So, how was everyone’s Christmas? I didn’t want to bombard you with blog posts just after the holidays. You know, I thought I’d give you a chance to relax and wind down after all that celebrating. So you got a whole six months without me. You’re welcome.
Truthfully, I’ve been drafting this blog post in my head for awhile. It’s a tough one. Three years ago we set off on this crazy little Airstream journey. We gave ourselves three months initially. We thought the first month would be challenging. 160 square feet–could we live in something that small? Could we tow a trailer? Could I empty a sewer tank without throwing up? Could Chris keep his job? Could we stay married? Could we stay sane? After the first two weeks on the road it became clear–this Airstream life was awesome. We didn’t need three months to decide if it was for us. It only took days to realize that we were doing exactly what we needed to be doing. And that’s how life should go. No regrets. No looking back.
We traveled thousands of miles and saw incredible sights that first year. In year two on the road, we had a baby. An awesome one. While we didn’t travel great distances with a newborn, it didn’t stop us from our Airstream life. She’s a well-traveled little girl, having seen the entire east coast and even some of Canada.
Last summer, we started the discussion of stopping the full-time life. There were challenges. It’s not easy to raise a family and maintain an office in 160 square feet. Chris’s job requires him to be on the phone often (all day) between the hours of 9am and 6pm. So he needs a quiet space. And I don’t always want to be out and about with a child. Spending time at home is nice. So you see the dilemma. A toddler and conference calls don’t really mix well in small spaces. We need doors, people.
And a community. We needed a real community in which we could be involved. Playdates. Friends. Classes. Campground life is great but you meet people and then you say goodbye. We wanted to get involved, enroll Emerson in classes, and feel…settled. Words we never though we’d say again.
But were we ready to stop? Not really. Not yet. The idea scared us. Full-timing and travel was part of our identity. Where did we want to live? Having traveled this great country, there are a lot of beautiful places. We considered Oregon, Montana, Vermont, and many others. But one place stood out…at least for me. Virginia. Our home. We left Virginia never expecting to come back. But every time we drove through the state, I got warm fuzzies. And you never ignore warm fuzzies.
We spent Summer 2011 in Staunton, Virginia. We searched for that dream farm property that we’ve been discussing. We didn’t find it. Or, we did…but it didn’t have internet. (I know…crazy. There are places without high speed Internet still.) We returned south for the winter. We had some great stops along the coast of North Carolina and then in Destin, Florida which left us in greater confusion. They were beautiful areas–should we consider those places instead? We didn’t know what to do.
As winter came to an end this year, we traveled back up to Virginia. Settling down was starting to feel like the right thing to do. After one week, we found a cute little farmhouse for rent. It sits on 100 acres and has beautiful views and a tennis court. There they are again…those warm fuzzies. And just like that, we signed the lease, parked our Airstream and called it home. Our garden that we planted is 160 square feet. It was by accident that it measured this way but I like to look out and think, “hmmm, that’s the size of my former home.”
There’s plenty that I miss about the Airstream life. I miss new places and sights each week. I miss the quick house cleaning times. I miss the simplicity of it all. But there’s also plenty I love about our new farm adventure. I love our garden. I love my big kitchen. I love cooking/cleaning while Emerson naps–that couldn’t happen in our small space. I love our doors that give us our own space when we need it. I love taking Emerson to a weekly playgroup. I love creating a new home for my family. (I don’t particularly love the mice in my home or the old house issues…but I’m adapting.)
We are renting, so if the mice do drive me insane, we could just get back on the road. But so far, no regrets.
Now what to do with this travel blog? Hmmm…we do still have an Airstream and we aren’t afraid to use it.
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