As we think about options for how to ditch our desks full time someday, permanent or semi-permanent travel has become an appealing option. We have been inspired by several blogs of families with young kids (and older kids too) who are living that lifestyle (another post will come soon about some of our sources of internet inspiration).
There are several things about that lifestyle that seem so appealing part of me is ready to jump ship tomorrow and just go for it. However, there are also several things that seem particularly daunting. Here’s what’s top of mind today:
Why RV Life Seems Like a Fantastic Choice for Us:
- Less Junk!!! – As I look around my living room filled with a play pen, train tracks, stray books, a baby jumper, and a stuffed bunny joining me on the couch, I long for some kid-friendly version of minimalism. Can we just have fewer things to pick up at the end of each day (or let’s be honest, to not pick up)?
- Incredible Flexibility – Sick of the town where you’re at? Want to find out what it might be like to live in X, Y, or Z place? Want to escape a certain season or natural disaster? Just drive your house on wheels to the next destination! Amidst a record-breaking wildfire season in California, and many days of poor air quality, it seems quite appealing to be able to pick up and move on.
- Endless Adventure – Semi-permanent or permanent travel seems like a dream to me personally. To satisfy both a wanderlust and a desire for adventure in a way that doesn’t require tons of plane tickets, hotel rooms, and an unlimited budget would be phenomenal.
- Time with Friends and Family – The ability to travel to spend time with friends and family scattered across the country is enticing to us. We haven’t asked who would be willing to host an RV in their driveway, but I’m sure we could twist a few arms.
- Quality Time with Young Kids – Probably the most significant appeal for RV life for a time is the ability it would give us to spend time together as a family while our kids are young (and still want to hang out with us)! We get really excited at the prospect of teaching them about nature, geeking out over maps with them, and just sitting by a campfire (after they’re in bed of course – still not much sitting while they’re awake). J
Why RV Life Seems Potentially Stressful:
- Small Spaces – My husband J reminds me that we spend most of our time in a 200-square foot living area now, so perhaps an RV wouldn’t feel all that different. I’m not sure we’d really know until we tried it. Separate sleeping areas would be essential in order to have some tiny moments to get away. Crowding into a tiny bathroom with three males doesn’t seem awesome to me as the Mama, but I think I could deal.
- No Place to “Come Home to” – I wonder if it would feel strange to only have a house on wheels. I wonder if we would want one familiar, stationary location to call home. I wonder about creating sufficient routine for young kids on the road. I think that having the same eating and sleeping space each day would suffice. I imagine if we missed a stationary home, we would set a reasonable end date for our life on wheels. But, these things still give me pause.
- No Sentimental “Junk” – Would we miss the Christmas ornaments people get out every year? Would we have room to bring “real” photo books to flip through? What would we do with all our kids’ art work that most people stash in an under-the-bed box or something? Keeping a permanent storage unit seems expensive and impractical. While I don’t think we’d miss much of the stuff overall, I do wonder about those items with sentimental value that seem so hard to completely do without.
- So Much Time Together!!! – If I’m honest, this is worrisome. Would we really enjoy so much together time in such a small space? If we drove each other crazy, what would the recourse be? I love my husband and my kids, and today I long for more time with them. Maybe not thaaaat much time though. Anyone feel me?
- “Normalcy” for our Kids – My biggest concern is if the RV lifestyle would suit our kids. I don’t think we would really know unless we tried it out, but I wonder about whether they’d like it. Would we be able to adequately homeschool them? Would they make short-term friendships, and how much would they lack by missing out on longer-term friendships? Would the adventure and life-learning and family time be enough to make up for the things they would miss out on?
On balance, I think RV living is definitely something we’re interested in trying, even if it’s just for a year or two. We plan to continue exploring the idea and learning from families who are pros at this lifestyle while we plug away at our financial goals that we need to meet to make that lifestyle change possible.
Thoughts or advice welcome!