Baby Steps (posted by Bryan)

It has been a busy few months for us as usual.  Evidently since this is my first post on the blog!

Baby steps…getting towards something with initial small steps.  We’re working on that.  I’ve now had two occasions where I’ve gotten a taste of working on the road.  The first was in July during our vacation in Colorado.  Since I just started my new job in May (which is going to allow us to start traveling full-time!) I didn’t have enough vacation time for the entire trip.  I had to work one day.  Between wifi and my phone (AT&T) I figured I’d have enough connectivity to get my work done.

I was wrong.

I started to panic almost because, although I was connected, the download speed wasn’t fast enough for me to work.  I’ve found I need a 3.5 Mbps down minimum.  Thankfully one of our friends offered his phone (which was on Verizon) which had a better connection that allowed me to get my work done.  Lesson one learned.  I started researching more about mobile internet.

I spent the last week in Joplin visiting family and, since I was in a city, thought I would be fine.

Wrong again.

At least this time I could work from my mother-in-law’s house.  She had a 5 Mbps connection.  Even though there was an AT&T tower about 3 miles away I was in a valley and was only getting about 1-2 Mbps down.  I’d hoped to be able to work from my dad’s house next door since I knew I’d be up late but that wasn’t going to be.

I went to Joplin for family reasons–so our daughter could spend time with her grandparents and part of an afternoon and another day with my dad, aunt, uncle, and my aunt’s granddaughter who is a year younger than our daughter.  They always have a good time together.  I also took my mom from the nursing home to get her hair done and out to lunch for her birthday.  BethAnn came down Thursday night and on Friday we went to Arkansas to visit friends.  There I had zero signal.  I was done working by Friday afternoon, though.  We all got home Sunday and now today is Katelyn’s first day of kindergarten!

At first I didn’t think last week would be possible until I realized, “Wait, I can work anywhere I have decent internet!”  I had to work because I used all of my time off for our vacation.  Now I have really researched mobile internet and am gathering my shopping list.  Thankfully a lot of full-time travelers have done the homework on it already and I am grateful for it.  So, I’m working on changing my mindset.

The next step will be finishing the repairs on our Ford Excursion.  It’s almost done.  Then we can start taking bigger steps of getting rid of things we don’t need.

The debt of “stuff”

I’ve been in a funk today, I blame the dreary weather and post-vacation blues.  Thinking a lot about what it’s going to take to downsize.  I just don’t know what to do with all the stuff!  I’m thinking we’ll clear out the few things that have real sentimental value, one thing that comes to mind is our huge painting that was in Bryan’s grandparents’ house.  It’s been gorgeous hanging on the living room wall. It will go back to Joplin with Bryan’s dad.  I want to have a very small collection of those things though because sooner or later we’ll be dealing with them again.  I don’t want a storage unit.   There are some things we’ll need to keep and will be useful on the road.  Some tools, Katelyn’s favorite toys, some kitchen stuff, personal items we’ll move into our RV.  After that we still have lots of nice things that are meaningful, but we can’t keep them. We’ll pass them out to family if they want them and after that I’d like to have an open house and invite all our friends, for a free walk through.  Take what you want! I’d like it if some nice things went to friends.   Then a rummage sale with plenty of free stuff or box deals.  And after that donate or trash the rest.  The less stuff I have to physically remove from the house myself, the better.  I cleared out a lot when we moved to our house but that was 8+ years ago!  We’ve since had a child and accumulated a ton of stuff. It’s definitely overwhelming.  We have not purged much in those 8 years.  This is what “the debt of stuff” means.  At some point you have to deal with all of the stuff you have accumulated.  We’d still be doing this even moving to a different house.  Moving into a much smaller space makes it harder though.  I find it interesting that at this point I’m more stressed out about the process of downsizing than I am about getting rid of my stuff.  I’m not worried I’ll miss it.  I won’t.  I just don’t know what to do with it!  I want a simpler life with more experiences and less things.  I know there will be things that will be harder to part with but I’m ok with it, I want to explore.  We’ve been in Missouri too long!  I cried again this year on our way home from vacation out west.  8 hours driving East through Kansas gives you lots of time to think.  I’m so ready to move on but we have to downsize before we can move on. That is the hard part.