There’s something about camping. I don’t know if it’s the smell of wood smoke in the fall, s’mores over the fire, or looking at a starry night sky. Maybe it’s that first cup of coffee on a misty morning, reading a good book in the sunshine on a lazy afternoon, or taking a walk after dinner for no reason. I do know it’s a way of life that I absolutely love.
Two years ago, Jim and I made the decision to adopt the RV lifestyle full time. It’s the best decision we’ve ever made. Our days are relaxing and stress free. Every day is open to create whatever we please. I wouldn’t trade it for anything, and if you’re thinking about it, I would highly recommend it.
It took us roughly a year from the time we made the decision to the time we actually pulled out on the road. We spent several months deciding what type of RV we wanted. There are so many to choose from, and we knew we needed something that would be super comfortable for us. I, of course, needed a fully functioning kitchen. Jim needed plenty of storage for tools and man stuff. We needed to be fully self-contained and able to dry dock for up to a week at a time. We looked at so many different ones, but finally the perfect RV showed up.
The most difficult part of all of this, was selling our belongings. We let go of everything. We reduced our belongings down to enough clothing for one week, items we needed for the kitchen, tools, towels and linens etc. We kept our computers, printer, camera, and dvd player. We reduced our keepsakes and memories down to one tote each. This was the most difficult part. We kept the things that were most important to us, momentos, pictures, journals, cards from the kids and such. What we had to remember was that they are just things. The question we would ask is “Are we going to let this item stop us from the adventure of a lifetime?” That would always put things into perspective. I can’t say some tears weren’t shed in the process.
There’s nothing wrong with loving and enjoying your stuff. If you’re happy with where you are in life, that’s ok. But, if your stuff is preventing you from achieving what you want, it’s time to let it go. In talking with others, I’ve heard comments such as “I’d love to do what you’re doing, but. . .(Insert reason here.)” The house will be paid off in a few years, we just redid our floors, we just bought a new car, I can’t leave my job, I’ve worked so hard for everything I own. It’s just stuff. And in the next breath they proceed to talk about how exhausted they are, they can’t wait to retire, life is so stressful. All I can say is, change it. It’s your life. How do you want it to be? The minutes of your day are yours to spend. How are you going to spend them? Who are you going to give them to? Just something to think about.
We spent three months selling off our belongings. We held a “house” sale rather than a yard sale. I put price tags on everything and let people walk through and pick what they wanted. We let go of a 73″ flat screen television, a race car and trailer, my coffee and end tables that I absolutely loved, a ford pickup, all of my favorite dishes and serving ware, a really great Steelers collection, all of my favorite wall art etc. We also filled a thirty yard dumpster. There were times we felt like we would never see the end. It wasn’t easy, but we’re not sorry. It’s the best thing we ever did.
It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you set your focus on it. We had some pretty surprising things happen that just proved to me the universe was conspiring to make our dream a reality. We have a decorated box with a lid that we were stuffing our money from the sales in. I call it my magic money box. Now Jim, being OCD, would straighten, align, count, and paperclip by denomination this money every night. One morning we found six 20 dollar bills laying loose in the bottom of the box. No explanation for where this came from, and no chance Jim missed it. It happened again with an added 35 dollars. We also had an unexpected $500 check show up in the mail. The point to all of this is, never underestimate what the universe has in store for you. There is always a way in places you will least expect it. Keep yourself open to receive the gifts meant for you, and never say something is not possible.
A month before we pulled out, we moved into the RV in the back yard full time. That gave us a chance to adjust to the space and work out any kinks or quirks before we left. We discovered the furnace made a heck of a racket, so Jim tore it apart and cleaned and oiled everything. We also discovered you will go through a lot of propane in really cold weather. Other than that, we were peachy. On November 28, 2013, after a foot of snow had fallen, we headed for South Carolina chipping off a little bit of ice in every state. It’s our goal to never see snow again. Well, maybe from a distance, on top of mountain peaks or something.
In Camp Eicher Adventures I will be sharing tales of our journey, where we stay, the food we love, RV tips and tricks, campground reviews, and anything else I think of. No matter what you’re dream is, whether it’s to take on the RV lifestyle, travel the world, start a business, write a book, whatever, I hope I can inspire you to go after it and follow your heart.
Wishing you a magic filled day,