In case you missed it on Instagram, we have decided to stop our full-time travels earlier than anticipated.
The reasons for this are numerous, and all are (mostly) good. We realized, as time passed, that it will be easier for us to promote our business while stationary than it would be if we are traveling, not only for marketing purposes (having our boots on the ground locally, where we want to focus our initial market, makes more sense to us as we continue down this path) but because now, instead of taking up so much time to set up and take down camp and travel on the road, we can use that time and energy to get our business off the ground.
This also plays into my job: I’ve worked entirely remotely for five months now, and while it’s been so great and I’m thankful for it, there is a lot I can’t do for my blog while on the road. I’ll be honest: the oven in our RV was crappy. It took forever to heat up and the heat circulation in there was so uneven, it would often burn the bottom of our foods (even with a pizza stone and stacked baking sheets). Plus, it was TINY. And while I’d come up with a decent schedule of batch-working on recipes in my parents’ kitchen whenever we were there, working in bulk like that just isn’t my style (I made several recipes that never saw the light of day on my blog because I lost my excitement for them over time). I also had difficulty taking on sponsored work for my blog, as oftentimes sponsored posts come up unexpectedly and to get them done in the RV was a tricky task. In short, I felt limited in my abilities to work and just to bake for funsies living in an RV. This is not to say it was impossible; it was just cumbersome.
We decided to take this adventure for a lot of reasons, and one of them was to SIMPLIFY our life – and we felt, in many ways, our life was even more complicated. We had to allot time to set up and take down our setup anywhere we traveled; we had to schedule meetings around drive days; we had to take time (a LOT of time) to plan our future travels and where to stay; we had to make guesses on delivery days/locations or miss packages entirely that were mailed to us for business purposes, etc., etc. While that’s just the nature of a nomadic lifestyle and there are so many benefits to this way of living that outweigh the costs, overall, we just felt burdened by these tasks in addition to our regular life.
And, while I’m also being honest? We missed our people. We missed our friends. We missed family. Even though we’d been able to see some family we hadn’t had the opportunity to see otherwise (and that was one thing we really loved about traveling), we missed having a regular community. Social media and texting just wasn’t cutting it for me, and though I’m an introvert, I need consistent connection with others that I didn’t have while being on the road.
We expect Avery felt the same way, in the way a four-year-old can miss her little friends. While she can be so flexible and carefree in many ways she, too, often expressed that she missed just staying put in the same place for a while. It was always heartbreaking to have to make her say goodbye to a new friend she’d made every time we’d left a campground or RV park. Maybe it was harder for us than for her to go through that, to be honest, but in any case, we never got the feeling she’d get over it (or maybe, we never would).
I also could never shake the feeling that, while our RV felt cozy and homey in so many ways, I always had a sense of wanting to “go home.” I always felt like I was on vacation, and while for some, that’s a really awesome feeling, at the end of the day, I’m a homebody and I like to come back to a place that feels familiar and comfortable and KNOWN.
This wasn’t a decision we expected to make so soon: In fact, originally we had plans to return to Minnesota by next summer at the earliest, so we could secure a place to live and get settled before Avery started kindergarten. But then, as time and talks continued, June became March, and March became December and, well, here we are, leaving sunny Florida for the icy Midwest. Home is calling and we must go.
I want to clarify: We did not hate the RV life. Not even a little bit. It was actually very sad and difficult for us to make this decision, even though we know it’s the right one. Living in an RV for six months and having the opportunity to travel the country and be together as a family and embrace the gift of freedom was SO GOOD. We will never regret taking this journey, nor do we regret having to cut it shorter than initially expected. It all just goes to show that, if you’re willing to listen in close, life will make its own plan for you and you just go along for the ride. And that ride, if you’re open to it, can be really, really amazing.
Our plan for now is to stay with my parents until, come January, when we move into our apartment in Minnesota (we decided against a house for now because we want the flexibility in case we want or need to move again). I will continue my contract work and food blogging, and Elliott will continue to pursue our business venture. And, yes, we do plan to sell Harvey the RV. I’ll let you know once the listing is live, but if you have or know someone who has any interest in buying a nearly new motorhome, send us a note! How fun it would be for us to pass him onto someone else ready and willing to embrace the nomadic life. Though we are selling this RV, we hope to be able to buy a smaller rig one day and travel on a part-time basis, whether for long weekends or the entire summer – we’re open to whatever makes sense when the time is right.
Friends, we are so thankful for you and that you were willing to come along for this crazy ride with us. It has been the highlight of our lives and we will never forget it, or you. If you have any more questions for us, please leave a comment below or shoot us an e-mail/DM on Instagram. We’d love to hear from you! We haven’t decided our next direction for Out of Boundaries, but as soon as we have that figured out, you’ll be the first to know.
Until then, I wish you and yours the merriest of holidays, and for our fellow nomads, safe and happy travels. What a gift it was to be able to share the road with you.
“The real fruition of life is to do the thing we said we have wished to do.” -Woodrow Wilson