POP UP Camper Conclusion..finally

Wowsers… summer flew by. I didn’t intend to take so long to post a pop up camper rv living update conclusion–but such is life and well here it is now.

Let’s start with the good things about our pop up experience. As a reminder, we closed on our old house and had about 2 months of time before we would close on our new house. So we had this small window of time and well I decided let’s do it!! Let’s do this full time rving thing —on a small scale. I am totally the person that would love to sell everything, pack the kids into an RV and hit the road.  To me that is living life. Literally living it.  Going where we want, how we want, when we want. I have a teen that isn’t on board with living in a RV during the school year otherwise I am fairly confident I’d be blogging via RV right now 🙂

So the positive:

  1. Talk about connection and quality time with your kids! Words can’t even describe it. Our pop up didn’t have a tv, well we put a small one in but you could only watch movies on it and it was sort of a pain so we didn’t use it much.  This equated to loads of quality time and true interaction.
  2. Life experience.  I still to this day (granted only about 2 months out) but each day I hear a story about the pop up living from my kids. Whether it is the rain, frogs, food, etc. I hear a story about us living in the pop up everyday and I love it!!
  3. Met some incredible people!! Not only the “locals”/temporary residents but the long term full time rving families that were there. All there for different reasons too. One family was a doctor family who moved from their 400K house and wanted to just downgrade and take time to decide what their next move was. Another came as a temporary thing while they were in between housing and a job loss and some 7 years later are still there with their 3 kids.
  4. Having the kids realize that they don’t need “stuff” to live or be happy or do things. Literally all summer no tv, no internet, no stuff to occupy their times. It was them, their few toys we had (ie bikes and roller blades), swimming pool, frogs, bug catching tools, etc. It was neat to see them sort of band together and make new friends and just be kids. Wet, muddy, dirty, no shoes on, holding different bugs and critters each day and smiling all day about it.
  5. Besides the cliche obvious things like it put a roof over our head etc. I truly enjoyed my time in the pop up and am now more confident then ever that the rv life is totally “me”.
  6. I have now learned and proven first hand you don’t need a giant pantry full of shit that is going to sit in there for months, you don’t need a huge freezer full of food that again will sit there for who knows how long, and you don’t need a fridge full of an entire weeks++ worth of food! Seriously! Yet, what is the one thing I did when I closed on my new house and moved in…packed the fridge, pantry, and freezer…oye vey! LOL

The not so positive:

  1.  It isn’t as cheap as one would think.  Especially since our fridge was smallll and that meant regular trips to the grocery store. The meal portion of this RV living added up quick especially because I don’t eat meat and well see #2 :), so these made it a little tricky and since I wasn’t overly prepared for this aspect my food bill was more then I would have liked.
  2. STOVE, we had a small stove in the camper but since space was already an issue and I have little hands in the camper I didn’t want to turn the stove that is propane fueled on.  So the only cooking ability was outside on the grill. It made it a little tricky and the constant rain didn’t help either.
  3. THE RAIN!! There was a lot of rain…. a lot… so being in a campground that didn’t handle rain very well and in a pop up with no tv, no cooking, etc it was a patience testing process at times. Or maybe a sanity testing process is a better way to describe it 🙂
  4. OMG let me not forget the laundry!!! Hands down my single biggest failure to be prepared for was laundry!! Having to cart my stuff to a laundry mat. It was not a huge thing but I wasn’t prepared for it at all so it totally caught me off guard and made me really forget how FANTASTIC having a washer and dryer in your own home is. 🙂
  5. The pop up was fine for a short 60 day stint-not ideal for that length but doable and we made it work BUT truly a smaller travel trailer would have been even more ideal.  We could have used just a few more sq ft of space and storage compartment for some of our stuff underneath the rv woudl have been great.
  6. ISOLATION… if you aren’t careful and don’t make it a point to get out, get around people, socialize … it is super easy to find yourself lonely and isolated. I did pretty good at this, it helped having 3 kids to cart around but being new to the town and knowing no one and being in the pop up. It was a bit of a fine balance of socializing versus isolation.

These are a few of my biggest takeaways. Overall I can say I am so glad I did this! It was a blast. Great memories. Great adventure. I wish we could have moved campgrounds more but given the circumstances that wasn’t how our trip was this summer.

Here’s what I can tell you!!! I am already planning on another summertime excursion for the next summer.  YEP you read it here!! I just announced over the weekend to friends and family that this summer I will be planning a 4-6 week excursion across country. I have a few goals this time

  1. Trade in my pop up and get a small light weight travel trailer!
  2. More campgrounds!! I am hoping to start in Florida and travel all the way to the Seattle/Portland areas! Stopping at many many locations in between!!! CRAZY EXCITED.
  3. Putting more of our adventures on the blog this time!

I receive many behind the scenes comments on my blog! Thank you! I love your feedback and comments whether it is on the blog or off the blog. I am going to start researching the best travel trailer for my needs and routes/places to stop. If you have any favorites feel free to shoot them over to me!!

 

 

So you are living in an RV

It is so cool, neat, and funny how life works sometimes.

For years I have teetered with the idea of living in an RV.  I have brought the subject up many times to my spouse and well let’s just say we have two very different thoughts on living in an RV.

I am in love with the idea of living out of an RV, homeschooling my kiddos, and traveling the country. I have these fantastic images of learning math and spelling words while exploring the Grand Canyon, sitting at a picnic in Manitou Springs, etc.

Our lives took a very unexpected turn this year. Our marriage has always been beyond blessed and we are both fortunate to have great educations and careers. We haven’t had a ton of “crisis” type events in our world until this year.

Ten months ago our very foundations of human beings got rocked and the pieces crumbled hard and they aren’t done crumbling. There has been plenty of craziness in the last 10 months but finally I smile a little victory smile.

