A Concession of Trailer Life Trumps
As my uber enthusiastic posts this month have shown, I love living in an RV trailer. But there are still a few comforts of home that trump trailer life.
Ever since we embarked upon this adventure, I've pontificated endlessly about the joys of trailer life. I never mean to condescend to static life (as I call living under a lease or mortgage, with a 9-5, 2.5 kids, a dog and a picket fence) but I am aware that I likely come across that way from time to time. Like right there. But really, I'm just excited and basking in the newness of my experience.
It's an experience, after all, that could seem too difficult and full of hurdles to even tackle in the first place. But the part of the experience that I'm enjoying the most is seeking the positive in the challenge. Overcoming what might seem impossible, attempting to channel around mountains, then learning from — and sharing — that process. I admit that the sharing part is sometimes overly enthusiastic (okay, bordering on fanatical).
So, as an olive branch, I concede that there are a few moments inside a comfy "real" static home where I don't miss life in the trailer. And I am appreciating those moments more than ever as we return to the comfort of my parents' home to regroup and reflect on the lessons we've learned so far, including how and where to apply them, and to plan for our southern loop accordingly.
So what, exactly, trumps life in a trailer?
Effective Shaving Temperatures
I've yet to really get into the details of bathroom #lifeontheroad — how we shower, groom and deal with bathroom issues — but I will give you an overview soon. I'm still observing and taking notes on what works and what doesn't... and how. But one thing that needs no further observation than one experience, is that of stepping out of a non-heated campground (i.e. public) shower when the temperatures have dipped below 50 degrees (F). I may have shaved my legs (flamingo style), but you wouldn't know it as the little hairs stick out and my just-washed hair begins to freeze into icicles against my wet face. Those moments sting, as I rush to dress my shivering self and dry off (although they achieve the objective of feeling really alive). Last night I took a nice, long, hot shower at my parents' home and let the bathroom steam up, excited at how warm I'd be and how smooth my legs would feel upon my shower exit. And I didn't miss life in the trailer, not at that moment.
Pulling the Stretch Armstrong
Not only do three people live inside our trailer, two of them are six feet tall and the third is just over three feet — not tiny for a two and a half year old. Neither of the big people curl up into any little corner very well, which is why our king sized bed enables this adventure with more ease. As long as we have that normal-sized (so, big) space to stretch out in, the rest doesn't bother us. It balances out to make the mini-living room, mini-bathroom and mini-dining room feel sufficient. However, when I entered my parents' home after a month away in the trailer, it felt like my voice was echoing in the space of the rooms. I stretched out my arms and kicked my feet to my sides, showing just how much physical space my body could take up without touching anything. Each of us can be in different parts of their house and barely be able to hear each other. Their kitchen alone is greater than the size of our entire trailer, so everything about their house just felt big. And in that moment of inhabiting the bigness of my body in the spaciousness of that space, I didn't miss life in the trailer.
Loving The Local
We don't, of course, have a community when we are on the road aside from the greater transient RV community. Although they are super supportive at every turn and we make friends and mini temporary communities as we go along (which is a point of beauty to us), there is no backbone of local or consistent community. I am reminded any time I am in my parents' small New Hampshire town — where I've easily been able to meet a lot of great mommies and kids through the myriad of local resources they offer at the library and community center, and tap into a beautiful yoga center — of the power of a small local community. There's something that feels good about reuniting with a sea of familiar faces, a fact I can see reflected in my daughter's face when we're here, as well. Today when she sung and danced with other toddlers in a kid's yoga class at the local community center, I didn't miss life in the trailer. At least, not at that moment.
Hugs, Chats and Some Dinners
The most important members of the local community are the ones who made me: my parents. When we are on the road, we are either adventuring up a mountain, around a lake, across a sea or through the woods, so we are very distracted four days out of five with little-to-no wifi or phone reception. While we text pictures and anecdotes whenever possible, a week can go by without a FaceTime with our "Nema and Pop Pops." We're always happy to catch up virtually, but nothing beats an in-person hug from my mom, my dad's home-cooked food or the smile on my daughter's face when she sees her beloved grandparents. Time at home with them has been a precious bonus of this adventure and an integral part of the experience that we never would have had if we were back in Jersey City. In the morning when we sip our coffee together, or as we watch my daughter serve fake muffins from her little play-diner/kitchenette in her grandparents kitchen, I don't miss life in the trailer.
Things Disappearing Behind You
Not to focus too much on the bathroom — and I suppose it's not surprising that this area might be preferable in a static home — but, yeah. In a trailer, nothing disappears behind you per se. Every time we leave a campsite, we must empty the tanks within the trailer. That means our grey tank, which is dirty dish, bath and shower water and our black tank, which is our toilet. That's right, folks. It's a hands-on sewer system on the road. If My Love is on the job, as he is 99% of the time, I try to at least be out there with him for moral support if I'm not on another job inside. Emptying the tanks is by far the worst job in the trailer, but it still doesn't kill our buzz. However, it sure is indulgently delicious to take a long, hot shower or use the toilet in my parents' home and not think about either action a moment longer or ever more, in fact. In that moment, I don't miss life in a trailer.
But of course, I adore life in the Spriglet. It's still new and it's still exciting. There's a lot yet to learn and figure out, and thankfully, a lot of time drenched in exploration with my family balances being inside the trailer. Plus, if the grass is always greener on the other side, and our location changes as often as it does, then the grass is green everywhere. For us, the color of the grass just depends on how long we've been standing there casting a shadow.
Are you living the RV road life? What do you miss most about static life? Or, if you enjoy the comforts of a static home now, what can't you possibly imagine giving up in a trailer?