December 12, 2018

Living with Less

How life on the road has been the best idea I’ve ever had.

Two years ago an idea popped into my head: to get rid of most of my possessions and leave my home of 27 years to travel full-time in an RV. This idea was so far out of my norm that I kept it to myself for months, fearing that my friends and family might think I’d lost my mind. I wasn’t sure where it originated but I decided to research as much as possible and find out if it could be done.

The more I learned and read about others leading this lifestyle, the more I believed I could pull it off. The fact that I’d never so much as spent a weekend in an RV didn’t faze me. I focused on the freedom I would gain, traveling to beautiful places. The opportunity to explore, hike, and fully enjoy nature. I resolved to continue planning until I encountered some insurmountable obstacle.

Spoiler alert... I never did.

I began looking around my house, making a list of items I would purge. My intention was to give away my furniture, appliances, and clothing to people in need. Things with a lot of sentimental value would go into storage, but the cost for that space was not to exceed what my monthly utilities had run.

Every box packed and trash can filled over the next few months brought me closer to my goal. When I got close to my exit date I contacted a woman at the local community college who coordinates services for students with children. Soon, trucks began coming down the driveway and grateful young people would cart off my stuff.

I had not anticipated how satisfying this process would be. And now, 18 months into my RV life, there’s not a single material possession I regret giving away. I have all the essentials right here, along with the freedom to move on or stay put wherever I choose. I spent three months last summer as a Forest Service volunteer at Mount St. Helens National Monument, camping in the back of a ranger-station-turned-visitor-center. I was surrounded by a  gorgeous forest with the Milky Way overhead and no sounds at night but owls. This, and other experiences have brought a depth and freshness to my life that I would have thought unlikely at my age.

When asked how long I intend to live this way, my answer is simply, “as long as it works for me.”

I hope that will be quite some time.

Published by Debbie Ringo in Lifestyle, Travel

Photography by Land Ark RV

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