|As we were getting ready to leave my parents' |
house where we camped out for almost a month.
I wrote this a few days ago but haven't had a chance to post it.
I’m sitting in the tiny bedroom in my new house on wheels. Our home is officially sold, Erik is finished work, and last Friday we hit the road! It’s all rather exciting. One of the strangest parts of the process has been our complete inability to figure out what we’re going to do. We’ve been asked, time after time, and the best we’ve done is give a vague answer, something along the lines of traveling for a while and settling down somewhere, someday. We don’t know when or where, but we trust we’ll know when we get there. Finally, though, I think we have the beginning of a plan. It’s not that we’ve been entirely without one, it’s just that circumstances have been such that every time we made a plan, things changed, requiring our plans to change with them. I guess this is the way life is now. Flexibility is key in our new lifestyle. If we’re going to blow with the wind, we’d better learn to float!
Looking back over the last several months, we’ve been through a number of plans. I’m probably forgetting a few, but it’s looked something like this:
- Plan A: Fly to Peru September 1st. Explore a couple of South American countries, returning the end of November. Or, decide to stay longer. Plan A failed when the first offer on our home fell through. We forfeited the tickets we’d bought and moved on. Thankfully the tickets were incredibly cheap. But still.
- Plan B: Once the house sells, fly to see Erik’s sister in Ontario, Canada, then visit my relatives in New Jersey and explore the East Coast a little before flying out of the country. Plan B seemed awfully complicated and expensive due to flights, the necessity of renting vehicles, finding places to stay, and the logistics of planning it all.
- Plan C: Buy an older motorhome and make a road trip of it. By this time we’d accepted another offer on our home and it was scheduled to close September 21st. We looked at some RVs and decided it would be more practical to buy a travel trailer, which then morphed into...
- Plan D: Very similar to Plan C, only this time we decided to act on it. After looking at many trailers in RV lots, we found one that is perfect for us. It’s only 4 years old and we bought it directly from the original owner, saving lots of money over buying from a dealer. It has triple bunks in the back so the three older kids all have their own space, and Pearl has a little bed on the floor next to us. At this point Erik was also looking into the possibility of a job in California that would start in the new year, on that would require him to move around some and work in different places for a month or so from time to time. We thought the trailer would be perfect for that as well. September 21st came and we moved into the trailer, renting our home to the buyer. The days dragged into weeks as we waited, and waited, and waited for our home to close. As it grew later and later in the fall we began to rethink our plan to drive east, not wanting to run into too much winter weather, but still really wanting to visit our families. The sale of our home finally closed on October 10th, nearly three weeks later than it was originally scheduled. Erik gave notice at work that day. He also had lunch with a colleague who does independent contracting in their field and discussed Erik doing some work for him. One job in the works would require him to be in Washington at the beginning of November.
- Plan E: Given the weather and the possible job opportunity in the Northwest in just a few weeks time, we began to look into flying back to see family for a short time then returning so Erik could take this job. A few days later we found out that the job in question wasn’t going to happen, although there is still a strong likelihood of contract work for Erik down the line.
- Plan F: We turned our focus once again onto driving east, getting to Ontario as quickly as possible and hoping that decent weather would hold out and that we wouldn’t be caught in a blizzard in North Dakota or somewhere like that.
- Plan G: Erik’s sister wrote us a very sweet email, explaining that she understood our predicament and that if we waited to come in the spring it would be fine. At that point we realized we could turn our attention elsewhere, but we still felt we needed to be available for some possible jobs in the Pacific Northwest. As such, we finally, finally settled on a plan. We rolled out of Eugene last Friday (did you hear the cheering?) and spent the weekend in Portland before heading south. We’re making our way down through California, stopping to see the Redwoods, friends in Santa Cruz, and family further south before crossing the border into Mexico’s Baja Peninsula. Exploring the Baja is one of my bucket list items, so we’re going to take our time camping along the way and getting to know it. We’ll stop, of course, in San Miguel and see my cousins and savor that special place. I plan to read the journals of my Gramps as well as my great grandparents who lived, explored, and loved the Baja. After that, we’ll see where the wind blows us!
So here I sit, with no internet, but still able to write. Rain is dripping steadily on the roof, but inside we’re warm and dry. The kids are tucked snugly in their beds, the dishes are done, and today’s work is over. We’re in one of my favorite forests, the Jedediah Smith on the Redwood Highway. It was dark when we pulled in, and I’m excited to wake up and take in the view. The kids are eager to see the Big Trees, especially the one you can drive through. In the morning I’m going to read them the story of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox in anticipation of seeing the ridiculously cheesy and enormous statues at the Trees of Mystery. (Paul Bunyan once waved right at me there. True story.) I’m excited that we are finally on our way, and that at last we have a plan. All that said, plans are entirely subject to change at any time, with no warning! And I’m okay with that.