The RV Effect.

A lot of the time inspiration is fleeting, at least for me. Let’s not even talk about motivation. My interests have always been all or nothing. When something grabs my attention I am all about it. THIS IS MY LIFE! and when it’s gone… meh. So when I find the mood hits me I have to get it started or the moment is gone. Part of me wondered if that was going to be the case with this new lifestyle were living. I asked myself over and over “Do I really want to sell everything and do this?” But you really don’t know if you don’t try so here I am. So Let’s talk about it for a minute. Furthermore in the spirit of keeping my interest in writing going here’s what’s been going on.
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The proof is in the banana bread.

When you watch old-timey television shows, the neighbors share a cup of sugar and fresh baked cookies. They have coffee together and gatherings and everyone knows everyone. It’s the quaint small town existence. Maybe it’s still out there, but it certainly didn’t exist for us.
The Bear and I have lived together in 3 homes. One was for a year, the next for 5 and the last one for 8. The first home we never met any neighbors. The second, we knew one and I fed her cats sometimes when she went away. The last one…a whopping 8 years…we knew 3 of the neighbors. Although we knew them, we never hung out with them. There was never an exchange of cookies or a shared cup of sugar. In no way am I saying that it’s their fault, it’s just as much ours. We went about our daily business…working, paying bills and keeping to ourselves. We did all have a mutual bond though, we hated one of the other neighbors. Think about that though, 14 years…14 years living mere feet from people with nothing but some general chit-chat and a wave. I wonder how many other people live like that. Stuck in their lonely bubble, having to travel out of it to find people with common interests to share a bite to eat with…now that I look back at it, it’s kind of sad.
The reason why I’m bringing this up is because moving into our RV has been a social shellshock.  It hit me last night when Mike & Deb brought over some fresh baked chocolate banana bread for us. It was still warm. This wasn’t the first time, but the time I realized that this is different. This is the way community is supposed to be. We have shared our cinnamon buns and we have had afternoon drinks brought to us. Need a blanket because it’s cold out? Your friendly neighbor is happy to share! In fact, they insist! Seriously…it’s now a battle of who gets to sleep with Deb’s fluffy blankie! It’s been such a different experience for us in the social aspect the last few weeks. It reminds me of a Nick at Nite TV show! In all the years we lived in our bubble houses we were NEVER this social.
The proof is in the banana bread, but it’s been so much more. We have shared late night laughs around the fire and early morning…ok…not so early…brunches. 5pm happy hour is a common occurrence at someone’s house. Sometimes we get together to explore the local area and do cool stuff like giant swamp buggy tours and sometimes we do mundane stuff like go grocery shopping together. When was the last time you went grocery shopping with your neighbor?
In fact, they aren’t just our neighbors…they are our FRIENDS.
 

 
Was it pure luck we ended up in the right place at the right time, or is it always like this?
In our year plus of preparation, we asked other full-timers what it was like out here. Some said it was extremely social and others said it was extremely solitary. Classic case of your mileage may vary. Do you boondock on public lands a lot? Are you in an active RV park? Do you live where there is undesirable weather and you’re cooped up inside all day? All of these things can be factors in how social your RV life is. Maybe we got lucky because our first stop was filled with awesome people and then we all moved together to the next stop! Is it Thousand Trails because is it a network and everyone is generally in the same few places? Is it because we are staying put for 2 weeks at a time and have the time to meet people? Time will tell as our trek north begins and we start to move more often and break away from the people that we have spent the last few weeks with.

The only thing that is constant is Change…and Bandaids.

Have you ever thought about how familiar your environment is?
You live in the same house every day, you travel the same route to your job at the same place. You go to the same gym every day and frequent the same restaurants.  You run by the same park near your house every day and sometimes you stop and sit on the same wooden bench to catch your breath. The bench looks and feels the same every day. You know that you can run your hand along the top of the bench, as you have hundreds of times, and it won’t filet your hand like dead fish.
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And then it hit me.

This morning about 2 miles into my run, I stopped to take in a view of the lake. It was so peaceful and quiet. It was beautiful. 

