We Signed up for a New Life

We did it. We signed on the line and put our house up for sale. Emotions were real. Real loud (at least for Jimmy). I was just plain excited. All I could see was the next step in our journey to full-time living and I just couldn’t wait to get it on the market to see what people thought. You see, we remodelled just about every square inch of this little house and we made it spectacular. We made it smart. We made it the house that people stopped to look at as they drove by. We loved it and I wanted to know if others felt the same.

Then reality set in. Showings come with hurdles; they are a big pain. It means someone else is going to be living in our house. Showings mean we couldn’t finish getting rid of all our things as a furnished house sells better than an empty one. Showings mean that we had to keep our house spotless all of the time. Showings mean we are displaced every time they show the house. But they get the job done and are a vital part of the whole process.

Our biggest hurdle?  We sold our second vehicle months earlier as we downsized, so we only had one vehicle. This would have meant that one of us was always going to have to figure out what to do with themselves, two dogs and a cat during every show. But luckily, we already had our LTV and it was conveniently parked in our driveway!

Little home parked next to big home = WIN.

Spending hours out in the LTV was as good as being in the big house! It was way better than sitting at a McDonald’s or looping around the block for hours. Or walking if one of us happened to be at work. We also could peek out the window and see who was looking at the house (don’t tell on us). We also got to spend time in the LTV organizing, installing interesting stuff and in Jimmy’s case, sleeping after working graveyard shifts.

The remaining hurdles had to be dealt with one at a time. Some were mental, some were physical and some were just plain logistical.

The Mental

Well yeah, the whole selling the house you thought you would retire in is hard. We just had to get over this one as there’s a bright and scenic-filled life waiting down the road.

The Physical

I had an emergency appendectomy right after we signed. It wasn’t fun, but I’m ok. I was limited to only picking up 10 pounds or less for a while and this left a lot to Jimmy (sorry babe).

The Logistical

Oh man! It’s not like we were moving to another house or had plans to later. When we closed, the house was supposed to be empty and we had a lot to sell or get rid of. But the realtor wanted us to keep the house furnished until we got a “clear to close” status from the buyer’s financing. We weren’t sure how we were supposed to sell it all when that status doesn’t usually happen until a week prior to closing! We considered moving everything to storage and selling later but decided to offer it all up to the potential buyers and see what happened. Fingers were crossed!

We received a contract from the very first showing which was less than 24 hours after we listed! This was when things became very real for me. We were selling our house. Holy cow! Wait, I’m not sure I want to! But, I did. That was hard. The showings continued for a week while we waited to see if any other contracts came about but it seemed like we would be living in the LTV much sooner than expected.

Those reactions to the house I was wondering about? Yeah, they were all great. The best one was “OMG, this house is FABULOUS!” One week after our listing was published, we had shown the house 17 times and had received 9 contract offers!

Life is good.

Fast forward 2 months and you will find that we closed just over a month after listing the house and have officially been living full time in the LTV for a month. The situation has not been ideal as we are both working different schedules. This means someone is always stranded or having to find something to do while the other one sleeps. It hasn’t been nearly as hard as we expected, but not particularly easy either. Luckily the RV Park we chose is quiet and not terribly far from work.We stayed in this first ‘resort’ park for 1 month. For our purposes, it was great. Even if it was a concrete jungle. We didn’t use many of the facility perks – only their WiFi and popcorn. We were spurred to move on when they switched us to a daily rate at the end of the month. Jimmy really had a hard time giving up the popcorn.

We moved out to a County Park on the beach and LOVED it! Wildflowers were blooming, walks on the beach were relaxing and migrating birds singing outside lulled us to sleep…. It was hard to leave!

April 17 was Jimmy’s last day of work. April 18th marked our first true day of freedom and the beginning of Full-Time RV Life. Will we miss family members that live locally? Yes! Do we miss the house? Surprisingly, no! And the furniture crisis was averted when the buyers asked for most of our furniture. We actually only had to sell a few things and donated just one carload. Waiting and the minimalist game paid off.

Are we still scared to embark on this new way of living? Sure, but we are ready!

Did everything we need fit in the motorhome? Gosh, we hope so. Honestly, I feel we have too much and plan to reevaluate monthly. Do we miss our “hometown” or jobs? Nope, but we sure do miss the people!

