This idea is very much a progression. I feel like we have been through a number of phases and are now in phase #4. With the house going on the market next month, we are moving with purpose through painting, carpeting and downsizing. The 'home' we have known for so long is not the same. It's almost like getting a new job and having a different office--things are OK, just different.
We have experienced a wide range of emotions and thoughts: it is exciting, hard work, purposeful, risky, fun. It requires that we be sure about our faith, a sense of calling, a choice to live at a certain level of income and core values of what is important to us.
Here's my take on our progression. From 'Curiosity' to 'On the Road'
- Curiosity - we began looking at RVs as a point of curiosity. It was almost like walking through neighbor's Open Houses. That phase probably lasted a couple of months.
- Interest - we got more and more enamored with the idea. We kept going to RV shows and then stopped a few RV dealerships and started asking a lot of questions. This phase took about two or three months.
- Decision - we came to a point and said, 'let's figure out how we do this'. We discussed the reasons 'why' and 'what will we do with our time'? We became more committed after we decided to be debt free. That means selling our house. We decided we will continue to work part time in some capacity for pay and as volunteers. I think we decided to 'go for it' after about six months.
- Preparation -this phase has been the longest for us and like a new hobby. We researched and developed a game plan which has included visiting 33 RV dealerships in 10 states, driving 13 diesels, researching which state to live in for tax purposes and fixing up our house so we can sell it. Plus a lot more. A whole lot more. Creating this blog as a way to keep in touch of people has been a part of it. We have been preparing for about a year and a half.
- Transition - we decided on a time table and developed a list of things we have to do including major downsizing. Downsizing has been the test--are we committed to this or not? How are we going to fit what's left of 30 years of stuff into 400' square feet? We also will become residents of South Dakota and set up a mail forwarding service. Once the started making major changes to the house and got within three months of selling it - we entered into this phase. I think we will be in transition for the next many years.
- Buying - we have picked out the make and model of our future RV. If the right deal comes along within the next few months on a 2007 or later model, we would use a home equity loan and buy the RV before we move out of the house. Not likely but a possibility.
- Moving - after we sell the house we may have to move in temporary quarters for a few weeks while the new RV is built. Then we would relocate all our worldly goods into the RV.
- On the Road - once we take possession of the RV and leave the area the new adventure begins!