RV Life and Perspective

Thursday, October 23, 2014

We have been living in our motor-home for almost a month now, each day we are faced with a new set of challenges and most days we learn valuable lessons. So far everything has been really great, even the parts that have been a little scary.

When you move out of a sticks and bricks home and into a motor-home you learn a-lot about needs versus wants and you experience more in one day than you would in one week. There have been times that I have missed living in a brick home away from the sounds of neighbors and with loads of space.


Photo taken by fellow camper Dorri,
you can see The Defiant next to the workshop.
This photo was taken when only 2 of 6 inches
of rain had fallen.

Our first storm in Kansas brought over six inches of rain and Robert had to climb on top of The Defiant with lightning all around to secure the tarp. So many leaks, most of them we thought we had contained, burst open and we had water coming in through the lights or else he wouldn't have had to cover the RV.

We are parked right next to the work shop in this RV park so we hear the saws running while we are trying to sleep; mind you we work at night so we are sleeping during the day. These things would have never been a concern if we were back home in North Carolina. We were staying in a rock solid brick house and couldn't even see our neighbors.

The cats, who were used to frolicking in the woods all day, have been going stir crazy. I feel like they bother us as payback from taking them from the land they loved so much and I feel guilty that I can't let them explore as they once did. The water bottle is used more often and tails are stepped on sometimes.

However, even with all of these nuisances and lessons we have had to learn there are so many perks to this lifestyle.

For instance; we are living the life of minimalists.

If you had told me eight years ago that I would be going on a life-changing journey but I would have to give up all of my designer bags I would laugh at you. I wouldn't just laugh, I would also cry because I was laughing so hard. I now have a drawer for bags. Any bag that wouldn't fit, didn't come with us. Getting rid of all of the stuff that once made my life meaningful has allowed me to shed a lot of mental weight. I no longer have room for compulsive consumerism in my life and I am able to spend money on experiences versus things. We did bring most of our library though, and my collection of non-GMO heirloom seeds... just in case!

Yes, we still have things. We have bright, cheery, useful things. I made a rule that unless it was clothing it should have at least two uses. Even our propane oven has two uses.

1. We set up my desktop computer on the top so we could stream Star Trek from a device other than my laptop (which I need for work and school).
2. We store pots and pans inside of it.

Notice, there was no mention of cooking on it because we are probably going to take it out in the near future. I'm sure it works but I have a mental block about using propane inside of such a small space and because of how well everything else has worked in our 1988 RV I would hate to see everything I own go up in flames.

Living in a small space with significantly less stuff also means cleaning is a breeze. We can clean our entire home in less time than it took me to vacuum our old living room. We do have to keep on top of clutter, with the amount of space we have and the fact that cats don't obey commands things tend to get knocked over.

When we left North Carolina I thought I had slimmed down my clothing to the bare minimum. As it turns out I will probably be going through my wardrobe again donating items to Salvation Army and buying clothes that are more versatile for weather changes.

Speaking of weather changes, when living in a sticks and bricks home we had a heating and air unit that kept our indoors temperature nice and cozy. In our RV we go to sleep cuddled up under two layers of blankets and wake up sweating. We have seen RV's with sophisticated heating and air units but we are stubborn and refuse to set up the heater until we have to.

We pay more attention to nature and weather patterns now than we did before and that makes us feel more in-tune with the weather cycles. We also spend a lot more time outside, since we decided to learn the road in the RV without a tow-car we walk a lot more which is great. When you walk around you see and experience so much more than you would driving through a place.

Being without a car is something I personally haven't had to endure (except for a month or two) since I got my license at sixteen. We do live in a vehicle so if we need to go somewhere we can, but thankfully we have met some amazing people who let us carpool with them to and from work.

Friends. While we miss our best buddies from North Carolina and are eager to see them all again in May, I have to say I am extremely surprised at how many awesome people we have met on the road. From our first day in a rest stop talking with Bub and Tinker to the folks in our team at work. We have been very fortunate to meet people like Nancy who is so genuine and welcoming, I feel like I have known her forever. We have been invited to taco night and learned tips and tricks about RV life from Dorri and her husband Chris. We are going to a local festival in Independence, KS called Neewollah this weekend with our new friends Josh and Vanessa. There are so many awesome people that we have met I could write an entire post about them.
Care package complete with
Bart Simpson key chain and clappy
hand. We love you Sleydar bug!
Care packages from home filled with sweet snacks, cat toys, and toys for Robert (pictured to the left) make us miss my mom and little brother. I've never been this far from home and it is so weird to know that I can't just drive thirty minutes to see my family. We are looking forward to seeing Mom and Sleydar when they visit us in a few months! We speak to our family often over the phone and fill them in with all of the details. It feels like I talk to them more now than I did before.

We have also learned a lot about water conservation and how much water a person really needs.  Robert spent all of our renovation time making The Defiant as pretty as I pleased but we didn't think to check the plumbing until the week before we left. We have plans for major renovations come January and figured we should wait until then, when we rearrange the kitchen, to fix the plumbing. We are at campgrounds so we can shower and wash laundry in the bath house.

We can use the toilet and pour water down the sinks but we can't use the pipes to bring water into the motor-home. In a normal home every time you use the toilet you flush between 2 and 7 gallons of water.  When we flush it may take 2 cups of water, when we wash dishes it takes one gallon of water. The biggest consumption of water in our home is the amount we drink which is around two gallons a day. While this may seem barbaric to some it feels simple to us. Even if we did have running water we would still use only a small fraction of what we did in our sticks and bricks home.

We have learned so much about making conscious choices and problem solving. Together we are a very resourceful team.

Our perspective has changed so much in one month it is amazing, but this change in perspective is what its all about for us. It's not the destination but the journey that excites us. We still have several posts to write about our trip to Kansas but I wanted to share a little about our day to day life!

Thank you all for reading and following our journey! We are glad you are a part of it!

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