Archive for September, 2020

Hello friends and family. My last post had two videos and I can tell that no one has seen them. I just thought I’d remind people that to see the videos you need to click on them. They look like a photo. There are two and they are both videos. No worries if you don’t want to see them, but if you do, now you know! 🙂

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A bus time chat

Good evening friends and family. I have made two videos for you to watch of me just chatting and one of a favourite recipe of mine. Enjoy!

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Livin the Dream

The essay below was something I wrote in May of this year for someone who was researching why people decide to live in a tiny house. I feel like we are on the cusp of a new chapter and thought I would share this. Some photos from the last few months are sprinkled throughout.

This house bus living we are doing, is definitely a chapter. There was a start to it all, and there will be an end. Somehow, something will eventually end, and close the chapter of this defining experience for us. That end won’t necessarily be the end to tiny house living. We may decide to continue in a new tiny house at some point that fits in with our family dynamic as it changes, or we may move into a more stationary home, but, this chapter has changed how all future chapters will be written. This experience has fundamentally changed us, and freed us from a grip that holds many many people. How did it begin? What factors unlocked the gate that held us bound?

Firstly, my husband and I love adventure. Darren is less fearful than I am, and has less reservations as a result. He quickly is ready to jump at the next idea of exploration and possibility. I on the other hand am more calculated. I consider all things first before diving in, just to make sure it’s a good idea. We began this chapter as young parents, only married for 2 years. We made space to travel and explore with our baby boy (and later daughter) in tow. It wasn’t always easy, but we enjoyed it. The struggles were worth the memories we came home with. We went on one such adventure with some friends to the sea over Christmas and New Years holiday and one of our friends brought their bus. Our friends only used their bus for holidays, and had a normal home as well. But after seeing their bus, we got thinking as we had never considered living in a bus before. The pros were obvious while traveling. You just take your house with you, you don’t have to pack, or unpack, or have a ‘camping kitchen’ as well as a house kitchen, and all the other double ups. You wouldn’t have to worry about feeling homesick or burned out from your travels. Your home was right with you all the time. If you needed to slow down and feel more homey again, just park up for a few weeks at a time. 

Darren knew he wanted to do it straight away. I wasn’t sure, we talked it over, what it would mean, how we’d do it, what we would have to do to prepare, what would we do with our house? How much would it cost? Was I really willing to give up our home of 2 acres we had just started to develop? How would it impact our son (and later our daughter)? Would we regret it? These and more questions bombarded my thoughts. Until one day I realised that while I really liked the idea of the adventure, I was mostly held back by apprehension. I told Darren that I thought if I just shut my eyes, clenched my teeth and took the leap, that we’d be so glad we did it after it was all said and done. Darren agreed, I was probably correct. So, I was the one to give the final ok. I said, let’s jump and see what happens. We rented our house to a friend who was in need (and eventually when she moved on, sold it) and moved into a stationary bus on Darren’s parents farm. Two months later, we found and purchased our bus. 20 months later, we moved in after we had built the insides together from scratch. We have traveled in it to many places in the North Island. And have really enjoyed it. Most of our time is spent on the farm. We envisioned traveling much more than we have, but there have been many hold ups for us, in ways of health, finances, and circumstances, but honestly, I feel that the experiences along the way toward our goal of more consistent travel has been the real journey. We live in a bus and we are indeed journeying, and it has been an adventure, and I am so glad I jumped.

So, what was the who?

Mostly, it was each other, and our kids. I wanted to say yes to Darren’s desire to wander and see where we could go. He has always hated to stay in one place too long. I believe this is in part due to his upbringing of being homeschooled and taking trips with his family as a kid. They did a lot of camping and at one point also lived in a house truck. As for myself, I am an American Expat and just wanted to see New Zealand for all it has to offer. I left all my roots behind me and had nothing at all to lose. We knew that lots of people always talked about how awesome it would be to live in a bus and travel. But most people wait until they are too old to enjoy it with their kids since they grow up before the mortgage and the car are paid off and they can afford the bus. We wanted to enjoy that kind of adventure with our kids while they were still marveled by all the little things that life brings, and before they were held back by school and friends. We wanted them to have memories that were unique as well as inspiring.

The what:

Probably seeing our friends bus and some other buses. We realised how functional they actually were, and the simplicity that was required drew us in. We understood that bus living would challenge us to live with less, but we saw that as a factor that would grow us and make us better people.

The where:

We loved the idea of spending more time with Darren’s family and having the kids grow up near Nana and Papa and Great Nana. The farm has become a beautiful experience of community  and has given us a tight knit village that I think many people have forgotten about including in their lives. Also, our goal was to see all of New Zealand, more specifically the South Island where the other half of Darren’s family live.

The when:

Right now. Stop putting off those bucket list experiences. Don’t wait until you’re too old and sick to enjoy what life has to offer.

The how:

We saved up and bought a gutted bus and did all the building and crafting ourselves. Darren did the woodwork, metalwork, engineering, plumbing and electrical work. I did the curtains, the couch cushions, the floor, and the organising of our belongings into functional reality. We at first gave away or sold 50% of our belongings. Then over the next 2 years, we did the same again. So, currently we have about one quarter of what we started with. We gave up more than extra furniture, decorations, gadgets and clothes, We also gave up a lot of those things you keep on the top shelf of your closet because you’re afraid to let it go. Nostalgic memorabilia can weigh you down just as much as physical stuff. And as we got rid of more and more, we realised we felt lighter and lighter and it almost became a game for us, ‘what else can we do without?’ Our goal was to be able to pick up and leave at any time without wanting to come back and get whatever we had to leave behind. We grasped the concept that this life is a moment. Physical things don’t make life meaningful. They weigh you down. The only things you can really take with you are memories and people. And for us, since we believe in a home in heaven someday, we acknowledge that these are the only things that can be brought with us there. Therefore, everything else is dispensable, and replaceable as we believe that if we need it, it will be provided in the opportunities God presents to us. The transportable space really is not only the bus in the different places you visit, but also the person uninhibited by things in the walk along the opportunities that are taken or let go. And this is why this chapter will affect every chapter to come. We can’t forget these lessons that have changed us and freed us.

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