So, the original three-year-plan was: year one, get out of debt, year two, buy a van, year three, buy a travel trailer and hit the road.
The more I think on it, the more I decide to shift things. I’m impatient to get on the road and I’m nervous about not having a financial cushion. So here’s the new plan:
Year one (this year): get out of debt. Down-size material possessions.
Year two: buy a van, start outfitting it for vandwelling. This means a solar panel on top with enough juice to run a little fan, an ARB fridge, and chargers for the cell phone, ham radio, iPad mini, netbook, and therapy light visor. It means building a sleeping platform and putting a futon mattress on it. It means getting an ARB. It means building a little table and getting a propane camp stove.
Year three: as the van gets more liveable, road trips begin. Some overnight camping trips happen. All of this fine-tunes the vandwelling experience. Once things seem satisfactory and comfortable, it’s time to cut moorings.
As soon as things seem together enough, the stuff that’s not going vandwelling but is going travel trailering (plus the few things I haven’t decided about yet) go into a storage unit. The storage unit I’ve used before has an offer of a free truck rental when moving in. The plan is to get the truck and move everything in, put me and the cat in the van, drop the keys in the landlord’s mail slot, and hit the road. If it’s warm weather, I head east. If it’s cold, I head south.
I then vandwell for a while. Maybe half a year. Maybe a year. Maybe a few years. Not permanently — eventually I will get a travel trailer and pick up my stuff from storage. But in the meantime, I go on adventures and save money.
I like this plan better because it gets me on the road sooner, it gives me a space to save up a financial buffer, and it gives me some duplication of resources once I get the trailer. I hope Mr. Kitty likes the plan, too.