We have been living in the RV with the rvcatsquad for a week now, and what a week it has been! We had hoped to get this post up sooner on our renovations to Knight (formerly known as Ol' Mater), but the adventures of the week prevented us from posting. And when we say adventures, we mean mistakes, mishaps, and a rogue black walnut (for real) . More on that soon.
But here we are, better late than never! It's time to meet Knight.
We found Knight after several weeks of looking at used RVs that did not come close to fitting the bill for what we were seeking in our home: solid, reliable, and within budget. We didn't mind if it needed some elbow grease, and actually expected to make updates. But, we had no idea that we would find something that so completely fit us. Desserae went out to see Knight with her stepdad, who knows a little (er...a lot) more about RVs. She knew immediately upon seeing Knight that this was "the one"...pretty sure it had something to do with the National Park decals on the back. Meeting the family who owned the RV and seeing the interior sealed the deal. Gail was onboard immediately, before seeing any more than just the photos. The family who owned Knight had taken such good care of it throughout its life. Their story, their family's adventures, and their kindness and an easy connection with us sealed the deal and made the choice feel even more perfect. And the travel wallpaper, added by Abby and her daughters, well that made us love it even more and spoke to our own journey.
While Knight was in great condition, HE (because, like, now he's ours) is a 1993 rig. He needed some updating and some new arrangements that would be better suited to a living space for two adults. And four cats. Comfort and functionality were key, and so the renovations began. First steps: ripping out the carpeting, couch, loveseat, dinette, toilet, and over-the-cab bed.
Next was to add paint, vinyl plank floors, a futon base (built by Desserae's brother, with her niece's supervision :-) ) with a custom mattress, a chair (the most comfortable ever), new mattresses for the beds, a kitchen cart (sans wheels!), solar panel system, LED lights, a backup camera, and a tire pressure monitoring system.
And lastly we put on our personal, finishing touches.
And so here we are, home sweet rolling home!
This journey began first as a notion and then a dream, followed by ramblings on a giant Post-it note hanging on the living room closet door.
Much of the input we receive from sources around us shows us a world divided, angry, and in despair. It would appear that we've lost our humanity. Though we ourselves have been caught up in this pervasive, generally negative atmosphere too, we don't believe all is lost. We know there is more that connects us as humans than divides us. We all want to be heard and to feel loved. Our connections to people and our natural world are what provide us with a sense of joy, comfort, security, and peace. We have seen in the midst of the chaos and tension a groundswell of people who feel as we do: love is what will heal us. Kindnesses go further than confrontations. Nature grounds us. Beauty is out there, all around us, if we are open to seeing.
We have both been wandering this world for a few decades, gathering experiences and sometimes hard-learned lessons. Some of the things about ourselves we have come to realize over the years: we both have a love of adventure; we are travelers at heart, happier when not tied to offices and traditional careers; and we both feel compelled to share stories through words and photos, and to--we hope--have a positive impact along the way. So we decided to leap.
We began making plans. We shopped for used RVs in the hopes we could find something we might put a little elbow grease into (while still managing our full-time jobs), and that would still be reliable, comfortable, and large enough to fit two adults and four cats. We planned for when we'd leave our jobs. We weighed our options for what to do about all of our stuff, and came to the conclusion that we did not want a storage space; we did not want to plan to come back to our current way of life. If we were going to do this, we were going all in. No easy outs. We would shed all but the most meaningful of belongings. And thankfully, Desserae's parents were willing and able to hold on to the few things we knew we'd want to keep. The rest of it? We have given most of it away. Whether to family, friends, neighbors, or charitable organizations, our belongings have landed where they will be put to good use. We hope the same holds true for us. :)
So here we are, less than a week away from this new adventure, from a new way of living in this world. Are we a little scared? Sure. But mostly, we are excited for how this new path will unfold before us and to share those experiences and those stories with you. And we are ready. Oh so ready.