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My Year and A Half Living Full-Time in a Trailer

By Lifestyle, RV Adventures, Travel No Comments

We are finishing our time in our trailer and honestly it might be the most bitter-sweet thing I’ve ever experienced. I have loved every moment living in our travel trailer! It has grown my marriage, allowed me to experience so many unique places in the country, while also allowing my husband and I to stay together while working and finishing school. It’s done everything we needed and more and to let it go will be one of the hardest things.

Next week we are heading up to the Midwest to grab our things in storage and move to Pittsburgh to get settled before my husband starts his job at the local hospital. We are excited about the changes and its definitely the next right step for us. But its also so hard to let go of the year and a half of travel and memories that we have had in here. My husband will be the first to tell you that living in a trailer has been amazing. We will absolutely be buying one in the future and may even retire in one we loved it so much!

One of the best perks and the one I will always mention is how much its grown our marriage. Our travel trailer is 32 feet long so there is no room to hide! We have had to learn how to work together better than we did in the past. We were together all the time, had no family or friends around and lived in a confined space. So we had to learn to be more patient, be more understand, let go of anger, and to be extrodinarily kind. And honestly we have fought far less in the last year and a half because of these lessons that we learned. We work together and enjoy quality time together in ways that wouldn’t have been possible without getting out and trying something new.

Travel trailer life pushes you to go outside and adventure, to not sit in front of the TV but to be active. Because the space is limited, we were forced to get out more and honestly we really learned how little we need in terms of possessions and a house. While we are moving to a bigger place, its not near as big as what we used to believe we needed. The goal will be to continue to limit the amount of items that we need and maintain a lifestyle of staying outside and active.

With all that being said, I want to highlight my top five moments from this adventure and hopefully inspire you to get out, try something new and maybe even buy a trailer!

1.) Our First Outdoor Movie – On the Side of the Trailer

My husband and I saved up all our money from Christmas and some of our savings to purchase a new projector. We were able to get the projector in January(a month or so after moving in) and used the side of the trailer to project the movie onto. We had our small electric outdoor fireplace, drinks, blankets and perfect chilly weather. The Greatest Showman played as we sang along and enjoyed just the perfect night together. One of many outdoor movie nights that we have been able to enjoy while roaming the country. It was one of those moments that was so simple but so perfect at the same time and was just a great outcome of our trailer life!

2.) Birthday Adventures – Seattle Addition

Our first big road trip from Seattle was the first time really getting out feet wet traveling with the trailer. The drive up was full of craziness between being extremely cold one nights sleep at the truck stop, singing and chatting the whole drive up. We loved every moment in Seattle and fell in love with the beauty of the area. So when my birthday came along, I was given free reign to choose all our activities without complaint! And I utilized every moment of it. We traveled to two of the major parks in the surrounding areas (3-4 hours away from Seattle each). Meaning that my poor hubby drove about 10 hours round trip that weekend so that I could go exploring and enjoy the views! He was such a sweetheart about it and I couldn’t have imagined a better birthday view.

3.) Drive to Washington DC

Honestly, this was the craziest day of our trip. This was the shortest distance that we needed to travel, only about 5 and a half hours. But it ended up taking us double that amount of time to get there. To start, we had endless issues getting the awning to go back up. Some small mechanism decided to break down the morning we were supposed to leave and it took us hours to get it up and ready for travel. Once we got the awning up and went to check out I noticed a giant hole in the siding of our travel! One that I had never seen before! It turns out the day before while mowing the grass areas, one of the staff hit a rock that went straight through the siding of the camper. So we had to deal with that and get an agreement for them to pay the repairs before we could head out. Then as we were driving we had a cabinet door fall and several other issues on the drive. But the reason it is ranked as one of my top memories is because it was a crazy day but we handled everything with grace, love and support. We didn’t argue, we just dealt with the issues and moved on! To me it was a sign of how much we had grown in our marriage in such a short time.

4.) Cooking In The Trailer

Some of my favorite memories are trying to figure out how to cool in a 20 year old trailer. There were many things that don’t work the same as modern technology. For example, the oven does not heat evenly, everything is centered to the front right so you have to be mindful of that when you are working. I burnt several items trying to cook things evenly and not realizing how burnt the bottom was getting! But it was unique and different and we spent this time together learning and growing. I tried endless new recipes and learned to clean (slightly) better than before by having such a small kitchen. It pushed me to be better about cleaning up quickly and more efficiently.

