You live in a what?
Chances are if you’re reading this, you’ve heard that phrase before. Or you are thinking of moving into an RV and are AFRAID of hearing that.
And it makes total sense. Living in an RV isn’t exactly “the tried and true path.” For the masses, it might seem like a crazy thing to do. But for you? It just might make sense.
Choosing to live in an RV is a personal decision. And each person has a different story leading up to their purchase. With different events unfolding to make it all come together.
Here are four events that led to buying and moving into an RV.
1. Having a Baby
Everyone knows that having a baby changes your life. Mostly because it’s all anyone wants to tell you when you’re pregnant.
What they don’t tell you is that it changes your life because it is stressful as all get out! The literal “having” the baby is hard, but the more literal “having the baby at home with you” is harder!
People fail to mention the more-popular-than-we-think Post-Partum Depression, or the way your body forgets how it feels to be normal, and (oh!) how it is nearly impossible to balance getting the right amount of help versus the right amount of bonding time with this new little creature.
To sum it up, having a baby was not fun for me.
I got hit with a huge dose of PPD, propelling me in a thousand different directions to distract myself. I was lost as a parent, and I knew something drastic had to occur in order to find purpose in my life as a mother.
This is the number one reason why I decided to go all in with RV living. I wanted that romantic feeling of motherhood and I knew my current lifestyle was distracting me in a million directions.
2. Husband’s Twelve Month Deployment
During my first year of marriage, I was filled with this incredible sense of guilt.
I had come into the marriage with $22k worth of student debt. Debt to me, was poison. I didn’t even have a credit card.
To ease the guilt, I worked a job below my skill set for the easy money. I worked while finishing up my master’s degree and up until the day Chelsea was born.
And 27 days after Chelsea was born, I trudged out into the snow and returned to that job, little seven pound baby in tow.
During that time, my husband was training. This meant we were not together.
We got used to being apart, falling back into our pre-marriage long-distance thing.
And when the opportunity to deploy came up, he snatched it.
He knew I wanted to pay off debt as quickly as possible. And he saw this as the perfect opportunity. I did too. Coupled with the depression I was unknowingly facing, I didn’t put up much of an argument about the idea.
He left for Afghanistan the day after Chelsea turned 6 months old. By the time he returned, his daughter was 3x older and no longer a baby.
By the time he came home 12 months later, I was a little less “foggy.” And I hated that he had missed out on so much because our number one priority was paying off debt instead of being together.
Transitioning back to normal family life was difficult, and when times were tough, I would hide from him. I would leave the room, close the door, or make an excuse about having to clean the bathroom, whatever it took to walk away.
Doing this stunted our growth.
I wanted my relationship back and I knew he wanted to be husband and Daddy again.
This is why choosing to live in an RV became more appealing to me. A smaller space would force us to confront our emotions and work through our issues.
There would be nowhere to hide!
3.Living With the In-Laws
When Ed deployed, we girls moved in with his dad and stepmother.
I had a large bedroom that was my sole responsibility. That was it. It was probably about a quarter the size I was used to, and very easy to keep neat and clean.
Of course, I tried my hardest to help with the rest of the house. But because it wasn’t mine, it was less stressful to clean up.
You know, kinda like when you’re a kid and have fun at your best friend’s cleaning and helping, but when you’re at home you start World War Three if anyone suggests you make your bed.
Strange how the brain works, huh?
While I was there, I really embraced a minimalist way of thinking.
I have always been pretty minimal, but after having a baby and being without my partner to help me with her, it really stuck.
Having so much stuff given to me for Chelsea was making me on edge, so I purged constantly. I joined a local minimalist group and attended meetings.
I started taking Chelsea on many trips because I had no husband waiting for dinner, because I was lonely, and because I love to see new places.
We went on a 2500 mile road trip together in that first month without Ed. Then we went to Florida twice. In the winter, we visited family in Kansas City. Chelsea hit her first birthday already having seen New York, Chicago, Boston, Detroit, and Canada.
I fell in love with travel through this little girl’s eyes.
Even though I was still struggling to find my way as a mom, I knew I wanted Chelsea to have a life full of wonder and adventure. I didn’t want her first year to be her most exciting.
Keeping this in mind, I knew choosing to live an RV might make this possible.
4.Failed Attempts at House Buying
A few months before Ed came home, I went house shopping.
I found a house and put an offer on it. It was accepted and the process started.
What a hassle!
This was my first time trying to buy a home. My husband was across the globe and I was doing everything through Power of Attorney. And our bank didn’t even have a physical location. And to top it off, the potential house was about 1000 miles away from my location.
As you can imagine, I was very meh about the whole thing.
In my mind, we had just gone through a year of being apart to pay off debt. And now we were tripling it? It didn’t make much sense to me. I really had an uneasy feeling about it.
But house buying is what you do, right? RIGHT?
It would be saving us money in the long run, right? RIGHT?
Ed finally came home and this deal ended up falling through. No big whoop.
So he flew to Alabama to scout out a new place, leaving me at home with Chelsea. (See how invested in the process I was?)
My only request was less than 1200 square feet. I even told him to pay more money for less space!
I was coming very close to the realization that stuff and space does not mean success. And it definitely doesn’t equate to happiness!
We put in a second –accepted offer only to have the deal fall through…again. This time, it was days before our big move.
What were we going to do?
Finally choosing to live in an RV.
Ed made a joke about living in an RV.
“Everyone in Alabama lives in a camper, Liz. Let’s just do that.”
I laughed but was secretly excited. After all, RVs were small and couldn’t hold a lot of stuff. This might have been his best idea yet!
Think choosing to live in an RV is for you? Or have you already made the decision? I’d love to hear your RV story in the comments!