I am writing this post as I sit in our new home on wheels in a tranquil campsite on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. How fortunate we are to find ourselves in this position. But wait, let me back up a bit and explain how we got here!
It is hard to believe that our last post was over four months ago; I guess the old cliché “Time Fly's” is true and seems to only speed up the older we get. Anyway, our last post primarily focused on our stay in the desert of southern Arizona. I think back and boy did we have a grand time last year touring North America and living in our little RPOD travel trailer we called Peg pulled by our Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Well, we had such a good time visiting different parts of this amazing country, meeting so many interesting people, and enjoying the RV lifestyle, we decided to just keep living this way. After ten months on the road we were ready to move from what started out as a year long vacation to a way of living. Moving from a traditional lifestyle with a “sticks and bricks” house to a nomadic lifestyle with a small house on wheels is a gigantic undertaking. Step 1- find our new home. Peg was great for vacations, but she was not going to work for us (two humans and three furry kids) for full time living.
We did a lot of research while traveling and knew we wanted to move to a motorhome for reasons we will go into in a future post. We put together a list of requirements (again something we will elaborate on in a future post) and based on those requirements we made our choice. Meet Gypsy Girl (stock photos) our Winnebago Brave (retro style) motorhome.
We purchased Gypsy Girl near Knoxville, Tennessee. Why Tennessee you ask, because we got such a good deal. We drove nearly 1,500 miles in lousy weather over a ten-day period starting in Benson, AZ and ending in Knoxville, TN. After buying Gypsy Girl we headed back to St. Petersburg, Fl to take Step 2 – sell our bricks and sticks house. After being away for over 10 months, the house needed a little TLC. We spent four weeks getting the house ready. Lucky for us we found ourselves in a sellers market! We also were able to find a dynamic duo realtor team. We could not have asked for a better team and outcome. Melinda and Doug are the best. We ended up selling our house for a considerable amount more than we had expected. We got a contract on the house within a week of listing it. The buyer was a perfect fit; Deborah grew up in the area and was looking for a house like ours. We remodeled every aspect of the house over the 11 years we had it, we will miss the house but we know it is in good hands!
So now we had to figure out what to do with all of our stuff…Step 3-how to get rid of a lifetime’s worth of possessions. We sold or consigned most of our furniture and décor, we gave some things away to friends and family, and we put a few things in a very small storage facility we are renting. The good news is we are not pack rats and so we ended up throwing very little away. Now that the house had sold and we got rid of most of our earthly possessions, we needed to make sure Gypsy was ready to be our new home.
Step 4 – Outfit Gypsy Girl for fulltime living. We dropped Gypsy off for service. She needed some enhancements, some modifications and some warranty work. I will not go into the list here (will in a future post), but we had a big list of items and only a short time to get the work done. The reason we had little time was because we landed a job – Step 5 – Where are we going next?
So that brings us full circle…we are back in Arizona, four months after we last posted while visiting the desert of southern Arizona, but only two weeks after selling our house in Florida. We landed a work camping job on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. We work in the Visitors Center for a non-profit called Grand Canyon Association. The work itself is interesting as we work alongside the National Park Service Rangers helping people with questions while operating the bookstore. We are virtually living for free in paradise and getting paid to help people enjoy their visit to the Grand Canyon!
The last fours months have been crazy but very rewarding. We will be on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon for about four months. During our stay we will post periodically about what it is like to live and work in the Grand Canyon. We will also post about various other topics like an early review of living fulltime in an RV, what it costs and how we were able to make the switch from a conventional lifestyle. We have very limited connectivity here, but we do plan to update the blog as often as we can.
Anyway, enjoy your journey whatever it may be and live in the present because tomorrow is not guaranteed!
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