And then it hit me…before I realized what was happening, the emotion overwhelmed me and the tears started rolling. I couldn’t stop. I kept thinking about how happy I felt and how hard I worked to get here. 
The last several years I dedicated myself to getting an education and building a career that would afford us a better life. I sacrificed both my time and my sanity. I couldn’t have done it without the support of the Bear. He was so crucial in keeping me on track when I wanted to quit so many times. It wasn’t easy for him, not even close. I was really the one who was a Bear and he put up with me all those years freaking out, crying over papers, screaming about asshole professors. He sacrificed our entire life in general because I was stuck studying and doing homework every weekend and every weeknight into the wee hours. It sucked and it was worth it. I am very proud of myself for working hard and making it happen.
When I started on that journey, I didn’t know where it would lead. I probably thought more money, bigger house, nicer cars…you know, the American Dream. I had no idea that we were going to ditch status quo and go on a wild adventure. We are exactly where we are supposed to be.
The last three weeks on the road have been surreal. It is so much more than I expected it to be. The feeling of freedom, not being tied down is a feeling you can’t explain. It’s scary, not knowing exaxtly what comes next but it is awesome. I know we made the right decision. It just feels right like we have been doing this forever. I am happy. This is perfect and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It feels like home.
– Pookie

The First Two Weeks Of Full Time RV Life. 

I sit here in my tiny house on the highway. It’s 11pm and we’re getting ready for bed. We checked the weather and it looks like we’ll have a little wind tonight so I stowed our awning. The bikes caught a little rain this morning so I decided to put them in the Volkswagen tonight. We’re headed out this Sunday and moving a little further north to Clermont. I figured I might as well get some of my pre trip check list done a little early. Traveling day so far has been the most stressful on us. There is so much to be done and so many things to check. Imagine every 2 weeks or so you pack up your entire house and everything you own and drive your house down the highway at 60mph. Maybe it’s just me but it makes me anxious and a little nervous. Obviously this type of travel has its advantages or we wouldn’t be here. But let me tell you travel day will kick your ass if you’re not paying attention. Continue reading “The First Two Weeks Of Full Time RV Life. “

Long walks and lots of poop in Wachula, FL.

Let me say first that I don’t have any formal writing experience except for what one receives in the public school system. I’ll do my best to keep the grammar nazis at bay but I’m still a dumb white kid from upstate NY.  Please don’t set your expectations too high and you won’t be disappointed. That being said some useful or constructive criticism on my writing style would not be unwelcome to make these easier to read. I haven’t decided what I plan to do with this blog. I guess I really like the idea of having a place to record my thoughts, experiences and ideas about this adventure that isn’t Facebook or YouTube. So for now this is going to be a public diary of our journey of sorts. An open letter to my friend’s and family maybe. Let’s see what happens shall we?
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T minus 29 days! Moving in and RV shoe storage

The countdown is ON!
We have just 29 days until we go full-time in our RV. We have been working feverishly the last year and a half and the time is finally here. We’re going to try to do some more regular videos since I know we have really been slacking on updating our blog and YouTube channel. With working full-time and trying to get ready to his the road we had a lot of time constraints to deal with.
Today we started to move in and bring out some clothes and miscellaneous odds and ends. We also installed a shoe rack around the bed. We used a plain old over the door shoe hanger that we cut up and stuck to the bed frame. We initially tried this with just duct taping the top edge but it promptly fell down on the first trip. We heard that double sided Gorilla tape was strong so we gave that a go.  If that doesn’t work, we’ll screw it to the frame, but I wanted that to be the last resort.

This was also our first attempt at “vlogging”.  We have made plenty of videos, but never an ‘as the day goes’ kind of deal. Hope you enjoy it!

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XN2COyfBVbM)

Here are some photos of the shoe rack…

Shoe Rack 2

Shoe rack

If you have any questions or any feedback on our videos or blogs, please reach out! We’d love to hear from you!  That kind of sounds like a “How’s my driving?” Bumper sticker, huh?

Camping With A Pitbull

My bully camps! Does yours?
Camping with a Pitbull or other breed traditionally considered to be “dangerous” is like renting an apartment, it can be a challenge if you don’t do a little research.
Pull up a chair, grab a drink and watch the video below! Get to know Dozer and learn a little bit about camping with a Pitbull…

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Chasing a dream is hard work.

259.
That is how many days we have left until our planned launch. We may stick to that date, we may not. Sailors write their plans in the sand at low tide…and apparently so do RVers.
When we came up with this crazy dream…it was just that, a dream. We were going to save our pennies, buy a small RV and travel. Seems pretty simple, but it was a safe idea because it was just a dream. A photo, a phone call and a plane ride led to it becoming a reality much sooner than we realized. (Thanks Dad & Ellyn!)
If anyone ever tells you that downsizing and moving into an RV is easy, they’re a liar. Yes, it’s fun and we are enjoying the journey but man this is hard work! It’s almost overwhelming some days. The closer we get, the more we realize we have no idea what we are doing and we don’t have any solid plans or a plan B or anything really resembling rational adult thinking. All we know is that we’re going on an adventure!

Continue reading “Chasing a dream is hard work.”