Happy 6 Month NOMADiversary to Us!
A week ago today, we celebrated our 6-month NOMADiversary - the anniversary of wedding our lives to our wanderlust.
Are we in some sort of time warp? How is it that 6 months has passed so quickly. We sold our house in Limerick, PA and 90% of our belongings, quickly moved into our home on wheels and hit the road on May 19. We feel like we have done so much, but also have so much more to see and do. However, on the other end of the time continuum, it feels like ages since we have lived in that lovely home and years since we left the daily grind of cupcakes and cellular communications. Time is a funny thing. Regardless of our changing perspective of the speed the last 6 months has passed by, it has been incredible: full of excitement & fun, frustration & problem solving. Like everything new, there is a learning curve, there are blunders, constant change, cool new places, and daily smiles. Here are some of the realities / adjustments / weird-stuff from the first 6 months of our full-time RV lifestyle.
- WHERE ARE YOU FROM: Seems like such an easy question, but its a tough one. We typically use one of these phrases: “Our home is parked over there”, “It’s a long story”, or “I’m from wherever we want to be”. Essentially we have a Texas address, Florida licenses, Montana plates, and will have to file taxes in Pennsylvania and Kentucky this year. Hmmm - you tell me where we are from? Still working on that one…
- ROAD-TRIPPING ISN’T ALWAYS FUN: A road trip takes on a whole new meaning when your total vehicle length is 64’ long, just over 13’ high, and 20 tons. No more quick stops at the drive-thru or filling up at the closest gas station. Planning is necessary (thank you RV GPS) and just taking the scenic route is usually a no-go.
- WHERE ARE WE: When all the blinds are closed and we are laying in bed, sometimes it is hard to remember where we really are. There have been times we have had to peak out the bedroom windows to try and get our bearings. Sitting at the table eating breakfast, we often have to open the blinds to remember exactly where we are parked.
- NOT KNOWING WHERE ANYTHING IS: Gone are the days of quickly running into the grocery store to grab a couple items for dinner. See that requires you to be familiar with the aisles at your favorite store. Instead, every grocery store is like a new adventure. Trying to figure out the madness of the aisles each and every time. Where’s the bank? CVS? Redbox? Best Breakfast? Luckily our handy-dandy iPhones make finding these things almost a non-issue.
- WE ARE NOT ON VACATION: BooHiss! This is something we have had to remind ourselves of on occasion. We are just living life in a lot of different places for different amounts of time. We are living life, not on a permanent vacation. Things like dishes, laundry, and paying bills still exist. We have to remind our hearts that are wallets have limits meaning that just because we are in a new city or area, we can’t try out every unique restaurant or buy tickets to every attraction. I’m sure this will get easier with time, but we still often need reminded that we are not on vacation.
- COMFORTS OF HOME GO WITH US: This is still one of the things that I love the most about our new life. However, it is always the one that surprises me most. We can pull over and use our own bathroom and eat lunch “at home”. If it gets cold, I don’t have to worry if I packed the right clothes. I can grab the sweatshirt out of my closet and continue on with our trip. Our home follows us down the road wherever we go. Either we have it with us or we don't own it. Packing for a trip is a thing of the past!
- NOT SPENDING EVERY MINUTE OUTDOORS: When you think camping, you think outdoors. While we do spend more time outdoors than we did in our previous lives, just like before we still like relaxing in the living room. We have literally not had a single campfire other than when enjoying some family camping this summer. We spend most of our days working, cooking, and doing normal domestic tasks before venturing out and exploring the great outdoors. However, our opportunities to explore are much greater due to our ability to move our home here and there. We still have so much to see and do. Adventure most certainly awaits.
- BAD INTERNET / TV: While it is nice to ‘Go Dark’ every once in awhile, you realize how many things you use the internet for: recipes, weather, news, email, campground searching, Biden meme reading, etc. Since we can’t carry heavy encyclopedias in our camper, we sometimes need to “Ask the Google”. Most campgrounds offer free wi-fi, but it is usually sketchy at best. Our cell phone bill keeps rising as we continue to discover we need a bit more data to help support our internet needs. As our brother-in-law Mike always says, “Life is too short for bad TV.” You don’t realize how good high-definition TV is until you don’t have it. A few months ago we splurged with a satellite, but still have our moments of sketchy or bad service. Yes, we do realize these are first world problems.
- PROBLEMS ON THE ROAD: Issues that arise on the road require us to pull out our problem-solving skills. We usually have to take a few minutes to find which box we packed them in - wish it was that easy! Car problems before meant a quick trip to our trusty local mechanic - easy peasy. Now, we have to figure out where we are, try to pick a good mechanic from a google search, and sometimes change travel plans due to a repair. The first 3 months we are on the road, my trusty old lady (Honda Pilot) required 4 trips to the doctor. Knock on wood, she is running smooth. Maybe she was feeling a bit of pressure constantly having to follow our home down the road.
- HOME SWEET HOME: So we have quickly adapted to living in a small space together. We enjoyed the purging process and found a spot for all our belongings inside and outside of the trailer. As cliche as it sounds, we have come to realize that home is really wherever we are together. We started out in May of this year with our home Calvan (2005 Mobile Suites 38RL3) which was in need of more updates and repairs than we had anticipated. While he had a nice sturdy structure, more and more things kept needing fixed and replaced. While we were both a little sad to see him go, Charlie (2016 Landmark Charleston) came into our life in July and brought some immediate joy with his bright, new shiny smile. We are happy to report that Charlie is treating us really well and we are happy to call him home.
With 6 months successfully and safely under our belts, we continue to look forward to living out our mission statement: SEE the country, live a SIMPLE life, and LOVE each other.
First 6-Months by the Numbers (Since May 16, 2016):
- Miles Driven with RV: 4,001 miles
- Gallons of Diesel Fuel: 674 gallons
- States We’ve Called Home: 10