Our Big, Big, BIG 2018 Plans (Yes, Everything Is Going To Change)
So it’s finally time. It’s time to reveal what we’re going to do this year. I’m taking a deep breath as I write this because it’s SUCH a big reveal and I’m both a little nervous and overwhelmed by what’s coming. So bear with me as I take you through this decision process. You (my blog readers) have been such a huge part of the past 8 years of our lives, so I feel you deserve all the nitty gritty.
For those who prefer video, we’ve done a little 5-min overview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCh2Qh1_KFg
Otherwise just read on……
We’ve Been Thinking About A Change For Several Years
For the past few years we’ve both felt a tad restless. I know that sounds crazy coming from a couple that travels all the time, but it’s nonetheless true. We like to challenge ourselves on a regular basis and for the past 2 years or so we just haven’t felt that challenged. Maybe it’s our nomadic genes, or our youthful souls (haha), but when we start to feel like this it usually means we’re on the cusp of a needed change, sometimes scary change. It’s the reason we’ve lived in so many different countries over the 20 years we’ve been together, and it’s the reason we originally went RVing too. So we’ve been noodling with the idea of change for several years.
We’ve thought about a house (multiple times) and either settling down or going part-time, but every time we’ve been house-hunting (which we’ve done multiple times in the PNW) it just didn’t feel “right”. One day we’ll settle down, but not yet…
We’ve also thought about downsizing the RV to try a different mode of travel. Last winter we actually found the exact RV model we wanted (Leisure Unity FX) and we were >this< close to putting down a deposit (I mean minutes away), but at the last second something stopped us. Again it just didn’t feel “right” yet….
This Past Year Brought Everything Into Focus
Three things happened this past year which contributed to the switch.
First, the death of Paul’s mom. It moved our anchor and shifted something significant in us. I wrote about this back when it happened, and although we knew it meant change we didn’t know (yet) what that change would be.
Then, my sister got married aaaaaand (this is the first time I’m announcing this) she got pregnant! Yup, she’s got a bun in the oven, likely made in the USA while she was on her RV honeymoon trip with hubby (I feel oddly proud of that). She’s more than half way along and planning to give birth late Spring of this year.
Finally, my dad got diagnosed with a recurrence of cancer. This happened at the end of last year. He first battled this particular beast several years ago, but it’s come back. While I was in France this Christmas we went through a lot of scans and saw some doctors. Our outlook is positive, but this will be his second battle. Those of you who’ve been through this will understand what that means.
All these things shifted our focus rather abruptly towards Europe…and it got us thinking.
Why Not Move The Whole Wheelingit Crew To Europe?
We’ve actually been toying with the idea of Europe for a few years.
After 8 years RVing in the USA, it seemed natural to want to explore past our borders. So around a year ago I joined two RV forums in Europe, started reading several European RV blogs and started researching how we would transport our furry crew overseas. It was fascinating and started churning up all those same butterfly feelings in my stomach that I had when we first started RVing in “the beast” here in USA. That was a good sign.
This was something totally new, yet still totally nomadic. Plus it would satisfy all our longings -> Our growing need to do something different, our urge to try RVing in a smaller rig (trust me, they’re smaller over there!!), our yearning to be closer to family and our restlessness.
The three things that I wrote about above were the final push we needed to make our decision. Suddenly it all made sense and the pieces slotted together like a giant jigsaw puzzle.
THIS was the path we were meant to take….
So Yeah, We’re Moving….And Yeah, We’re Selling “The Beast”
This is it…this is our announcement. We’ve decided to do it and make the move. Our goal is to leave the USA sometime around April-May which means we’ve got around 3 months to make everything happen. Putting a date on everything makes it official, and is the impetus we need to get this moving.
We’ve got 6 weeks of reservations that will be our “final hurrah” in the beast. The reservations are in the Florida Keys (thanks to a blog reader who couldn’t make it this year) which we know have been devastated by Hurricane Irma, but we’ve confirmed the parks are open and we’re looking forward to them. We have fond memories of our Keys trip from last year, and are keen to contribute in any way we can to their recovery. It’ll be a fitting last trip, we think.
