Now the fun part begins! It was time to book our first traveling adventure of camper life. My one request? Beach front baby! After all the stress of downsizing we needed some fun in the sun.
The previous year had been eventful for our family. With the birth of our daughter in April and my husband having bilateral foot surgery during my postpartum “vacation” a month later there was no time for a getaway in the summer. Our first trip was well overdue.
We did some research and decided to try St. Augustine, Florida. Not only does it have a beach location, but it has tons of history we wanted to check out. It was a location neither one of us had visited before, and we found that to be fitting to break in the new lifestyle.
Before we embarked on this maiden voyage, my husband wanted to pull the camper somewhere close to our campsite in our hometown to test out our camper and truck setup. We wanted to make sure everything would go smoothly before we headed down south.
He found a campground about 30 minutes away and at the time I thought the idea was kind of silly. I mean, what could go wrong? The truck was inspected and ready to go and we had been living in the camper for weeks now and it was working great.
Also, why would I want to use my vacation time that close to home in a town with the same amenities as our home town? I was quickly persuaded with the words pool and hot tub that showed up on the campground website. Let’s do this!
With everything already packed, a perk of taking your home with you on trips, we set off in the sunset to begin our journey of life on the road. Our dream was finally coming true after over a year of research, planning, tears both good and bad to get us to this moment and it was finally here!
Boom! That was the sound of our bubble bursting (or our truck breaking down) 15 minutes down the road. Our lives of living a constant vacation, as so I thought, had come to a hault literally on the side of the road.
Here we were stranded on the interstate watching our dream get towed away in the sunset without us. Good thing the hubby bought roadside assistance. Because we needed two trips from the tow company to get our truck to the shop and the other for our house on wheels to get to the campsite which was our first “adventure”.
It was an adventure alright.
Even though we had a rough start, we had a great first trip at our local campground. This campground, formerly a nudist colony we discovered on our stay, was such a hidden gem. Now known as Davy Crockett Campground located in Crossville, TN, this place is a woodland wonderland and the staff went out of their way to help you with any needs you may have.
With a restaurant , friendly staff, wagon rides, walking trails, and much more, we had plenty to do and lots of memories were made. We invited our friends and families to come swim, eat, play, and get involved in our new traveling lifestyle.
Although our journey didn’t go as planned, here are a few life lessons we learned from the experience:
Plan for the worst, but hope for the best.
I’m not suggesting you get in Negative Nancy mode for your journeys. Stay positive. That’s important for everyone’s life journey. Just keep in mind things don’t always go perfectly, such is life, but don’t let that take your joy. Downsizing to allow yourself more journey is a fun experience if you allow yourself to laugh through the crazy times.
For us, planning meant buying roadside assistance (which more than paid for itself) and taking this test trip. Even if your journey is something different like downsizing your cars, your house, or your living space, leave some room for problems.
And once those problems happen (and they will) be ready to laugh about them. Maybe not in that moment, but be ready. Life is too short to sweat the small stuff.
Life is too short to sweat the small stuff.
Make the most of a bad situation
Yes this wasn’t an ideal situation for our truck to breakdown and be stranded without a vehicle for a couple of weeks out of town, but on the upside, we got time to relax with family and friends in a beautiful campground.
In the end we had a good time making memories together so turn that frown upside down! This lifestyle is all about spending time together.
In the thick of problems, people are genuinely good & want to help
We live in a friendly part of the country. When we were stranded on the side of the interstate 20+ people offered to help Nathan while he waited over an hour for the tow truck.
A friend from my work spotted us on the side of the road and was nice enough to drive Hensley and I to the campground to get food while Nathan stayed with the truck and camper. How nice is that?
When Nathan finally reached the campground in the tow truck with the camper, three park workers came rushing in to help us set up our camper before the sun set and it got dark. It was overwhelming to see all the kindness people showed us in our time of need.
As you work through your journey, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Especially from people who are a step ahead of you on the same journey you are wanting to take. If you want to journey in a camper, reach out to us or other camping people. Whether it’s a tiny house, going from a giant home to an apartment, or just getting rid of stuff, there’s always someone a step ahead.
Sharing your hard times could help others in theirs.
The last thing we wanted to do in this stressful situation was smile for the camera but we knew we needed to document our story. That means the good and the bad. It is not fun to take pictures while broken down, but we can learn from all situations we are handed. Don’t be afraid to share your mistakes (we will be sharing a ton of them along the way).
Mistakes are a way of growth and if we embrace them and share with others it can help prepare them in similar situations or their future journeys. Adventure can come at a cost. But it’s worth it! We had a great trip and sometime life just happens.
Although our literal voyage was short and sweet this is just the begining of our lifelong voyage to strive to have less junk but more journey. Did we ever complete our journey to St. Augustine? Stayed tuned to find out!