At our one year mark we thought we’d share common questions we hear, things you always wanted to know but were afraid to ask.
1. Don’t you miss having a home and sleeping in your own bed?
Creating a sense of place is different from four walls now. For me, flavored coffee, favorite music to fit my mood for the day, (compact) scented candles, phone calls with friends and family and yes, even Big Box Stores can create a sense of familiarity in an unfamiliar place. Each night I’m grateful to have a comfortable pillow to lay my head on…it doesn’t have to be in a bed I own.
2. How do you get your mail?
Over the years we’ve reduced snail mail, opting instead to do as much as possible online. We use a service that is designed specifically for full time boaters and RV’ers. Our mailing address is their location, they scan the front of all first class mail, email it to us then we decide whether to scan the document, shred it, or forward directly to us.
3. What did you do with all your pictures?
Ah, this is a good one and something EVERYONE needs to do. My first project when we began this adventure was to sort through and scan the boxes of pictures I’ve collected since childhood. Half a dozen at a time on a flatbed scanner, I scanned while talking to friends, I scanned while watching movies, I felt like I was scanning in my sleep. But all of those cherished moments are digitally preserved forever now, backed up multiple times. And yes, I threw the pictures away or tossed them into a campfire – and now they can easily be shared with friends and family. Ditto for my files of important papers.
4. Where is your favorite place you’ve visited?
This is going to sound PC, but since we’re not sponsored by a local or regional chamber we don’t have to be PC. The truth is, we don’t have a favorite. Each place is different, interesting, special. And, there’s so much left to see, it would be premature to name a favorite. Ask us again in a year!
5. You must eat out a lot?
Nope. We really only eat out when we’re meeting friends somewhere or are out for the day and it makes the most sense. It’s cheaper and healthier to prepare as much as we can at home. And that usually leads to Question #6.
6. What about your food/kitchen items/toiletries?
When we’re house sitting our goal is zero footprint, we want the homeowners to feel like nobody was there, except maybe things are a little shinier. And if we’re renting a furnished place we need these things anyway. We have a set of favorites spices, coffee, filters, etc. that we travel with, along with our toiletries including toilet paper, soap, laundry detergent, etc. Yep, it all fits in the car.
7. Doesn’t it worry you to not know where you’re sleeping next week?
Worry is an emotion that is seldom on our radar and this life is not well suited for a worrier. Flexibility is the key, mixed with a belief that things will work out. It doesn’t happen often, but when we get close to a tight situation of not knowing where we’re going to stay, the perfect thing drops in our lap. To us, it’s part of the adventure.
8. Don’t you miss being around friends and having people to do things with?
No, for a few reasons. We’re fortunate to have friends and family who travel so we enjoy them on a visit or rendezvous. We create community wherever we go like tapping into the sailing club in Punta Gorda, for example. And with all the social media tools the world is getting smaller, so we can keep in touch with friends we’ve met along the way and connect as we’re passing through.
9. Have you bought anything new after getting rid of so much?
Yes, with certain criteria. Anything new we’ve purchased replaced something old (e.g. quick-dry t-shirts in place of cotton t-shirts, performance jacket in place of bulky fleece) or was a total swap for space (Jim gingerly gave up his beloved Mares Avanti Quattro scuba fins to make space for a shiny new Manfrotto tripod).
10. Did you get rid of anything that you later discovered you missed or regretted?
Nope. In fact, as we ran across things and wondered, “Why am I hanging on to this?”, we continued to shed and lighten our load through the year. We both gave up things we really loved, but we have pictures and memories and the peace of mind from knowing we can always buy another one if we want to. We have our health, (sappy warning!) we have each other, the rest is just stuff.