That was March 2018 right after the business went to the new owner. The house sold in April – after just one day on the market. We “hit the road” officially in mid July 2018. That’s only 6 months ago last week as I write this! Wow … time does fly! That was only 4 months after buying our RV & 10 months after deciding to leave our careers/sell our business, sell our home & most of our worldly goods to hit the road as RV Nomads. YES, IT WENT FAST!!! DO WE HAVE ANY REGRETS? I want to share our thoughts with you… and maybe a few words to the wise …
Does he look terrified? He was, I think! I was for sure! This is when we were about to drive off the dealer lot in Houston to drive this ENORMOUS vehicle home to Kansas City … WHAT HAD WE DONE!!????
I had put on my new traveling shoes … now just take a step, right? Easier said than done. There was a lot to do to make it happen! We were almost fifty — we had a whole life of ‘stuff’ & details. Was it even doable?
It was because we did it! This is us leaving the house for the last time on May 15, 2018. So many emotions as we drove away for that last time … we had worked so hard for this home that we loved & shared together. We traded this for “homelessness” …really?
G.R. built this deck with his own hands with the help our son-in-law David & my two sons, Alex & Parker. He LOVED this deck & this back yard … & his smoker & his riding lawnmower (“Margarita Mow-Time” he dubbed the weekly mowing sessions!) AND we were (finally) married on this patio Sept 9, 2017, fed 12 of our closest family & friends on the deck & then danced the night away back on the patio with them ... all of this were just memories now.
And there’s my chickens. We built this chicken coop ourselves. I LOVED having chickens… & the fresh eggs! The new owners didn’t want the chickens so, just like that…dinner! NO, just kidding, all seven ladies were re-homed … but, what will become of the beautiful coop now?
We adored our kitchen & hearth room. From the rich tongue-in-groove paneling to the wide crown molding to the one-of-a-kind antique island/bar table … it really felt like US, like HOME.
If we weren’t in the office, or in bed, this is the room where we spent our time …. and with the decision to become RV Nomads it went from safe, comfortable & homey to …
EMPTY … Just. Like. That.
Our dining room was where we had our beloved custom built 8-foot farmhouse table. This was originally a ‘living room’ & the room behind it (which became our den off the kitchen) was the original dining room — which was far to cramped as a dining room & we NEVER used the formal ‘living room’, well, because there is nothing formal about us. We absolutely loved the way the switch worked out. We enjoyed good food & a lot of laughter spending the holidays here with family & friends. We felt pain beyond measure as we planned Alex’s memorial service at this table & then a days later we read all of the wonderful memories friends & family wrote about Alex. We celebrated grandly our granddaughter Lena’s first & second birthday’s here in this space, at this table. Every year I decorated this room, the table as a centerpiece, for Halloween & Christmas. We even told our kids we were ‘selling it all’ & moving in to an RV at this table. WOW.
But, it too became just a barren space in the blink of an eye … too late to reconsider now???
(The good news for us — and the table — is one of my dearest friends has it now, so the laughter & tears & memories that will happen around it now are still personal to us, AND we will get to still be a part of creating some of those times there. )
NOW … ARE WE STILL GLAD WE DID THIS? WHAT DID WE TRADE IT FOR?
Well, for MOUNTAINS in West Virginia …
And OCEAN BEACHES on Cape Hatteras …
And funky gulf coast tree hide-a-ways in Florida …
AND EVEN a whole week at CHRISTMAS AS A FAMILY at DAYTONA BEACH & DISNEY … we were lucky to also have my brother & sister-in-law who live there with us most of the week! It was such an awesome trip & we are already discussing what to do this year! The kids missed US, not our house or our things!
Fun was had, card games were waged & grand-babies feel asleep
with, oops, I mean on Papa. 🙂 memories to last forever – a great week of memories & a lifetime more to make, maybe all of them in new & exciting destinations!
So, you see we didn’t lose anything that really mattered. We just make memories around new tables & on now also on new beaches. The “stuff” didn’t matter & we don’t miss it. We loved the house & cherish the memories we made there but we didn’t lose anything. We still have the memories. We will make new ones in our new life. We just closed a chapter & started a new one. We choose to look at what we have gained & the only loss we feel is not tied to our house, or things but is for the for my son, Alex. But he is with us & will be with us forever, no matter where we go. We do feel richer & freer & renewed for having made this choice to embrace the journey that if life…and driving away from the house that last night, as I referenced earlier, what we felt was mostly just great relief to be done (it was a lot of work) & excitement to move forward (there’s so much to see & do)!!
But, do we miss anything? Well, we both miss seeing our family & friends more regularly, or really just when we want to because we didn’t always see everyone very regularly, but the option was always there. We especially miss the grand kids (sorry kids!ha) whom we did see often. Things? Garrison misses his big (meat) smoker & he misses having his drum set to play (even though he rarely had time). I miss a bigger kitchen (kind of). That’s not much. (As a side note: we sold everything — storing “stuff” is just a money suck we didn’t want. We stored 5 tubs of photos, etc. with family & everything else we own is with us) NO regrets there!
I definitely don’t miss a having so much house to clean. I don’t miss rattling around a house that you have too much space in where weekends were spent on chores & upkeep instead of exploring & traveling. I don’t miss only taking a vacation once a year because that was all you could break away from work for. I don’t even miss having the same places to shop & eat & explore. I love the changing scenery, meeting new people & finding new places to see. That was part of the draw – that is what we wanted – to get out & see the country; to stretch our boundaries & LIVE life. We wanted to experience the different cultures in our own country from food to ways of life. We want to stroll on the beach in the Outer Banks, eat lobster looking at the harbor in Maine & lie under the tall palm trees in the Florida sun. We want to hike trails in Glacier National Park & camp on the edge of the Grand Canyon. … all of this and so, so much more. We have only begun this journey & we are so excited to see what the future holds. We will take it as it comes & we will share as much of it with friends & family as we possibly can! Hopefully in great places like this ….
OR THIS …
OR THIS …
Our advice looks like this –> do a ton of research in to the lifestyle. Follow YouTubers, read blogs & even join groups (on Facebook, etc). Be realistic about how you will live in your rig when picking out a style/floor plans. Think about how often you will travel & look into camping costs (& plans like Thousand Trails – it has saved us a ton!) The security of a paycheck is a great thing so be sure to have a plan there. That’s probably the only thing we feel that we didn’t do enough to plan for. Don’t get me wrong, we were fortunate to have some reserves & we own our Jeep & RV outright, BUT if I could go back, I would have started this blog before being on the road & planned for remote work better while we built up our income stream. It’s all working out though so for us even with income, it just might have been easier to have a steady stream already in place. (Oh, and ‘stuff’ really is just ‘stuff ‘ like I said, so a good mind set on that as you downsize makes it SO much easier! WE were ready, but I have talked to many that really struggle with that piece!)
SO, the moral of the story, for us – SO FAR – is that we LOVE our nomad life & would do it all over again if we had the same choices to make…no hesitation! If you are thinking about it, our advice it GO FOR IT! What do you have to lose? Not as much as you stand to gain is my advice!
Good luck with your process & journey … we truly hope to see you down the road! – Melissa