I’ve been a serious slacker in the world of Take That Exit blogging these past few weeks. I have lots of reasons for this – but the biggest reason is this is the busiest time of year for my “real job” which is my website QueenBeeCoupons.com. Since that website is our sole income source on the road (you know. . . how we pay the bills around here) it’s getting my undivided attention lately. It’s a busy time because I post and share the VERY BEST deals online and in stores – which we all know are going crazy this time of year. . .
If you’re looking for the very best Black Friday deals, online sales, gift guides and more, you are certainly welcome to follow me over at QueenBeeCoupons.com – you’ll be directly supporting my family if you shop through the links on the site. And I appreciate your patience as I get through the holiday season and can hopefully return to more frequent posts here on TakeThatExit.com.
Another reason that I’ve been remiss about blogging is we just spent TWO whole weeks in Washington state visiting family. We found a great deal on airline tickets direct from Raleigh-Durham to Seattle, it was Grandma’s birthday and we had a couple (very minor) things on the trailer that we wanted repaired under warranty – so it all came together for us to take a trip home while we dropped the trailer off at the shop.
We had a wonderful time “home” in Washington visiting family and friends – catching up with friends from Snohomish to Battle Ground, we logged quite a few miles on I-5 in those two weeks. We stayed with Jeremy’s parents in Lakewood, Washington who have a nice big house and who are gracious, kind and generous – a true pleasure to be around. We enjoyed the benefits of a bath tub, 2-ply toilet paper, grandma’s home cooking, driving our tiny sedan (we could park where ever we wanted!), a babysitter, our local bank and post office, our favorite restaurants and so much more.
BUT if I’m being honest, it was hard, too. The kids had a tough time transitioning back to a house – so much space, so many toys, so many TV channels, not enough fresh air and exercise (it rained a lot!), so much candy and sweets (Halloween in suburbia). They bickered more, acted more impulsively and were a bit on the wild side – what should have been a more stable environment actually resulted in the opposite behavior. We were spread out across many rooms and I definitely missed the close knit feelings we have while in the trailer.
Our first night back in our Airstream in High Point, North Carolina
We left Washington so grateful for the time with people we love, but also grateful and relieved to return to the simplicity of our shiny, tiny home. Our trip back to “the real world” has us asking the question, “are we going to be ready to transition back to suburbia in 6 short months or do we want to do this longer?!” We have always tentatively planned for this adventure to last about a year, pulling into the Portland in the spring 2016 so Jeremy could find a teaching job in time for the following school year. Now we aren’t so sure that’s what we want – could we possibly do this TWO years? Frankly, only time will tell how we’ll feel. . . we’ll keep journeying on with an open mind.
Hadley and I hiking to a lake near our campground in South Carolina.
We are so happy on the road right now – if it stays that way, why stop? Well the other thing we have to consider is finances – I want to make sure we have enough money saved so that we can buy a house when the time comes to transition back. We currently have a down payment stashed away and as long as I can earn enough on the road to cover expenses we can avoid tapping into that. If we want to do this two years we might need to boondock more, eat out less and make similar sacrifices to stretch our budget a little longer. I’m no stranger to frugal living (that’s how we were able to save for our trailer and truck!). But am still navigating how to live more frugally on the road while still enjoying the sights and places that we’re visiting. I haven’t shared our travel budget in a couple months because honestly it was stressing me out a little – I was worried about the money we were spending – mostly worried what others would think if our totals were higher than people thought they should be. Every time I start to settle into a budget – things change – like the expensive Northeast campgrounds and the extensive touring we did in the spendy cities, or expensive Florida in December, or Disney World. . . I know staying in one spot is the key to saving the most – but we want to explore and we just need to adjust accordingly. It’s something I’ll probably write more about at a later time. . .
So what’s next? We are currently at a beautiful state park in South Carolina and on Monday we head to another state park near Savannah, Georgia. We have family in the Savannah area so we’ll hang out there before heading to Florida.
We’re struggling to find a state or county park in Florida with openings over Thanksgiving – so currently we aren’t sure where we’ll be during this time. This has me a bit worried because that’s also the week of Black Friday – my busiest work week of the year and I need a stable spot with rockin’ wifi.
After we get Thanksgiving out of the way, we head to Disney World the first part of December! I found a campsite cancellation at Fort Wilderness (the Disney World campground) – we’ve always wanted to go and no better time than while we are here and able to camp (so much cheaper than flights, hotel costs!). It’s going to be an early Christmas for us.
From there, we head west to Tampa, Florida . . .and then we end up in mid-December with no current reservations anywhere. 🙂 We are finding Florida parks are completely booked on weekends, and very full on weekdays, so I’m not sure how long we’ll spend in Florida. We have family in Montgomery, Alabama and Atlanta, Georgia that we want to visit and are tentatively planning to be in Arizona by late March to spend some solid time with my grandma in the Phoenix area – but that’s all we have “planned” on the horizon!
Guess we’ll see where the roads take us. . . we’d love your advice on places to stay in Florida . . .or where we should head after that. 🙂
Thank you for your patience through the holiday season as I juggle a busy work schedule with travel and family. Follow us on Instagram for snapshots of where we are and what we’re doing.