“Let’s do it!” she cried, clapping her hands and holding them in front of her chest like a little girl. Her enthusiasm was so genuine it was contagious.
“Really? You sure you could do that?” he asked, wondering if this was just another one of her crazy ideas…she had them a lot and usually gave them up after a week or less of in depth research. She always did research.
“Yes! I’ve been researching it and not only is it way more common that people think, it’s easy to do it for just a year if you decide it’s not your bag. We buy something used, so we’re not out a ton of money if it turns out it’s not for us, and in the meantime we begin downsizing, seriously, don’t give me that look, and then we put together our timeline. Ideally we want to be ready to launch in six months or so but it all depends on how long it takes to sell the house and…”
“You’re serious,” he cut her off, clearly a bit flustered. Usually she brought these ideas up early before they’d really been simmering in her mind for awhile, before she’d already started any research. He knew she’d been watching that RV show but didn’t realize it had gotten any further than that.
“Yes, I’m serious. I’ve been watching that RV show and it set me to thinking about it so then I started looking into it online, just when I had five minutes here or there, but I’ve ordered this book by this woman who did it with her family and they absolutely love it and she says the book has literally everything you need to know with links to stuff for more info. But before it even gets here and we read it…”
“We?” he interrupted again, his face a twisted smirk, she always said we but usually meant she and then if it passed her perusal he’d get brought in.
“Yeah, okay, okay, well we if you want to read it, too, after I’m done. But before we even get to that I figured we should sit down and really talk it out and see if it’s even something you’d seriously do. I mean I know you said you thought it sounded great when you watched one of those episodes with me, but then we haven’t talked about it since then so I wasn’t sure if you meant ‘it sounds great for those weirdos,’ or ‘it sounds great, I wish we could do it.'” She stopped and looked at him with wide eyes and a giant grin. She’d put her hands under her thighs to hold them down. This was her classic “I’m super excited but trying to stay calm” pose.
He sighed and said, “well, I think it sounds wonderful. I think it’d be amazing to see the whole US, I mean, I’ve always wanted to go to Maine…”
“Me, too!” she blurted before clapping a hand over her mouth.
Letting out a short huff of laughter he continued, “and other places, but what about money?” They didn’t have any savings to speak of, the minimum extra three months in case one of them lost their job or had a serious injury, but that was it.
“We’d have whatever money is in our savings and whatever money we made selling the house and all the stuff we don’t really care about paying to store, which if you ask me is everything but I know you don’t feel the same way. That money would help pay for our rig and the places we stay for the year and the gas and insurance and the food and stuff. The problem is we gotta see how much we can make off of everything so we know how long we can be out on the road. But also there are other options and the book is supposed to talk about them but apparently you can do things like work camp or take a ranger position part-time and stuff like that. So we can go about this two ways: one, try to figure out how much we think we’ll need for the year for gas, food, camping, insurance, and the unexpecteds and two, start selling stuff off and keeping track of how much we have saved. We need the numbers to be at least somewhere close, ball park close, and preferably the number two should be bigger than the number one.”
“Wait, so we’re selling our vehicles and everything?” he asked, a little surprised, “I thought we’d keep one for when we got back?”
“Well, it depends. If we get a rig that’s got a motor and wheels like a Class A, B, or C, then we’ll need a tow car to go visit the sights. But if we get a rig that’s a trailer then we need to sell both vehicles so we can buy the right towing truck.”
“Ah. I remember that in that episode I watched with you. Makes sense. Well, what about your family?” he asked, “you spend a lot of time with them. You gonna be okay away for a whole year?”
“Uh huh,” his raised eyebrows and gentle smile said he didn’t believe it for a second, there was no way she could be away from her family for a year. He’d put money on them coming back for a visit or the family flying out to whatever cool spot they happened to be in.
“No, really, it’ll be fine. In fact, my family will probably come out and visit us depending on where we go. Plus, we’re mobile! We can always come back for the major holidays if we need to.”
“Okay. Maybe. It is just one year. What about our jobs?”
“Excellent question! I hate mine and you hate yours. Problems solved. We quit. Hooray!” she cheered.
“So we quit our jobs with no income, sell our home and buy a rig to live in for a year and spend all our money on living for that one year, am I right so far?” she nodded and gave a so-so back and forth “mostly” wiggle of her hand so he continued, “after that one year we decide we hate it and we come back here. We have no jobs, we haven’t worked for a year, we have no home except our rig. We live in your parents backyard?”
“Ah! I see your concern. Valid but incorrect. After one year we love it and decide to full-time forever!” she began gnashing her teeth with relish, “just kidding! Okay, so yes, it is totally possible we will hate it and be desperate for the year to end. If that’s the case as the year-end approaches we begin looking for work from wherever we are. We use the internet to look for jobs. And who knows if we’ll even want to come back here. By then we may have fallen in love with Maine. You never know.”
“I like the idea of that,” he said, stopping for a minute and half-closing his eyes as though he was picturing it on his eyelids. “That makes sense, we can search for jobs online from Maine in any state just as easily as we can search for jobs online from where we are now in any state. And if we can’t find legit jobs we at least have a roof over our heads while we work at the gas station to pay for our food. Totally doable. Alright, now, when it comes to downsizing, just how far down do you mean?”
“I don’t know. I’ll be honest, I have no idea. That’s just the thing that show is always saying over and over again ‘storage, storage, storage,’ so clearly storage is in high demand and short supply. I suspect we’ll need to eliminate seventy-five percent of our clothes? I dunno, maybe more? And probably ninety percent of the kitchen? And I’d guess, like ninety-nine percent of our decorations?”
“Decorations?” he asked, looking around, they had practically nothing on the walls except pictures.
“You know, pictures hanging on the walls or sitting on shelves,” she gestured vaguely to the whole house.
“Oh no, I’ve got it. I know why this won’t work,” he said, looking at her playfully, “books.”
She hung her head and groaned. He was absolutely right. They both loved to read, had more books than some libraries, and she was the worst offender, never wanting to get rid of the books she read that she loved and not willing to give up the books she hadn’t read yet that she’d bought cause she just knew she was going to love them. Putting her chin in her hand she said, “I don’t even know…where am I going to start? My first thought was I’d just put them all in storage, but I can’t. Books shouldn’t go into boxes for more than a week, like as a wrapped gift to someone else. So then I thought I’m just gonna have to sell them all, but…so much sadness right there.” Her enthusiasm had been properly doused.
“Well, you do have a Kindle, and I know, I know, I know, it’s not the same as holding a book in your hand, but, you could use the kindle for the books that would take up a bunch of space, and then you could bring like five or ten actual books that are normal size books and then you could drop them as we go at Little Free Libraries or local library bookstores and then you could pick one up each time you drop one?” he offered.
“You. Are. Brilliant.” She sat back with a giant smile, criss-crossing her legs under her and pumping her knees up and down, the wind back in her sails. “I could do that. I could find a few that I just can’t part with right now, and the rest we can sell online or at a garage sale, and anything else that doesn’t sell, if we absolutely don’t have room for it, I can take it to our local library bookstore before we leave. Plus, I have at least six months to read as many as I can before that anyway, so,” she sighed, “whew, I can totally do this.”
“What else?” he asked.
“I don’t know yet. You?”
“I don’t know yet.”
They both sat in silence for a minute looking at their hands, thinking their own thoughts. Buoyed by their love for each other and this adventure growing before them. They smiled and looked at each other at the same time.
“We’re really going to do this?” she asked.
“‘You miss one hundred percent of the shots you never take,'” he quoted.
~~~That’s one hour~~~