Seven weeks into our “adventure”, we’re finding the transition from three bedroom house to one bedroom – 31 foot motor home has been less of a challenge than we had imagined. Doing more with less has become a way of life; but we are not feeling deprived. In fact, we find ourselves enjoying a rich abundance of warmth (Florida in the winter, don’t you know), new affiliations (I am now a “Moose”), and proving that one can be financially responsible & productive on the road!
Our RV camp is close to several beaches and we have strolled the sands and enjoyed picturesque sunsets. Last Monday, we met a couple enjoying the setting sun at Apollo Beach. Snowbirds from Ohio, they return weekly for “Margarita Monday” and we plan to join the party for some of the future displays.
We both contine to work, mostly mornings, so that our afternoons & evenings are free to both roam and meet people, who might be possible business partners. Our zero debt goal remains an important target. We are proving that you can travel the country on a budget, have tons of fun, and generate income. You just need to move a little bit outside the proverbial comfort zone. As the guys at Nike say, “Just Do It!” Knock on wood, “we are doing it”!
Three weeks on our adventure. The traveling to reach Florida was so much fun. The view from the panoramic front windows is breath taking as you see the mountains and valleys roll by. Stopping in Winchester VA and seeing the Lewis clan there just awesome. We were treated to two delicious home cooked meals with the best company in the world. Then on to Florida with some interesting boondocking – Walmart and Cracker Barrel. One tire adventure along the way but found the experience pleasant with some great help along the way. Maxi our dear dog adjusting to his new home along the way. Seemed fine as long as he knew we were there.
Now having spent some time actually living in this tiny space, I notice that I do not really miss the”stuff” I left behind. Miss my friends and family and routines but not the material things. I can live with less!
One bout with ants and we quickly learned how important anti bug stuff sprayed around tires and wires outside can be. We did a little as advised by friends but not enough. Lesson listen well to the locals and ask questions.
Cooking is an experience who knew it could take an hour to boil water using propane gas. So pasta and hard boiled eggs can be a challenge. Adjusting to this as well. Went to a potluck at our RV park and learned a lot. Crockpots rule!
Laundry duties seem to be back in my court as we now do that once a week at the shared laundromat. Good way to mingle though. Hoping Dave and I will take turns with this chore. But then again he is dealing with the grey tank and the black tank and all the “daring” that goes on.
Exploring the area has begun. Beaches and rivers and restaurants and pet stores. Maxi goes to the doctor on Monday. The little growth on his head is getting bigger. We may have to have it removed. We shall see. Many dogs here so he is making friends at the dog park.
Much more to share as we meet locals and other snowbirds. So far it is a great adventure. Will look forward to more sharing as the months go by.
We are one full week into our adventure; learning to live in a smaller space and adjusting to some new realities. For example, one person cooks and the other cleans afterward. There is simply not enough room for two persons to work collaboratively at our stove/fridge/sink.
The drive South was enjoyable: time with Scott, Jason, and families. We also stopped at “attractions” along the way: Andersonville to connect with a fallen shirttail ancestor ( who turned out to not be who we were told; my ancestor did not appear on their computer, but I later found him on another site) and an out of season botanical garden park that gave us needed exercise and centering. We also “boondocked” – camped free at Wallymart & Cracker Barrel) & got a free stay at an RV camp at Lady Lake, Florida). Recreation Plantation offers a free first night!!! One challenge centered on a bad rear tire, but we handled that like real experienced RV types.
Interesting contact at the botanical garden near Gainesville, Florida. Middle aged couple, walking the park with their daughter; toured the country in a converted van at the end of the 90’s. They were worried about Y2K and decided to see the nation’s wonders; they seemed a younger us, touring to see those same wonders, before the new reality converts them to private enterprise. Hopefully, they will still be there for our grandchildren, if they get the wanderlust. Anyhow, this couple (from the mountains of North Carolina), reached the Adirondacks after many months and became homesick for their own mountain homes. Returning home, they went to work, started a family, and kept a pleasant memory. Perhaps they are following our blog…
We are now stationary for a couple months. There is work to do and we need to fully acclimate to our new life. This location is occupied by other campers who, I expect will teach me much about their unique and “conservative”view of the world, this nation, and I future they see; one that causes me concern. I fear it is less “conservative” than limited in world view; but, I am listening…
We are now committed! We’ve told too many people and our house is rented. If it were only that simple. For now, many issues have arisen that we had not considered. Not “deal breakers”, but affecting decisions that must be addressed. One problem; towing our car.
In the beginning, we thought that towing our car (behind our Class A motorhome) was a “no-brainer”. Certainly we wanted the option of convenient, affordable transportation once we settled for a couple weeks in one location. But towing is more complicated than we had thought!
Our motor home is an older model; perhaps the added weight would place undo stress on the engine. Gas mileage is already low at 8 mpg and towing a heavy car would reduce that even more. We also found that most cars cannot be pulled along flat; an expensive tow-dolly or trailer must be purchased. Added expense and we are on a budget.
Ultimately, we decided to drive both vehicles separately; at least to Florida, where we will stay & promote our business for three months. We need to learn to live in this fiberglass box and create some good habits. Being without a car will be impossible and long-term renting appears too expensive. That said, after we move westward, we plan to store our car and short-term rent cars when needed. Our friend, Susan Keith at VIP Travel in Rochester, NY will be helpful and I recommend her to you, without reservation (pun intended)! She has made our other travels convenient and we always save money!
Please comment and stay with us, along the way. Photos & videos will be forthcoming. We will be “on the road” December 26!!!
We had a plan; two years, become debt free working our Melaleuca business, then buy a recreational vehicle, and travel the country in search of America. Simple plan, very doable; but sometimes well-thought plans are affected by the desire to live with no regrets.
Let me introduce ourselves; Sharon and Dave Lewis and our trusty dog, Maximus! I guess you describe us as semi-retired, debt-burdened (no different than most our age), quietly adventurous, people who wish not to reach our life end having too many experiences not enjoyed. Sharon is a former college administrator now doing consulting & field research. Dave is a former counselor & college professor turned entrepreneur. Maximus is a dog!
Long story short; we happened upon a “previously enjoyed”, 31 ft. motor home (13 years old, low mileage) Four Winds Hurricane! It called to us and all of a sudden, it’s ours! Well, we can’t just let it sit there! So we began thinking of the foolish adventure that we can’t afford, is completely irresponsible, is not reasonable, and that we just have to do! Our “why nots” supersede the better play safes.
So here is the adventure and we invite you to follow along (sometimes Dave will write, sometimes Sharon), there will be video and there will be photos. If you are near where we are; come for a visit or travel along. Know that we continue to work and that we will be doing this on a budget! The beauty of our business is that we can work wherever! More about that later!!!
We have rented our home for a year. Toward the end of December, we will head south and spend a couple months in a warmer climate and adapt to life in a rectanglar box. After that, we reevaluate and hopefully head westward. Along the way, we hope to discover America; the one we are confident remains, tolerant, loving, hopeful.
Now, we are making sure everything in the motorhome works as it should and planning what to pack, what to store, and living each day with the nagging question, “what have we done?” See you down the road…
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