One quiet morning as my husband and I talked, we realized how empty our large home felt with all our daughters grown and on their own. We used only a portion of the house and it was hard for the kids to come visit very often due to distance and careers. Our home consisted of unused bedrooms, a swimming pool not used for two years, three TV viewing rooms and we used one, and so forth. We threw the idea of selling and building a smaller home in the country around for awhile and then my husband suggested traveling…
When he first said “Why don’t we travel for awhile?”, I assumed we would drive or fly to chosen destinations and come back home between trips. How wrong I was, he wanted to buy an RV.
When he mentioned living in an RV full time, I felt deep apprehension. I imagined the worst, claustrophobia, shuffling sideways past each other in such small quarters, and generally hating every minute of it. How would I feel grounded without a “home”?
I just knew this would be a disaster and the thought of spending a small fortune on a new pickup and fifth wheel to only realize it was a gigantic mistake depressed me. But I agreed to try it for awhile. My husband has a bucket list and traveling is at the top.
So the house went up for sale, and the research began. What size and brand of fifth wheel, Which pickup to tow with, ordering options such as a generator and solar panels, etc. I wasn’t heavily involved with those choices and left that area to my husband. When he showed me the floor plans and interior choices, I cringed. We finally found an open floor plan that solved my claustrophobia issues and decided to take out the furniture made for people the size of fourth graders. To add a little of our style we changed the fabrics because we didn’t like what came in our RV, bought mini blinds and made room darkening, insulated window treatments, recovered the dining chair cushions, and bought new bedding. The difference in temperature after installing the new window treatments was immediate. We made our new RV our own.
On one hand it felt strange to be by ourselves, away from “home”, where nothing seems familiar. But having the freedom to go anywhere, to decide for ourselves the next adventure felt freeing. As I sat in our RV, there was no pervasive sense of loss, only contentment. Our snug home, much smaller than a hotel suite, has all we need. With thoughtful choices we packed simply; enough clothing, medicine, food, books, computer, camera gear, sketch tablet, basic kitchen necessities, and of course tools.
We spent the winter in the Seattle area where most of our kids live. I proudly admit I can navigate the area very skillfully now. The beauty of Washington is breathtaking. We have camped by the Salmon River in Idaho after visiting Montana. The world now becomes our playground, the time in our lives for less stress, less stuff, more enjoyment and fulfilling of dreams. Our next destination, maybe Yellowstone, the Oregon Coast, Vermont in the fall? Decisions, decisions…