Baby Dust Diaries

A Life Less Ordinary

Category: Nomads

A Healthier Lifestyle

In my post about 7 Reasons to Live in an RV Fulltime I didn’t mention a healthier lifestyle. We are doing this for a healthier planet and healthier relationships but an off-shoot will be living healthier too.

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Day 2 – blogging in the RV

I woke up this morning and could hardly move! The lifting, pulling, hiking, etc. is new to my body. Before Aellyn was born Pete and I were hiking up to 9 miles a day in training for doing the Grand Canyon. Now my life is so sedentary.

You don’t have to uproot your whole life to get healthy but there is nothing like having an ACTIVE LIFESTYLE rather than adding activity, like exercise, to an actually sedentary lifestyle, which is what most westerners do. Like homesteading, farming, etc., living in an RV fulltime is just going to REQUIRE activity. I’m really excited about this aspect!

We’re Fulltime RVers!

It is friday morning and I’m typing this from the dinette table in our camper. The kids and Pete are exploring the woods behind our site while I clean up a traditional camp breakfast.

I’m in heaven!

Yesterday was not easy. It is beyond muddy here – like Ohio right now makes Dagoba look like paradise. The truck we hired to move the RV (because we haven’t upgraded our minivan to a truck yet) got stuck in my sister’s yard. We had to ask a neighbor with a tractor (god bless the country!) to get it out. In all it took 3 hours!!

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Here are some more outrageous pics of getting the RV out of the yard.

But, we finally made it! We also had an easy time with the kids sleeping in their own beds. My kids have slept in our bed since birth so I was concerned it might be an issue but…really, we’re like 10 ft. away from them!

The covers on one of the skylights blew off at some point in the trip yesterday. So, last night, IN THE DARK I climbed on top of the van and used a long stick to position a tarp over the opening and hold it down with rocks. Yay for DIY!

Here’s our official launch video!

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7 Reasons To Live Fulltime In an RV

On May 1 we finally move into our new 192 square feet of RV! We’ll be local and Pete will keep his same job through the summer. So, we’ll be staying at a beautiful park near the Mogadore Resevoir.

People, of course, think we’re nuts. Unfortuantely when you make decisions outside of the mainstream it can be judged as an indictment of their (more mainstream) life choices.

I think the important thing here is to remember that my decisions are made from my values, goals, and dreams and my weaknesses, fears, and circumstances. They have absolutely nothing to do with anyone else. When I say I want out of the capitalist economy it doesn’t mean I think you are evil for staying in it. Everyone makes the world a better place as best they can at the time. You’re doing your best and I’m doing mine.

With that in mind – here are 10 reasons we are becoming Nomads:

1. Find a New Human Dream.

We played the “American Dream” game well. I had a job at NASA and a mortgage and 2 cars and a bunch of debt. I worked to pay my debt and went into further debt to survive the monotony of my life. Since leaving my job I’ve become a so much happier person. I’m healthier, sleep better, and just feel JOY. All. The. Time. When I was working so much and then spending my non working hours working on my “stuff” I didn’t have any free time to grow as a person or contribute to the world meaningfully.

That’s the problem with the American Dream, in my opinion. It keeps us navel gazing and blind or helpless to the reality of the world around us. We wanted to find a way to acheive our dreams that made us better citizens of the Earth. (This reason is #1 because it guides all of our other reasons.)

2. See New Places.

The most amazing experiences in my life have been visiting new places. I’ve been fortunate to live many places and visit some wonderful and beautiful things. This reason also falls into the “stop living for your next vacation” things. If you are lucky enough to be one of the few people making enough money to travel on your vacation…are you working so hard to afford a vacation?

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. – Mark Twain

3. Meet Virtual Friends.

One of the best parts of living in the age of social media is that I have truly wonderful friends all over this globe! How wonderful to get to share a s’more with them around our campfire? Oh, btw, internet friends…prepare, lol.

4. Meet New People.

I am a white woman married to a white man living in just about the whitest small town imaginable. That’s ok. I was raised here and learned to respect and love all people. I don’t think living in a mono-culture precludes soemone from being a social justice advocate but it sure is easier when you experience cultural differences in a relationship instead of in a book.

Now, RVing is a predominately white past-time so, that’s not what I mean. I mean by going out into the community where we are staying and getting to know the locals – local people, local food, local customs, local problems and successess. In my “homeschool” the number one most important curricululm is what I call “Poverty, Inequality, and Money: Causes and Solutions.” My kids will get to experience this in living color.

5. Meet the Earth.

If the poverty and inequality lessons are the number one goal of my parenting then the second is “Amazing Earth: Plants, Animals, and Symbiosis. (lol, I’m loving my course titles. Of course, in case you don’t know, I’m a “un”schooler so there won’t be any curriculum at all). You simply can’t ignore the needs of our planet when you strongly realize that WE ARE OUR PLANET. We aren’t separate. We are one. The love of one is the love of the other. The health of one is the health of the other.

