While the world ground to a halt and quarantined for the better part of 2020, we took some time to reflect on our goals and priorities for the future. In the end we decided to forgo our studio lease, downsize to the bare essentials, and hit the road to explore hidden pockets of the country. The decision was not made overnight, and the planning and packing certainly took longer than we expected, but it was finally the moment of truth in March of 2021.
All sorts of goodbyes were said, anxiety levels were high, and our belongings were suddenly squeezed into a 100 square foot box on wheels as we careened down the highway in our little Jayco trailer. The first stop was meant to be a trial of sorts– Would we be able to function in such a confined space? Would the car and trailer hold up to the rigors of the road? Would everything be closed due to COVID? Time would tell if the odds would be in our favor…
We're traveling in a 2016 Jayco Jay Flight SLX 174BH Baja Edition. It's 21 feet with a GVWR of about 3,500 pounds. Our holding tanks are relatively small, so boondocking (dry camping) is difficult for more than one night. We tend to look for full hookups and pull-through sites.
In the first few weeks, we reconfigured the set-up several times, and ultimately landed with Matt sleeping on the queen bed with a line of boxes along the window, and Isabella and I took the two bunks. The dinette table has become shared "office" space for school and work, and the tub has turned into storage. We tore out the AC unit to gain an additional shelf space, and the microwave was replaced with a toaster oven. And –if you can believe it– we removed the bathroom door and put up a curtain to free up even more space and weight.
We downsized almost everything we owned before leaving. If I had to estimate, I'd say a third of our belongings were sold or given away. What remained after numerous OfferUp and Marketplaces sales went into a 10'x25' storage locker, and we kept the precious few items we'd need for half a year or more on the road.
The online resources I find myself using most often include:
The smartphone apps I use most often:
Our ultimate plan is to spend 6-9 months on the road to find where we ultimately want to live. Starting in Washington, the first step is to head south through Oregon and California, then east and back north through a variety of western states. Various factors will play into our decision, including climate and weather, politics, taxes, and schooling regulations.
first stop: TAIDNAPAM (WA)