When we set out on this journey 11 months ago, we didn’t know if we’d make it past a week in this lifestyle, let alone permanently. So we set a goal to give it a year and then re-evaluate. We are wrapping up our year and have experienced so much; met some wonderful new friends, saw some much missed old friends, and have evolved as human beings.
We’ve learned how to be respectful of one another in 300 sqft. of space—1000 sqft. less than than the smallest house we’ve ever owned. As a family we’ve learned to practice patience with one another, although I may need a refresher course. My favorite aspect of this adventure has been the process of becoming minimalists—only keeping the essentials with us, even if I need to declutter routinely. The small space allows us to deep clean in about 15 minutes, even if there is so little to do that it’s hard to find chores for the kids to help with. I guess that’s a good problem to have.
We’ve also learned that there is always something waiting to go wrong, whether its a house, car or if your home has an engine, something will need fixing. Most importantly, that has taught us to roll with the punches. Even when we had to leave our home in the forest overnight, we didn’t panic. Even when we had water soaking our ceiling through a leak in the A/C unit for the entire week spent in Georgia, we just bought a hair dryer and set to work. It would take quite a bit to ruffle us now. That was not always the case.
We’ve enjoyed bringing our family closer as a unit and giving them the opportunity to see a bit of our nation, even if they have trouble remembering it all :) Because sometimes, as kids, their priorities are the newest toy sensation and not the spectacular sunset. That’s perfectly okay with us. That’s why we kept this blog, to help us all remember a whirlwind year that was our life on the road.
So, with much consideration and family discussion, we have decided to go off the road as a full-time family. We plan to keep Edelweiss and take family vacations to National Parks and other destinations, since there are many we’d still like to see.
I think the conversations started with Mr T and Chemistry. Having never taken Chemistry myself, I did my best to guide him through assignments and correct problems, but if he had questions I’d have to defer to Jason. Mr T told me one day that he’d like to have a proper teacher for Chemistry because he had more than just a surface interest in it, and also that he might like to experience high school and everything that came with it. Well, we chewed on that thought for a while and tried to figure out how to make that happen.
Having seen much of the country, we knew lots of places where we didn’t want to settle down: we found it too humid with too many mosquitoes in the southeast and east coast. Too gray and depressing in the pacific northwest. Winter cloud inversions and poor air quality in southern Oregon and Utah. Beautiful weather but crazy expensive and too overpopulated in California. Too expensive and underwater in Boulder, Colorado.
We needed a place that was affordable to live, not overcrowded, acceptable traffic, and no humidity or giant mosquitoes. It had to have good school options, an ice rink, kayaking and martial arts options for Jason, ballet for Divagirl, snowboarding for the boys, youth marksmanship for Mr T, parkour for Mr S and most importantly…SUNSHINE.
We’ll share our destination in our next post :)