A few years ago, I pitched a crazy idea to my husband – what if we moved our family of six into an RV? His response was an emphatic NO! Thankfully, he’s used to my crazy ideas and eventually agreed to give it a try.
You see, up until that time, we’d been on a bit of an uncoventional path. I’d discovered minimalism and immediatley jumped on board, eager to decrease the clutter and spend less time cleaning.
That was, of course, after I had discovered natural health and made many changes which had earned me the endearing label of “the family hippie”.
Why not see what it was like to live in an RV?
We sold most of our stuff, moved into a small trailer until the bus was liveable (the bus felt like a mansion after that) and despite certain people in our lives telling us we were crazy, we took the plunge. In June of 2013 we moved into our Skoolie (a school bus turned RV) on the condition that he’d try it for a year and then reassess (but that he’d probably hate it).
Just under six months ago, we moved back into a house, a little over a year after moving into the bus. Our move had nothing to do with his reassessmment (turns out, he loved it) but because of a job change that required him to live closer to work.
Once again we have more than 275 square feet of living space. And doors. With locks on them.
It has a giant, fenced back yard, an apple tree and a laundry line (which made me squeal with delight). Plus, there’s plenty of room to park the bus.
Our place is right in town, near many of our friends (my extrovert son is SO happy about this). And it’s a mere 30 seconds from the ambulance station, so my husband can easily respond to calls from home at night – meaning I don’t have to kiss him goodbye for 48 hours anymore.
So July was a huge month of transition for us as we moved back into a house and hustled to find furniture for it (and resisted the urge to go out and buy everything new).
Now, as we approach six months of living in a house, I’ve noticed something. I really miss my bus.
Here’s what I miss most (and one thing I don’t):
1. The closeness
We were really close together in that bus. Literally. Which meant we spent a lot of time with the kids. Being in the house means we’re a lot more spread out and apt to do our own thing more often than not.
2. Ease of cleaning
It took about 20 minutes to do a deep clean of the bus, y’all. I love that. Now there are carpets to vacuum, bedrooms to keep tidy and a giant garage in need of organizing that I keep avoiding.
3. My bathtub
Baths are a big deal for me. I’m huge on self-care and soaking in a tub of hot water relaxes and rejuvenates me. Our bathtub/shower in the bus is a re-purposed steel feed trough. It’s cool, easy to clean and actually perfect for a nice, hot, deep bath.
And the one thing I don’t miss?
Not being able to entertain as easily.
Yes, it was possible, and since we lived next to my parents we enjoyed having them “over” for dinner with us. It was just … crowded. Plus, even though we lived on an organic herb farm with tons of outside space and gorgeous views of my beloved Cascade Mountains, we were still 20 minutes out of town.
And since many of our friends also have lots of kids, gatherings were usually relegated to summer, when it was nice out and we could hang out outside.
My heart was definitely yearning for more relationship.
Though my word of the year is sustainability, I easily could have chosen hospitality. Relationships have been an important part of our simplifying journey. And while I love the bus and living small, I feel so drawn to embrace the opportunity we have right now to easily welcome people into our home.
I want more drop-in guests. More Settlers of Catan nights. More family dinners around our table.
While much of our life has been focused on less for the few years, it’s so we can be available for more of what matters to us.
It’s been a good change.