See, in the most twisted ironic way, I am getting my wish! We sold our house (close May 12). We have a window of about 60 days until we close on our new home. As I searched for temporary housing I realized it is peak tourist season and everywhere wanted $2K or so a month for temporary furnished housing.

I evaluated the budget and the numbers AND I seized the opportunity.  Finally, I could convince my husband on the RV living idea because the black and white numbers made sense. So, we bought a pop up camper and have planned out some different camp grounds to stay at for the next 60 days.  The first night we brought the pop up home we spent a couple hours as a family just hanging out in it in the driveway. It was so cool to see the kids faces and excitement as we explained some of our plans and things we would do and had them help “claim” who would sleep where.

I excitedly began a list of things I need to grab and stock the RV with to make this a success!

I have found it interesting how when I told my friends and family there were several who immediately acted like this was such a huge issue or questioned if we needed money. It is so intriguing how we have become so programmed in life to think that life must look a certain way. My children are about to have a massive, long, extended, sweet ass vacation for the summer and I couldn’t be more excited.

Life is messy, life is unpredictable.  Who would have thought when our world got turned upside down August 2015 that my personal wish for RV living would happen just a year later!!!

So excited and am ready for the good, bad, and indifferent of this experience because at the end of it I am creating wonderful lasting memories with my family and that is something no money can buy and no one can take away from you!

Here begins the journey with our 3 kids: 16, 8, and 6

 

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Heather Pincelli 

Homeless +Acts of Kindness

The homeless population holds a special place in my heart. You see when I was growing up there was a period of time that I didn’t have a roof over my head. No one in school knew and would have never guessed it! No one would have guessed it! To this day when I tell someone, their jaw drops and as I sit here this second I have a family member who has no home.  Before you jump to conclusions, my home is always open to them…but for their own personal reasons they do not wish to leave where they are and come to my home.  I don’t have to agree with their reasons but I must respect their reasons.

I am all to aware of the fact that we are all just one wrong turn, one move, one devastating tragedy or event away from being homeless. We often walk around thinking it will never happen to me….but the truth is  you never know what card’s you are going to get dealt in life.

Life is messy. Life is unpredictable and you just never know what sudden turn or event is going to change your life forever (be it positive or not!). So, the homeless population holds a special place in my heart.

Last year July 2015 my family and I took a vacation to Colorado.  We have gone there several times and each time we travel around the state to several different places.  This time, we went to Colorado Springs. There was a really cool parkour event going on downtown.  We sort of stumbled upon the event and of course our 3 kids were hooked! So we spent virtually the entire day there in the park playing on the playground and watching the parkour competition and of course for the next few weeks EVERY WHERE WE WENT the kids were doing their own “awesome” version of parkour while excitedly yelling parkour 🙂

Anyhow, we went to dinner a few blocks away from the park/parkour competition. Like always, my food came and I immediately boxed half of it. I had ordered some vegetarian wrap sandwich thing.  I wrapped half of it up and saved some of the dipping sauce and chips that came with it.  Ate my other half….the whole time boasting about how good it was and was looking forward to eating my other half later!

We finished eating and went back to the park with my leftovers in hand.  As we got there my teen and I quickly spotted a younger man who was clearly homeless going through the trash cans. He would pick up bags of chips and rub his hands inside the bag to get the little crumbs and eat it. He picked up subway wrappers for crumbs. This man was HUNGRY!! He wasn’t faking it. He wasn’t standing on the side of the road “begging” for money and then leaving you to wonder is he really getting food. He was HUNGRY!! My son and I sat there for a few minutes and both sort of got teary eyed at how hungry he must be. I grabbed my husband and handed him my left over dinner and said, go ask this guy if he would like it. Let him know that I haven’t touched that half…. it was important to me. I didn’t want him to feel like I was giving him some of my half eaten food. I wanted him to know that he was a human and worth a true meal not some half eaten garbage.

They took my food over to him and he was quick to grab it and immediately sat down and within what seemed like seconds it was gone. My son watched him and commented as the guy scrapped every last drop of ranch dressing and crumb out of the container.

Meanwhile I am feeling “bad” because of all the food we had left over it was my boring crappy no meat dish and it was only half the dish at that. 🙂

I looked at my husband and son and saw a subway across the street while I stayed in the park with the kids.  I told them, go ask if he would like to get something else to eat. They walked him to subway. As he was ordering he tried to order a 6 inch sub and my husband told him, no- get a foot long, heck get 2! The guy was in shock.  Then bought him 2 footlong subs, some chips, and a drink and a $20 gift card.  They sat with him for a few minutes as he shared a bit of his story and how he has ended up on the streets.

It was a conversation piece for the rest of the evening. More in an educational way and me for the first time ever sharing my story with my son of how I once was “homeless” and didn’t have a home as a kid. This man was on my mind and heart all day and night long. Low and behold the next day we saw the same guy walking into a 7-11 gas station that was about a 15 minute car ride from where we saw him the day before. It was nice to see him again. I still think about him often.

It was a valuable educational piece for our children, especially the teen.  It was a reminder of how we take things for granted.  That half a sub we throw away because it had mayo and we said no mayo or the chips we toss because they are “stale” …someone else would eat those things and not complain one bit. In fact, they would be grateful. Makes you realize life is really about perspective sometimes and being grateful versus entitled.

This story came to my heart today as I came across this story: You can make a difference—homeless acts of kindness

I challenge you to take opportunities to connect and make a difference in someone’s life. Next time you see someone rooting through trash for a meal or sitting looking sad and down in life, rather than judge them, be thankful for what you have in life, grab their hand–TREAT THEM LIKE A HUMAN BECAUSE THEY ARE, and feed their bellies!