A couple years ago on this blog, I announced a crazy idea. My family and I were saving to pay cash for a 5th wheel so we could roadschool our way across the country. We shared our vision with you, and let you see inside our finances, as we saved and paid off debt. We even brought you along for the ride as we went to pick up our fifth wheel.
We got a heckuva a bargain on a high-quality brand! It was 9 years old, and we paid $9000 cash for it (around 25% of NADA value)…
…because it needed a lot of work.
So we spent a few months on renovations…
…all the while plotting the ultimate adventure.
Then the day finally arrived. Our first day living full-time in our camper was exactly one year ago!
We got our feet wet by camping locally, and taking some weekend trips to see the great state of Texas.
Then we went for it, heading straight for the Pacific Northwest, and all it’s natural splendor. What an amazing inaugural trip! It was an experience beyond words to witness my children seeing mountains for the first time, or dipping their feet into the Pacific Ocean.
As the weather got cold, we headed for San Diego, where we completely fell in love with the warm beaches, and friendly people. Where you can search for sharks teeth or maybe even get lucky and hunt for Megalodon teeth.
Next we visited Nevada, where we renewed our vows with an Elvis preacher…He sang Viva Las Vegas at the end. It was EPIC!
We went hiking in the breathtaking deserts of Arizona…
Slid down sand hills in New Mexico…
Before returning to Texas to work for the summer. Which brings me to where we are today.
What We Have Learned
Being free from distractions for a whole year has given us a better perspective on life. There is something magical about simplicity and stillness. It clears away the fog of the world, and allows you to hear your own voice, free from the burden of expectations. It has helped us solidify our future plans, and attack our next big dream: building a tiny homestead!
So here’s the plan: we will continue to live full-time in our 5th wheel, spending 2/3 of our time at a “home base” campground near my oldest child in Texas. The remaining 4+ months will be spent traveling, so we can see the states we have yet to visit! Since the campground we have chosen is only $300/month, we can do some more power saving! It will be nice for the kids to have a place to join in sports and music activities, go to the same church every week, and get into a rhythm. On the flipside, we will still be “free” enough to travel and explore to our hearts content. That’s what I call win-win!
For now, we are online every night searching for the perfect property. We were surprised to learn that when you are not limited geographically, you can find 5 farmable acres (sometimes with a fixer-upper house) for under $10K! Woo-Hoo! Since my husband is handy, we can live in our 5th wheel while doing renovations if necessary. Sure, this is not-your-typical path to home ownership, but I love that fact that we can do it all debt-free!
I came across this tiny house on Pinterest, and am using it as my inspiration for our future goals. It’s exactly what I envision my house looking like: bright, cheerful, tiny and mortgage-free! It is the screensaver on my phone, so I see it often to remind me what I’m working for. A debt-free house will allow us the freedom to continue exploring this great country, while also having a place for our travel-weary feet to rest.
I look forward to sharing the process of the land search, acquisition, and construction with you here on Moms by Heart. We will also share the ups and downs of homesteading for beginners like ourselves!
You are welcomed to join us on our journey via Instagram!