We have settled in nicely and adjusted to rv-living pretty quick. After all we are used to doing this. Something I realized while reading the Technomadia's book chapter 3 on how to purge your belongings and scale down your household so it will fit in your trailer or RV.
The book chapter is very helpful for people who will be doing this after a lifetime of living in a house and who are approaching this with anxiety on how to start. They will take you by the hand and show you a system that worked for them and will most likely work for you as well.
When we decided we wanted to go full time on the road at some point I was thinking that I needed to read up on how to handle that. While reading I suddenly discovered I have been doing this for the largest part of my life and our life together.
In 1995 when I met W and we wanted to live together we lived for 2 years in his dorm room on campus at the Technical University. We managed to get the most expensive and essentials of my household into that room like a full size fridge 2 desks 4 computers, a table top cooker, a microwave and a queen bed. That room was only 3 x4 meters. We had our dog, Lotte and kitty Moortje. Later we were appointed a studio and we were giddy with excitement, not knowing what to do with so much space. We even had a door to a bedroom and an own shower and toilet! We were extremely proud of how we managed to get along and not kill each other while being together for 24/7 in such a small space. In 1997 W proposed to me and we got married in November.
After he got his Masters we moved to Switzerland and again we purged everything we had because moving it would be more expensive than buying used or new there. Plus all houses in Switzerland come with appliances, unlike the Netherlands where you have to buy your own cooker/stove/fridge/washer and dryer and take them with you every time you move. Some people even have a free standing kitchen counters etc and take that with them as well. Buying a home or renting a home in the Netherlands comes totally bare, no carpet, no blinds or curtains and no lamps or appliances. Starting out a household there is expensive and when you move you take that with you. Even the carpet you bought needs to come out. I have vivid memories of me scraping off a staircase where the carpet was glued on and it needed to be bare according to rules. A lot of rental homes in the Netherlands are being rented out by the local government/community and thus there are uniform rules. Homes build after WWII have a standard size living room and kitchen so most carpet fits after moving to a new home.
In Switzerland we started new with not much stuff, we found a very nice used leather couch that was great for cats and dogs, we had 2 dogs and 3 cats by now. When W was asked to work for a company that had offices in Oakland, CA he jumped at the chance. We had to move to Germany to wait for visas and again purged all our belonging, now also all electronics because of the voltage issue. With only a few suitcases and our laptops plus 4 legged kids we moved in to an apartment hotel very similar to what we had on campus. What was suppose to be 8 weeks became almost a full year.
After 3 year in Point Reyes Station and Sacramento in CA, we headed to France and again purged all our possessions and only kept the personal stuff and my Apple equipment. 3 year France and again a move, this time back to the USA, Oregon. Again shedding a household and electronics and arrived here with this time a bit more than last because this move was sponsored by his employer and we could opt to bring more, like my collection of '50's dinnerware. This time we purchased new furniture instead of used and even purchased a home instead of renting it because we were planning on staying for a while. Normally expats rent a home if they stay less than 3 years in a place. It's not financially wise to buy a home for such a short time.
In the meanwhile my illness got worse and I became house, bed and wheelchair bound. High on our wishlist was the purchase of a RV and travel North America and Mexico. The RV is the only way for me to be able to see a bit of the contingent. Because I have a severe blood clotting problem, flying is out of the question for me.
In 2012 we purchased our Sidonia, she is a 42ft Open Range 5th wheeler with a small backroom for my wheelchair. In hindsight a motorhome would have been more comfortable but than we would have had to think up a solution for the wheelchair. We discovered that traveling sitting up was very tiring for me and caused a big backlash. We could travel no further that 2 or 3 hours max and I would need at least a week to recover. W. solved this by building a bed in the back of the truck so I can lie down while traveling. This works well as long as the elevation is not too much going up and down because that causes vertigo. I know, it's pathetic. Me, the world traveler, has to travel lying down. Who would have expected that? There are times I hardly can believe it myself and have trouble grasping the fact that I can't do those things like hiking and swimming, sightseeing anymore. unless my wheelchair can come with me.
So on the subject of purging a household I think I can say we are experts. Done this, didn't get a t-shirt and can do it again. The challenge will be to make room for those personal belongings we don't want to get rid of because they are our hobby. For me that is making memory books, digital journal/scapbook/pocket scrapping. Most of my stash is digital but I still have some hybrid items I don't want to get rid of. I have a new Silhouette cutting machine that I haven't used yet and want to make some wonderful artwork with. I will go nowhere without my iMac, my Canon printer, my sewing machine. These are all items I need to find room for. Luckily we still have room in the cupboards and closets, I'm sure we will find a way.
We are using these weeks to test how it would all work out being on the road full time, this time we took also the kitties with us, we sometimes leave them at home with a carer but this time we took them both and they are adjusting much much better than we thought they would. Kitty Dahli has her home in the backroom and kitty Nyx sleeps with me up front with my Fynn-boy-pup. Yes, W has his own room, this stems from me having a reversed sleep cycle and being up all night, keeping him awake and often rolling around not able to get comfortable because I have 24/7 pain. We don't care what others might think, this works for us, we both have our peace and quiet hours and are lucky enough to have 2 queen beds. His bed is in the backroom, it is a hydraulic bed that goes up during the day and is very very comfy. Below it is the table that used to be a dinner table in the living area but is now used as a desk and holds kitty Dahli's bed and eating area.
We have most of our beloved appliances with is, a Dolce Gusto coffee maker, a wonderful powerful mixer, and my brand new most favorite cooker ever, the Ninja Multi cooker. I will do a full review next time. The cooker is on the stove and we see no need to use the stove or the oven at this time.
We have everything we could possibly need. Except my other heavy duty kitchen appliances from Breville that are at the sticks house, like the kitchen machine, the stand mixer, bread machine, food dehydrator etc. I have not decided what to do with them. They will be the most difficult to let go because I love to cook and I always hoped to get well enough to make full use of them. Letting them go will have a double meaning for me, it will mean giving up on a dream to get well enough to cook full time. Time to ponder this.
For now, have a wonderful day/night and be well.
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