Not all those who wander are lost

kayaking in tahoe mountainmodernlife.com

Not all those who wander are lost

Hey friends, I have some super exciting news to share with you today! Let me first warn you that this post will likely include A LOT of rambling, so grab some coffee {or wine} and let’s chat, sha’ll we?

Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost

Not all those who wander are lost quote by J.R.R Tolkien | upcycledtreasures.com

A little back story…

If you follow my blog then you may already know that Eric and I have spent the last year or so trying to find the perfect place in the mountains to call home.  We moved to Georgia about 5 years ago from California and my sister and mom followed soon after, leaving their homes in Texas and Pennsylvania.

Most of our family lives in the South and Mid-West which is why we moved here in the first place. We figured that once we were ready to settle down {aka have kids}, we would want to be closer to our family. And there’s no denying it’s a lot less expensive over here in the South too!

Georgia has treated us well, but it’s just never quite felt like home. Yeah yeah, I know that home is wherever you are, but I’m still feeling a bit non-comittal.

I was born in Northern California, then moved to Texas where I lived with my mom during the year and spent my summers in Northern California with my dad. My favorite memories as a kid are those of us visiting national parks and camping it up amongst the mountains and evergreen, sequoia, or redwood trees.

I'm a tree hugging fool | MountainModernLife.com

I’m a tree hugging fool and I don’t care who knows it!

I’ve always enjoyed traveling {especially long roadtrips}, and moving to new towns every year seems to have been the norm over the past 10 years. I used to joke that I was non-commital and my mom would call me a gypsy, but I liked the adventure of the unknown, meeting new people, and discovering what it would be like to live somewhere else. The grass may not be greener on the other side, but it may be worth checking out!

Not all those who wander are lost quote by J.R.R Tolkien | MountainModernLife.com

Eric is the same way when it comes to visiting new towns, and our favorite dates are those that include hiking, roadtrips, and the great outdoors.

Our very first weekend getaway {several years and ahem…pounds ago} was to Yosemite National Park.

Yosemite National Park Weekend Date | MountainModernLife.com

Yosemite National park roadtrip. | MountainModernLife.com

And most of our weekends were spent hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains…

California Mountains | MountainModernLife.com

Hiking in the California Mountains | MountainModernLife.com

Awww look how young Eric looks in this photo. Seriously, where does the time go?

Eric and I will always have a special place in our heart for Ventura, California since that’s where we met. Of course I now realize why those California views and perfect weather truly do come at a premium… it’s difficult to match that anywhere else!

Ventura California | MountainModernLife.com

So I’ve struggled with do we move back to California? Should we check out Oregon, Washington, Montana or Idaho? What about being close to our family once we have kiddos? Should we just move to the North Georgia mountains? Would North Carolina be a good fit? Yeah, it’s not always easy trying to compromise on what you want with being near friends and family, especially when the other side of the states are tugging at your heartstrings.

I’ve spent countless hours researching small {progressive}, mountain towns in between Florida and Pennsylvania that would keep us in the middle of our family, who have been trying to keep us from moving out West, despite supporting us regardless.

Roadtripping it back in the day. | MountainModernLife.com

I found several towns that I thought would be a good fit (we especially love the Boone/Blowing Rock, NC area) and Eric and I have spent our weekends driving through several of them {when I’m not instagram stalking them, lol}.  We have been so determined to find our next home because we have been saving to buy a house, and would like to make babies in the next 1-2 years. Ya know, the American dream or whatever πŸ˜‰

We probably would have done this sooner if our first baby, Sallie Mae, wasn’t so freakin’ expensive! The truth is, we pay nearly twice for that baby then most of our friend’s pay on their mortgages. Yikes! Regardless, we wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for both the good and bad decisions we’ve made in the past, and for that we are grateful.

Anyway, you are probably wondering where I’m going with this….

So last week Eric and I came to a decision. Rather than settle on a town to rent or plunk down our savings to buy a house, we decided to do something a little less conventional…

We are going RVing, ya’ll!

That’s right, we are going to buy an RV, give it some DIY love and then hit the road! Think we are crazy? I wouldn’t blame you, but you gotta follow the beat to your own drum, and this is something we’ve talked about for years.