5.) Christmas Eve 2019

I was having a really hard time this Christmas being by ourselves and being in south Florida. The weather was 85 degrees out, beautiful and sunny but it didn’t feel at all like Christmas. I wasn’t able to skype with family on Christmas Eve and it was just all weighing on me. But my hubby was so kind and stepped up to make me feel better. Sitting with me while I cried, playing board games with me, and getting up early on Christmas to take photos with me at the beach. Sometimes its the small things that we do for others that mean the most.

Washington, DC in One Weekend

By Travel No Comments

Washington, DC is the one American city you cannot skip! There is so much to explore, so much to learn and so much history to relive. America has a lot to see, but DC is without doubt one of the most unique cities to visit.

Let me just tell you, if you want to see all the major tourist attractions in DC in one weekend, you can! The beauty of Washington, DC is that the majority of the ‘tourist attractions” are in one area making it remarkably easy to get around in one weekend.

I would highly recommend starting at the National Mall and starting EARLY. The earlier the better when it comes to DC, you want to get there with plenty of time to find parking and get yourself situated for the day. Getting there early also allows you to get great pictures of the Lincoln Memorial, Reflection Pond and Washington Monument without the onslaught of tourist buses rolling in. If you are able to park near the Lincoln Memorial, it is significantly easier to plan your day cohesively.

A huge benefit to Washington, DC is that almost all of their museums have free admission! This makes the museums busier, but also saves you a ton of money! Below are my suggestions for a weekend itinerary in DC.

Day One Itinerary – The Major Attractions

  • Lincoln Memorial – Probably one of the most iconic places in DC, this memorial hosts a 19 feet tall statue of Abraham Lincoln overlooking Washington/Washington Memorial.
  • Reflection Pond – A gorgeous lake that sits between the Lincoln and Washington Memorial.
  • Korean War Memorial– A stunning, revered area in memory of all who served in the Korean War.
  • World War II Memorial – A huge memorial between the Lincoln and Washington Monuments. Dedicated to those who fought and served in WWII.
  • Washington Monument– This is by far one of the most symbolic and largest tourist attractions in DC. Tons of greenery surrounds the monument allowing for hosted activities, picnics and gorgeous photos.
  • White House -Arguable the most famous house in America, you can get a gorgeous unobstructed view minutes from the Washington Monument. Remember, this is a heavily guarded area, so there will be trained officer with guns here. If your interested in taking a tour, here are the details: WHITE HOUSE TOUR
  • Smithsonian Natural History Museum – Probably my husband’s favorite location (he’s a huge animal lover). This sprawling museum can take as long as you want. There is so much to see and do and incredibly family friendly. I would recommend at least 2-3 hours to truly experience all that there is to see and do here!

Day Two Itinerary – Your Specific Attractions

  • Arlington Cemetery – Tomb of the Unknown Soldier – Plan for anywhere from 1 hour to 2 and a half hours to go through this. This place is emotional hard to walk through as you feel the impact of those who sacrificed everything for the sake of freedom. This is one thing you cannot miss when you visit DC.
  • Smithsonian Air & Space Museum – Currently in renovations – Plan for at least an hour and a half here. This is so fun to experience, especially if you have kids! The most family friendly museum and so many interesting artifacts.
  • Capital Building – Big spacious area with tons of food trucks, greenery for a picnic and then exploring the Capital. If you’d like to take a tour of the capital, follow this link: CAPITAL TOUR.
  • National Archives – This was #1 on my list of museums to visit in DC. Because of my heritage I was dying to go and see the Declaration of Independence in person. There are so many historical documents and letters to see while you are in the archives. I highly recommend taking the time to go here and see our countries founding documents.

This will tackle a huge list of the attractions most people want to hit in one day. What’s even better is that there are lines of food trucks on the side of the road so you can easily grab lunch or a snack when you get hungry on your travels. The biggest thing to note as you go through your day, is that you can hit as many or as few attractions as you want. It’s up to you and how quickly you go. Since it was just my husband and I we were able to see and experience a lot of things at a quicker pace than those who have kids or other loved ones to take care of.

