not the drive, the journey!
Some of you who have joined us on the road have asked how we got to where we are. Meaning, how did we come to full-time rving, both in the decision and in the logistics. So, this post is for you…
A few years ago, Vaughn and I began to be burdened to get out of debt. We didn’t have much debt by today’s standards, but we still felt trapped by it. We wanted to sell our home that Vaughn had built in 2001; we had a lot of equity in it, and we knew that we would be able to build again debt free. Our house sat on the market for nearly 2 years; twice we thought it had sold, but both times it fell through.
We dreamed that if we ever sold our house, we would take some time and travel a bit. For years had been toying with the idea of taking a vacation, but didn’t think that we could swing it while losing income from not working (Vaughn is self-employed), still paying the bills (debt), and then spending money on top of that for the vacation. We decided that if we sold the house, we would set aside a certain amount of money for a vacation before we started the building process again.
Our house finally sold in July of 2009. It was a whirl-wind experience since we figured that it would fall through again, so we didn’t start really packing until we were quite a ways into the 30 day closing. We also run a fireworks stand every year, and by the time that we knew the house was actually selling, it was time to run the stand for 10 days. We ended up closing 5 days after the 4th, and it was pretty hectic! We could never have done it in that time frame without so many hands to help – children are such a blessing!
Because our closing was so far into the summer, we knew that we couldn’t finish building a house by the time the snow flew, so we decided that it would be fun to travel for the winter and then build in the coming spring. We moved into the 30′ travel trailer that we had already owned, watched for land, and waited for fall so we could hit the road!
We spent the summer dry-camped on a friend’s property up in the mountains. We didn’t have electrical or sewer hookups, but a septic service would come once a week to pump our black tank, and Vaughn hauled fresh water in a 100 gal. tank in the back of his truck. This is our kind of camping, and we loved the peace and quiet, the solitude and wild animals, and the huge boulders that the kids spent hours climbing on. We stayed there from mid-July until the end of September while Vaughn finished up the construction jobs that he had committed to.
During this time, while we were in the camper, we spent time having a huge garage sale (at a storage unit), getting debt paid off, organizing storage units, and just getting ready. We also were blessed with our 11th child while we were ‘camping’. Molly Margaret (no, we are not Catholic or Irish) was born September 1. While we had enjoyed 3 home births before this, I will readily admit to being a little hesitant to give birth in the travel trailer. Our midwife is located out of town, but God provided us a place to give birth when a local midwife moved and our midwife took over her office/birthing center! So, at a few hours old, we welcomed Molly to our Home Sweet Travel Trailer.
On October 1, 2009, in freezing weather and spitting snow, we hit the road. And, after traveling a big loop around the country, with quite a few detours, we find ourselves back home for the summer. Well, kind of back home. We don’t have a house, and we aren’t building one. We will be spending the summer(s) in our hometown where Vaughn will still teach the boys about construction while he works so that we can buy food and fuel for the winter.
Our family has decided that we would like to travel for longer than one winter – there are so many places that we would have liked to visit, but just didn’t have the time to! And we have made so many new friends that we would love to see again! And, believe it or not, we are finding the gypsy life very freeing!