One week ago, we started our journey. We officially became “full time RVers.” At some point I will go into the detail of the process of how we did it, but most people have been asking us why we did it.
Why on earth did we decide to uproot our lives and move across the country? And, on top of that, why did we decide to live in a 20-foot travel trailer?
To be honest, it’s not all that easy to explain. I’ve been trying to answer this myself since we made the decision to move (which was a little over 6 weeks ago), and I haven’t gotten very far.
We had a wonderful life in Charlotte. We had a house, an absolutely stellar group of friends, most of my family was local, and Charlotte and her surrounding areas were fantastic. There was nothing wrong with our life. We had every reason to stay. Almost.
At some point, Chris and I came to the realization that we were still in Charlotte due to convenience, not due to choice. So, we discussed the idea of moving. He was graduating soon and there were plenty of opportunities scattered around the country. Somewhere in that discussion, Chris started joking that we should just sell all of our stuff and live in the woods. And, as we kept discussing it, the idea didn’t seem so crazy. We both loved traveling, and we both had a love affair with the outdoors. Chris, after all, left his hometown shortly after high school to join the Army to see the world (errr…desert?). I grew up traveling and camping with my family and had caught the “travel bug” early in life.
If we had it our way, we’d pack up our lives (friends and all) and spend our time traveling the world. Since that wasn’t possible (at least, not YET), we decided on the next best thing: let’s go to a part of the country we’d always wanted to visit, but never had the chance to. And, while we are at it, let’s make sure we do it in a way that doesn’t tie us down.
It was a crazy notion, and part of me believed it would just be a fun exercise – never really thinking that it would actually happen. Then everything fell into place. Chris received a job offer as a park ranger in Oregon – a dream job. What started as a joke quickly became a reality. Within a few weeks we had sold our house, sold or stored most of our belongings, and drove across the country.
And now, here we are, and I’m still waiting for some sort of breakdown. To have a moment of “oh, !@#$ – what did we just do?!” I’ve been waiting for regret to hit me. But the funny thing is…it hasn’t come, and I’m not sure that it will. Don’t get me wrong: I already miss my friends, my family and my hometown, but I know that I can always come back to them. I desperately miss the things that are known, but what I crave even more is to explore the unknown.
We did this because we want to step outside every day and just breathe. We want to explore this beautiful country. We want to focus on the things that are most important to us, and not the things that are important to others. We want to hike and camp and kayak and live…simply. This world is too big and too beautiful to not experience at least some of what it has to offer. To be able to do this, to live untethered, is nothing short of a dream come true.
I know it will be hard at times and it’s not going to be all campfires and marshmallows, but I’m ready. I’m ready to get absolutely filthy trying to get setup in the pouring rain. I’m ready to get hopelessly lost and end up pulling into a Walmart parking lot past midnight just to catch a few hours of rest. I’m ready for our dogs to smell and splash mud all over everything we own. I’m ready for the arguments and sniping that will inevitably come along with living in 100 square feet with two people and two dogs. I know at some point I will end up questioning whether or not we did the right thing…because, in the end, I know that simply trying is the right thing.
If at the end of all of this we decide it’s not the life for us, that’s okay…because we did it. We listened to what our souls were craving and we went out there and we lived.