One year! One whole year! I can’t believe it has been a year since we officially kissed suburbia goodbye and moved into a 41’7″ 5th Wheel looking for a life of adventure, exploration, learning, and reconnection. After months of researching, planning, and dreaming, we finally took the plunge! It has been adventure after adventure in “Our Moving House”!
We’ve been asked a lot of questions along the way. Here are some of the most common questions we get.
“Why? What made you want to live in an RV?”
That is a very reasonable question that I probably would have asked someone a few years ago, too! Here’s how it came to be…
We knew we wanted to move away from the area we were living in. Our first thought was to buy a house in San Angelo, TX, my hometown; where all of my family lives. We toyed with the idea of getting a small RV for Paul to travel in when he had to work out of town. Then, it progressed to maybe getting a slightly bigger RV, so we could all go with him when work called. The more we thought about it, the more excited we all got about the possibility of traveling with an RV. The idea progressed to maybe we could buy a house, for the investment of it, and rent it out, while we traveled. We went through the process, put our house on the market, eventually found a wonderful house in San Angelo, got an offer on our house, made an offer on the house we wanted, and then everything fell through. The family who was to buy our house, couldn’t get the financing, so, we had to release the house we wanted, and our house went back on the market. In the meantime, I started researching this idea of living fulltime in an RV a little further and found this whole community of people who were doing it by choice and were having a blast! I didn’t say anything to Paul because I was pretty sure he would think I’d lost my marbles. Ha! I just prayed for God to show us His will. Well, a few weeks passed and we got another offer on our house. That evening, Paul called a family meeting. We all sat down in the living room of our house and he asked a question. “Why do we want a house so badly? Is it because that’s what people expect us to do? Should we buy another house, a 30 year mortgage, just because that’s what is expected of us? Why don’t we just buy an RV and then we can be wherever we need to be, and we can be together.” I couldn’t believe my ears! There was no other answer aside from God’s prompting because…who does this? Who gives away the majority of their belongings to move into a camper and is excited about it? This was always our retirement plan, but with kids? The kids were pumped. We were pumped. We were ready for adventures. We didn’t have all the answers at this point, but we truly believed that God had closed certain doors and opened others. We had a plan! He had a plan!
Proverbs 16:3 “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”
“What do you do for work that allows you to travel like that?”
We run a media/marketing/installation business. The media/marketing side can literally be done from anywhere. We create TV and radio commercials, websites, social media management, company branding, etc. The installation side is cool because we are mobile. We can literally go wherever we need to. For example, we have spent this summer in Ohio helping out at a youth camp, getting their sound and lighting equipment updated and operational. We do a lot of installations in churches, since that is our background, but we have also installed audio/video/lighting systems in hospitals, boardrooms, gyms, and schools.
“What is the worst thing about living in an RV?”
We all have slightly different answers to this question. For me, it’s having a small kitchen and having a temperamental oven in our RV. I love to cook, so I do miss having the space to spread out a little more and bake. I keep saying that our next RV will have more counter space and a better oven. 🙂 Emily (12 years old) would say that at first, she would get a little homesick, but not really now. Tyler (7 years old) doesn’t like to camp where he can’t see the stars. Paul would say trying to keep the smell from the tanks under control. He says, “Sometimes you feel like you’re doing everything right, but you find out something still doesn’t work.” It’s an ongoing learning process! I think we all agree that we miss having a church home while on the road too.
“What is the best thing about living in an RV?”
We all love adventures and love to learn, but I think we would all say that the absolute best thing about living in an RV is how close we’ve grown together as a family. We also love being able to change our scenery.
“Don’t you get tired of each other?”
Ummmm…tired of each other? Not really. It’s more about making the small space work for 4 different people, often doing different things. Thankfully, our camper is big enough, with 2 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, that when we all have to be inside, we can spread out if necessary. We also spend A LOT of time outside. We actually really enjoy spending time together. It’s been really sweet this summer to watch the kids come together as best buddies again after going separate directions all week.
“Is it cheaper to live in an RV than a house?”
Our budget hasn’t changed drastically since we moved into the RV. Our RV loan became our house payment, our gas and camp fees became our utility bills, etc. It’s ended up being close to the same. We have cut back on the grocery budget and just buying extra junk we didn’t need anyways. We just don’t have the space to store it. I’m ok with that. The good news is…our RV will be paid off way before a house would be. The question remains on how well it will hold up as the years pass. So far, so good!
“What does your extended family think about you living in an RV?”
Thankfully, our extended family has been supportive from Day 1. They love to follow our adventures and are excited for our kids to experience so many different things. The nieces and nephews love to have sleep-overs with us! 🙂
“Are you still in ministry?”
Well, yes and no.
We are not in full-time vocational ministry anymore, but we are all about God’s business. We go where He leads and speak love and encouragement into the lives He places in front of us. Isn’t that what He asks us to do? Mark 5:16 “…Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” We have experienced God in so many ways this last year. It’s been incredible!
“What is your favorite place you’ve visited?”
Emily’s favorite was visiting Austin, TX and the Capitol Building. She thought that was the coolest thing ever!
Tyler’s favorite so far is going to the Cincinnati Zoo.
It’s hard to choose just one. Paul and I both loved the Davis Mountains near Fort Davis, TX. We loved seeing the stars in the pitch-black skies. It’s magical.
I also loved the Meeman-Shelby Forest in Tennessee, which backed onto the Mississippi River and Palo Duro Canyon, TX.
“What is the coolest thing you’ve learned about?”
Emily enjoyed learning all about the government workings in Austin. She was fascinated by sitting in a Senate Committee Meeting. I have enjoyed learning about the solar system. We love to star gaze. It was really cool to look through the huge telescopes at the McDonald Observatory and see Saturn with all of its glorious rings around it. I have also enjoyed learning the history of different places we’ve been; everything from Civil War battlegrounds, volcanic craters, to Native Americans. It has been incredible! Paul agrees that the coolest thing he’s learned about is the night sky and the universe.
“So, I guess you home school?”
Yes, we like to refer to it as “Road School” because we do a lot of learning on the road. The kids each do a grade level curriculum. We are currently digging www.allinonehomeschool.com. But, much of our education happens in a very organic way. We’ve learned about Native American Culture by visiting museums, recreated villages, and taking part in a Pow Wow. We’ve learned about space by going to museums, star parties, and stargazing with our Sky Guide app. We’ve learned about mining by actually mining for treasures, learning how to dry-sift and wet-sift. We’ve learned about the history of our country by visiting National and State Parks, museums, and historical places. We’ve learned about different rocks, soils, and minerals. We’ve explored caves, canyons, and mountains. We’ve learned about Monarch migration by standing right in the middle of it, with their wings humming above us. We’ve researched every wild animal we’ve come across and know all about their habitats, diet, and characteristics. We’ve learned about different states, their Capitals, and details about each one we’ve been through. So, I guess you can say that we “home school”. 🙂 Enjoy the slideshow overview of some of the cool things we’ve done and learned about!
“Do the kids miss their friends and family from home?”
Of course they do. We all do. But, in the technological world we live in, Emily still texts and FaceTimes her friends from home. They occasionally write letters. We send pictures, postcards, and call “home” regularly to talk to family. By the way, we have spent more time with family in the last year than we have probably in the last 10 years combined. We have made so many new friends along the way though, as well as met up with old friends.
“How long do you think you’ll do this for?”
As long as God allows us to! There is still so much we want to see and experience!
Any other questions you are curious about? Ask them in the comments!