A few months ago we were driving home from a long weekend of activities, family outings, and aimlessly spending money on things that we didn’t need. Daniel was mentally preparing for a long week at a corporate job where he was very generously paid, but extremely overworked. I was planning out the week ahead with the kids, working, appointments, classes, and everything in between. We looked over at each other and decided that this isn’t how we wanted to live anymore. We wanted to own our own time, make lifelong memories as a family, and try to fulfill a dream that we’ve always had (owning our own business). I have always been a planner. I had a 10 year plan when I was in high school and here it goes:
Graduate high school.
Move in with Daniel.
Buy a house.
Have a baby.
I did it. All of it, exactly how I planned and then some. I am so beyond thankful that we were able to work hard for the life that we have, but it left no room for adventure and spontaneity, sometimes we all just need to deviate from our plans and completely try something new.
And that is how it all started.
The next week we met with our realtor and prepped the house to be put on the market. Just a few short days later our house was officially for sale and within 2 days of being on the market we got an offer 50k over asking price! We were beyond shocked, and to our surprise we had to close in under 20 days. It came and went so fast. We put most of our belongings in a storage unit and had a yard sale or donated everything else. We ended up staying at my parents for a month while we were in the middle of buying our new truck and travel trailer. It was honestly the best month ever and I am so thankful we got to spend that extra special quality time with them before we left. Don’t get me started on that, we miss them so incredibly much and the only thing that keeps me going is knowing that they plan to move to where we are in the next few years and knowing we are planning lots of family trips to see each other for the time being.
We had a few must haves we needed in a RV. We went and toured so many and quickly learned what we wanted verses what we wanted to stay away from.
We went back and fourth on what we wanted to do, buy a more affordable one straight out or finance a super nice one. While it would have been nice to get the more luxurious option, we ultimately decided to buy the cheaper one with cash. We would have loved to get a fifth wheel, but knew we needed the back of the truck for the dogs to ride safely in so we opted for a 38ft travel trailer.
Having 2 bedrooms was my biggest must have. Going from a 5 bedroom, 4,200sqft house, it was something I couldn’t budge on. Isla needed her own space for her toys and to sleep comfortably without distractions. Another important thing was a bigger main bedroom. Almost all of the other RVs we looked at could literally only fit a bed in the room. We were lucky enough to find one with a slide in the main bedroom so we have an additional 5 feet at the foot of the bed which we are able to put Elliot’s pack and play at night. Our main bedroom also has 2 big closets which most other units didn’t have. We definitely sacrificed kitchen counter space when choosing the cheaper RV, but we like to make most of our meals in our outdoor kitchen and eat outside anyway so we are making it work.
Call us crazy (mostly me), but yes, we did buy a brand new travel trailer and completely remodel it. Home is something that is so important to me. How your home functions and feels had a direct impact on your day to day life, and although this was just a small RV, I still wanted the kids to feel comfortable and bring some familiarity of home with us.
We started out by removing the built in dinette/booth and uncomfortable sleeper sofa in the main area, we replaced those with a stand alone dining table and chairs and a 3 seater faux leather coach. In Isla’s room, we made one of the bunks a closet for Elliot and Isla to share, and made another one of the bunks a play area with toy storage. We got the entire interior painted white (so much better than the grey/brown walls and cabinets it had before) and replaced the black hardware with gold. We added an accent shiplap wall and wallpaper in a few areas and finished the space with some simple decor and curtains. We still have a few things we’d like to do (new backsplash, replace lighting, new faucet) but are really happy with how it all turned out. It truly does feel like a home and sometimes I seriously forget that we are in a RV.
Our plan (yes, I always have a plan):
We always new that Virginia wasn’t going to be our “forever home”. We planned to raise our children there but somehow got our entire family on board to move to a new state (when they’re ready) so we went ahead and took that first step. A few things we are looking for: warmer weather, water, and to be close to a city. But we also want space, and the ability to remodel our home to make it what we want. Two main cities were on the forefront of our list, Savannah GA and Charleston SC. So we set out fo figure out where “home” might be.
We started our trip out in mid May. We left to visit my sister in Wilmington. We actually really liked the area but were wanting a little less winter and a more historical place. We made a quick stop in Charleston (booking campgrounds in the Summer is sooo hard so it requires a lot of jumping around to find availability) and absolutely fell in love. It honestly caught us off guard because we both were impartial to the thought of Savannah. It’s hard to explain but we both had the same feeling when we were in Charleston, it truly felt like home, as cliche as that sounds. Everything was so perfectly intertwined, the nature, the city, the history, the water. After two short days exploring the state park and the city we headed down for a mini vacation at Hilton Head National RV Park. A few days later we made our way to Savannah, and to our surprise we were definitely let down. It just didn’t compare to Charleston. It definitely has it’s perks, but we were getting pulled back to Charleston. We stayed in Savannah for about a week before making our way back to Charleston where we stayed for a week before making our way down to Disney World for Isla’s 3rd birthday So where does that leave us? To be honest I’m not quite sure. We are kind of in this in between. We are looking for houses to buy or lots to build on but are more than happy waiting to find the perfect one. We are still exploring the area to find the specific neighborhood that we’d like to live in. We are in the process of starting our own real estate investing business where we will buy houses, flip them, then rent them out or sell them. In the mean time we are enjoying this once in a life time experience with our babies who are growing all too fast.