If there is one thing I can say about my approach to anything that I am focused on or committed to, it is that I am thorough. Very thorough. If I can’t be thorough, I generally just don’t bother. Before we bought our RV, a lot of research was done. I scoured the internet for all things RV related. There is an interesting twist though because I am also very impulsive.
In the past my thoroughness has perhaps slowed me down and caused me delayed decision making and even tons of late homework assignments in my school years. My theory is that my impulsiveness is a learned mechanism that I have incorporated into my psyche to balance my thoroughness…Or maybe it is the other way around…? Anyway, balance is important. Perfectionism and the intense anxiety surrounding it can make a person physically ill if they don’t lighten up and go with the flow every now and again. Trust me, I know from experience.
There are all these slogans and quotes like, “Just do it” and “Perfection is the enemy of good enough” and “You will regret the things you don’t do more than things you do.” These are all pretty good for me to an extent, they are words of wisdom that I try to remind myself of when I start over thinking things… Or as my husband, Rob says, “being German.”
Having said that, I tried to convince Rob that we should live in a van and become “van dwellers.” I was very serious about this. This conclusion that I reached with such confidence was a combination of both my tendency to “over think” as well as this newly embraced impulsive nature. Rob never outright said “no”. He just tried to keep me focused on the task at hand which was, RV shopping. He said, that I was “changing the plan” and “confusing him” and that we should just do the thing we set out to do in the first place which was “get an RV!” He didn’t want to just jump in all at once and said if we loved extended periods of time in the RV, we could talk about being “VanDwellers” at some point in time, when we had more experience… Well played Rob, well played!
You see, in all of my scouring of the internet in search of the “perfect RV”, I found this wonderful and brilliant website, Cheap RV Living and it’s sister sight, Cheap Green RV Living. It spoke to me in so many ways! And even though “RV” is in the title of this site, it is more about “VanDwelling”. Please, please, please take some time to explore these sites and read the stories!
Why it appeals to me:
- Conservation of resources, the idea seems so logical, this would be a great way to save money!
- DIY! I love a project! I love the idea of converting a van to a living or working space. The conversions on the site are quite inspiring. And the size of the project is manageable!
- Independence and self sufficiency.
- Ability to pick up and travel any time. I embrace and welcome a change of scenery.
- Simplification of lifestyle. I honestly believe that the more stuff one has, the more complicated life becomes. People actually spend time and energy WORRYING about their stuff.
- Sense of adventure and a longing to really “live”, serious wanderlust.
- I still harbor a spark of rebelliousness. “Fuck the establishment!” Amiright???
In any case, I read all of the stories and experiences and that led me to search for more such accounts of adventurous living. I worked up a pretty fabulous and romantic fantasy in my head of how we would live life on the road in a way cool van! It would be like living inside of a fucking stealth Transformer van/house that we perfectly customized with all of our desired requirements, like secret passageways, a crazy slide and a candy dispenser in the dashboard! It’s gonna be so rad!!! Dude, how could you not want that?
When I get what may initially seem like “harebrained” ideas, Rob doesn’t shut me down. He goes along with me and slowly neutralizes the situation until we both distill the essence of what it is I am after. Though, I still think that van dwelling is an excellent idea, I concede that it is not ultimately the best situation for us. Though someday, I am totally going to convert a van into a living or working space. I want to do that project!
Some people would say I have A.D.D., like the overmedicating shrink I had in high school. Personally I think I just like to multitask and explore my options. Life is short and the world is vast, which can be overwhelming. There is a lot to see and do. I don’t want to limit myself with the constructs of what is socially popular. I would hate to make the wrong decisions as a result of not thoroughly exploring my options. I know I’m not alone in this sentiment.
In any case the idea of “full timing” in our travel trailer, maybe, possibly down the road in the long and distant future was now something we were sort of, kind of, maybe thinking about… And it was something that we were definitely keeping in the back of our minds while we were RV shopping. Even if it was just something we tried out for a few months or just for a summer… we were thinking about it, and we purchased our RV accordingly.
Guess what? The future is here! The future is now! It will probably take a few more blog posts to get you up to speed on how exactly we arrived here at this exact junction in the “future” but nevertheless, we are arrived. Incase I have been too cryptic, we are moving into the Apex!
We currently live in an 1800 sq. ft. foot house, built in 1939 on over an acre of land. After living in a 700 square ft. apartment near downtown Austin built in the 1980‘s and being in a band and trying to rehearse, write and record albums in that space with paper thin walls, it was incredible to move out to this semi -rural, very private land in South Austin, and finally finish our third album in a huge old house with lovely wood floors… It was great to have space to practice and teach yoga, it was great to make an outdoor shower and fire pit in our back yard. It was amazing to be able to use the house and land for several writing, photography, film and music video projects. And to each have our own offices to work out of. And make as much noise as we wanted… This is a great house in which to realize and see any number of artistic projects through. We even made our own batch of wine here!
But now we are ready for a change.
We want and need to be more mobile. We want and need to save more money. We want and need to be able to afford to commit more time to our creative pursuits, as well as leisure pursuits like hiking, surfing, dancing, climbing, skiing or visiting family in other parts of the country. We are ready to be a little more social and closer to downtown again. We crave water; lakes, streams, rivers, oceans, or even just a pool or hot tub. It is time to move…
What one needs in life is not a static and fixed thing. Human beings are dynamic creatures that ebb and flow like a winding river. What we have come to realize is that we absolutely DO NOT NEED all of this space. We do not have or want kids, we do not have or want a mortgage, we don’t have a big dog, Rob hates mowing the acre of lawn we are living on and we want more freedom both physically and financially to move about. After all, we need to save money so we can find and buy land to build that tiny house we have been dreaming of! Also, we are really compatible (perhaps to the point of codependence) when it comes to sharing small spaces together for extended periods of time, it doesn’t bother us. So, why the hell not? The status quo will always be there, waiting for us, if we choose to return.
The house, that we are living in is amazing; and living in it has fostered a tremendous amount of creativity as well as clarity. There will be plenty of things that we miss about living here, but it is time to move on. We can’t forget that being in this house is what prompted the creativity and unorthodox, yet totally logical decision making that led us to the new experience that we are about to embark upon. It is time for someone else to live in this house and let it nurture and push them to be brave in pursuing their hearts desires*.
We officially made the decision in mid July after returning from a glorious trip West (that is another blog on the burner, coming soon!). Our last day here at Casa 1626 will be September 30th. In the meantime, we are giving away, selling and donating the vast majority of our worldly possessions. Be sure to follow along and subscribe to my blog as we make this massive transition to tiny living and continue to live, learn, travel and explore!
*A side note to this blog is that coincidentally, the three hippies that were renting this house prior to us moving in, left by way of a school bus that they converted into an RV and drove to Costa Rica. Makes you wonder…