While we complete our last trip, we’re going to move our domicile to FL, get the pets ready transport (which includes getting them microchipped with an international 15 digit ISO microchip, prepping their documents etc.), and start emptying out the RV. We will list her formally within the next month or so.
Why Sell? Well, it’s simple really. Class A’s, especial Diesels are meant to be driven. They just do not do well sitting around. I’ve written about this multiple times on the blog, and I believe in it firmly. We love our beast and have made massive solar and electronic upgrades to her that are beyond awesome (some of which we’ve barely used), but life has taken us on a far different road than we ever anticipated, even just 2 years ago. We are committed to this new path now.
I feel a deep wrench in my gut when I think about selling our home (it’s so much harder than I imagined), but I want to believe she’ll end up with another happy family out exploring the wilderness that is her domain. We can’t take her to Europe and we can’t let her rot in some storage facility. It simply makes sense to sell.
Why Announce Now? Well, I wanted to get the word out. Our official listing won’t be up for a while, but we’ve decided that if one of our blog readers (or a friend of a blog reader) chooses to buy her we’ll throw in just about every piece of equipment we own for free. So, things like our brand new Sterling All-Terrain tow bar (just upgraded last year), our TPMS system, our WeBoost 4GX cellphone boosters & WiFi Ranger, our brand new MS-HW50C Surge Protector, our MagneShade (front window), our Carefree awning shade etc. Hell, we’ll probably even throw in our Harvest Host membership (we have around a year left on it), as well as our camping chairs, camping mat, tables, hoses, blocks, decor lights etc. Plus of course she’ll keep her 1500W of solar panels, 600AH lithium batteries, hybrid inverter etc. All-in-all we’re talking around $25,000 of upgrades and equipment which we’re going to throw in for free. “The beast” is a boondocking, electronically-spruced-up Goddess who is ready to go fulltiming out the door. Oh, and our flat-towable Honda CR-V will probably be for sale too. We’re open to making a deal for both.
Do You Have A Price? Yes. Contact me if you’re seriously interested and we can talk. I’m not going to publish it on here yet since we plan to create the formal listing within the next month, but if you have an early interest feel free to contact me. Also, if you have friends who might be interested feel free to send them our way. As an exclusive for our blog readers, we are offering a $150 referral bonus if we close the sale.
Are You Continuing The Wheelingit Blog?
YES. I plan to continue blogging. Our plan is to do Wheelingit in Europe, so it’s the same premise, just in a different spot. Besides I still enjoy blogging, I love the online community and I still think the blog can be an inspiration to others. Maybe other folks are interested in RVing in Europe, or are curious how you move with 3 pets to another country? And how do you do it all if you’re an American? I’ll take you through all the steps on the blog, as they happen. It should (hopefully) make for some interesting and informative reading.
Also, we’re not sure exactly what our plan will look like in Europe yet, but it will likely involve some fixed family time (we want to be there for my sister’s birth, and my dad’s treatment), and some traveling time. We’d like to RV Scandinavia, see the European lighthouses (the oldest lighthouse in the world is there, you know), explore the UK, travel around France, visit friends in Italy, hike the mountains etc.. I’ve even got plans for some rather crazy (and remote) travel later this year with my father, assuming all goes well. The options are endless.
Our Announcement Is OUT
So that’s it. Our announcement is OUT. I want to finish this by sharing something that Paul wrote in his journal on March 5th, 2010, just after we started on the road. We came across it a few days ago and it just seemed perfect:
I have zero regrets (about leaving San Diego). I am soooo much happier. I don’t know if it’s the industry or something bigger, but I think it’s something bigger! The chance to live a unique life, full of many rich experiences, enjoying an immense freedom at my and my wife’s own discretion (no one else’s). Even if it doesn’t last that long, or forever, it’ll be amazing.
That is exactly what these last 8 years have been for us, and it’s exactly what (I hope) the next 8, or 10 or 20 years will be too. No-one can predict where life will lead you, but if you follow the path of your heart it’ll undoubtedly be amazing.