In flux.

Ack! It’s been a while.

Last post is when we first arrived in the country, almost two months ago! Quite a bit has changed between then and now, and all the possibilities we could explore are overwhelming at times.

First, the job opportunity I came to explore didn’t work out. I was struck by that one. I had just left my ‘career’ job in mid-August, and came to explore what I thought would be an ongoing working relationship. Unfortunately, there were communication issues, and I didn’t acclimate quickly to the working environment. That left us in the country, without a clear direction or path.

We decided to take a trip back home. One of R’s family members needed help recovering from surgery, and we had the resources and flexibility to be there. It was the best trip back that we’ve had in the 3 years we’ve been gone. We hardly told anyone we were coming, and just spent time with family and friends. It was wonderful being able to share our story and how far we’ve come, and realize we can be where we need to be.

From there, we spent some time in the enchanted circle of New Mexico. One of our special places to be – we fell in love in Taos. There’s a sense of detachment from reality there, and I enjoyed the seclusion after everything that’s happened in the last couple months. We met up with friends, spent a few days, and caravaned back to central Texas.

Now we’re back where we started, looking at the drawing board and seeing what feels right. It’s an uncertain place full of possibility. I’ve started writing daily at 750words.com and it has me thinking about using parts of my brain dump for another writing project. I’m thinking about going back to school for nursing. Exploring opportunities I can find online.  We’ll see. We’ve designed our lives to seek out what opportunity we can, and for now we’re taking it one day at a time.

We’ve been extremely lucky in the last couple months to spend time with amazing, inspirational, supportive people. We’re living in community, and are grateful to have a network of chosen family and people who accept and care about us… it’s made all the difference.

We’re planning some major modifications to the Avion in the next few weeks. Looking forward to working with my hands and upgrading our space… I will take pictures!

It’s all for this. here. now.

We’re officially on the road now, 7 months ahead of schedule! The last couple weeks have felt like light speed, but we’re so incredibly happy to start our journey and have the freedom that most only dream of.

Our first day of motion was eventful. We secured everything and unhooked without much issue, but hooking up our Hensley-Arrow tow hitch was quite the task. It’s more finicky than a ball hitch, but we finally made the connection. Then, we find out there’s issue with our electrical hook-up from the truck to the trailer. Main reason: Playa dust. The truck’s previous owner is a burner, and used the beast as a fire truck during Burning Man. Quite appropriate seeing that our friends were on the playa at the time, and we were reminded of the experience in a very unique way!

It took us all day to figure out the electrics and make our way to our first destination, but we did without much issue and are very, very grateful to our wonderful friends who helped us out. We couldn’t have done it without them!

We needed to move spots in the RV park a couple days later, and hitched up, moved the rig, and put everything back together by ourselves. We felt like that was the day the training wheels came off!

We’re enjoying the country and the slower pace. Have a few opportunities brewing and we’ll see what comes next. We’re glad to have made it this far though – and couldn’t be more excited about how open-ended our future is.

Trusting the process.

Our go date is August 23rd, 2010! I’m nervous and excited, apprehensive and confident. Wow. We’ve been trying to go through a list of things-to-do, and I realized today how quickly everything can just come together.

Technomadia’s post on Overwhelm really hit home for me. I realized that we kept talking about all these possibilities, and our list of “things to do/get/buy before we leave” just kept growing. I was feeling drained by my job, and stuck by a mounting do to list. We knew that we needed to pick up steam, but I just couldn’t muster up the energy.

Lesson of the story: Now is always a good time to make a change.

The push started when my love story and I had a serious discussion about when we wanted to leave Austin. We both decided that it would be late September, at the latest. We committed to the jump and I put in my notice at my current job late July.

That was scary. It was the big reality check for me. I’m the type of guy who is big on stability, and the future was anything but stable. I just reminded myself that right now, in this moment, I have all I need and everything’s okay.

Ended up that I secured employment this past Sunday! Felt really relieved and grateful on how things worked out. I’m really inspired by this new opportunity, and we’ll still be close to Austin and in Texas for a while longer. :)

Some of the things we’re working on:

- Setting up a business to start making/selling goods.

- Finding and buying catastrophic health insurance. Just in case one of us needs major medical care, we won’t go bankrupt over it.

- Setting up mail forwarding service.

- Changing cell phone carriers – T-mobile, your coverage area just isn’t cutting it.

I was really productive today. I felt energized, inspired, and motivated. It’s awesome. There are several exciting things on the horizon, and I trust more and more that having this amazing flexibility with a house-on-wheels will lead us to things we could never dream of.

By the way, if the idea of traveling full-time interests you in the least little bit, check out Technomadia’s wonderful resource: Answers to common excuses to travel full-time. It’s invaluable!

Out with the old…

I quit my day job. My last day is August 14th. What will I do? … not sure, yet. Have a few possibilities in the works, but we’ll see what fruits and I’ll go in that direction.

Having a house on wheels has been freeing, even if we haven’t moved yet. We’re looking at going either 40 miles away, or two states away. The flexibility and possibilities are both welcoming and intimidating. I keep pushing forward, knowing that regardless of what happens it will all be okay. Processing the fear of the unknown is daunting, at best.