If you’ve been to Washington, DC what were your favorite attractions? Stay tuned to more updates as continue to explore the area!

Lincoln Memorial
DAR Monument

Arizona – The Final Chapter

By Lifestyle, RV Adventures No Comments

Arizona has been my husband and I’s home for the last three and a half years. It has been a place of incredible exploration and growth. Arizona holds a special place in our hearts. As we drove out of Arizona, I can’t help but tear up over the people we have met and the places we have seen.

Arizona is where my husband got his masters degree, its where he started medical school and had the true beginnings to his medical career. This is where I saw my husbands passion for helping others and fixing their aches and pains to give them a happy and long life.

Arizona is where I got my first grown up job and where I met some of the most wonderful amazing friends. It’s the place where I was challenged, where I was forced to get stronger, to develop more courage and to embrace the woman of God I was meant to be. Each day in Arizona has taught me so much, to believe in myself and to know that who I am IS GOOD ENOUGH.

As I look back on my time in Arizona, I am filled with endless thankfulness. Thankful for all the opportunities, struggles, growth and love that we have experienced here. I am thankful for the amazing places we have gotten to see (check out our Arizona Travel Guide!). This was in no way my first choice when we were talking about places to live, but it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

For those of who wondering how you will survive in this world, how you will make it from each day to the next, let me be your voice of encouragement. To know that you are strong enough to move away from your hometown. To know that you have the courage to explore this world and all it has to offer. You have the love and kindness to take on each situation with grace and know that there is a God out there watching you and protecting you. Trust in Him. Trust that He is guiding your steps, that when you aren’t sure why you are heading down that path, that He has a plan for you.

As J.R.R. Tolkien once said, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” Decide today to accept the adventure ahead of you and embrace the change in your life!

5 Travel Must Haves

By Travel No Comments

Traveling in today’s world can mean three checks’ in, a stuffed carry on, and a huge personal backpack. We try and bring everything that we might possibly need. But there are some things that are just absolutely necessary for a fun and functional trip! If there’s one thing that I am constantly working on, its bringing the absolute essentials on a trip and leaving the rest. No reason to over pack my suitcase with things that I don’t really need. So today, I wanted to go through the couple of things that I believe are must haves in your travels this year!

1.) Empty Water Bottle – This is a MUST for anyone who enjoys not wasting money. Water at the airport is ridiculously overpriced. Don’t waste your money on water when you could bring an empty bottle and get water for free. I t think the part that people forget is that you will still need water while you are on your trip. Bringing a good water bottle will save you money and keep you hydrated during your entire trip. My husband and I love Yeti Ramblers they are great for warm or cold drinks and have excellent durability!

2.) External Battery Pack – While airports are slowly adding more charging stations, they are still completely crammed. People are constantly hovering around you, and most of the time the outlets barely work. So instead of having a dead phone on your flights– invest in an external battery pack. This one on Amazon is $32 and has 4.5 stars. When your phone is on 15% and your flights about to take off… you will be thankful for this!

3.) Trash Bag & Dryer Sheets– Lets be honest, I learned this one from my husband. No matter how much you clean your clothes on vacation, smells can linger in your suitcase. Bring dryer sheets to help eliminate some of these smells. They don’t take up much room and will give your nose and clothes a nice smell. Time to get rid of those musty travel smells once and for all! If you don’t have access to do laundry during your trip, the trash bag actually comes in handy during your trip. As you go through your trip, put your dirty clothes in the trash bag and keep the rest outside the trash bag so the smell doesn’t infect your other clothes.

4.) Shower Shoes – Yes, not the most glamorous thing to bring. But, as I live with a podiatrist, I can’t ignore this one. No matter how fancy a hotel is, shower shoes are still a must. Protect yourself from potential infections that come from using the same showers as multiple strangers, and bring a pair of flip flops for the shower. It won’t take up much room, but it will save you from future issues!

5.) SD Card- No matter how much room you think you have. Bring an extra SD card with you. I absolutely love this one from Target, its easy to post camera quality photos from your phone and has a good amount of storage. Convenient, easy to use, and extremely helpful if you are an avid picture taker.

