Wowza 2020

WOW!!!!!! Life has been an absolute blur since my last blog post. I don’t even know where to begin or what to really dive into.

Good news first I guess- We are living in our fifth wheel full time now!!

Not so good news next- We experienced our first hurricane while we were still living in Pensacola. Thank you crazy 2020 for making sure we experienced a hurricane before leaving (insert eye roll here).

Before this, during all of the years we lived in Pensacola, we had only experienced tropical storms. Hurricane Sally hit Pensacola hard and even though she was only a category 2, there was still plenty of destruction and devastation. We were very lucky and did not experience any serious damage. Our fifth wheel had been delivered just a few days before the hurricane hit, so we consider ourselves very lucky that it did not get damaged at all. So many people in the community experienced awful devastation to their homes and belongings, and our heart still hurts for them.

Because of Hurricane Sally, our last week in Pensacola did not go as we had imagined. We didn’t have power returned to the house before we left, so it made emptying the house, attempting to clean it, and moving into the fifth wheel an interesting challenge. Somehow, we were able to pull it off though. My mother in law was extremely helpful with our two kids during those few days. I don’t know if we would have been able to do it without her- so thanks again Jackie!!

Before the hurricane, we had imagined saying goodbye to Pensacola in a much better way… having dinner with friends, playing at the beach, visiting our secret bayou spots, seeing friends for the last time in a while…but we didn’t get to do those things. Once the hurricane hit, we had to shift our priorities. We are planning on returning to the area in 2021, so we will just have to make up for it all then I guess!

So fast forward to now, we are living full time in our fifth wheel in South Eastern PA. Matt and I both grew up here, so we are visiting friends and family and enjoying autumn. Matt is also working at a family business while we’re here which is great! We think we will stay here for a couple of months and then continue traveling.

Our first experience traveling full time felt very busy and overwhelming! So it feels good to be staying put somewhere for a little bit while we get used to tiny life. I will do a more detailed blog post of our first travel experiences soon!

Learning to live minimally

A big part of full time RV life, means living tiny/living minimally. When you’re living in a 34 foot camper with your family, you can only bring so much stuff with you. For some people, this may seem crazy or drastic, but we are SO excited to live with less.

Less clutter. Less cleaning up. Less toys to pick up. Less random little things that you don’t even know why you have. And spending less money on things we don’t actually need. We are also going to be buying things second hand much more frequently. Buying brand new is not always important.

We have been de-cluttering and purging for months and months. We have been fortunate to be able to go through this process slowly and not in a mad rush in a short period of time.

Our process has been pretty simple-
If it won’t fit in the camper- it’s not coming (obviously).
If we haven’t used it in a year, we don’t need it.
If we haven’t worn it in a year, we don’t need it.
If the kids only play with it once a month, they don’t need it.
If it’s been sitting in a drawer and we totally forgot it even existed…we don’t need it!!

And guess what! Guess how many things we have missed after they’re gone. NONE! ZERO! We have not missed anything that we’ve sold or donated. Our kids have not even missed anything. They haven’t even asked where something has gone.

It has been so liberating to go through this process. We very quickly realized how much junk and nonsense we have accumulated over our lives. And that’s all most of it really is…just junk. Just stuff that clutters up our homes.

We have been listening to some enlightening podcasts about living a minimalist lifestyle. This has been very helpful to my husband, who forms emotional attachments and stories to physical things. Getting rid of things has been more difficult for him than for me. I tend to just toss things in the trash without a second thought. Where my husband has to think over it for a while. This is also eye-opening to me.

If I have no problem throwing something in the trash, selling it, or donating it, was it ever really worth the money we spent on it? How much money have we wasted on things that we will just throw in the trash later? As we have been selling items, we have realized how much money we have lost. We have been selling a lot of our things on facebook marketplace and craigslist. You never get the price you bought the item for originally, and if you add up all of that loss…(mind blown)

We are essentially now retraining ourselves in how we want to be consumers.

And not to get all philosophical on you, but why do we feel the need to buy all of these brand new sparkly things anyway?? Our society is SO TRAINED to just spend money, and buy new things. Buy the new model. Upgrade. Keeping up appearances with all of our shiny, new, fancy things. It’s so ridiculous, fake, and superficial.

One category of physical things has been more difficult for us to sort through and pare down. Our sentimental objects, like pictures, or family items have been much more difficult to purge. My mother died when I was just 5 years old, and I have very few items that were hers. So the items that I do have, I am most definitely keeping. My mothers dishes, photographs from my childhood, my baby book, and important letters were just not something I could part with forever. So we are saving about 4 bins of items like this, and are leaving them with trusted friends. But that’s all we’re leaving behind. Everything else we own will be with us.

my mom and I

We do not know how long we will live this nomadic lifestyle. Maybe 6 months, maybe a year, maybe even longer than that. But once we do settle down somewhere we will return to Pensacola to retrieve our sentimental items that we are storing. When we do eventually decide to put down roots again, we will be starting fresh. We will continue our minimalist lifestyle in a new home and new place. We will purchase items that bring true value to our life. We will purchase second hand items. We are learning from our experiences, and will be able to continue living this way.

Making memories with my children and husband is so much more important to me than physical things.

This is what is working for us and our family. This is the life we are choosing to live and what brings us joy. It is most certainly not for everyone, and we are definitely not judging anyone for the way they choose to live their lives! You do you boo boo!!