. In the meantime though, we have some years to figure that out! There are many more full-time family travelers with kids who completed high school on the road and went on to college and adult lives. That is so far in the future I’m not going to think too much about it right now. My mind works overtime and I think that is why I’m not satisfied with my current job. I’m not denying it’s a great job! It really is. It’s just not for me. After living the traditional life, it isn’t for us. I know that sounds very privileged, and it is! But I’m ready to spend more time as a family and explore places and I want a life of experiences rather than material things. And that is what it all boils down to. Life is just too short to not live your dream!