A&A Destination Unknown
Updated: Jan 13, 2020
Two weeks down!
“Rounding out the end of week two living the simple life up north in God’s Country, and my heart is overflowing with gratitude. The wilderness, lakes and countryside of northwestern Wisconsin are truly something else. The weather has been a bit hot, but I’m not one to complain about being warm. I’m incredibly thankful for family, friends, and the opportunity to fully enjoy this time of year and soak up the summer sun & fun.”
It may not still all feel completely real, but it’s really been happening. Adjusting to tiny home living is easier than you’d think, and more of the challenges have been in preparing to go nomadic, and waiting for the final details to wrap up. The smaller space doesn’t actually bother me one bit, and if anything – I just am not a huge fan of the mosquitoes, but I think that’s to be expected! 🙂
Design a lifestyle that gives you the freedom to fully experience life, in whatever ways that means to you!
Going back a few months in time, I wanted to paint the picture for you of how we went about preparing for something of this magnitude. What steps did we take? What research did we do? How did it go telling our family, friends, and our jobs?!
>>> Create a list… a BIG list, of all that this adventure would entail, what needs to be done, what supplies we need, and what our goals and intentions are. Make a tentative timeline for pulling the trigger.
We started with a HUGE pads of post-it note paper that we hung up all over our kitchen. We made so made lists, I can’t even tell you how many. We wrote down pros cons, realistic goals, supply lists – everything! For many months, each time someone would come over, we would take them down and hide them in the closet. We didn’t want to involve anyone else in our news until we knew enough in our hearts that we could really make this happen.
Purchase new home on wheels end of March/beginning of April.
Buy towing vehicle end of March/beginning of April.
Quit jobs in beginning of May.
List house for sale Memorial Day weekend in May.
Move to Stone Lake WI while house sells.
Have a “See You Later” party end of June.
Wait until after Amanda’s 30th Birthday in July to start the journey out west.
>> Do MORE research. Check out YouTube, Instagram, blogs, and other social media outlets to see how people make this happen.
I think Adam honestly spent the equivalent of weeks online watching all kinds of videos from people that made the leap to move full time into a travel trailer or RV. He learned all about what kind of brands people bought, what kind of vehicles they used to tow, how to hook up and operate things, what types of supplies are needed to thrive, how to do things in nature, where to go and stay for free and so much more! As I’ve mentioned before, thankfully we each bring such different strengths to the table. Adam would watch hours of videos, and I would spend hours making lists of supplies, planning out a timeline to buy supplies and what would last us the longest, making checklists, budget lists, and anything else “project management” related.
You can learn more about specific supplies and things we learned by subscribing to our first Nomadic Newsletter coming this July!
>>> Attend the RV Show at the Minneapolis Convention Center in February.
The next step was honestly to agree on what type of mobile home on wheels we would want to pursue, and take a look at them in person to see if we could envision our life inside of it! Conveniently, the annual Minneapolis RV Show was taking place at the downtown convention center in February and we decided to make the trip, in the middle of a snowstorm mind you, to get a better look at possible new home ideas. (We were so worried we might run into my Dad and Step Mom, who usually go to the RV Show every year too, but thankfully we didn’t!)
Upon first thoughts we were thinking about maybe going with a full blown RV, however we eventually came about the idea of a travel trailer instead. This would allow us to still disconnect and leave the trailer places, and have a vehicle to go places in – such as running errands or driving somewhere to meet up with people, go hiking or whatever!
We walked through damn near every single unit at the RV Show, making verbal pro and con lists about each and every one – and falling in love with one specific layout: a kitchen island to break up the kitchen and living space! We knew for sure we did not want a unit with any bunk beds, as let’s face it, we will be spending more time in this thing than anyone else!
From walking around the show, we were pretty hooked on the Outback Brand, and also liked Jayco, Zinger and a few others. It was really important to us to have adequate storage space, to be in a unit ranging from 27-33 feet long, and to have some space around the bed so it doesn’t just butt up to wall. We also liked units that had outdoor kitchen space, ladders to the roof, outdoor showers, and solar hookups.
Embrace uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters of our lives won’t have titles until much later.
>> Shits starting to get pretty serious, so we better tell our parents about our plan! And make a plan to tell the rest of our extended family!
It’s no secret – we did tell our very best friends before we told our parents. We did not want to involve our parents until we really did all we could to research and prepare, and knew we were truly serious. Thankfully, we have the best friends you could seriously ever ask for, and they reacted in the most supportive ways possible.
We told my dad first, and I was so unbelievably terrified. I literally thought I was going to throw up on the drive over to his house on a cold Sunday afternoon at the end of February. I didn’t even have the full announcement out of my mouth yet, and my Step Mom yelled “OMG YOU’RE PREGNANT”… ha! Funny, but most definitely not. (My grandma also reacted this same way when I went to her house to tell her … LOL WTF.)
Within a week more we also had the same sit down conversations with Adam’s Dad and Step Mom, and my Mom and Step Dad. We made sure to tell as many of our family members as possible about all of this in person, to allow a face to face conversation.
All of our parents have been more than happy, excited, and supportive for us – even if they will miss us terribly, or have their own reserves about what we are doing. I think (I hope) they trust us enough to know we will figure this out as we go and that we semi know what we are trying to do here!
Easter – April 21, ended up being the perfect opportunity to tell the rest of our extended family. We made our way to three different family Easter get togethers that Sunday to do just that. No matter how we thought each person would react, things typically went a different way, but overall everything still went pretty damn well with everyone, and for that we are thankful.
>> Buy a travel trailer. Buy a vehicle to tow it with!
Thursday March 28, we made the drive up to St. Cloud to go to Pleasureland RV and look at trailers with the full intent of buying one. I had taken a few days off of work for a “staycation spring break”, and Adam was off every Thursday. We tried to plan our timing right, to not be too soon or too late, as we already had a general timeline of when we would quit our jobs and when we would sell our house. (Sidenote: Mercury Retrograde also ended on March 28 and the witch in me refused to make a humongous life purchase until that bitch was done spinning backwards!)
We probably looked at about 10 or so different units and really didn’t necessarily LOVE any of them until the very last unit we looked at. The second we walked inside the