June 1, 2015

Ditching mainstream for an Airstream – our quest to simplify

Family-map-photo-2015-550We’ll be bumping this post up throughout the day, if you’re already read it, scroll down for the latest deals!

Dear, sweet, friends. I’m so excited to tell you about this big change in our lives. You are my people, my community and I’ve been bursting to tell you . . .

In just a couple weeks my family and I will say goodbye to our traditional home and move into a 180-ish square foot Airstream trailer. Not just for a weekend camping trip – but for a year. And we’ll take that shiny, tiny home all around this beautiful country.

Airstream-home-May-2015-550

That’s right. We’re ditching mainstream. . .for an adventure in an Airstream.

I know this sounds crazy. Let me explain. . . .

We’ve spent the last 12 years pursuing the American Dream – a 2,000 square foot house, two cars, two full-time jobs, a couple vacations a year, kids in public school and preschool – we worked extremely hard and were very happy, grateful and blessed.

Life was good but we wanted something else. Something different.

We were sick of the stuff, the excess, the clutter. A life dictated by a 9-5 job. A rat race that had us thinking if only we had a bigger house, more storage, more money – things would be easier and/or we would be happier.

We spent the last year talking about buying a new house or moving to a new part of the country. We spent a year looking at big, beautiful houses – dream houses, really, but nothing felt just right. Even if we could afford it, we kept asking ourselves – will that gourmet kitchen really make us happy? Will that waterfront property really bring us joy? Maybe. But for how long? And how hard will we have to keep working to keep up with that dream house?

smores-Airstream

I remember growing up how much I loved reading the “choose your own adventure” books – where you choose the fate of the main character and you have a choice in how the story comes together. For so many of us (myself included) – we get to adulthood and we all seem to purchase the same copy of the American Dream how-to guide and we all just follow along. I think it’s easy to forget that we are storytellers – and our life is our story. My husband and I asked ourselves are we choosing our own adventure or are we just doing the status quo? And what was most important to us?

Don’t get me wrong – this life that we have built over the last 12 years, as a couple and a family, has been amazing. I wouldn’t trade those years for anything. We’re not running away from this life we’ve lived. But we are making a conscious choice to STOP and change direction. Something we’ve found takes a LOT of effort and work. We’re making a drastic CONSCIOUS change –  to live with less – so that we can experience MORE.

Less square footage – more fresh air, open space and nature.

Less stuff – more experiences.

Less work – more quality time.

Less distractions – more memories.

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I want my kids to fall into bed every night exhausted from a day of exploring. I want them to see the stars at night and the sunrise in the morning. I want them to get dirty, be brave and to meet (and accept) people of all walks of life. I want to instill in my kids a value for travel and an appreciation for various cultures. I want them to see what a beautiful country we live in and to learn it’s history, nature and cultures, firsthand. And more than anything, I want them to know – they can follow their dreams and they can choose their own adventure.

So we’re doing this – now. While we can. While we’re healthy. While our kids are old enough to appreciate it, but still young enough that we aren’t pulling them from extracurricular activities, sports and social circles. While the kids still seek our attention and want to spend time with us.

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Thanks to our many, many years of living below our means and saving as much as we could – we paid cash for the trailer and the tow vehicle. We’ll be traveling debt-free. My husband took the next year off from teaching and I can’t wait to spend a year as a family, exploring, learning, loving and being together. My husband will be taking the lead on homeschooling the kids – but I think we’ll ALL be learning so much.

I will continue to blog here at Queen Bee Coupons while we’re on the road – it’s not only my baby but it will be our primary income source – so don’t you fret, it’s not going anywhere. In fact, I hope the content on this site gets better as we add new and interesting posts about traveling as a family, on a budget, debt-free, around the country.

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I did create a blog JUST for our travels called TakeThatExit.com. I’ve already been posting over there and if you want to learn more about our journey, here are some good posts to read:

Here are some ways you can follow us via TakeThatExit.com :

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I’ll be sharing all the details – the good, the bad and ugly.

  • What’s it going to be like living with four people in 180 square feet?
  • How are we making money on the road?
  • How much does it cost to travel full-time in a trailer for a family of four?
  • How are we going to homeschool our kids on the road?
  • How will we handle the hardships – like repairs, breakdowns, stress, etc?
  • What kinds of meals am I cooking on the road?
  • What things are we learning about ourselves and the world on this journey?

