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Home Sweet Home…For Now

Posted by on May 28, 2010

WARNING: This blog entry really isn’t about travel but rather answers some recent popular questions about our lifestyle, particularly now that there is a baby on the way.  I provide this warning only because my blog feeds on some other travel-related sites and someone recently gave me a very low ranking (okay, the lowest ranking possible…um…ouch!) on a particular site.  So, ye who seek a blog entry about travel and tourist information may want to discontinue reading this particular entry.  But, please do come back and visit my blog again.  I do offer travel related posts! Thank you.  Now, on with the entry!

Our house on the hill

Our new campsite. Seriously, are we not looking good on that hilltop?

We get a lot of questions about our lifestyle.  Some folks do not understand why we would want to sell everything and hit the road.  Some have never heard of Airstreams.  Others can’t figure out how a young couple with a baby on the way can live this way.  So, we are used to questions.  And, we can usually tell right away if a person “gets it” or doesn’t.  Like the time I explained to a woman that I lived in an Airstream travel trailer and traveled the country.  After explaining what we do, she still had the all-to-familiar confused look on her face. Finally, she just looked at me and said, “how do you tow an airplane?”  I thought the whole “travel trailer” part might clear things up but nope. Apparently not. So, yeah…we’re used to questions.  All types of questions.

Here are the recent ones that have come up quite frequently from family members, friends and even total strangers:

Why did you choose New Hampshire as the location to temporarily “settle” and have a child?

Our families are the in the south yet we chose New England.  Why would we do this? First, and most importantly, we don’t dislike our families.  In fact, we love them very much and look forward to sharing this whole experience with them.  We chose this specific area for a number of reasons, from finding an incredible out-of-hospital birth center and an awesome midwife to just our simple love for this region.  We did, after all, get married in New England.   We also met and dated while living in New England. (Okay, we actually met online (yes…it’s true…we’re that couple) but we lived in Boston while dating.)  So, we love it here and feel very at home here.   As with our lifestyle, some may never understand why we chose this location – even some locals are surprised to hear that we chose this town.  But, we did choose this place and the decision feels right.  And, hopefully our families will forgive us for being so far away.  But, then again, they should used to that by now.

My Buddha Belly and I are doing just fine on the road!

So, you’re going to continue this lifestyle with a baby? (Asked with a look that screams, “Are you crazy!?!?”)

Yes…to the first question. (And, yes…maybe we ARE crazy.)  We are at least going to give it a try.  When we first embarked on this journey, countless number of people told us we were crazy.  “It will never work!”  “You’ll get tired of each other!” I heard lots of these comments.  But, we did it anyway.  We left Virginia with an open mind and acknowledgment that at least the first month would be challenging.  We felt we needed to at least give ourselves three months to adapt to the small space and life on the road.  Honestly, it took no time to adapt.  Sure, there were challenges and some lessons learned but it took no time to adopt this lifestyle.  And, we’re still happily married!

We are taking the same approach with this new upcoming phase of our life.  Living in this small space may not work with a baby.  But, unless we try, we’ll never know.  There are plenty of other families living this lifestyle.  I’ve done my research.  So, we’ll have a trial period.  We are not opposed to saying, “That’s it, we need to settle!” But, we also don’t feel pressure to do it right now.  We’ll take it one day at a time!

How are you handling prenatal appointments while being on the road?

This was a big concern for me early on.  Seriously, I cried since I thought it would be impossible.  However, because we spent our winter in the south near our families, I was able to work in my monthly appointments at a medical practice in Georgia.  We split our time between Florida and Georgia and I just made sure that our schedule worked out so I was always in Georgia when it was time for an appointment.  It worked out very well.

Once we met with the midwife in New Hampshire and decided on this particular birth center, we then planned our travels so we would be in New Hampshire once the prenatal appointments were necessary every two weeks.

Have you found a campground yet to call “home” for the season?

Airstream at Night

Think we look good in the daytime? Check us out at night! Whoa!

Yes! At last! While we felt right at home in the Keene, NH / Brattleboro, VT area, I’m not going to lie to you, finding a campground was not that easy.  Like I said in an earlier post, I loved the KOA in Brattleboro but it’s location to the birth center was not the greatest for two people who are consistently late to everything.  We spent a recent weekend visiting every campground in a 30 mile radius but still never felt really comfortable with the distance or with any particular campground. Just like the town and the birth center felt right, we were searching for that campground that just felt right.

We revisited the Ashuelot River Campground, a campground within minutes of the birth center.  We did a drive-by of the campground in February when it was covered in snow and it didn’t look promising so we had actually ruled it out as a potential basecamp.  But, with nicer weather and no snow on the ground, we decided to visit one more time since the location was ideal.  Thankfully, we found it to be incredibly beautiful and we really wanted to make it work.  The campground primarily caters to tent camping but does have a few sites with hookups.   They had one spot left that they could allow to be a seasonal site but it was in a spot in which only a very special and small rig could fit.  Could we do it? Were we special enough?

