Week 1: The Pre-plan Before the Plan Plan

We’ve always kicked around crazy ideas, not fully committing head space to anyone one in particular, just dreaming about possibilities and scenarios.

“What if we built one of those container homes? What if we downsized, home-schooled and just traveled a lot more? What if we sold our house and moved to Costa Rica and ran a B&B? What if we lived in an RV and traveled the US?”

It’s fun to dream. It’s safe. There’s no consequences, other than a lack of actual productivity for an hour or so. But dreams without action aren’t much of anything at all. They’re just future regrets.

But now we’ve moved into focused dreaming, with a healthy dose of intent maybe? We’re past the “What-If” stage and onto the “holy crap I really think we’re going to do this, let’s start planning” stage. But of course each morning since we honed in on this one concept in particular I’ll waver between excitement and mid-level anxiety. Part of me believes we can do it while the other part fights against my brain retreating to safe mode.

So what did we actually commit to? We’ve committed… to planning… on selling our house (or leasing it out for a year), home-schooling our kids on the road, and living out of a travel trailer (or 5th Wheel). Planning is my brain’s way of committing, but not committing committing just yet.

Before I go any further I’m compelled to admit that, no, we don’t currently own a travel trailer, nor have we ever owned anything of the sort. No, we don’t have a truck to tow one with. And no, we don’t know the first thing about, well, any of this. Hell I don’t even like camping all that much. But I do know I’ll regret not taking a chance. I’ll regret sitting around waiting for something to happen. And I’ve been waiting for a long time for something, anything, to magically happen.

For some, a decision like this may seem weird, or rash, or reckless. Or all three. It’s not what you’re “supposed to do”, right? It’s not the American Dream. What you’re supposed to do is get married, buy a house, have kids, collect stuff, buy a bigger house, maybe have more kids, collect more stuff, build a big ol’ dream house, send your kids out into the world, and ultimately get old and downsize to a condo. That’s always struck me as incredibly odd. We spend our entire lives acquiring stuff and putting it into larger and larger boxes until we’re too old to move our stuff around inside our large box and finally get rid of our stuff and opt for a smaller, more manageable box until ultimately we end up in a tiny box with no stuff at all. I’ve never been comfortable with that, even as I worked tirelessly toward that exact goal myself. There’s always been that constant voice in my head along the way telling me it’s all for nothing. What’s the point?! You’re wasting your life! “Vanity of vanities,” King Soloman says in Ecclesiastes 1:2, “all is vanity.”
“Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done and on the labor in which I toiled; and indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind. There was no profit under the sun.” – Ecclesiastes 2:11.
It’s no small coincidence that I’m reading Ecclesiastes at right now. It never ceases to amaze me how He speaks truth into our hearts at the precise moment we need it.

For me this decision feels like relief…like a weight has been (or is being) lifted. I’ve come to realize that I feel more alive when life is more simple. I don’t need, or want, “stuff” and I don’t need a whole lot of space. Certainly not the 3,000 square feet we currently occupy. Of that space we really only use about 1/4 of it anyway, and could easily live with less still. We’ve grown so tired of maintaining a house, a yard and everything else that goes with it. It’s a never ending cycle that feels so unnecessary. Aimee and I have always said we could live in a hotel room. This one would just have wheels. But unfortunately no maid service.

So here we are, week one-ish, doing more research than anything else. Reading blog after blog of the surprisingly large number of people who have done this very thing. Exploring all the makes and models and pros and cons of travel trailers, 5th wheels, and trucks. Calculating potential expenses. Picking up tips on where to go and where to stay. Researching home schooling methods. And unloading crap. Lots of crap. I’ve already made two trips to Goodwill and have started posting miscellaneous stuff on Craigslist. It’s all very liberating. I LOVE unloading crap!

Our timeline is tentative, but not really. Aimee would leave tomorrow if we could. Since our boys’ 2015-2016 school tuition is already paid in full, we figure we’ll let the boys start and finish 4th grade in St. Louis, have their summer vacation here with their friends, then take off when everyone goes back to school. That gives us a little over a year to plan, or chicken out. Something tells me Aimee won’t let the latter happen. But a year is a really long time to contemplate a major life decision like this. We’ll need to be strong to make it to the finish line. Or rather, the starting line. But fortunately for us, one of us always seems to be strong when the other can’t find it for a time.

As far as work goes we both work in sales, exclusively from home now, with about 95% off all communication done via email. So as long as we have internet, we’re good to go. Will my sales drop a little? Possibly. But my expenses should drop exponentially. Less money, more freedom? I’ll take that trade.

So we have a TON to figure out. And we have some crazy ideas to turn this crazy idea of ours into reality. It’s given me a reason to write again, and I’m hoping to capture these ideas, our decisions and our discoveries along the way. So join us on this journey. We’re going to need all the support we can get!

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