We’re Christian and Elisa.
After our wedding in December of 2014, we were well on our way to the American Dream with 2.5 kids, a dog, and a picket fence around our renovated fixer-upper in an up-and-coming neighborhood.
Then about four months ago (April-ish of 2015), we decided to bite the bullet, cut our ties, buy and renovate an RV, and move into it full-time to travel around North America. WAIT WHAT where did that come from?
Christian had been trying to and incrementally suceeding at convincing me to convert to a more minimalistic, financially frugal way of living, Mr. Money Mustache style. One of his pet topics is tiny houses, specifically the goal of downsizing from our 715 square foot one bedroom apartment (Valencia) into our own tiny house.
As someone who grew up in a fairly consumeristic society, my initial reaction was denial, aversion, and a why-are-you-trying-to-make-me-give-up-everything-I-love perspective. And yet, halfway through the first year teaching third-grade at my dream job in the amazing school district where I grew up, I was breaking-down-crying at least once a week, asking myself if this was going to be my life. My relationship with education and the education system (sadly often two completely separate entities) is a whole ’nother can of worms, but suffice it to say that I had nothing left to give. Chalk it up to my perfectionistic tendencies, overly idealistic principles, or even the growing ennui of the millenial generation - I needed more out of my life and I wasn’t going to get it following the traditional path.
Somehow, sometime, someone idly floated the idea of moving into an RV, thus combining the simplicity of tiny houses with the benefits of travel. Unfortunately, neither of us can remember who suggested it (and thus claim credit or lay blame accordingly), but in the dramatic recreation in my head it goes something like this:
Ugh life is so boring I miss traveling yadda yadda.
Hey man I totally agree we should do something about it.
Well what if we move into an RV?
LIGHTNING FLASHES, THUNDER CRASHES, THE SKIES OPEN AND AN ANGELIC CHORUS TRUMPETS A TRIUMPHANT “AAAAHHH!!”
… well okay then.
And so we proceeded to do what Christian and Elisa do best - read blogs/watch YouTube videos and obsessively research potential purchases, respectively. On Memorial Day weekend, we drove down to Austin, drank some fresh-squeezed juice, and bought a 2002 Fleetwood Tioga (Class C - more on this later). The first week of June (the last week of school) saw us tearing out basically everything (except the tub, shower, fridge, and over-cab bed). Now, at the beginning of August, we have painted walls and upper cabinets, replaced the rotted sub-floor and walls, put down new flooring, partially installed new lower cabinets, sold off most of our furniture/possessions, and in general, come much closer to our plan of full-time RV living.
Stay tuned for more details about the process so far (RV basics, choosing and inspecting Harvey the RV, and renovation) and updates as we continue to fumble our way to life on the road.