Today marks one year that our family of 5 (plus 2 dogs) has lived in just over 250 sq feet and been traveling the US full time.
It’s been quite an amazing adventure.
We committed to a year and here we are. Before next steps, I think its time to reflect.
In summary, I’ll tell you it’s been really really hard, but also really really fun.
The hard parts? I”ll break down some for you here…..
I’m not gonna lie, it’s stressful to be this close to 4 other humans 24 hours a day, especially when 3 of them are your own kids. :) Don’t get me wrong, I love them, but I also believe wholeheartedly that a little “absence makes the heart grow fonder” is not only true, but necessary.
Living in a tiny space also wears you down a bit when you like to cook and hangout inside. There have been plenty of times when cooking that I seriously could not find a spot to set something down. Counter space is more rare than an affordable Manhattan apartment. But, we make it work. I’ve perfected the fine art of balancing pot, pans and dishes as necessary.
I have no place to hide! And when I say hide, I mean just to even meditate or quietly read a book. I really like my alone time, it’s been a little sparse this year.
I miss reliable internet and cell service. I don’t think I need to explain further.
I miss working! I love to work and even with my mobile business, it’s hard to do since Oscar works full time. We don't have access to reliable childcare as you can imagine. This, however. we plan to figure out soon as I’m starting to take on some health coaching clients…scheduling with Oscar will be key. THIS I’m super excited for.
Now, the AMAZING parts… and they far outweigh the hard parts….
We have visited 26 states. TWENTY SIX STATES!!!! This is really cool. We have all learned so much about these states and seen so much of our amazing country.
I have a renewed appreciation for our country. Really seeing the history and visiting so many of the places where this country began… we have a better understanding of how many lives were lost for freedom. So many people did amazing, courageous, wonderful (and not so wonderful) things that shaped this country we enjoy. This appreciation I never could have learned through school. And I certainly took this freedom for granted living as I have in my comfortable homes in my safe communities.
The USA is so incredible and as much as we all “know”, it's incredibly diverse, in its people, landscapes, climates and many cultures, It’s a much different thing to truly experience its diversity. From the majestic colorado mountains, to the incredibly unusual rock formations in Monument Valley Utah, to the beautiful beaches in SoCal, to the gritty, busy NYC landscape… there’s just something to being and breathing there. Yes breathing. Its almost as you breathe in the energy of a place. You feel it inside you. And it is incredible. And the people… THE PEOPLE! So many amazing cultures and ways of living. Most people in the US don’t live like we did. Some would say we are blessed, others might even say cursed. But one thing is for sure… there are so so so many people to meet out there that are not like us. Well, let me rephrase, at our CORE we are the same. But what we do, how we live and what we look like… there are so many differences. Oscar is especially gifted at connecting with people. I’ve been a very lucky bystander. I long to connect with others as he does, but something in my inner being resists. This year has moved me closer into better connections… as I suppose we are all a work in progress, right? But this year for me has mostly been watching and loving others and all their uniqueness at a tiny bit of a distance.
Travel is simply exciting- its so much fun to just explore! Finding the grocery store, local park and even a place to run can be an adventure. I personally love the newness of it all. Each week, or two weeks, I scour the local Google maps looking for places to see and experience. It really is downright fun.
I’ve learned I really don’t need much “stuff” to be truly fulfilled. In fact, too much stuff is suffocating. Even in this small space, we still have way more than we need. Some stuff we don’t use at all. Living with less is actually freeing. Did I mention I can clean this place from top to bottom in like 40 min?
We’ve connected with so many friends across the country!!! Some new, but many old. In one year we’ve visited more than a dozen of our family and friends all over that we hadn’t seen in 5-10 years or more. Very cool.
One year ago I was terrified and excited… having no idea what this past year would be like. Now, I look back with such a full heart. So happy we’ve embarked on this adventure. We plan to stay on the road for a bit more… exact plans (like much of this past year) are TBD.
If you’re curious… here’s where we’ve been so far. This list is where we have stayed or visited, certainly not all states or major cities we have driven though.
Lithia Springs, FL
Fort DeSoto, FL
Chattanooga area, TN
Eddyville, IL for solar eclipse totality
Kansas City, MO
One night in the middle of nowhere KS
Colorado Springs area, CO
Monument Valley, UT
Boulder City, NV
Las Vegas, NV
Death Valley, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Santa Monica, CA
San Clemente, CA
Dana Point, CA
San Clemente, CA
Dana Point, CA
Tucson area, AZ
San Antonio, TX
New Orleans, LA
Arley and Birmingham, AL
Madison (near Tallahassee), FL
Punta Gorda, FL
St. Augustine, FL
Savannah and Tybee Beach, GA
Emerald Isle, NC
Lancaster area, PA
The Berkshires, MA
South Hampton, NH
Cape Elizabeth, ME
Ellis and Liberty Islands, NY
Pulaski/ Syracuse, NY
Living with less and loving more~