I REALLY can’t believe we are doing this; this wasn’t OUR plan!
The last 3 years for our family has certainly have been about transition and change. Change is never easy but it grows you and makes you stronger, if you allow it.
About 5 years ago, our family made some major lifestyle changes from our diet, healthcare and the environment around us. This is where we got the name for our blog, “There Goes the Neighborhood.” We found ourselves wanting to lead a simpler way of life; like growing our own food, raising animals and letting our kids run freely and just be kids. You know like going on adventures, making mud pies, catching reptiles and insects, etc. I’m okay with it as long as they don’t bring them in the house. So, 3 years ago we sold our house and started looking for land outside of the Austin area, but never felt at peace in that idea. A family vacation to Tennessee confirmed what we were feeling and why. Tennessee is where we felt at peace.
We have waited and trusted faithfully for the Lords guiding in this direction He is leading us. And, the last 3 years have taught us to wait on his timing. Gods timing rarely lines up with ours, but timing in the Lord is everything. You don’t want to get to your destination before he’s ready for you to be there; as we have learned this hard way in past times. We are still planning on Tennessee, but not quite yet!
10 years ago, I had a vision about traveling as a family, full-time. Then, a few years back the Lord reminded me of that vision. The desire to travel has been burning in me more and more for over the last year and a half. I like adventure, and gosh, there is so much in the world to see. So no better time than the present. Matt and I decided to down-size our belongings, trade in my mini-van (sniff, sniff) for a BIG truck, buy a Fifth wheel and hit the road. We’ve had garage sales, sold stuff online and made SEVERAL trips to donate “stuff”. I’m sure half of the Thrift store looks like our apartment. Boy, have we down sized, reorganized and every other kind of “ized” you can think of!
I keep thinking about Back to the Future, where Doc says, ” Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.” But we are going to need lots of good roads where we are going!!!
I know y’all are curious and full of questions…. Like, why did you decide to do this? What did you buy? How are you going to live in that small of a space? How are you going to afford this? What about the kids’ school, etc.????
Welp, I’ll be glad to answer them.
Why did you decide to do this and how are all of you going to fit all of you in that small of a space?
We believe, for our family, going full-time will be really good for us. I think it will bring us closer together as a family by allowing for more connection and bonding. The last few years we have down-sized and simplified with less and have found it to be very freeing. Clutter can distract you from your spouse and your children. Honestly, I believe that less stuff means more freedom. For myself and my oldest daughter having less clothes has sure been a challenge, but more so for her than me! This is also meant to bring healing to our bodies (more on this at a later time). Plus, there is so much out there to see and we have been blessed with a perfect opportunity to go seek adventure! While it is only 430 sq. ft., we are only taking what we feel gets used the most.
What did you buy?
After much research and shopping for an RV; all over the state of Texas, literally, from North Texas to Houston to San Antonio; even made a trip out West. It was no easy task to find the right 5th wheel to accommodate this large of a family we have. We finally purchased a 2015 Open Range 427BHS (bunkhouse). We needed a large enough space for the kids and for them to have their own beds, a residential fridge (since our diet heavily depends on fresh food), lots of storage and our adult space, plus, 2 bathrooms was a must. The down-sizing isn’t that bad since we have been living in a 1,200 sq. ft. apartment for 2.5 years and have already scaled down a lot. Yes, at times I have hated the apartment life, but I think us traveling will have many more benefits than being stuck in the same spot.
How on earth are you going to afford traveling full-time?
Well, Matt got laid off from his job last December. He started doing contract work for a small start-up, which led to him starting his own Design and Drafting business. He works from home now and has a lot more freedom. So, this was the main reason we are able to follow our dreams and decided to travel. We are also hoping to pay off more debts while on the road.
What about the kids’ school?
Easy! We already homeschool so nothing will change there.