When we originally decided to pursue this full-time RVing life back in 2015, we set an “ideal hit-the-road date” of June 2017. Why wait two whole years? Well, back in 2015, we still had a one-year-old. And, to be perfectly honest, I had been pregnant or nursing a baby for about 10 years at that point, and I was still in quite a bit of a baby fog. We thought that summer of 2017 would be a great time; the kids would be 12, 10, 6, and the baby would be almost 4 (read: no more diapers, flexibility with naps, able to keep up a little more with the big kids, and maybe, just maybe, I would be out of the baby fog by then).
Here in the Arizona desert, it is already firmly in the 100+ degree temperatures daily by June, so we thought getting out of here in June 2017 would be perfect. So we set out doing our research, dreaming of the future, and making plans. Last fall, we bought our bus. We went into it hoping for a “fixer-upper”, which in my mind meant a mix of some big changes (like building new cabinets, adding solar and a new battery system, and building bunk beds) along with some small jobs (like painting, replacing couches, and replacing flooring). Well, that idea lasted about a month, because as soon as we really started tearing out the old things, we realized that this was no longer a “fixer-upper”, but a “gut and rebuild the entire thing-er”.
That wasn’t a bad thing at all. In fact, Juan feels like we have already started our adventure with the rebuilding of the bus. But, along with the change in workload came a change in our launch date. We weren’t going to be able to casually work on the bus and still be out of here in June. We have been working nearly every weekend on the bus while full-time working and homeschooling during the week for the last six months. While we have accomplished a lot, we still have a long way to go. For over two months this spring, we had something scheduled nearly every weekend. It was difficult to make progress during that time. Weddings, vacationing with extended family, recitals, BJJ tournaments, holidays, etc. are all wonderful things, but they also slowed down progress on this renovation.
So, where are we in the renovation process now? A lot further than this blog would make it seem. We have many blog posts in the queue to get you all caught up on our springtime weekend warrioring - new subfloors, removing the old bus heating and a/c system, insulating, building out the rear engine bay cover, building new stairs with storage, replacing vent fans (I’m sure I’m forgetting a lot more). But, we have so much left to go...wiring, plumbing, solar, and oh yeah, building an interior complete with lighting, cabinets, a bathroom, and beds. Ha!
So, when are we leaving? We’ve been hearing that a lot lately, because last year, pre-bus, June was what we were telling our friends and family. June 2017 is now here. Yeah...we’re not leaving yet. Here’s my new answer to that question. “When the bus is done,” which really means, “I have no idea, but as soon as we possibly can.” Thankfully, Juan has cut back his hours at work and we are slowing down our homeschooling for the summer. That means we should be able to at least double our weekly working hours on the bus.
We are all itching to go, for sure. It’s been a long journey just getting to this point. I mean, we’ve been dreaming and planning for over two years. So, what're a few more months, right? How are we feeling about that? I’m going to get real here - for me, it’s hard. I want to be heading out right now, traveling toward Maine like we hoped. I’m such a planner, so I feel like part of me is already gone, but yet we are still here. It’s weird. It’s like we have a foot in two worlds - a little unsettling to be honest.
But God has opened the doors for us for this adventure to happen, so we are trusting in His timing for when it should begin.
What now? In the meantime, the kids and I are making plans to find some fun and interesting (indoor) things to do around here this summer during our non-bus-working days in addition to spending lots of time in the pool. We will continue selling and donating all of our stuff and packing up a few sentimental items to store. We will work as hard as we can on the bus, dreaming of all the places our tiny home on wheels will take us. And we will take this adventure on the road “when the bus is done.”