Today marks three months since we said goodbye to our 2,000 sq ft house, moved into 180 ish square feet Airstream trailer and starting our adventure around the country. I worried we’d have regrets. I worried about what others would think. I worried about our kids – and how they’d adapt. I worried a lot about the “what ifs. . . ”
I can now say with absolute certainty . . . .it was the BEST decision we’ve ever made. No regrets. As a family we have NEVER been happier. Our days are no longer spent cleaning, organizing, working, consuming, commuting – we spend our days together, exploring, learning and experiencing things we had only ever seen on TV or in books before.
Not every day is extraordinary and full of adventure – that would be exhausting and unrealistic. We have lots of days where we do homeschool, do laundry, read books, take naps, watch TV – ordinary stuff, but without the burden that comes with suburbia and a household filled with stuff. We have simplified so much and are finding it is so good for our souls.
Every night, as a family we have say FIVE things we’re grateful for and FIVE things we’ve learned that day. Both lists are hard to stop at FIVE each and the kids often say, “I’m grateful we live in an Airstream. . . “ Even though they have fewer toys and possessions – they have an ever changing backyard, fresh air, and quality time with family (and friends) we see along the way. My husband I agree, we’re grateful for this as well.
I’m so grateful we didn’t end up buying a bigger house and doing the status quo. We were so close, but nothing felt right. I’m so glad that we pushed through the difficult process of downsizing – of getting rid of a house full of STUFF (that we don’t miss). I’m so glad we took a chance at CHANGE, even though it was scary at times.
This article was published yesterday in the New York Times, Cabins, The New American Dream and it sums up things well. It’s not really so much about cabins, as it is about the downsizing of the American dream. Not surprisingly it ends with a quote by Wally Byman, the founder of Airstream. The idea of choosing a more humble abode, so that you can live a more extraordinary life is such a simple concept, yet I think so scary for American culture.
Who knows what the future holds. Who knows how long we’ll choose this lifestyle. Eventually we will buy a house and put our kids in school so that they can play sports, build community and put down roots before they get old enough to leave the nest – but for now, we’ll enjoy the road we’re on and be grateful everyday for the blessings that come with it.