About Us (by Sasha): Early On
I initially started looking into EarthRoamers, a very expensive type of Truck Camper/RV. It was way too expensive for us, more than many diesel pushers even. It was a pipe dream. But in doing further research and reviewing our finances, it looked like we could afford a truck camper and a Ford F350 truck. I spent a lot of time, over a year, on the RV.net forums to research trucks and campers.
We got the truck locally in December of 2005 and drove out to Denver, Colorado to buy the camper in spring of 2006. Since we were already at the foot of the Rockies, we immediately took a 2 week trip in the process. We quickly found that we loved our rig and the feeling of freedom it offered us. Even as rank RV beginners, our first outing was a smashing success and the narrative of this trip and photos can be seen on the Previous Trip (soon to be released again). We were both sold on the RV lifestyle.
We took the rig home and used it for weekend trips that summer.
In 2006, I was extremely fortunate that I was able to arrange a six week sabbatical from work. We used the opportunity to take our truck camper and newly added enclosed utility trailer on a dream trip out west. The narrative of this second much longer trip and photos can be seen on the Long Trip.
This 6 week trip was a fundamentally life changing event for both of us. We had an amazing time and did not want it to end. Indeed, we stretched it out to the last possible second. It made us realize that life is short and that home ownership was largely preventing us from leading the kind of lives we really want to live. We don’t have kids after all and we knew right then that we want to travel extensively and live in scenic, different areas of the country, particularly near and in National Parks.
With the mortgage, the property taxes, utilities, lawn care, storage, newspaper, maid, insurance, HOA fees, and maintenance we were averaging about $3000 in expenses a month. We both worked full-time and many of our weekends were cleaning up or maintaining the home, and not having the adventures we really wanted to have. We were feeling stifled by the home. We wanted out.
From the time that we both realized that we needed a change, to the time we sold the house, we started purging ourselves of possessions. I sold a lot of stuff on eBay and Craigslist. Laura got me to read Your Money or Your Life (YMOYL) and it hit home to me, showing me a different way to look at money and the time spent in pursuit of it. We went through all of the steps and continue to do so.
Having the house and being able to sell it with a profit, helped us get that much closer to financial independence then if we had been renting the entire time. Fortunately for us, we had bought the house at a low period, and sold, not at the peak but close enough, so that we got a profit out of the deal.
So, soon as we returned from this second major trip, we immediately made plans to change our lives and lifestyle. We wanted to sell the house, most of our possessions and live a very different, simpler life. Laura promptly devoted herself full-time to being the project manager for both of these tasks and excelled in both, making a website for the house that we sold ourselves, banking an extra 3% in the process and with the help of my wonderful mother-in-law, organizing the estate sale which we sold most of our possessions.