Yesterday was the end of our second week living full-time in The Turtle. Which I think pretty clearly makes us experts on the subject. Or at least more knowledgeable than we were two weeks ago!
There are definitely some clearly defined benefits already though and I thought I would share them here, in case you’re sitting there on the fence thinking about making the leap.
First a disclaimer, it’s not all going to be perfect. I promise not to sugar coat anything here to make it seem like we live in a fairy tale with deer wandering around outside the window and robins landing on our fingers. Although on my walk Friday I did see 9 deer, 25 turkeys, and one rabbit… just sayin’.
Here are a few of the improvements I’ve noticed in our short time here…
You might not start running 5ks, but you will probably get more exercise just by default. In my case there were several changes. At the house I could just let the dogs out without a leash or going outside myself, now we take them on walks twice a day around the campground.
We also opted not to buy the tiny washer/dryer unit that you can install in an RV, even though we have the hookups for it, so once a week we pack our clothes up in a big blue laundry bag and walk to the campground office where the washer and dryer are. We pay $3 a load and do between 2 and 3 loads a week, depending on what linens need washing. It gets me some fresh air, a nice walk, and I generally stop and talk to a few people in the process which is nice.
Also, because of the location of our campground and the fairly isolated road that runs beside it I’m able to take two-mile walks on a regular basis on a mostly flat paved road. It’s quiet, giving me time to think, and I’m working on training to run a 5k this year.
This probably doesn’t apply to you if you live in an apartment complex or subdivision right now… but then again, maybe it does.
People tend to be more sociable for the most part in a campground than out in ‘the real world’. I’m not sure why that is, but something about the atmosphere will find you having conversations with people you’ve never met before on a regular basis. It’s great!
We’ve made a handful of new friends already, and met several interesting people who were just passing through. We’ve also gotten great advice from people who have been there before us, which is always comforting.
It might be the lack of a house that causes this one.
I spend a few minutes every night washing dishes and putting them away, I vacuum a couple of times a week (around 5 minutes), dust (5 minutes), and straighten up as I walk through. That and laundry are about the extent of the weekly cleaning. I wipe the bathroom counter down with a rag every night after we use it, and wipe the kitchen counter after I wash dishes.
I honestly didn’t think this would equate to a lot more time to do other things, because I didn’t feel like I spent that many hours cleaning at the house… but I suppose bigger floors, bigger counters, more laundry, more surfaces to dust, and more dishes all add up.
I really do have more time to work on my graphic design, go for a run, or just sit around. That’s pretty damn cool.
This is a combination of the other benefits mixed with lots of little things, and I’m sure your mileage may vary. Heck, my mileage varies from day-to-day… this is a campground, not a Disney movie! But the overall tone is less stressful.
We have fewer bills, as a result of eliminating some services that we no longer needed and paying off debt with the profits from the house. We are able to save money more easily as a result of having less outgo.
I have more time to try to build my business, I get more exercise, and we spend more ‘quality’ time together. Just for the record, I only use air quotes around quality because it seems a bit cheesy, but the time we are spending together does seem to be more fun. We walk every night and talk, sit around outside, and even sitting inside watching tv feels cozier and more intimate.
We Eat Better
No, not all the time. There is currently a whole box of deliciously awesome cinnamon rolls from the Wal-Mart deli sitting in the microwave waiting for me, and that’s okay.
But we do grill out a lot for dinner, probably 60% of the time right now and more when baseball season is over and Marty isn’t at practice most nights. Dinner usually involves a meat and a couple of veggies. Pork medallions, sweet potato, corn on the cob, and salad last night… mmm!
Side note: The grill Marty bought before we moved makes the best baked potatoes I’ve ever had, and the same for pork chops. It keeps all the moisture in, you don’t really even need butter because everything is so marvelously juicy.
But I digress. The point was that grilling out more causes us to eat more veggies, and eating more veggies makes me want more veggies. It’s a lovely vicious cycle.
I have so much more to talk about just from the first two weeks here, and an updated Project 333 post coming soon, I’m going to try to come up with and stick to a regular posting schedule. I want this blog to be a resource and provide encouragement for people looking to make a change in their lives, whatever it might be.
We still have a lot of changes to go, myself especially. I have a business to build and the label of ‘full time graphic designer’ to grow into! I’ve struggled a lot lately with the fact that I’m still at my day job and not making it on my own yet, but I have to be patient. Marty reminds me on a regular basis how quickly all of this has happened, and that I can’t expect everything to happen the same way. I also have to remember how far we’ve come in just a few months.
I’ll talk more about all that later though, it’s almost time to go for a run!