It was a tricky spot to maneuver the Airstream into but Chris has become an expert at getting into tricky spots.  Seriously, the guy is genius at this – even as I stand there and say, “It’s never going to fit.”  It always fits. And, our beautiful shiny (and, indeed, special) home fit perfectly.  And, I must say, we look good sitting atop that hill.  Really good.  Because the spot was not an easy one to get into, we won’t be moving it until we leave at the end of the season.  So, there it shall stay.

We still had some challenges to overcome.  If you look at a Verizon coverage map of Keene, NH there is one teeny tiny patch on the map where coverage is weak.  Really, really weak.  Yup…that’s our campground! This means our phones and our beloved MiFi did not work in our site.  Houston…we have a problem. A big problem.

Our view of the Ashuelot River Campground

Here's our view of the campground from our site. At the opposite end is an entrance to the Ashuelot River, a perfect river for our kayaks!

After giving our lovely tripod internet satellite unit another try and continuing to face some more challenges that have yet to be resolved, we purchased a Wilson Electronics cell phone booster.  Now, If I could go back to July to the time when we purchased our satellite as our backup internet plan, I would have slapped myself silly and gone the cell phone booster route instead.  It works.  I now have 3G service at our site!   Our MiFi also works – it has its moments but 98% of the time works very well.  We’ve also discovered several lovely locations in and around Keene that have free Wifi.  So, on some days, Chris heads into town to his new “office” which has been nice for both of us.

With our major challenges (the campground and internet issues) resolved, we are settling in nicely.  Of course, there are  still some minor issues, but like most things in life, they will work themselves out with time and patience. We’ve visited some great New England towns and still have a lot of exploring to do.  I can’t wait to share the pictures and information of my findings so far…but that will be for the next entry!

Have a wonderful holiday weekend, everyone!

13 Responses to Home Sweet Home…For Now

  1. James Schipper

    That site looks fantastic!

  2. kim

    I think what you are doing is great. Think it’s probably the perfect time to be living a nomadic lifestyle. After all you are basically going to have that baby strapped to you for awhile, so having a big ol house wouldn’t make things any different! As always, life evolves so soak it up, and live it as always… go with what works!

  3. frank

    I think your blogs are great === life’s experiences you talk about —-the time’s of your life — the day and the moment — its a great adventure !!!!!!!

  4. Lani

    Thanks for the comments! They mean a lot! This was a more personal post and one I had mixed feelings about writing but we get these same questions so often from people we meet that some readers may have similar questions. So, thanks for the encouragement!

    The campsite is really fabulous and offers privacy – something that will be very important once the baby comes along. I don’t want the crying (mine or the baby’s) to disturb any other campers! :)

  5. Everett

    Don’t take anyone giving a low ranking personally. If there is one thing I’ve learned about “putting yourself out there” on the web, it’s that you need to develop a thick skin. People say mean things that they would NEVER say to someone in person because they feel that sense of anonymity. We call these kinds of people ‘trolls’ because they just troll around the internet looking for an excuse to say negative things.

    I love your blog. Keep it up! And keep up your lifestyle as long as you want, as I’m sure you will do anyway. You only live once, and it is a short life at that. You are creating some great memories right now that you will cherish forever.

    Cheers,

    Everett

  6. Lani

    Thanks, Everett! Yes, I have definitely got to get some thicker skin and ignore those comments from the trolls. :)

  7. Valynne

    It is funny how some people just don’t get it and others just do…obviously I happen to be one of the ones that just do : )

    Congrats for living your truth and not letting the trolls get the best of you…I hear these types are typically jealous and/or miserable by nature. How sad to be them!

    Oh, and congrats for hitting the year mark! And for finding a beautiful spot to call home for the duration!

  8. Lani

    Thanks, Valynne! Yes, I can usually tell immediately those who don’t get it. It’s definitely always nice to find those that do understand! Makes our explanation so much easier. :)

    Just can’t understand the negativity some folks have. Why take the time to write negative comments? I’m definitely getting better at ignoring it…sort of. :)

    Looking forward to our New England summer and look forward to following along with your experiences as well. Thanks for the comment!

  9. Karen

    Oh, how I know “those” looks! It doesn’t matter if you are a young couple having a baby, or an older couple with grandchildren 1500 miles away, some people will NEVER get it. I do, and I commend you for doing what you are doing. I wish I had known about this lifestyle when I was so much younger.

  10. Lani

    Thanks, Karen! We’ve met so many wonderful people who are living a similar lifestyle or who at least understand it and it’s always so great to hear the positive comments. It definitely makes the negative looks or comments easier to ignore. Safe travels!

  11. Brandon Peterson

    Hi! My family has started down a similar path and I’ve been following your blog for a while. We are traveling to various renaissance fairs around the country but still based out of our house during the off-season. Hopefully soon we’ll get a larger camper but for now we are living out of a pop-up while travelling.

    I’ve got a question about your post – which of the Wilson boosters did you get?

    Thanks!
    Brandon

  12. Lani

    Hi Brandon,

    So sorry for the delay. I kept forgetting to ask Chris this question. We purchased the:

    SIGNALBOOST™ DT Dual-Band 800/1900 MHz Desktop Amplifier (801247)

    as well as this:


    http://www.amazon.com/Wilson-Electronics-301147-TNC-Male-Connectors/dp/B001UF3592

    Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any more questions. Thanks!

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