All of this. I’m sharing it all. It won’t always be pretty, but it will be real. It’s us following our dream!

Airstream-in-the-sun-550

I hope you’ll join me – and virtually come along for the ride! I’m so attached to you and the Queen Bee community – a community that stretches across this beautiful country. I’ll need you along the way and I hope to keep providing value to you as we travel and grow through this journey!

And I’d LOVE for you to comment and share your suggestions or tips for places we should visit along the way.

Comments

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  1. All I can say is, go and have fun! I’ll be following along!

  2. This is exactly how we felt!!! We started with our new 29ft home in July and it has been so incredible. This lifestyle change has been the most rewarding experience of our lives

  3. I want to go along! Always wanted to do what you are doing. Am grandma now, need to set a Good example.

  4. How fun! We’re planning to do the same thing in two years (because we’re currently expecting a new baby), and we can’t wait. Looking forward to following your new blog (cutest name EVER!) and learning from your experiences!

  5. Margie Pound says:

    I would love to hear about your adventures in the next year as you travel with your family!!

  6. Heather says:

    This is awesome. I would love to do this. My husband wouldn’t do this though since he has already traveled with the Marines, Army reserves and with his previous job. My son and I have traveled a few places like Florida (Animal Kingdom and Islands of Adventure), Jamaica for my sisters wedding, and South Carolina. I want him to experience traveling since I didn’t get to do it as a child. Unfortunately it takes money to travel.

  7. Cynthia says:

    Wow, this is exactly, and I mean some of your words are exactly what I have been telling my older kids! (ages 13, 18, 19, and 21) My 2 youngest are 3 and 4 and Ive been wanting a change and want to buy an rv and live in it for awhile. To save money, to learn to live with less, to be able to move or travel if we wish. Dont wait until someday, if you have the chance to do what youve been dreaming or wanting, do it! We are not promised tomorrow, my dad passed away before he truly got a chance to enjoy retirement. Thankfully he did things that he enjoyed and loved though. Ill be following your adventure as I start mine! God bless, stay safe!

  8. I can’t wait to go also. At our age 73 and now 75 we are still waiting to go but my Mother-in-law is still living barely at age 100. She has no quality of life left so we’re doing the waiting game Praying God will take her soon before we can’t go or something happens to one of us. She’s did her traveling over the years and we have done basically none yet. Of course we have no children to travel with us only 3 little dogs and a bird. they are our children. Have fun…Donnis

  9. Wow, that sounds so awesome! It’s my dream to be able to travel around the US in a trailer. Perhaps some day, it might come true! Congrats and good luck on your journey!

  10. I’m shocked, but thrilled at your new adventure! My husband is 87 and I’m 74. We’ve been married for 71/2 years (still newlyweds 🙂 We decided to take our grandchildren to “see the world.) No, just the US. The 1st summer we went to Yellowstone and on up to Mt Rushmore and the Badlands of the Dakotas….It was awesome. Then we went to a small town in Kansas to visit my son who lives in a haunted brownstone mansion built in 1873. And yes, we had an “encounter.” The next year we went to Utah……now that was beautiful! Don’t miss all the parks there. It’s breathtaking…The next year we went just encircled the state of Oregon. There’s a wonderful aquarium on the coast going down where you can touch some of the sea life, then on to Crater Lake, and on up to Hell’s.Canyon. The next year we went thru British Columbia, the Yukon Territories and stayed right in Fairbanks….traveling North as far as you can go to the Yukon River. Eventually went across the Arctic Circle and then across the Yukon river to Dawson City-Gold Rush country….Later we went up to “top of the world Hi-way,” and thru Chicken Alaska. What fun! There’s a book called the “Milepost” that guides you thru Alaska. It’s invaluable. Now we are into Gold Prospecting for the last couple of years and that too is fun, fun, fun. We only do these in the summer. We have had such a wonderful time! You go for it and enjoy our great USA. I applaud you & you”ll never be sorry. You will see much more than we have…..Happy Trails……

  11. Hmmm, my comment disappeared! Just wanted to say congrats! Hope you love life on the road as much as we have!!!

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