How We Became RVers
I'd like to say that our choice to to become full-time RVers was a breeze, but then I wouldn't be telling you the full truth. And our intention with this blog is to be transparent and honest, in hopes of inspiring and comforting others. So here goes some pretty 'real' stuff...
I guess you could say, in the end, it actually was an "easy" decision, because we were finally brought to our knees in full surrender to the inevitable: We were meant to be on this adventure.
However, the year leading up to that moment and the series of events laying the path for that surrender was a very, very difficult experience for us. Our first year of marriage was wrought with loss, frustration and defeat. We mourned the deaths of three very close friends, dealt with unemployment, watched a new business fail, and experienced a very traumatic and life threatening miscarriage that sorta sealed the deal on our depressing outlook on life.
It felt like everything we had tried to do failed. Everything 'good' we tried to create, left us abruptly. Everything hopeful turned to ash in our mouths. To say the least, it was a pretty heavy and hopeless time for us. However, our marriage grew stronger throughout it and we carried on with our everyday lives, hoping that something would change in the future.
The only thing that was really working out for us was travel. Our honeymoons (yes we went on 4!) and other travels went off without a hitch. We traveled to Antigua, Prague, Budapest, Morocco, Park City, Cabo and Bali effortlessly and seemed to regain a sense of appreciation and presentness after each journey that was desperately needed to move through everyday life.
The lessons we were learning were two-fold 1) To stop looking to the future and stay in the present and 2) To stop trying to do what we thought we 'should' and start living a more authentic life. God was giving us a major wake-up call!
We realized that we had spent enormous amounts of energy focused on what we thought we were supposed to be doing as newlyweds like starting a family, generating steady income, settling down, etc. After all, our friends were doing just that and it seemed like they were loving it. Why wouldn't that work for us?
Well it turns out, God had a different path for us.
Finally at our 1 year anniversary, we needed to re-evaluate everything about what we wanted in life and our quest for adventure. We always came back to travel.
We started toying with the idea of doing a cross-country road trip for a year, and this was especially exciting because we've seen so much of our world internationally, but not much of our mother country. So we began fantasizing about getting an RV and driving around the country, visiting all the national parks and we were getting pumped up.
It sounded like a great adventure, so we started casually browsing Craigslist, eBay, and anywhere else we could find RVs listed for sale. We NEVER thought we could afford one, but had fun window shopping online.
We dreamed about owning a Class A, because we wanted something big enough to live in for a year, something that would give us enough space to not kill each other. Read our blog about Motorhome vs Trailer for more info.
Once we found the exact make and model and year we wanted, (Read our post on why we choose Safari) the hunt was on! We searched pretty much day and night for our motorhome trusting that if God wanted us to be RVers, we would find something that worked and was in our budget.
It only took about a week of searching when we found a 1996 Safari Sahara 35 foot motorhome in great condition at a ridiculously low price! Were we dreaming?
It was Friday night, but we couldn't pass up a chance to achieve what we had been dreaming about. We immediately called the owners and spent over an hour on the phone, learning all about the adventures this older couple had with the rig over the last 10 years.
We arranged with the owner to have the coach inspected on Monday and excitedly went through the pictures, trying to distract ourselves until Monday arrived.
But then, Sunday morning we were awoken with a phone call from the owner asking us what we thought about the inspection report. What? The inspector already came? We almost couldn't control our excitement. We hung up the phone and got on our email to review the report. It was a gift from heaven! All the mechanical systems were in excellent condition, great mileage, new tires and only a few cosmetic items that would be easy to repair.
We immediately called the owner back and got on a plane to Reno to buy our motorhome! It happened so fast, but it felt so right. The feeling overwhelmed us as we were finally in alignment and on track!
When we arrived in Reno, the owner and his wife picked us up and took us out to dinner. They let us stay the night in the rig so we could get a good feeling for it. We were like children on Christmas morning, so giddy with excitement!
The next morning we walked through everything on the rig with the owner. He spent at least 4 hours with us and even drove us to the DMV to get our Nevada temporary registration as we were going to drive it home!
It could not have been a more divine and perfect transaction and experience. Maybe this is what God had in mind for us all along!
But then... we got on the road and instantly realized we might be in over our heads. Murray had never driven anything this large before, much less driven something this large 700 miles. In all the excitement to get our dream RV, I don’t think we considered how we'd get it home. The 8 ½' wide and 35’ long beast was very different to drive than our little midsize hybrid sedan. We had to just buckle in and do it.
We decided to split the trip into two legs. First we would drive to Las Vegas, and then we would continue on to San Diego. The resulting drive through the empty deserts of Nevada and California was basically a white knuckle experience as we battled high gusts of winds, speeding semis, zipping cars and just general terror.
I was doing my best to be supportive while also hiding my squeals each time we got close to a roadside barrier or another car. It was definitely a stress test.
We finally got the rig home with nearly no issue… when about half a mile from the house we got too close to an overhanging tree and scratched the whole side of our new RV! We cringed and couldn't believe we damaged it on our street after 700 miles of no incidents.
We were happy to be home and finally on a new path set out by God and the universe.
Read about our Two Month Interior Renovation to create our new home on wheels!