If You Already Thought We Moved a Lot . . .

We have some new crazy life plans.

No, they don’t involve us getting rid of most of our belongings and moving the family into an RV to travel around the country.

But they’re close. Really close. Take out the RV, and you pretty much have it.

Let me back up a bit.

We are currently living in a dream house in a dream neighborhood. Think Mayberry meets Little House on the Prairie with a little Cape Cod flavor thrown in for good measure. We live in a planned conservation community with open prairie, ten miles of running trails, and an organic farm. Our cul-de-sac has a park in it. The next cul-de-sac over is an “edible landscape” with berry bushes, grapevines, and fruit trees that anyone in the community can pick at any time.

Three blocks from our house are organic chickens that lay organics eggs, which community volunteers (including our family) collect and prepare for sale. And if you want to buy said eggs, you can do so by putting money into the Honor Box in the “long barn” (where you can also buy local honey and organic jam made from foraged fruit and berries). An honor box. Foraged fruit jam. For reals.

Our house is lovely and large. It has a screened-in porch that I practically live in all summer and a lovely view of the lake. (Oh, yes, we have a lake with a beach, too.) If we want to go into Chicago, the Metra train stops here. There’s also a charter school with a focus on the environment right here in the community, but our kids don’t go there (though they might have, if we had always lived here). Our neighborhood is filled with kids our kids’ ages, as well as another homeschooled family with older teens who look out for all the younger ones. Our kids go outside and play for hours on end.

I’m realizing I really should do a whole post about this community. It’s insanely cool and totally unfair to the rest of the world to live here. Seriously, it feels totally indulgent. Awesome, but indulgent.

And it is, for us, in all actuality. The only reason we can live here is because we’re renting, and my dad lives in the basement and pays us rent. We couldn’t afford to buy this place in a gajillion years, not only because the house is beyond our price range, but because the property taxes are outrageous.

And now our landlord wants to sell.

So when our lease is up at the end of April, we have to move. No choice in the matter. Pretty much any place we go is going to be a let down after living here. But that won’t matter, because we’ve figured out a way to avoid that problem. Dad is moving back to Spokane, and Havarti and the kids and I are moving . . . (drum roll, please . . . )


Well, sort of. Our original plan was to get rid of most of our stuff, store the rest, and buy an RV to travel the country for a year. Crazy, I know. But cool, right? However, after doing all of the calculations and talking with some friends who have done the RV thing and friends who have done the nomad thing in other ways, we changed our minds.

We’re going to travel the country, but we’re going to do it a month at a time with furnished vacation rentals. We can live literally anywhere that has Internet access. Havarti works from home. I work from home. The kids are already homeschooled. When else are we going to have an opportunity like this?

My friend who has lived nomadically with her family said they had looked into the RV idea, but they figured out that it was going to cost them more than doing off-season vacation rentals. I had done my own math and couldn’t figure out how she’d gotten there, until I looked into where they’d been living. EAST COAST. The east coast in the off-season (fall, winter, spring) is crazy cheap. Places on Cape Cod or in Myrtle Beach that rent for thousands of dollars a week in the summer rent for less than $1000 a month in the winter. Dude. I had only been looking on the west coast, since that’s where all of our family is. It’s not so cheap out there.

So, our plan is to spend time visiting family out west after we move out of here, then head east for fall/winter/spring. We’re planning on staying in a place for a month (or two, maybe, if it’s a good spot from which to travel) and then move on to another place. I’ve always wanted to explore the northeast, anyway. And since we won’t be paying rent or a mortgage anywhere, we can spend what we would be spending each month on furnished vacation rentals. We’ll put our clothes, basic school stuff, and some can’t-live-withouts in the car and everything else we’ll sell, give away, or store.

There are a few advantages of this plan over the RV:

1) We won’t have to put down a down payment for the RV.
2) We can stop anytime we want and not worry about getting rid of the RV (and losing money from depreciation).
3) More space. That’s kind of major.
4) Less gas money (although that was already factored into our financial considerations).

The disadvantages are fewer, I think. Mainly that we won’t have one home base and we won’t be able to go and stay at more natural/remote places. But for our educational purposes on this trip, I’d rather be closer to towns and cities anyway. And as for home base, we’ll consider Havarti’s folks’ house our home base. They’re in the Chicago area, so we’ll stay with them as we pass through from west to east and east to west. 🙂

Our plans are still in the early stages, so I’ll keep you posted as things solidify. We may be a bit nuts, but we’re psyched about this idea. And if anyone has any vacation rentals they want to offer, we might just take you up on it. 🙂

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Annie writes about life, motherhood, world issues, beautiful places, and anything else that tickles her brain. On good days, she enjoys juggling life with her husband and homeschooling her children. On bad days, she binges on chocolate chips and dreams of traveling the world alone.

Comments 3

  1. OK, I see East and West, but if Texas isn’t in your plans… Houston is an AMAZING place. There are lots of cheap vacation rentals south of the city (think the Gulf Coast) and basically, Houston is a way cheaper version of New York, in terms of access to art, culture, etc. It’s also basically a bilingual city and an amazing place to learn about America’s growing Hispanic culture. AND 3 hours from San Antonio and Austin… have I sold you yet?

  2. That is so cool! I can’t wait to see the plan as it comes together and then becomes a reality. There is a lifetime of exploring in our own backyard for sure. Especially up here in Alaska. You might want to come visit 🙂

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