I’d like to start off this post by thanking my supportive friends for following along and sporadically commenting on my full-time RV life journey for the past three years and two months. Only half of month #38 (the last of the months I’ll be numbering, don’t worry) was spent on the road, but I wanted to write one final post in this series to chat about those final two weeks and the transition to house life in New Mexico.
If RV life does anything, it makes you super-adaptable to whatever comes your way. This is probably why making such a dramatic move hasn’t been an insane shock to my system like I once worried it might be.
Here’s a quick recap of this past month’s batch of homes on (and off) the road.
California Summer Road Trip: Home on the Road #126 (continued)
We wrapped up our time in the Bay Area of California with a few more visits with friends and family and then started the journey back to New Mexico – by way of Yuma, Arizona to clear out the random five-foot by five-foot storage unit we’d been keeping there. Storage unit clean-out day was a stifling 113 degrees, as it often is in Yuma. But finally for the first time in several years, all of our worldly possessions were in one place: fully contained in our RV and Jeep.
I also had the pleasure (?) of turning 36 on this return journey, which I can’t say was exactly the most fun way to spend a birthday. However, we made up for it with a refreshing hike and fun night out in Flagstaff, Arizona. Then we spent our last night of full-time RV life at a campground in Bernalillo, New Mexico that was only about 10 minutes from our future house that we would get keys to at the real estate closing in the morning.
- Highlights: Lovely Bay Area weather for bike rides and outdoor lap swimming, buying myself an early birthday present of new cowgirl boots, campground pool on a 113-degree day, squeezing in a national forest hike after 6+ hours of driving on my birthday, vegan Thai restaurant for birthday dinner followed by a visit to our favorite Flagstaff beer hub (Dark Sky Brewing)
- Lowlights: Long days of driving the RV and Jeep separately due to the heavy weight of carrying all of our worldly possessions, insane hotness, feeling guilty about not feeling more emotional about these last RV days but eh whatever because there’s plenty of adventure that lies ahead
Placitas, New Mexico: Home OFF the Road
We’ve now been in our New Mexico house for a couple weeks, and it’s been a whirlwind of logistical hassles, cleaning tasks, furniture delivery and assembly, and early-stage DIY projects. But beyond all that practical crap, I must say, I’m really loving this house so far. The layout makes perfect sense in my mind, there’s plenty of space but it still feels cozy, and everything’s in good condition but just in need of some aesthetic updating.
It’s been a lot of upfront costs to get started with house life since we moved out of an RV and previously had zero furniture to our names. However, the previous owner of the house left behind some of her old furniture, which has been a great starting point. Besides, we saved a ton of money by RVing for 3+ years, so dropping a sizable amount of cash all at once hasn’t really felt like a bit hit.
- Highlights: Introducing Monkey to her new home and seeing her run around and play in all the big rooms, picking out furniture that we actually like rather than settling for hand-me-downs, becoming a master at furniture assembly, getting New Mexico driver’s licenses and registrations at a DMV that was actually not miserable, eating dinner outside every day while watching the sunset, starting to learn how to keep fish and plants alive in my very own backyard pond, going for a little hike around my property and realizing that I am HIKING around MY property, starting to get my very own office set up with a minimalism/Japanese theme equipped with a tatami mat and mini tea table, checking out local events like a garden tour and jazz concert, first pizza delivering to the house by my new favorite nearby eatery, scenic runs and hikes on the national forest trails just a few minutes away, so much sunshine, so peaceful going outside my home and not being surrounded by people (no neighbors in sight!)
- Lowlights: Lots of drama trying to get trash and recycling set up, exhausted all the time, paying for and accumulating lot of stuff and slowly losing my minimalist lifestyle, many gnomes still in boxes, having to call and talk to people to get house things set up and feeling like an idiot all the while
Random impressions about the RV-to-house transition so far:
- Everything is just easier and more comfortable now
- I’m obsessed with taking showers in my new bathroom vs. the RV bathroom or public facilities
- I have more personal time now that I’m not constantly running around
- I feel more relaxed and less anxious and irritable in general now
- I’m doing all the same things I did during RV life plus a few new hobbies (for example, the husband got me an electric piano as a birthday gift so I’ve been reteaching myself to play and pick up where I left off with my 10 years of childhood lessons)
- Transitioning is really easy when you busy yourself with a ton of new distractions
- I don’t feel a void from constant change yet, but that may come later
- Interactions with people aren’t just temporary like they were with life on the road, so I’m trying to be chatty(ish) and friendly(ish) with local folks – you never know when they’re gonna pop up unexpectedly again, right?