You can always add more, but these 5 things are items that should never be left out of your suitcase! You may find that you need them!

xoxo-Kayla

In The Middle… of Renovations

By Travel 2 Comments

We are in the heart of renovating the inside of our travel trailer. We are covering the wallpapered walls, repainting all the wood, changing out the flooring. At this point we are just praying not to go broke at the end of all this!

This has been an insane amount of work. With my husband on 3rd year rotations and me transitioning into a new job at work, things have been hectic to say the least. But I think the thing you have to focus on when you are crazy busy is that this season is only temporary. That yes, we have had almost no downtime for the last month, but that’s not a bad thing! It just means we are in pursuit of our goals with fire!

The heart of renovations is like the heart of a major life change. It’s messy and stressful to make life changes. It takes striping away the old, ragged floors and replacing them with new pristine floors. It means getting rid of the bad habits you’ve created and pursuing new goals. It means not giving up when you’ve stripped everything down and can’t see how things will ever look better. Renovations on this trailer have tested our patience, our finances, our endurance and our willpower. Its exhausting. Its every afternoon, every weekend, its every spare moment dedicated to renovations. Watching your husband pass out in utter exhaustion from the endless schedule.

This is one of those situations that no one really preps you for. The unknowns, we had no idea that this would be something we would take on. There was no way to prep for this part of our life, there was no way to prep for this season of life. The only option we have is to take every obstacle head on and know that we can get through it together. Having that knowledge that whatever may come our way, we will get through together.

For those who are in medical school, or facing any life changing obstacle, know this. That while the days are long, while the obstacles are huge, while the financial burden continues to grow; God has a plan. There is a plan for you and these trials are simply guiding you along to the place and person you were meant to be. So take them on with a strong and confident heart knowing you can overcome this. Know that you are stronger than the problem you are facing.

These renovations are temporary and the end result will be better than you ever imagined!

Transition from Apartment to Trailer Life – Part One

By Lifestyle, Travel No Comments

Finding a trailer that we like, that is within our budget is incredibly challenging! We need something that is reliable and doesn’t need work beyond cosmetic tweaks. This is a serious undertaking, I have no idea what to look for or what are necessary requirements. So I am Pinteresting like crazy trying to figure out what to look for, what design I like, what updates I can make, and man there is so much information! But beyond just finding the trailer there is the undertaking of changing our lifestyle.

There are two main areas that I foresee some hard changes in: downsizing and cooking. Lately when I walk around my one-bedroom apartment, I am thinking about all the things that I will need to go through. All the things that will need to be shipped back to Indiana, all the things that might need to be thrown away before we move into the trailer. It’s just crazy to think through and right now these are the questions I am trying to answer!

  • What renovations are necessary in the kitchen? Are you able to cook normally like you would in an apartment? Do you just eat out more often?
    • Currently, I am thinking that the only changes I will make are cosmetic changes and potentially a stone pizza block to even out the heat in the oven. But with the amount of space in the fridges I’m seeing, I think I would have to make at least 2 grocery trips a week. Alternatively, we could eat out more often to eliminate trying to cook within such a small space. I’m not sure what the best option would be seeing as we will be moving around a lot, and I will be working out of the trailer. Are there any guides to cooking in an RV that y’all would recommend?

 

  • Is it best to go as minimalist as possible or to bring as much as I can stuff in the trailer? Is there a happy middle ground somewhere?
    • At the moment, I am thinking about going more toward the minimalist side. For the sheer fact that the more I bring the more cluttered the trailer will become. So to eliminate the stress of trying to find places for all of our stuff, I would just bring the essentials. The real question will be, what items are ‘essentials’ and what items are ‘wants’, you don’t really think about it when you have room to store everything. But over the next two months, we will have to sort through our essentials and be okay with storing the rest at my parents. Does anyone have a must have list for RV life?

 

But honestly, I am so excited for the future. I am so excited for this opportunity, because how often do they come? How often do you get the opportunity to try out new areas? How many times do you get to live on the road with your spouse and at the same time be growing in your careers? It’s extremely rare to have this opportunity and for that I am incredibly grateful. So for all the struggles and questions that I have, I am so beyond thankful to be on this journey with my husband.

If you have any advice on trailer living, I would appreciate it! We are new to the game and would love to avoid making costly mistakes!