How often do you wake up to a smiley espresso on a Monday morning?
Chas and I have been approached on many different occasions and asked a version of the questions all traveling families are asked.
How can you live in such a small space with a family of five?
How can you afford to live the way you do?
If you read my previous post, The Beginning of a New Life, you already know that a few short years ago we felt we met all of the criteria listed above. You also may have noticed how unhappy we were just before economic events, along with the decisions we made, ultimately removed the problem for us.
It took us a while to accept the fact that our house and farm were gone, but after we embraced it our lives began to shift dramatically for the better. We have plans in the future to possibly settle down again, but there are many things we are going to do differently, the first is to have a much smaller house. A large farm that would allow us to be self sustaining does not require a 3500 square foot house to make it complete. We are living in a space that is under 400 square feet (less when the pop-up isn’t up) but we also have the entire United States as our playground, and our neighbors are always changing. The ability to go where our interests lead allows us to experience this great country and all it has to offer.
Now for the “How do we afford this lifestyle” question. We have discovered that our largest expense is food, it outweighs fuel and campground expenses by quite a bit. We have been shifting to buying food products that are produced and packaged here in the good old USA. That is much harder to do than I expected, but we are learning which brands to focus on and which brands to stay away from. I am sure this move will be a post all by itself in the near future, it is scary how many things we used to buy that weren’t grown here. We are members of several camping clubs including Good Sam, Passport America, and Thousand Trails. These help by reducing the cost of our parking places while we explore everything that is around us.
We are still learning how our family fits into this infinitely flexible mold we call Full-Timing. We are constantly working on how to budget our money, and how best to take advantage of the experience we possess. Basically, 2012 has been a time of learning and growth for the Scholl Bus crew, but you can bet that 2013 has some serious adventure and exploration planned. Our next stop in the Arizona desert will be opening a new chapter in our lives. Chas and I have driven through the desert on the way back across the country with Blondie, but we didn’t have time to explore on that trip. We will be spending at least 2 months there this time, so I plan to do everything from gold panning to catching and eating my own rattlesnake (I will document these of course). The girls don’t really know what to expect, they always go with the flow but they are excited to see what we will be diving in to next.
We have had so many friends and family tell us they wish they could do what we are doing. It is possible for everyone in one form or another, you just have to want it bad enough, as we found out. We live life to the fullest every day, and hope we are passing that passion along to everyone that follows our adventure. Stay tuned for more from us, you never know what we will be doing next…