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Our first 6 months of life on the road

Our first 6 months of life on the road

Our first 6 months of life on the road

February 2019 marked 6 months! That’s just CRAZY. We have so much more to learn, but so far – we are loving life on the road.

We posted a question on Instagram, asking “What do you want to know about the first 6 months of life on the road? There were a ton of great questions like, “What is something you thought was going to be hard, but really wasn’t?” and “What’s the most surprising part about being on the road?”

After answering the questions we received on IG, we figured, why not make a video for YouTube to share this information. 🙂 Check it out below!

Do you have questions about living on the road? Let us know in the comments below!

5 Practical household items for RV life and tiny living

5 Practical household items for RV life and tiny living

5 Practical Household Items for RV Life and Tiny Living

We have to be pretty selective nowadays when it comes to items we bring into our life… you know, because only have 200sq feet to work with! We decided to put together a short video highlighting 5 of our FAVORITE household items we use every single day! Things that make our life easier on the road and are also very practical to have. In fact, we owned a few of these items even before hitting the road! 

We provide links to the items we talk about below.

Please note that these are our Amazon Affiliate links. There is no additional cost, whatsoever, to you, but it does help us earn a tiny bit of revenue if you choose to purchase any of these items! So thank you!

1. Fozzils Snap Fold Dishrack: https://amzn.to/2KobdqY

2. Aeropress Coffee Maker (owned prior to life on the road): https://amzn.to/2TwsyCh

3. Black + Decker Handheld Vacuum (owned prior to life on the road): https://amzn.to/2PKEFgP

4. Simplehuman Trash Can: https://amzn.to/2TuatVo

5. Felt Storage Bins: https://amzn.to/2Kon8Fa 

What household items do you use on a daily basis that help make your life better?! Tell us in the comments below!

Airstream upgrades for full time living

Airstream upgrades for full time living

Airstream Upgrades for Full Time Living

A few years ago, we purchased Jowanda, our 2005 25ft Airstream from a guy who lived in Florida. He and his wife wanted to purchase a newer Airstream and so put this one up for sale on Airstream Classifieds. We’re happy to answer any questions when it comes to how to find a used Airstream!

Anyhoo- Jowanda was in GREAT shape. She was only 10 years old when we purchased her, and was very well taken care of. So why make upgrades?

We wanted to make upgrades to our Airstream for 3 reasons

1) To make it easier to boondock (boondocking just means that we’re camping off the grid without any hookups)
2) To make it more suitable for full-time living
3) To make it feel like home

Here’s our VERY FIRST YouTube video where we talk about the upgrades and include some pretty fun footage back from our reno.

List of upgrades we talk about in the video:

1. Solar power installed
2. Painted all cabinets/doors/walls white that were faux wood
3. Painted couch + dinette upholstery
4. Removed fabric and painted dinette frame
4. New floating floors throughout
5. New countertop, sink, faucet and magnetic knife holder (all from Ikea)
6. Removed Microwave for more storage

List of upgrades we totally forgot to talk about in the video:

1. Antenna
2. Inverter Installed
3. More USB plugs so we could charge more things while boondocking and not have to rely on our inverter so much
4. Removed the stock divider that separates the bedroom from the rest of the Airstream and added tension rod w/ curtain instead

List of upgrades we may do in the future:

1. Revamp the bathroom with some wallpaper so it doesn’t look so dingy
2. Lift Airstream for more off-road travel

Items discussed in our video

(Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links. This does not cost you anything at all, and we would make a tiny percentage if you were to purchase the item. Thanks!)