Of course it was always one of those, someday dreams and it wasn’t until recently that Eric and I both started working remotely, which means we can live wherever we want! Now think about that for a second…

If you could live anywhere, would you stay put or move somewhere else?

If you are like my brother or sister then you would probably enjoy staying put.  I remember in high school my mom was offered a job overseas and I was stoked and ready to move. Of course I was going to miss my friends but I wanted to see the world and create some amazing memories. My siblings…. not so much. Alas, we stayed put.

I then tried to do a foreign exchange program but the new principal was against it. So instead I graduated high school a year early and moved to Los Angeles for college, with big dreams of traveling…which um didn’t happen, unless you count Texas and Ohio. Ha.

Here I am 15 years later {where did the time go??!} and the opportunity has presented itself for us to explore, meet new people, create new experiences and memories, all while forcing us to take chances and live simpler. It won’t be easy, but we are up for the challenge.

Kayaking in Lake Tahoe | MountainModernLife.com

Not all those who wander are lost

We don’t know how long we will be Rving, a couple months, 6 months, a year? That is yet to be determined, and we won’t even be hitting the road until our lease is up August 1st. That’s a looooooong way off, yet it will likely be here before we know it. The good news is that it gives us time to plan and research our trip. And possibly time to fix up a less than perfect RV πŸ™‚

Our goal of RVing is to visit states we’ve never been, explore national parks, check out small towns and ultimately figure out exactly where we want to buy land and settle down. Will it be hundreds of miles away, or just down the road? Only time will tell and I’m excited to share the journey with you.

In fact I’ve already spent countless hours doing research and have the excel spreadsheets to prove it. Can you say obsessive much? You would think I was studying for a final exam in Rving. haha.

Have you considered moving into a RV, camper or Tiny House? Or maybe you already have? If so we would love to hear about it in the comments!

We look forward to sharing more information with you along the way, and would love to hear any advice or questions you may have.


UPDATE:  You can see the RV we purchased here

You can find all of our RV-related posts here.

Prefer videos? Be sure to visit our video page or subscribe to our YouTube Channel.


“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

32 Comments
  • I LOVE that you are doing this and can’t wait to follow along!

    May 24, 2015 at 4:29 pm
  • What an exciting decision! My husband and I have dreamed of doing the same thing, and have had a hard time making our small Midwest town feel like home. We both love the mountains where we met, but now with two little ones, it might be hard to move away from family. Your courage is inspiring! Can’t wait to follow along.

    Olivia

    May 24, 2015 at 5:19 pm
  • Cassie
    Reply

    What a GREAT decision. My husband and I would have done the same had it not been for our little ones coming earlier than we expected. However, the dream lives on and it will just be coming a bit later. Take this opportunity, and explore! Oh, and check out the youtube channel, Gone with the Wynn’s. They are such an inspiration!

    May 24, 2015 at 5:44 pm
  • Susan the Farm Quilter
    Reply

    Perfect time in your life to do this!! Have a blast and explore every single state – they all have something wonderful about them!! I have never RVed…wanted to take a year and go explore this beautiful country…fell in love with a farmer so here I am, home on the farm!! I love to take driving trips and have driven from Washington to Florida more than once and loved each time (all alone). One thing to think about when choosing a “forever” home is the tax structure of the state…California with state income tax, county income tax and sometimes city income tax (who is also willing to tax your retirement even if you move out of state after retirement) or a state with no income tax (Nevada, Washington, Texas and Florida are the ones I know for sure do not have income tax, but there are a few others). This is something that many people don’t think about, but it can have a significant impact on your bottom line. Enjoy every minute, take the back roads and really see this amazing country! I can’t wait for your traveling posts!!!

    May 24, 2015 at 6:25 pm
  • Yay! So exciting, Katie! I can’t wait to hear all about your adventures!

    May 24, 2015 at 6:50 pm
  • So exciting! I really dislike where we live (Southern Alberta) and we plan on moving in 2 more years. Like you, my husband and I can’t decide where we’d like to end up. So far we’ve agreed upon somewhere with trees, water, and a school so I can have a job. I think wandering in an RV sounds like an incredible adventure!

    May 24, 2015 at 8:35 pm
  • What an exciting adventure! We talked about doing the RV thing while we move around the country to try to decide where we want to live. In the end, we just decided to do it by car and rent short items in various cities. We sold almost everything own so it all fits in our car. Good luck – I know you are going to have an amazing time!