We’re keeping the RV for now, and it’s parked right out front of the house. That was a big factor in choosing a house because we didn’t want to be inundated with overbearing HOA rules about camper parking or simply not have the physical space to store it. It’s too big for our camping needs now since we aren’t living in it full-time, so we’ll be looking to downsize to something smaller after a while once things calm down a bit and we can wrap our heads around that. We’ll take it out for a least another trip or two before that as well, possibly for a RV trip around Thanksgiving.
It’s not “settling” if you consciously choose your path. It’s not “settling down” if you find it impossible to stay still for very long.
As you might expect, this is my last monthly post about “homes on the road” since my home is now firmly stuck on the ground and down a winding, gravel road where the desert meets the forest. I’m thinking that occasional future posts I write here will be about “becoming New Mexican,” exploring awesome new places in my new state and the greater Southwest region, and also about trying to wrangle a wild property and grow things that are pretty to look at and delicious to eat.
Until then, thanks for reading along. It’s the end of an era but a new beginning that feels like right where I’m supposed to be. And what more can you ask for than that?
Relive the journey one last time:
- Our Last Full Month of Full-Time RVing: Winding Down Life on the Road (Month 37)
- Anniversary Edition: Three Years of Full-Time RV Life!
- From the Islands to the Desert: Hawaii, New Mexico & Colorado for RV Life Month #35
- One Last Sweep Through the South: Month #34 of RV Life
- Beach & Bayou Life: Nomads Along the Gulf Coast in Month #33
- Japan & Vegas: Pretty Much the Exact Opposite of RV Life (Month 32)
- Living Large in Texas: Month #31 of Camper Life in the Lone Star State
- The Cross-Country Christmas Journey from the Southwest & Back: 2.5 Years of Nomad Life
- Picking Up the Pace of Southwest Adventure: Month 29 of Nomadic Life
- A Nomadic Sweep Through Familiar Lands: Month #28 in NorCal
- Adventures Off the Grid: Month #27 of Camper Life
- A Very Idaho Birthday & Back on the Oregon Trail: Nomad Life Month #26
- RV-Free Road Trip to the Midwest & Back: A Nonstandard Month #25 of Camper Life
- TWO YEARS on the Road?! Camper Life Celebrates a Big Milestone, Takes a Turn.
- Temporary Canadians: Camper Life Goes International in Month #23
- Life as Washingtonians: A Year & 10 Months of Camper Life from the Evergreen State
- Life as Oregonians: Month 21 on the Road
- Redwoods, Rain, and FINALLY in Oregon: 1 Year & 8 Months on the Road
- Making Our Way Up California (yes, again): Month 19 on the Road
- It’s Officially Been a Year & a Half of Camper Life!
- Southern Utah & Northern Arizona: How We Spent Month #17 on the Road
- Greetings from Utah! A Look Back at Month 16 of Camper Life.
- A Month Split Between the West & the Midwest (#15)
- 7 Months in the Pop-Up, Now 7 months in the RV
- Lucky #13: A Recap of Nomadic Life One Year & One Month In
- ONE YEAR LATER: Nomadic Life, California Style
- It’s Been 11 Months on the Road…Will We Make it a Year?
- Double Digits Down: A 10-Month Report on the Ups & Downs of Camper Life
- 9 Months Later…Yup, We’re Still on the Road!
- Camper Life Month #8 in Dragoon-A-Saurus Rex de la Mantequilla
- A Day of Love, Hallmark Cards & Our 7 Month Camper-aversary
- Half a Year on the Road! A Six-Month Camper Life Update
- 5 Months on the Road: Wait No More, Your Full-Time Camper Life Update Is Here
- Month #4 on the Road: Camper Life Update from Colorado & Utah!
- Month #3 on the Road: A Full-Time Camper Life Update!
- Two Months on the Road! A Full-Time Camper Life Update
- One Month on the Road: A Full-Time Camper Life Update
- Final Days in Atlanta…Next Up: Full-Time Camper Life!