I made the decision to move into an RV fulltime the day after I returned home from Fiji! A coincidence? I doubt it... as I finally had the down-time I needed to process a few things and being in a place where less was more had a strong influence on me. While I really wanted to buy the house I was renting from my parents something deep inside me screamed NO! I had sold my home 2-years ago so I would not be tied down. What was going to be one-year suddenly became two. It became so convenient to live there... a perfect garage for my vehicles, the optimal setup for my dive gear, a relaxing hot tub, the perfect office space, charming community... none of which in the end really enriched me as a person! I wanted to experience something more than a mortgage! There is a saying... When it feels scary to jump, that is exactly when you jump, otherwise you end up staying in the same place your whole life. It was time for me to JUMP!
The big leap....
Truth be told I very much wanted to finish up my dive instructor certification and move abroad someplace warm and tropical. Reality - I would not make enough money to cover those really long expensive flights home to see my grandson every time he said "Can you please come visit me?" Family is where my heart is and they will always be my true "home". I wanted to stay close enough to still be with them as much as they'll have me. I also truly enjoy what I do for a living and the flexibility it provides me.... there had to be a way to marry everything together nicely. And yes, while I knowingly suck at marriage, I still thought this marriage was possible... Only how??
Family + Life + Work = BALANCE
I decided to take the plunge and sell everything I owned, buy an RV, set it up for remote work, and eventually begin travelling and SCUBA diving cross-country! I saw freedom to follow my passion and nourish my soul through experiences without giving up my career. Could this work? There is only one way to find out - let the adventure begin!
Now to find an RV that I could afford, was still in good shape, and that I could live, work and store my dive gear in! What became a tour of the western states to find the right RV landed me right back in Auburn, WA to the second RV I'd ever looked at... a 2005 Country Coach Inspire. It was built solid to live in, had a great area I could setup for work, an actual shower I could move in and plenty of under-carriage storage for my dive gear I was keeping. It was bigger than I had originally bargained for but I was going to live and work in this fulltime. Besides not wanting the walls to close in around me, I realized I needed to stay mainstream for work. I have no plans to take the back roads and go off the grid at this point. The RV will be home base and I'll explore in my dinghy car.... whatever that ends up being.
I made it home just in time to secure the deal, and then take off again for Bloomsday with the family. Then back home for some fast and furious packing... only this was the kind of packing where most everything needs to go someplace else! There was a big community garage sale coming up so every evening until late into the night I was sorting....keep, toss, sell, give away.... phew!! Where did all the crap come from?
My daughters wanted most of my furniture but neither were quite ready for it so I needed to haul it to their dad's for temporary storage. My youngest asked me to consider donating my clothes to a women's shelter she was found of, so I did.... boxes and boxes of clothes! WHY do we collect all this STUFF! There was a conga line of clothing for donation across my bathroom floor and that was only half of it! WHO on earth needs all this?? I now know it's not me! I wasn't expecting to have so much to get rid of and it's amazing what you can forget you own.
I was going to try to keep the house "show-ready" to help my folks.... that proved to be a hilarious hallucination during this sorting process! Clean the carpets before I'm out?? LOL That was a funny thought! Thank goodness my mom and her husband have been through this downsizing process and let me deal with what I needed to deal with. If only the HOA would have been a little more accommodating. UGH! They wouldn't grant any additional time to move in... so I had to pick up the RV at the last minute and throw and go! Thanks to some fabulous dive buddies who helped move my desk and mattress while we could. I spent the first week in the RV getting myself organized! You can't live small without being organized - EVERYTHING has it's place (a very small place).
My sister turned out to be my hero! Both her and my brother-in-law helped me so much throughout this process! My sister just said "call me and tell me where I need to be and when"... I couldn't have asked for more! I was super happy she sold her truck the night before I headed to Spokane with the U-Haul so she could go with me and pick up my aunt's convertible....her new little fun car! It became a silly unplanned girls trip (except for the chair leg falling off the deck with me in the chair)! One way in a crappy U-Haul and back in a pretty convertible!
I've been sitting here on the Hood Canal for 2-weeks now (amazing view!)and I'm just finally starting to feel at home, organized and a little relieved...
I really can do this!
Next I need to sell the Ridgeline and find the right dinghy car. That can wait another couple days because this weekend... it's time to get back in the water :) This dry spell is over!
Pamela Treischel is a SCUBA diving enthusiast, underwater photography hobbyist and Ambassador for the Inland Ocean Coalition. She is currently recovering from a mild traumatic brain injury.