    May 24, 2015 at 9:29 pm
  • Oh my goodness! SUCH a dream Katie! I can relate to everything you said on so many levels! Having recently left one of our favorite places in the world to be closer to our family, I completely understand how it feels to be pulled in so many directions!!! I’m in love with (and totally jealous of) your brilliant plan Katie! I cannot wait to follow along!

    May 24, 2015 at 9:38 pm
  • Nancy
    Reply

    Great idea…..my dad got an old camper and we took off for Mexico…the first night the roof leaked and it was an adventure from then on. A book you might want to read about traveling across America is ‘Bedtime Stories: A novel of cinematic wanderlust’ by Joseph Emil Blum. Another one is the classic Sierra Club book, ‘On the Loose’. Have fun!

    May 25, 2015 at 12:58 am
  • How exciting for you! My husband and I grew up in Pennsylvania, but have lived in CA and Oregon… We love the mountains of the west for the same reasons you do…. We’ve been in Bend, Oregon for 15 years now… If you guys want to check it out, message me… We have RV hook ups at our house πŸ™‚
    Happy travels!

    May 25, 2015 at 1:05 am
  • Carmen H
    Reply

    Wonderful idea! After our RV trip to Georgia two years ago, we met a couple that had just started to RV full time. They are having a great time!

    May 25, 2015 at 10:58 pm
  • I just stumbled across your blog and have to say that you are SO interesting to read! Halfway through the first paragraph I simply felt as if I knew you. Just wanted to let ya know – you’re very personable & definitely likeable! I grew up outside Las Angeles and dream of going back every day. One day I hope I’ll find the courage to! Enjoy your adventure!

    Elise

    May 26, 2015 at 3:58 pm
  • Oh my goodness! I can’t wait to hear about all of your adventures! How fun! Hope you make it all the way here so we can hang out!

    May 28, 2015 at 7:24 pm
  • Wow! Sounds amazing. I can totally relate to being pulled a thousand different directions. Luke has an offer to work overseas and we’ve been pondering it and how it would affect our little guy. Plus, we have that “traditional american dream”… owning a house, cars, have a kid, etc. I love that you are following your dream instead of being stuck in what’s the norm. Can’t wait to see all the pictures and how/if you do projects on the road!!

    June 2, 2015 at 2:35 pm
  • Amy Kosanke
    Reply

    We (my husband, myself, our two boys – 2&4yrs, 3 dogs, and a cat) just finished up a 3.5 month RV trip as we moved from California to the mid-west to be near family. So, so much fun!!! Memories that will last forever, and places seen that you wouldn’t normally plan a vacation to or see if you were traveling by plane (I am also a total road-tripper, so loathe travel by plane). We plan to recreate the trip when the boys are older, as they are still a bit young to remember all the awesome details of our travels, as well as others RV trips and look forward to hitting the road again soon! Thanks for sharing your journey – can’t wait to follow along!

    January 26, 2016 at 10:31 am
  • Serena Hodge
    Reply

    I have been around rvs my whole life, my mom owns a park ect,ect,I was reading about your rving trip and wanted to give you a few tips,you might not need them or already know but I think it might help, good intentions anyway lol,
    1. State parks are secure and you can host for your site, which is awesome if your on a tight budget, alot of parks do the host thing so ask in the main office,it will save you space rent and you get to meet new people
    2. RV SHOWERS are the worst lol, so make sure you have shower shoes and a shower bag because most parks have decent showers.
    3.Invest in a bikes,my family find that bike riding is awesome in rv parks, if you don’t bike, we only do when we camp, consider getting a small Electric golf cart, it will help especially if you have small kids
    4. Always empty the sewage tank first, you would be surprised at people who just pull both open, don’t lol, sewage then gray water, it helps with the smell and cleans it out before you have to clean it out.
    5.make sure you have a way to cook some things outside, and rv gets hot while cooking in the summer
    6. A outside shower is a easy place to store stuff, during weather,and you can change clothes or hang towels in it, we have used it for all of the above lol
    I pretty sure I have a thousand other things and if I can I’ll comment again, hope you have fun, oh and there are Walmart and dollar stores everywhere so pack light on food lol

    April 26, 2016 at 2:17 pm

Post a Comment