“We don’t need more closet space. We need fewer things.” “Don’t get me a gift. Let’s go somewhere.”
I’ve repeated these statements dozens, if not hundreds of times. And for more than three years now, I’ve been lucky enough to share with my husband a lifestyle that combines both tenets.
In 2015, we downsized out of our 2900-sf house in the suburbs, and into a 355-sf RV.
So now we have way fewer things, and they’re inside a mobile living space that allows us to go.
It is a lifestyle that offers both the joy of simplicity, and the excitement of complications.
Our life is simple in that there is a place for every thing, and every thing has its place. If even a few things are left out of place, our home looks messy in a hurry. Plus, we can’t exactly leave dirty dishes on the countertop when we’re about to tow our kitchen around the corner and down the highway, because that is not where they’ll be when we stop!
Our life is complicated in that there are regular challenges like figuring out where we’re going to stay (RV park, campground, friend’s driveway?), what our water and electrical situation will be (both, one, none?), where to have an online shopping order sent, and our proximity to necessities like a grocery store and a laundromat. There are also unexpected and often expensive challenges like a flat tire (we’ve got ten; odds are high), a mechanical failure, lack of cellular service, weather hazards, poor road conditions, and more.
It’s not for everyone.
And yet, in a consumer culture that screams MORE, we have chosen LESS.
In a society that seems designed for STAY PUT, we have chosen DON’T STOP MOVING.
With a home on wheels, wherever we park — for a night, week, or month — is where we live, and that suits both of us just fine.
For more than two decades, we were a military family, the arc of our lives subdivided by regular changes of duty station. You’d think that after my husband’s retirement, we’d have chosen to settle in one place, and never. move. again.
But we’re not ready yet. And we don’t even know where our place is. We do have favorite towns and favorite people in them. We’re just not ready to trade the freedom and mobility to visit all of them, at the time of year and for the duration we choose, for the commitment of maintaining a permanent residence in one of them.
Sure, we’ll tie ourselves to property again someday, but even that will involve travel — specifically, a strange and curious journey through the items in our storage unit, which, best I can recall, is located at the corner of Why Did I Save This Street and I Forgot We Even Had That Avenue. Now that will be trip!
Emily Rohrer and her husband, Tim, a retired Navy officer, have been living and traveling full time in an RV since 2015. They miss having a bath tub. Find them online at www.ownlessdomore.us, and on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.