The Tiny Living and Minimalist Movements
Over the past few years, the tiny living and minimalist movement has gained traction. This also applies to those who live in their RV like myself. It still amazes me how many people act surprised at the notion that I live in an RV. The next question is almost always “What made you decide to do that?”
According to the RV Industry Association, over 1 million Americans live in RVs today.
Seems unbelievable right?
It was to me at first. Before we downsized our 800 square foot apartment and chose to live in our RV, I had no idea so many people were already live this location independent lifestyle and had been doing it for years.
Some live in a stationary tiny home, some people build tiny homes on wheels, some people live in a van (not always down by the river), and some choose to live in an RV, like me.
Since the advancement of cellular technologies, this has allowed working-class people and families to access internet while they travel (if they have a remote job). There are hundreds of couples and families traveling the states while they work full-time jobs and run their businesses from their camper.
There are several reasons why people choose to live an unconventional lifestyle like full-time RVing:
- Cheaper cost of living
- More quality of life
- Freedom to travel
Before RV Life
For my partner and I, it didn’t start out that way. Back in early 2015, we were already fed up with apartment life and were dissatisfied at our traditional jobs.
We were pouring money into a place that we didn’t enjoy, going into to debt for things we didn’t have time for, and generally burnt out on the weekends–unmotivated to pursue things we were passionate about.
We knew we didn’t want to stay in Oklahoma. We both loved Colorado and longed to be in the mountains, but thinking logistically about how to get there was disheartening.
We didn’t have enough savings for moving costs, and I wasn’t having any luck with job opportunities. Not to mention we only knew a handful of people there and we would have to accept the 10-12 hour distance from both our families. We felt lost, stuck, and quite honestly depressed at our current situation.
Then one night, my partner came home from her job and I noticed something different about her–almost as if she had a renewed hope.
“Why do we have to move at all? Why should we have to choose?” she said.
“What do you mean?” I reacted in curiosity.
“Why don’t we live in an RV? Then we could go to Colorado and come back to see family whenever we wanted and for however long we wanted.”
Then suddenly, our brains began to churn with possibility and questions:
- Was it actually possible?
- How would we make money to pay the bills?
- How would our dogs adjust?
- How would we get mail or pay our taxes?
- Could we connect to the internet?
Making It Work
Before we could pursue this dream full-steam, there were several ways we had to prepare:
- I needed a remote job. Without the ability to make income while traveling we wouldn’t be able to live in an RV full-time.
- I had to have an internet connection. Without a connection to the internet I couldn’t work remotely.
- We had to downsize. A lot. We had to sell, give away, or store 80% of what we owned. I surprised myself with how much stuff I had in an 800 square foot apartment. Downsizing was an emotional task at first, but it got easier over time.
- We had to sell my car. I had a car that I used to commute to my stationery job and my partner had a truck. We need to keep her truck in order to haul the trailer, so that meant selling my car.
Throughout the process of preparing to move in to the rig, we had many times where we wondered if we were crazy! But each time we begin to doubt, we remembered the reasons we decided to do live this lifestyle in the first place.
The Benefits of Full-Time RVing
Overall, the pros heavily outweighed the cons when we were making these decisions:
- Cheaper cost of living. Rather than pouring money into an apartment in a place we didn’t want to stay, we would have the ability to travel and call anywhere we parked home.
- Better quality of life. By downsizing our lives, we were forced to reconsider our priorities. We wanted to live more simply and focus on our relationships and experiences, rather than our possessions and status.
- Location Independence. We would have the freedom to visit our families when we needed to and for as long as we wanted while we traveled across the United States. We would be able to see all the places we always dreamed of seeing.
As I said before, this lifestyle isn’t for everyone. If you:
- Have a job you cannot work remotely
- Dislikes the outdoors
- Needs to be near the amenities of the city at all times
- Doesn’t like the idea of managing your home and waste, then click away!
On the other hand, if you seek adventure, if you want more out of life, if you want to live a more simple, meaningful life, if you are willing to put in the hard work to accomplish your goals, then this might be something you should consider.
I want to hear from you! Leave a comment below and tell me where you want to travel and why.