PAINT:

Couch Paint: Graphite by Annie Sloan

Dinette Paint: Provence by Annie Sloan

(Annie Sloan paints are only provided by select stockists – you can find your closest stockist by visiting: https://www.anniesloan.com/stockists)

Cabinet Primer: Extreme Bond Primer (Sherwin Williams)

Cabinet Paint: Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel in Origami White (Sherwin Williams)

Shelf Paint: Old Ochre by Annie Sloan (design on buckets done with white spray paint and Primer Red)

KITCHEN:

Countertop: Ikea Countertop

Kitchen Sink: Ikea Norrsjon Sink

Kitchen Faucet: Ikea Almaren Faucet

Knife block: Ikea Knife Block

TOOLS:

Sander: Bosch Random Orbit 5 inch Sander/Polisher

Sanding Pads: Sanding Pads

FLOORING: 

Vinyl Plank Flooring: Lifeproof Walton Oak (We needed about 6 cases)

SOLAR STUFF:

Victron SmartSolar MPPT 100/30 Charge Controller with Bluetooth

Victron BMV-712 Battery Monitor with Battery Temperature Sensor

1000W Inverter

Inverter fuse holder and 150A fuses

Our first month living on the road

Our first month living on the road

Our first month living on the road

Highlights, Stats and Lessons Learned!

This past month has flown by. Living on the road (so far) has been pretty fun and exciting. That’s not to say it hasn’t come with its challenges but for the most part, we’re starting to figure this whole lifestyle out as we go. We wanted to put together a few fun highlights, stats, and lessons learned from our first month on the road. So enjoy! We’d love to hear your feedback + comments!

HIGHLIGHTS | WEEK ONE

Westward ho!

Spent a few days in Springfield, IL to visit our dear friends and their newborn daughter, Eleanor.

Visited the Lincoln Presidential Museum and President Lincoln’s Springfield home

HIGHLIGHTS | WEEK TWO

Bikepacking + Boondocking

Jess + friends hit the Idaho Hot Springs Route on their bikes and ride 200+ miles from Boise to Stanley, Idaho

Jay + Cooper found a sweet boondocking spot up Trail Creek Road near Ketchum. Yay free camping

HIGHLIGHTS | WEEK THREE

Ketchum friend party

More friends from the Northeast come to visit us in Sun Valley

Ride awesome singletrack with friends and hit up Frenchman’s Bend Hot Spring

HIGHLIGHTS | WEEK FOUR

SURPRISE VISIT

Missing our friends who had just left to return east. Luckily, Jay’s cousin, Andy, drives from Oregon to visit us for a day!

Met some nice locals on a ride, one whose name is also Jay and is also a photographer

MONTH ONE | LESSONS LEARNED

Appreciate the time you have with family and friends.

Talk to locals.

Don’t put Nyquil in the upper medicine cabinet. It will fall over and leak all over everything.

Always turn the bathroom fan on before you start going #2 in the bathroom.

(Jess)

You really don’t need as much as you think you do.

When in doubt, bring your camera.

Dryer climates mean drink more water!

VHB tape and mineral spirits are amazing.

See a public restroom, use it.

Charge electronics during the day when we’re producing electricity via solar.

You can really do anything you put your mind to.

Don’t change your oil in the O’Reilly Auto Parts parking lot if you don’t have to.

(Jay)

5 people, is a lot of people to sleep in a 25ft Airstream.

Can you overcome fear?

Can you overcome fear?

Can you overcome fear?

When we first started dreaming about living on the road fulltime, many fears and doubts came to the surface.

What will happen if I leave my job? How will we pay for health insurance? What if we run out of money while on the road? What’s going to happen if we can’t find work? What if we FAIL?

Can you overcome fear?

To be honest, I’m not really sure. Many of these fears still reside within us but what I do know that we can choose to let fear paralyze us or use fear to our advantage. How so?

Whenever fear crept in, we tried our best to use it to motivate us.

For example, “What happens if we run out of money”. Instead of letting this fear hold us back, we did a lot of research, looked at our budget and built up our savings so that we could avoid running out of money on the road.

This helped us feel more confident and reassured us that this lifestyle is possible and worthwhile. More importantly, it helped us make progress.

If you overwhelm your fears with action your fear has less power and precedence and you can start to gain momentum. Could we still run out of money? Sure!  Especially if Jay doesn’t tone down his photo/video gear purchases. 😛 In all seriousness, we can’t predict what unexpected expenses life will throw at us but we’ve done all we can to keep this fear on the sidelines.

