Finding new resources

Last week I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and wondering how we would be able to pull everything together. There are so many things to figure out and even more we need to do. It’s been just about 5 months since we started seriously discussing our “pipe dream”. Since then we’ve changed our core plan and moved up our launch date by a year!

Last Saturday we went to our first RV show in St. Louis! It was so hot out in the sun on the asphalt all afternoon, the RVs were parked close together so the shade I’d imagined having under the awnings wasn’t available-hardly any of the awnings were set up. The highlight of the trip was the first RV we toured, it was already our favorite after our online research. It was a Highland Ridge bunkhouse hopefully our soon-to- be next home! It has some very nice construction and design features including better insulation than most RVs. The floor plan is great for us! It also has lots of storage. It looked good online but seeing it in person was awesome! The quality of the construction was apparent, especially compared to some others we looked at. I walked inside and immediately loved it. We all loved it! I wish we could have bought it! But we are looking to buy a used one early next year so that’s where our focus is shifting now. This model hasn’t changed much over the last few years so we’re hopeful we can locate a nice used one even if it means a road trip.

I’ve been feeling anxious about Katelyn’s road schooling and I was really excited to find Timberdoodle. They have a lot of resources! I looked at the first grade curriculum package and I really liked all of the items. They will let you customize the kits too, so I can add or delete things or make substitutions, which is nice! I especially like the handbook and schedule planners that come with the curriculum kits. I’ll be researching more but so far I really like this and it’s a strong contender. I know lots of people are successful at creating their own curriculum but I’m new to this and I like the idea of having a complete kit to work with. There will be plenty of supplemental and real-world education and experiences we’ll provide on our own but I want to make sure we cover the basics too! There is so much to learn! I think a good foundation is really important for Katelyn’s education. The materials in the Timberdoodle pack are also widely available elsewhere and the majority of the reviews are good. I was feeling anxious but after looking at this, I’m feeling really excited about teaching Katelyn!

The last neat thing I have to share right now is Campendium! This is fairly new but in a nutshell it is a directory of camping spots nationwide, searchable with filters, that provides reviews, photos, directions, prices, and even cell phone connectivity strength (which is a huge priority for us because we will be living this lifestyle full-time and our livelihood depends on dependable internet access). It includes tons of options for free dry camping on public land (aka “Boondocking”) which is what we plan to do the majority of the time. Our goal is NOT to move out of our country house and into a life of perpetual RV parks! We want to spend most of our time in the great wide open out in nature! We’ll be posting more about how we’ll be doing that in upcoming blogs-in particular how we plan to use solar power to meet our RV energy needs!

Cold feet and statistics

I’ve been researching so many travel trailer manufacturers, looking at construction and quality and my brain is over-loaded.  We have so many things to consider.  Going full-time, we are looking at the best quality we can afford.  The specs are overwhelming.  Yikes!  What do we need??

Katelyn.  How can we possibly give her the education and socialization she needs if we are full-time RVing and planning to boondock most of the time?  I’m looking at solid curriculum for math and reading and not that worried about the rest, for now.  She is already socially gifted.  I think she gets that from my dad.  He never knew a stranger and she doesn’t either!!  But she is only five so I feel a fierce need to protect her and monitor any interactions she has with adults.  I worry about her not making close friends she will see and interact with over a long period of time.  That said, I moved twice when I was young and it was difficult. I have very few friends I’ve maintained since elementary school.   There is something to be said for making friends and moving on and some of my best friends now are long-distance ones we maybe see once a year.  It’s on my mind though.  I want Katelyn to have meaningful relationships with other kids.

What happens if we get on the road and hate it?  How do we go back?  That’s pretty simple.  We just settle down somewhere.  Easier said than done but we’d be in the prime situation to do it.  Where??  Every place we love we can’t really afford right now.  Part of the draw for RV living.  Besides the fact we don’t want to live in an apartment and we love our space.  But we hate the property maintenance and upkeep.  And I love the freedom traveling will give us.  I’ve said many times I’d be happy living in a tent on the beach.  That isn’t exactly accurate though, I wouldn’t like that long-term.  But an RV is the happy medium between the traditional “sticks and bricks” house and tent living.

Cold feet?  I think we’re insane to consider this. Have I mentioned our two huge dogs we will be bringing along??  What are we doing?  But I get tears in my eyes when we leave the west to drive home after vacation.  I get tears when I think about leaving here, in our RV, to explore the great wide open.  I get tears thinking about how fast my daughter is growing up, mostly with me not being present because I’m working.  I spend painfully little time with her.  At the same time, I don’t think I would be happy being a stay at home mom.  I crave more than that.  I would probably go insane doing that.  But travel schooling, I could do that.  I very deeply believe this is the path we need to take, all things considered.   It feels  kind of like we are going to jump off a bridge!  But it also feels like the right thing for us. This is so US.  Travel and adventure.  I’m looking forward to getting on the road.