t’s been nearly two months since we left everything behind to chase our dreams out on the open road.
I’m sitting here with my intermittent and unreliable internet connection and contemplating how I feel about our fledgling nomadic lifestyle. The truth is that things are not as different as I thought they would be. I wake up, make breakfast, clean up, homeschool, clean up, eat lunch, clean up, go out to play, come home, make dinner, clean up, put the kids to bed, clean up, cry in the fetal position for a few moments and then pass out from exhaustion… then repeat! The internal functions of our family are still the same. We start every day with good morning hugs and end every night with a bedtime prayer. (with a whole lota crazy in between) This continuity has kept us from feeling displaced and it’s also what makes me realize that this unorthodox lifestyle really works for us.
Only the surroundings have changed. There are new libraries to visit, new homeschool groups to join, beautiful parks to play at, museums to learn from and local community sites to explore. Of course our home and tiny living space are the biggest changes and challenges for us. But we’re just taking it in stride and learning as we go.
We started to keep track some of the valuable lessons we have learned thus far. Take a look:
1. I love that I can mop my whole bathroom floor with a single Clorox Wipe.
2. Smells are amplified in the camper to bloodhound scent proportions. Ever hear of a Dutch oven? Nuff said.
3. You can imagine you look as fabulous as you wish when you live with one medicine cabinet mirror and can only view from your chin up. Nah, there’s no junk in ma trunk!
4. Kids talk so much. There is never a quiet waking moment. In the close proximity you can’t miss a single decibel of the endless chatter, singing, arguing, or playtime sound affects. Foam earplugs have been a God send for Pete.
5. After food shopping, I must engage in an advanced level game of Tetris to get all the food to fit into our tiny fridge and cupboard. Who said Gameboy was a waste of time back in the day?
6. Now that we have to use a laundromat, all clothing must qualify for the hamper by having either a smell or a stain. Which sadly still makes for plenty of laundry.
7. We are perfectly fine without cable, and even more so without network TV and it’s incessant mind-numbing commercials.
8. We figured out that we do in fact use propane for heat, not electricity! It was our coldest night yet and we froze our tootsies off for that lesson.
9. Just when you think you’ve reached the end of civilization… a Walmart will appear.
10. The Murphy’s Law of fulltime Rving… If the camper’s a-rockin’, a kid will come knockin’
11. We considered leaving our 130 lb. drooling beast behind and I’m so happy that we reconsidered. He is my built in home security system when home alone with the kids or exploring new turf. And whenever in need of a warm hug he is always obliging.
12. Make sure your black and gray water releases are closed before you unhook your hoses. RIP to Pete’s New Balance running shoes 🙁
13. Google maps has gotten us into plenty of pickles while pulling a 35 ft. camper. Come on Google, where’s you’re A game?
14. Research the critters and hazards of your current location before hand. ex: Argentine Ants in Texas, poisonous spiders in NM, or the infamous Tarantula Wasp of AZ. You gotta see this!
15. Campgrounds are like fast food commercials, the pictures never depict the reality. We learned this the hard way after spending the night in a prison-camp like park in Abilene, TX.
16. The best thing about RV neighbors is if you don’t like them you can move to a new spot.
17. Big rig truckers have taught us the true meaning of the phrase, “white knuckle driving.”
18. Most campgrounds claim to have Wifi and clean restrooms. We have yet to experience either.
19. The Red Rocks of Sedona, AZ. are as close as you can get to natural perfection!
20. We wouldn’t trade this quality time we are spending with our children for all the riches in the world. Hopefully when they are grown they will remember the s’mores and scary stories by the campfire over our occasional breakdowns. <3
I’m sure we will experience many new highs and lows as we continue our journey across America. That was just a small peek into our first 60 days on the road. Hope you enjoyed the little video tour. We cannot thank all of you enough for following our blog, sharing the page on social media, and making donations to our cause. Every dollar we earn goes back into our travel fund to venture to another city to share Dear Lilly and our message of hope with troubled teens. It’s an adventure that we welcome with open arms and hearts. We will be sure to keep ya’ll posted every step of the way 🙂
Oh yeah, Pete made me be sure to tell you all that he does NOT usually shower with a pink loofa brush and shower cap. But he does use my pink razors and body wash from time to time. Shhh! Keep that one between us.