Nathan and I both come from small, central Arizona towns (Payson and Pine) and are definitely more of what you would call “country folk.” While living in the big city had its advantages, we both longed for more of a simple, smaller life.
We dreamed of a tiny house in the middle of nowhere. A few chickens and goats, maybe a couple donkeys because they are so darn cool! We missed mountains, trees, and dirt roads. But most importantly we missed freedom. The freedom to explore. The freedom to not live paycheck to paycheck. The freedom to live where we really wanted to be.
We frequently talked about “someday.” Someday we’d leave California. Someday we’d get land and goats. Someday we’d have more time to pursue the things we enjoy. I definitely started to feel that someday would never come. There were too many obstacles. The biggest was money.
I’m sure you know, California is EXPENSIVE! We both had good, full-time jobs and it was still barely possible to save any money. Gas prices were always rising. Rent was going up. It seemed like we would never be able to get ahead, let alone get out.
On top of that, the atmosphere was just so unappealing to us. Too many people and no sense of community. Everyone is oblivious to what is going on around them. It was too fast. Too loud. Too big. Too concrete.
After too many years paying too much for rent, living in crowded cities, and not having enough time or money to have the adventures we wanted we finally had enough! We were both burned out.
The Great Escape
Months earlier I had half-jokingly mentioned we should just live in an RV to save money. Then sometime in March 2016, Nathan brought it back up. We could buy a used trailer or RV and live in that for much less money. We could go wherever we wanted, save money, and live simply. I had a work from home job that would cover our bills while Nathan took a vacation and pursued other interests. A completely brilliant plan!
We both grew up in small houses and we wanted a tiny house in the future anyway, so we figured it would be a good opportunity to give living small a try! We conveniently ignored the fact that we were completely new to this and really had no idea what to even look for.
After the decision was made we immediately started searching the web for used RV’s. You can find a lot of older ones very cheap but they would definitely need some work. And we soon discovered a lot of RV parks won’t take long-term residents if their rig is over 10 years old. Gotta keep up appearances I guess! That made things more difficult but we were undeterred!
While looking for our new home we also started downsizing. Most other blogs I’ve read say they took a year, sometimes two, to fully downsize before moving in. Well, we couldn’t wait that long. We were ruthless! Almost everything went to friends, eBay, and Craigslist. Anything else went to the thrift store. Our house was pretty empty before we even had a trailer!
We decided to go the route of a 5th wheel over a motor home so obviously, we needed a truck! We traded in Nathan’s Subaru for a Ram and were one step closer! A few days later on April 3rd we decided to go to an RV dealership just to look at floor plans and sizes to get a feel for what we wanted. And there it was. The dealership we went to doesn’t generally sell used trailers but they happened to have one that another customer traded in. It was perfect!
It had the layout we wanted, was in great condition, and was definitely younger than 10 years. We didn’t go in looking to buy anything but we decided to see if it was even in our budget. Long story short we were basically made an offer we couldn’t refuse and that day we signed the paperwork on our new home! A 2012, 30ft Jayco Eagle Super Lite!
The dealership agreed to hold it for us until the end of May when we could get our affairs in order. The hitch had to be installed. Notices had to be given. More things had to go. And most importantly a plan needed to be made! We had nowhere to go on June 1st!
More research. More downsizing. More planning. Finally on May 31st, roughly 3 months after we decided to do it, we hooked up and pulled out of our California life. On to our next adventure!