“What made you do it?” We’ve gotten this question pretty often over the last couple of months. In passing, we’re able to give a short answer like “we were ready for a change” or “we wanted more freedom.” While both of these are true, the thoughts and actions that led us here are a bit more complex.
Cheers to Island Life
You likely know this by now but the cruise in February 2020 changed everything for us. We were able to detach from our responsibilities and daily life to unplug, recharge and explore other places and cultures. Our favorite was probably in The Bahamas where we met a local named Din Din. He was manning a tourist info booth; we were walking by and stopped to ask a few questions. Conversation about the island soon turned into him talking about his personal life, daughter and how content he was with what he had in Eleuthera. It was one of the rawest, most genuine encounters we’d ever had with another person. Seriously.
So once we returned to “normal,” we couldn’t shake the idea of there being something better for us. For the entire month of March, we were convinced island life was the way. We researched apartments and homes in The Bahamas and probably watched too many YouTube videos of people living #islandlife. We thought that was it. It was set in stone that we’d move to an island and work remotely and possibly open some random refreshment bar on the beach.
But something didn’t sit right with us. Island life was similar to our current life…just on an island.
We continued to brainstorm and talk and dream aloud. And then in April 2020 Jayla thought, “how can we get the cruise life but on land?” The answer was clear as day yet a foreign idea to us both: move into an RV. It took some convincing for Artur since the idea of island living was still fresh. After a couple of hours, writing down pros and cons and discussing the possibilities of “cruising on the land,” Artur was sold.
Saving Our Coins
With both of us ready to commit, we devised a plan to save as much as we could over the next several months. During the summer of 2020, we sold our Tesla (our dream car) and refinanced our condo. Both of these allowed us to save a huge chunk of our monthly income. The biggest money-saving change though would be our choice to spend less on eating out and other general purchases. We realized we were part of this machine of “work, spend, work, spend” and wanted to get out of it. The solution? Stop spending. Most of the things we (all of us) buy are wants, not needs.
Another factor that got us here was the pandemic. Honestly. We’d been working from home since mid-March and we were both in tech. Somehow, the basic threat of this invisible virus and the effects (isolating, not being able to host family & friends, the uptick in cases and fatalities, etc.) made us realize how arbitrary our work was. Not that it wasn’t important work, it just didn’t align with what we believed to be important anymore.
Following Through on Our New Dream
In summary, the things that mattered most to us changed. It was only in January 2019 that we’d purchased our condo (and first home) and a couple months later, the Tesla. I think for most people the thought of selling both so soon would be terrifying. To us, it was liberating. No mortgage or auto payment meant we could spend our time, energy and money on what was important. The condo sold in December 2020 after 60 days on the market.
Though we’d been looking all year, it wasn’t until Christmas day that we found the RV we wanted. It was just north of Dallas, roughly 3 ½ hours away. We drove up there the next morning, test drove it, debated on whether it was the right move or not and by 3pm on December 26th, we’d purchased our new home.
We left our jobs in late January 2021, finally ready to close out the previous chapter of our lives. Renovations took about 8 weeks spanning from mid-January to March.
I’ll post later about some of the more permanent things like selling our home, giving away 85% of our belongings and the rest. But for now, we’re extremely happy and content with our choices! We’d do it again if given the chance and can’t wait to see what the future holds in Casa Vii.
Oh, that’s her name by the way 🙂