Let the adventures begin!

Lessons we learned:

Note: Full-time RVing (in any type or make of RV) may have implications on policies including, but not limited to, warranty and insurance policies. Please do your own research before making the decision to live in an RV on a full-time basis.

The Transition to FTVL (Full Time Van Life)

The last time I wrote you was from our maiden voyage in Toots (our 2017 Serenity). We had been working hard to launch our new yoga/wellness/functional movement website and all was full of love and butterflies.  Now I write you with different news. I write you with feelings of fear and some anxiety.

The reason for these two distinct feelings? We have made the move. We have moved out of our home in Victoria, BC and into Full-Time Van Life (FTVL).

Firstly, I will address the fear. Let’s get it straight, right?

The fear has nothing to do with Toots!  I am more in love with our LTV than ever and know that moving in was the right choice. Kaitlin and I fit this life better than we could have hoped. We travel to film and teach FUNctional Yoga for our new website, and love to visit the ones we love all over North America. Sounds perfect right? Yes and no. Now that we have made the commitment, I see the societal norms we have been entrenched in being challenged. The reaction from friends and family range from “Yes! this is perfect for you guys!” all the way to “Whoa….really How is that going to work?” Do we try to hold onto the former, although the latter makes you think no?

The “How to make it work” statement brings on the fear. It brings on some doubt that maybe we can’t make it work. That maybe it was a mistake, or we aren’t hippy enough to fully embrace the lifestyle. I am working on nipping it in the bud before it can fully gain steam and turn into action. I have to remind myself (usually during a morning meditation) that we have chosen this, and we are giving it a try. I feel so grateful for that.

Using those thoughts immediately resets me back to being both giddy and excited. Which seems to be my default these days. We have the utmost freedom and have been actively working to build our lives out this way. This is not a mistake or a coincidence, I chose this life that I am living and that feels amazing. It’s really not scary at all. The fear is not mine.

Now to the anxiety.  The A word.  That lingering feeling where something is not quite right. Those things that are all wrong or mistakes that have been made. It sits differently than fear; it sits in my gut. Little nausea, mixed with a little bit of gas, is the best way I can describe it. When I get a chance to look at it, I see that the fear and anxiety are not separate. They are basically the same feeling, showing up in different ways and being sparked by slightly different worldly factors.

Anxiety seems to come from within, it seems to stem from my own thoughts (and essentially made up problems).

“Where do my shoes fit in the RV? Why are the cupboards so full? Am I doing this wrong? I’m probably doing this wrong. I am most likely going to fail at FTVL. I am most likely going to fail in my new career. My marriage is probably on the rocks. The government is falling apart, my investments are going to crumble and we are running out of water.”

The ball can keep going until all I want to do is sit in a ball on my Serenity’s corner coach bed and wait for it all to fall apart around me. Sounds silly, no? It’s not. The outcomes may not be real, but the feelings are. They are warranted and reassured by the news and the people around me. Again, I have to see it for what it is, take a quick stock of the gratefulness I have for the life I am building and see where I can stop wasting energy. The precious energy I have needs to be directed to myself and my new found life, not the ‘problems’ I have found. If I see the barriers, how will I ever be able to see the opportunities and openings and wonderful and amazing things around me?

I see this FTVL as a blessing. It’s winter in Canada and we are adapting. Albeit, we are on Vancouver Island, so our Canadian winter is not a true Canadian Winter. Our furnace runs, but not all that often and we won’t see much snow. “Canadian Winter Lite” I’ll call it.  I know we have made a great choice, both in our LTV and FTVL. Our possessions fit wonderfully and we are ready for some locational freedom. We are driving it down Baja California this December & January on a bit of a tour. We teach a yoga retreat in Sayulita Mexico in January, so we have decided to drive our home there this year! How amazing of a sentence is that!? I plan to keep our Journal going and keep the Love Notes From the Road flowing as we settle into Toots and find our groove.

One thing that there is no room for in Toots is any feelings other than gratefulness, peace, love, excitement, amazement, and awe. This world is filled with beauty and we plan to soak it up as we tour! I wish you all the best and I would love to hear some note from the road! -Ben


Note: Full-time RVing (in any type or make of RV) may have implications on policies including, but not limited to, warranty and insurance policies. Please do your own research before making the decision to live in an RV on a full-time basis.