Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Complete Guide to Hitting the Road

This week has been quiet compared to the last few weeks. I mean, aside from the fact that we have been showing our house to potential buyers at least once a day and the fact that we are handling the odds and ends of leaving town for a year, we have finally managed to clear our heads and get some much needed sleep at night. Oh, and we went camping again...
We camped in the Toldeo area where the highlight of our visit was a trip to the ballpark to see the Toledo Mudhens.

So, I mentioned the "odds and ends" involved with our endeavor and I have had a lot of people ask me specifically about some of these things. So, I am going to explain as many of them as I can in the next few minutes and hopefully you will be inspired to take your family on an extended road trip. 

What are you doing about mail?

Strangely enough, this was one of the first things that popped into my head when we discussed our plans. It's funny that we live in this totally digital age where we can stay connected via SMS and Facebook in some of the most remote locations, yet, we still need an address for people to send us shit. I handled this problem by dissecting it one step at a time. First, I created a spreadsheet (if you have ever worked with me you know that I LOVE using spreadsheets). The spreadsheet contains the names of people and businesses who regularly send mail to us. I update the sheet every time I open the mail. It also contains a drop-down menu that has these options: Paperless, Notified and Discontinued. Paperless and discontinued are obvious. Notified means that I gave them our NEW address. Yes, a new address for a family in an RV. Our friends over at have provided us with an address in Grandville, MI. They scan all of our mail and email it to us. Then we simply click OPEN, FORWARD or SHRED. So, this is an ongoing process but we are making progress and every day that passes I feel more comfortable about the mail situation. 

What about your jobs?

Noah doing "Decimal Card Layout" in his classroom. 
Since I own a business, I am pretty much always working. All this means is that I had to find a few creative ways to do some of my daily tasks. The funny thing was, it was less hassle than the mail situation and I am 100% ready to take my work on the road. Jessica, on the other hand, is a teacher and will be taking a year off work. She notified her work and told them that she would love to come back next year if they'd have her. They seemed very receptive to the idea AND they even gave her some lessons and advice to take on the road for the boys. The boys go to school there too and of all the things I am going to miss about this area, that school is probably on the top of the list. It is an amazing place for students, teachers and families to get knowledge and support and it has honestly changed our lives. Montessori Stepping Stones in Mt. Clemens, check it out if you are looking for a school in this area. 

What are you going to do with all of your stuff?

STUFF! Everyone has STUFF! We all have things that we bought to make us feel good and we use them to bring us comfort until the effect wears off and we go buy more stuff to make us feel good. I know, I sound like Tyler Durden, but it's true. We have a lot of shit and the point of this trip is to go without that shit. We know that we can live without 90% of the things that we own and that's what we intend to do. So, we are having a garage sale in two weeks where you will be able to buy our shit for DIRT CHEAP. We aren't trying to make a ton of money. The objective is to move product out of our garage so come on down. As for the stuff that we need; appliances, furniture, keepsakes, etc. We are getting a storage unit. But don't be surprised if you see our stuff on Storage Wars next season because if it were completely up to me, we would just sell the house and everything in it. 

What about friends, family and holidays?

We will miss them all dearly. We will send postcards and we will be available for video chats at most of our stops. We also have two folding beds on the camper so for the people who just can't live without us, we encourage you to take a vacation and meet-up with us. Holidays won't be the same without family but I PROMISE we will be somewhere where people are wearing t shirts and sunglasses. 

Okay, what about the dog?

We have the luxury of having a very well behaved toy poodle who stays quiet and fits right in. She will be living on the RV too. If we are going on an outing she will either come with us or hang back and lay around the camper depending on the rules involving pets. If we do some backpacking or some bicycle touring she will either come with us or, if it's too much trouble to bring her, we will find a doggy daycare or nearby friend/relative to watch her for us. You can follow hannah on Facebook by searching Hannah Yum. 
Hannah and Sammy have a special bond. 

Where are you going? What places will you see?

We will start answering those questions the day we get into the car and start driving. Our general plan is to head to the Pacific Northwest before it gets cold. Then, we will gradually make our way south and go wherever our interests take us (and to Legoland...I promised the boys we would go to Legoland).

This is a "Smash Book" created by our Aunt Renee.
We will be using it to store our memories on the road. 

1 comment:

  1. Well said about stuff, difficult to break out of that mindset. Feel like I'm making progress but still a struggle.