We’ve learned that we can overwhelm fear but what happens when we don’t take action?

My business coach, Ariana Blossom, taught me that when we stay paralyzed by our fears, judgment starts to build on top of the fear. Which sounded a little like this for us…

Who are you to want this lifestyle? Shouldn’t you just be happy with what you have? You have a good job that pays well, why give that up? You won’t succeed at this lifestyle.

Judgment keeps us paralyzed in our fears. Actionless and unmotivated.

Do you have a dream that’s been tugging at you deep down but you feel stuck because of fear and judgment?

Your dream might seem far off and impossible right now. 5 years ago we dreamt about living on the road with no idea of how we’d actually be able to get to this point. That’s why we started small. We knew we wanted a camper. So we researched travel trailers and decided we loved the functionality and design of Airstreams. We had an upcoming trip to Seattle and found an Airstream on Airbnb so we booked a few nights so we could see if we liked staying in one. These were small steps that helped us get closer to our dream.

We have 3 questions for you…

We’d really appreciate any answers you’re willing to share with us. We’ve created an online survey version or feel free to respond to these questions by using the comments section below!

1. What do you dream of doing? (Seriously, ANYTHING) Ex. I would start my own shark circus.

2. What are some of the fears and doubts you have about pursuing this dreamEx. Not getting eaten by the sharks.

3. What’s one simple thing you could do today to take action towards this dream? Ex. Research what kinds of sharks are best to train and are least likely to eat me.

Letting go of the stuff that’s holding you back

Letting go of the stuff that’s holding you back

Letting go of the stuff that's holding you back

Letting go is hard.

A dear friend told me the other day how she tried ziplining with her kids for the first time. Not being very keen on heights, she let her kids go first, and when it came time for her turn, she paused. She was frozen. Fear had set in. After a few minutes (and asking the zip line worker how she’d get down if she didn’t want to go through with it) she decided to let go.

As she told me the story, I could see how glad and proud she was to have let go. For her, the literal “letting go” felt metaphorical. She had gone through a rough divorce in recent years and is now a single mom with three kids. Her choice to let go allowed her to experience something new instead of keeping herself trapped in the past.

Letting go can be extraordinarily difficult for all of us.

For Jay and I, moving from a 1,100 sq foot house to a 180 sq foot trailer means we have a lot of physical stuff we have to let go of. Even things we thought we’d never get rid of!

Take for instance this now broken Djembe. I brought it back from West Africa 10 years ago and it took an entire sleeping bag, a lot of duct tape and some light arguing with the border agent to get it into the US.

If I kept the drum, it would need to be fixed and I knew I wouldn’t really play it enough to make it worth it. I was holding onto it for sentimental reasons. After I re-evaluated the weight and space it had in my life, I realized that it was the experience and the joy I had when I played it that mattered. It’s time for me to let go, and let someone else find joy in it.

Letting go physical things can be pretty challenging, but truthfully, it’s the emotional things that have been the hardest to let go.

For Jay and I, it’s the fear and sadness we feel when thinking about leaving our family and friends here in the Northeast. We know these feelings are natural, and we mustn’t dwell on them or let them consume us because:

1. Our friends and family are only a phone call away and it’s up to us to make an effort
2. Social media can help us share/receive updates
3. We can return to the Northeast anytime and literally park ourselves in our family/friend’s driveways and bother them for an entire month (or as long as they can tolerate us!)
4. Like my friend I mentioned earlier, letting go will allow us to experience something new. We want to pursue this lifestyle for reasons explained here. And if we hold ourselves back, we’ll never know what could have been.

What are you struggling to let go of?

We’re all human. We all struggle to let go. So what’s holding you back? Is it fear, anger or resentment? Is it physical stuff?  Whatever it is, ask yourself why it’s hard to let go and try to imagine what would happen if you did. If you’re willing to share, tell us in the comments below!