When we moved into the RV on June 1 of last year, I anticipated there would be many stories about the drama of living in a 24-foot travel trailer. There had certainly been numerous insights as I prepared for the move.
Getting rid of the majority of my stuff, from my car to my shoes to the 5-year-old phone books I’d moved across state lines, had been transformative. Every item I threw or gave away was replaced with something new I learned about myself or some new observation on our consumerist society.
The early days of living in 200-square-feet of space with my husband kids proved to be equally as revolutionary. I marveled at how little time we spent cleaning, how connected we became to the world around us and each other. We said please and thank you more often as we squeezed by each other in our hallway/galley/living room/kitchen. We got out into the world more. We fought more, and then less. We struggled with the concept of freedom and the realization that we were still obligated to our values and priorities, regardless of our homeowner status.
We gawked at the novelty, fought against the necessary transitions, and learned to live in our new home and reality.
And then life went on.
This tiny living space has been our home for more than eight months now. We have accumulated junk and found our comfy spots. We’ve developed new routines and habits. And the significance of the size of our house has all but disappeared into the background of our life.
Living in an RV is not all that different from living in a large home or a small apartment or, I suspect, a cave in the mountains of some foreign country. It is shocking only because and when it is strange, and when it is no longer strange it is simply life as we know it.
This is the way of change, the reality of “lifestyle design.”
The idea of change is at once marvelous and frightening, exhilarating because it is new. And then it is hard and cramped and painful as the exotic unknown struggles to be reborn as the new norm.
And then it is simply life, sometimes hard, sometimes easy, hopefully filled with more laughter than tears, and ideally a little more in line with the values and priorities we profess to hold dear.