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. – Henry David Thoreau

When you think of environmentally-friendly living the word “RV” probably doesn’t come to mind. And yes, RV’s are gas guzzling hogs. Especially if you use one on vacation to travel 3000 miles in two weeks! There are fulltime RVers that live very “on the grid” and may have an equal or larger carbon footprint than someone living in a traditional home. But, there are others that live a decidedly “off grid” life in an RV. I’ll write more about the “Green RVing” life we’ll be persuing!

6. Escape the Monetary Economy.

This is not the space to get into this in detail but we believe that the current monetary economy/capitalism is incompatible with human-honoring goals. We hope to experience things like communes, ecovillages, barter/borrow economy, and cooperative living. Check out the resources on this post for more info.

In our rich consumers’ civilization we spin cocoons around ourselves and get possessed by our possessions.
– Max Lerner

7. Family Centered Living

I’ve always been fascinated by the Amish. (Right, Zoe?). It isn’t the religious aspects I like but the family-centeredness of everything they do. We see them work 1478954_10102028271020644_1208691901_nso hard to make food without modern conveniences like tractors or washing machines and think “yuck!”. What I love about the life of the Amish though is every task they do is in service to their family and community. They (rarely) wake up and leave all day to work for someone else. They wake and work hard with and for their family. I want this for my family.

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is not safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. – Helen Keller

I could think of more but this sums up the primary philosphy that’s guiding our path right now. It is our path for our family. Yours may be different and that’s ok! That’s better than ok. It’s what makes our world so rich: diversity.

Gypsies

Did you know my ancestors on my Dad’s side are Romani? No, not Romanian, Romani. And no, not like the Romny you see on My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding. But, yes, Romani are historically called Gypsies because people thought they were Egyptians. They are not. They are from the northern part of India and were forced out of their homes to wonder Asia and Europe. They are the ultimate wanderers.

So maybe it is my Rom blood? I’m not sure but I have it bad. Wander Lust. Always have. When I graduated high school and my parents wanted to buy me an expensive piece of commemorative jewelry I asked instead to go on vacation. Twice in college I got to take classes that traveled: I studied the geology of the Colorado Plateau in Utah and Arizona and I studied Phycology (study of algae) in San Salvador, Bahamas. My honeymoon was a month backpacking through Europe.

Having kids makes traveling harder. Money is tight and there is always family to visit when you have the time off of working 50 weeks a year. Pete and I have talked about our retirement dreams for years: buy an RV and travel the country.

Then I met a woman named Tara and she and her family – a husband and two kids – were traveling around Australia in a camper. I kept waiting for the end of that sentence…”until the money runs out” or “for work” or “for two weeks”  There had to be *something* after that sentence, right? You can’t just raise kids without a home can you?

That was 4 years ago and I didn’t think “yes! I’m going to do that!” on that very day. But, in my heart I dreamed that I had that life. Then, one day out of the blue, Pete said he dreamed of that life too! Here we were dreaming of something different but not pursuing it because it is SO CRAZY!

Families are supposed to “put down roots,” buy a house, have a steady job, save for college, and vacation occasionally if you are very lucky. We couldn’t just make travel part of our lives could we?

Then the last two years happened. I was forced out of my job after having kids which was a nightmare at the time. In hindsight, I don’t know that I would have ever left such a lucrative job on my own. Then our house went into foreclosure (not due to losing my job ironically but because of my time in the hospital with the twins). Pete couldn’t find work. He actually started driving to Boston for job interviews. Yet, here we were with a house we were trying to short sell which tied us to one place. That place had no jobs. It was a horrible catch 22. It seemed that owning this thing called property was an albatross.

We were able to move and downsize our lives but, strangely, we had gotten a taste of freedom. Freedom from a work-till-8-pm job and the mortgage that went with it. We hated the forced stationary quality of that life. We hated the live to work paradigm. We hated dreading Sunday nights. We hated spending Saturdays working on house stuff instead of having fun. We wanted something different.

1478954_10102028271020644_1208691901_nWe wanted to work to live. We wanted our weekdays to be so wonderful that the weekends hardly felt different. We didn’t want to count the days till our next vacation because our life was so wonderful it felt like vacation. We didn’t want our vacations to be a scurry of hitting every family member’s house with sight seeing thrown in. We didn’t want to come home from vacations needing a vacation from our vacation.

We didn’t want to be owned by stuff. We think we own it but then we are slaves to it. We have to maintain it and continue to pay for it. We are owned by the bank we pay each month. We fill our lives with things. I had a dozen pans for different uses. I had 3 different meat thermometers for different purposes. My kids had more toys that I ever wanted them to have. We were buried under stuff and the time the stuff took. All those toys needed tidied up and cleaned. All that house needed work and cleaning. The yard. The two cars. The bills.

So there it is. We are doing something different. We have sold everything we own. We have our clothes and necessities. We have keepsakes in storage. And…

We bought an RV. We are going to travel and work. Travel and live. Travel and raise our kids. Travel and school.

I was thinking of starting a new blog (and I probably will document what we learn as we travel here) but this is just more of our Baby Dust Diary so I’m going to stick with it. I’ll continue to post things about homeschooling, unschooling, and now ROADschoooling.

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