I mean, there it is. Secret is out. Mic is dropped. We are moving into an RV starting this summer and traveling the country full-time with our family. SURPRISE!
Let me back up. Let me back way, way, way up.
You may recall last January when I officially declared myself done with blogging. At that time, I was eleventy billion years pregnant, we had recently moved into a newly built house and I was burned out with a capital B. I needed a massive break from blogging and social media and the internet in general. But you know all of this. And you also know the when and why of my decision to come back to blogging in this space. It bears repeating that I missed it because I missed the community (you guys!) and the recipes. These are things in my life that fuel me, both literally and figuratively, and I find so much joy in the creative process of food blogging that I decided to bring Girl Versus Dough back to the present in a new, more true-to-me way.
But the rest of my life? It wasn’t feeling right. My husband, Elliott, and I had been doing a lot of reflecting in the last year on our life, how it had gotten to what it is now and whether we were happy. Short answer: We were not.
(Oh just me taking a selfie in my new micro-bathroom, hair in top knot, no makeup on, saying hello. Hello!)
We needed a change. We needed to find a way to take our lives back into our own hands, on our own terms. We were both working hard at our jobs, taking care of two children, maintaining a big house, constantly feeling like we were spinning slowly out of control on the hamster wheel of The American Dream. Let me be clear: We put ourselves in that situation, and if all factors considered were favorable to us, we would still be living that lifestyle. There is nothing inherently wrong with wanting The American Dream, and we were so, so grateful for our opportunities and very aware of our privileges. But to us, it wasn’t jiving with our values for our family.
We wanted more freedom, less stuff. More time, less hustle. More experiences, less stress.
We were entering our thirties feeling like we were in our eighties, just bone-tired at the end of each day wondering: What is this all for?
(Side note on these photos: These were taken with the slides IN, so there is more space in the RV than what you see, TRUST. Lord knows I need at least two more feet of space between the kitchen and the table. ;))
One of my best friends mentioned to me months back that she and her family are planning to live and travel in an RV full-time starting next year (2019), and at the time, I thought, “Oh, fun! Good for her.” And I didn’t consider for a single second more that I would do that with my family. But God works in funny ways, and the seed, unbeknownst to me, was planted.
So one day this winter, when Elliott came home from work and looked, as he often does, like the color of life was drained from his face because his job had taken all of his energy (he currently works as a physician assistant in an emergency room), we sat down and thought really hard about what needed to change in our life and how. And that’s when that planted seed first began to grow. “What if,” I said, “We moved into an RV?”
And here we are.
So, here’s what has happened since January, when we officially made this decision: We sold our house (!). We are working to sell all of our things. We bought a 27-foot Winnebago Class C and named him Harvey, and he is very ugly right now but I am planning to make him look more like home (sorry, Harvey, we love you!). We shared the news with our close friends and family and have received overwhelming support as well as criticism, but we are learning to accept this as part of the process as, understandably, this is a HUGE LIFE CHANGE and not everyone is warmed to the idea of it. We get it. It’s unconventional and risky and probably very “millennial” and avant-garde and heck, we are still trying to wrap our own heads around the whole thing. But at the core of it, it represents freedom — both financial and material — and adventure and travel, and a focus on time and family and being in nature and educating our children in a unique way, among so many other things that we truly value.
So we are chasing our own new American Dream.
Here’s what still needs to happen: We still need to sell just about everything. We need to fully plan our travel route for the next few months. We need to renovate the RV (OK, not need to, but definitely want to/will). We need to move out of our house (!). Plus a million other tiny details that need to fall into place to make this happen. It’s an extremely thought-intensive process with a necessity for planning and strategy, but thankfully Elliott and I thrive on all of those things. We love love love planning and organizing and optimizing. #nerds.
Now you’re wondering, OK, but what are you actually going to be doing while on the road? I am going to be blogging here, as well as on our new TBD blog that will focus on our new lifestyle (more info to come on that once we have it all figured out!). Yes, that means I need to learn how to cook and bake in a VEHICLE. So that’ll be interesting/hopefully fun. I am hoping I can keep the premise of this blog as consistent with “normal” kitchen standards as possible, but that’s something that will have to develop on its own as we get out there and give it a go. Just know that I’m not planning to turn Girl Versus Dough into Girl Versus Grill and Camp Stove and Propane Oven (though I’m sure there will be many tiffs between me and all of those things). I also am going to continue my job with General Mills on a remote basis, something for which I am extremely grateful. That part of things was especially bittersweet for me, as I truly love my job and my co-workers and it will be hard to leave behind the recipe development portion of my job for now. But I am so happy I will be able to keep ties with them in a new way while on the road.
Elliott, on the other hand, will no longer be working as a physician assistant (obviously). Instead, he’ll be focusing his energies on a new business we’ve started (yes, something ELSE that is under wraps for now, but I promise to share more very soon!) as well as the new lifestyle blog we are creating. He also will be doing more behind-the-scenes work for GVD, and I am SO HAPPY about that. It’s a bit of a hot mess on this side of the screen when it comes to everything but, well, the content. So I’m hopeful he can keep the gears working well in the background of this blog.
So… yikes. Sigh. Whew. I’m so glad to get all of that off my chest. I could keep writing about the whens and whats and hows and whys of all of this for a literal age but I will spare you the novel. I am sure you have a million questions and I would love to answer them — really! So please, if you have any questions at all, ask away in the comments and I plan to respond in a Q&A-style post soon. Once the new lifestyle blog is up and running, we’ll be sharing more details on everything over there, too, so stay tuned for that. Until then, we’ll be furiously packing and purging and planning and pinching ourselves as we ask ourselves for likely the 400th time, “Are we really doing this?”
Yes, yes we are. And we are ready.