It all seems surreal. For two years we’ve been dreaming of this time to come and it is finally here. Focus and determination has not come without anxiety and stress but we’ve done it! Here’s the update….
Packed up, sold, donated and stored the majority of our belongings (vehicles included, which profited us a whopping total of $1200 for both) and moved out of our home on September 10th. From there we went to a small, furnished 2BR apartment in downtown Gorham. This turned out to be very convenient as schools and jobs were within walking and biking distance, making the transition from a two vehicle family to a one vehicle family less complicated. We were successful in finding the tow vehicle we desired which is a 2006 2500HD Chevy Silverado crew cab. It is a gas engine and the mpg isn’t anything to brag about, but after doing the necessary research, weighing the pros and cons of gas vs. diesel, we concluded that the savings were all relative for the amount of time we’d be traveling. Diesel wasn’t within our immediate purchasing budget. We bought from a local car dealership and financed through a small credit union.
At this point, we had relatively 3 weeks to find an RV. After numerous tedious searches on Craigslist and dealership websites, along with multiple day trips to Northern Maine and New Hampshire, we ended up going with one of the very first ones we looked at. Our new “home” is a 2006 Sportsmen 30 foot 5th wheel bunk house. Complete with generator and screen house, the layout is perfect for our family. We bought locally, from a family owned RV company and financed through a small local savings bank.
On October 1st we hauled our new home out of the lot and we are now camped out on the property of some very gracious and supportive friends. The decision to spend a month in the RV before journeying out on the road was a very wise one on our part. Being fledgling RVers, we have already had our mishaps. One incident involved some slipping of the hitch at a stop sign and the other, let’s just say…..we now know how to properly use a dump station (ever see the movie RV?).
Living space is undoubtedly tight and storage is indeed compact. But, we do enjoy each others company and we live pretty simply anyways. The only bummer is that our feline family member Gypsy won’t be joining us. She is in a great home and we will retrieve her when we return.
Now that all of the physical aspects of our trip have been taken care of there was one last major hurdle that needed to be cleared….SCHOOL. Never having homeschooled before, we discovered that it wasn’t going to be that easy for the kids (mainly River as he is in High School) to receive the necessary accreditation through the Gorham school system when we return. So, we decided to approach teachers and guidance counselors with the possibility of continuing on with their current curriculum during our trip via on-line resources. The positive feedback we received was overwhelmingly encouraging as all were in agreement that this would be a positive educational experience for them. Of course, the ultimate decision was left to the Principle and going into that meeting was extremely nail-biting. We are happy to announce that even though this has not been done this long-term before, we got the go ahead and River will be taking his school laptop with him. A big thumbs up to the Gorham public school system!
Our departure date is November 5th, and naturally we are heading South.