I imagine we’ll be out of Austin by the end of September. I love this city, I do… But we’ve been here for 3 years, and while I love it in one breath, it’s so fast paced and consuming that I feel at times I have a hard time keeping up. I’m looking forward to switching it up.

Here’s to change, the only constant!

feeling brave.

We returned earlier this month from the trip we needed to make back to our hometown. We visited family, and placed everything that wasn’t going with us on the trip in storage. The necessity of our truck camper top emerged during the trip – we have a  mobile outdoor storage shed! One of the highlights was the family biking trip to watch the fireworks – may have been only a mile or so, but it was great to glide past all the cars in a group and then beat the traffic home.Once we were home, we decided to do light painting photography in the backyard with sparkerlers – this was one of my favorites!

When we returned – a couple problem spots on the Avion became apparent, especially with the increased rainfall we saw the last month or so. Our back window leaks – due to a faulty crank mechanism, which needs to be replaced. Our kitchen counter would have a pool of water in the middle after a rain as well – and it seemed like the window was the culprit. I decided to tackle the window sealing first. I’ve never been much of a ‘handy man,’ and have assisted with projects here and there, but nothing substantial. I went to Home Depot and picked up a caulking gun, silicone sealant, and caulking tools. Luckily before I started I searched about aluminum trailers and sealants, and learned I needed to use a polyurethane sealant, so I ordered a couple tubes from Vintage Trailer Supply. Had no idea how messy of a job it was, haha! Here’s a picture from the first window I did:

Thankfully I decided to use a syringe and painter’s tape, and it helped enormously. Here’s a picture of the 3rd window I sealed:

It felt really good to do that project. Everything I tinker with gives me more courage to take on the next. I’m beginning to really think about where my interest and passion lie, and I’m learning more about myself by pushing the comfort boundary. It’s reassuring and empowering, and I hope I can focus that energy effectively.

Still no firm details on when we leave, or where exactly we’ll go. Looks like we’ll be heading on the road early next year. We’ve got a few ideas swirling around about business plans and such, but we hope to take advantage of being in Austin while we’re here. There’s so much community in whatever your interest is, and a great place for quirky ideas. :)

We’re also almost finished up the couch. Here it is in it’s loud and tacky recycled t-shirt glory:

Found a duvet cover at Savers, and decided to use it as a base. Want to add a few more patches, as well as some old scraps that I did a DIY screenprint on. I plan on taking more pictures and making a post about how we made it.

Now to see how to fix the back window…

Ch-Ch-Changes…

Wow, the last couple weeks have really launched us forward in becoming mobile, and making the Avion more like ‘home’ for us. Our big project this last week was the walls and valence in the kitchen. We really missed having a magnetic surface – we have a thing for magnets and stickers! We divided the task – I applied 6 coats of magnetic paint while the lady covered the valence. Our goal is to not permanently change the fabric in the RV at this point, to preserve its resale value. The PO did a complete update in 2006, and everything matched. Everything. Too bad it was this 80′s  grey/mauve/blue color, but alas, we’re getting creative. We did make the mandatory double-run to Home Depot (square drive screws? Never come across those!). Here’s a before and after picture to give you a better idea:

Before!

After!

After!

And the couch, to show you what we’re working with:

The only permanent change we’re debating is painting the original vinyl. We’re color people, and the creme is just a bit too subdued for our taste. Rose is thinking a buttercup yellow with teal trim. We like to pass the point where nothing goes together, then somehow it all works. The first house we rented in Austin had loud teal-painted hardwood floors. Once we stepped foot in the house we knew we were meant to be there… and we’ve just stuck to the bright color theme ever since. We’ve talked that if we ever do sell the RV, we’ll repaint before we try to sell. For now though, we just finished up our milk-crate bed frame – both stable and functional, surprisingly. We’ve also talked about making new curtains, and maybe once we get that far we won’t need to paint.  Who knows?

Oh, and yes, how could I forget? We bought a truck! It came to us serendipitously, to which we couldn’t be happier. Now we’re in renovation/save money mode, and are going to buckle down for the next couple of weeks and see how things shake out. We’ve held off on setting a launch date, as there are too many variables floating around at this point. We’re happy with the progress we’ve made, and are just going to enjoy the ride.

It’s June?!

Wow, how time flies when you’re having fun! We’ve been extremely fortunate to spend time with new nomadic friends, and really feel the itch to get our wheels moving. We’ve been discussing and discover possibilities that we hadn’t considered – and things are looking promising at the moment.

Still on the hunt for a truck, have a solid lead that we’ll be following up on this weekend. We’ve found a few that we were fairly serious about, but not ‘the one.’ Have our sights set on 1990′s or older diesel, quad/club cab (for Pumkin!) and at least 3/4 ton. We want to be able to convert it over to veggie oil when the time is right.

We’ve made progress on the couch slip-covers. Decided to hand stitch them with a thicker multi-colored thread, so it’s a bit time intensive – but should be able to have some solid craft time the next week or so. We’re excited to see the finished product! Also debating various upgrades/modifications we want to do on the Avion.

There’s chatter about leaving sooner rather than later… Coming home every day and seeing the house on wheels just makes us want to go! Our goal is to be in Tuscon, AZ for the rock and mineral show in February… but the possibilities keep presenting themselves. :)