Redefining “home”

Long before we got married, I felt that home was anywhere as long as I was with my (now) husband.  We have the homes we grew up in, the homes where our parents are today, our homes of temporary community (at Burning Man and the regional burn, Playa Del Fuego, where we met)…  We live in the apartment that I rented over 8 years ago, but have yet to feel the need to own a house despite it being expected as the next traditional step.  I never expected to stay there that long, and though I stayed, I relished the freedom to be able to leave without the obligations of property ownership.

The urge to get up and go on a grand adventure never left, and now I feel that the reason I stayed this long was to meet – and marry – my adventure partner.  Last year we changed our mindset of it being a dream to a g0al, and as we wrap up wedding related tasks (and get those thank you notes sent out), we are plotting and planning together.

We have our vague goals – to travel, to experience some other regional burn events, to visit far away friends and family.  And we have enough specific goals to guide us in how and why – we want to own an RV, convert it to more sustainable technologies (waste veggie oil, solar power, composting toilet), learn how to build fully sustainable housing and apply that knowledge to the RV.  The plan is to live full-time in the RV for as long as we want/can afford, likely 1-2 years.

The hard part of planning is just starting.  It’s time to talk budgets and loans, determine what we want to buy, put plans in motion for ways to make money while being location-independent.  Yet the more we plan, the more we realize how possible this really is for us.  It will take time, and a lot of hard work, but there’s no reason we can’t!

Some of the best advice we found was to set a launch date and stick to it – we aren’t quite doing that yet, though we have a concrete goal.  We plan to buy an RV by August, and take it to Burning Man this year.  Ideally, we’d return to finish the transition to full-timing immediately, but until we figure out the financing and make a purchase, we accept that we may return to our full time work for a bit after that trip.  It will be a harsh test run for the vehicle, and there may be modifications and renovations that should occur after rather than before living in the dust for a week.  We hope to be departing in 2011, but will reassess the schedule once we purchase the RV.

Last weekend, we went to a local RV show to tour different models and types in person.  It was exciting and overwhelming, but we ended up with a fairly clear idea of what would suit our needs.  (We don’t NEED a fireplace or huge flatscreen and kitchen on the outside of the RV, which is good as we can’t quite afford those models!) As excited as I am to find our vehicle and renovate/redecorate to make it ours, it wasn’t until my husband said this at the show that it really sunk in.

We are buying our first home!

It’s unconventional, it’s not permanent, there’s no 30 year mortgage because we don’t expect to be in it for more than a couple of years, but it will truly be our home.  And the best part is that it will go wherever we want to go.  It’s going to be fantastic!

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Ready to follow along our journey?  We’ll be blogging the transition and planning process and share what we learn with you.  Even if you have no interest in the full-time RV lifestyle, almost everything we learn will be applicable to traditional homes and cars.  We have a few good habits about living sustainably, but I fully admit we are a long way off from where we’d like to be.  We’ll share our struggles and our triumphs, and hope to inspire and educate others along the way.

It’s our biggest adventure yet, and we can’t wait to share it with you!

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