It’s day 180 of our RV adventure and there are few things I can’t or (don’t see the need to) do anymore. They are:
1. Watch TV
Our travel trailer has TV hookups in the main room and in the bedroom, but we didn’t get one. We figured with our laptops, smart phones, and tablet, we didn’t need any more screens to stare at. We’ve gladly avoided: the political ads, the endless loop of negative world news, and paying a cable bill. We still check the news, but we do it online. We still binge watch a TV series on a lazy weekend, but we do it from a laptop. Yes, I do miss a few of our favorite shows (ex: The Walking Dead) but I know that even if we can’t watch it today, we can watch it sometime in the future. (Unless the world is overtaken by real zombies, it will be available to watch.) When I want background noise, I turn on the radio like it’s 1940.
2. Go Camping
I know how this sounds. Yes, we’re in a campground right now, but living in a travel trailer and spending the night in a tent are two totally different things! The trailer has a queen size bed, electricity, climate control, running water, a kitchen, and a bathroom. One day a few weeks ago, I had the urge to go camping. (That is, pack up the truck, and go to a different camp ground where we’d spend the night in our camping hammocks.) That urge was brief and has since passed. Avid camper Kayak Chris hasn’t uttered the phrase “Let’s go camping!” in months either.
3. Take a Bath
I don’t mean that I don’t get clean, I just mean there’s no bath tub to soak in. Taking a tiny shower at the end of a long day is not satisfying like soaking in a bubble bath is. This is the only thing I miss from a “real” house. I think I need a portable hot tub.
4. Buy in Bulk
When you live in a space that’s 341 square feet, every inch of space has to be considered. There are no more mega warehouse trips where you buy big jars of condiments and window cleaner. Bottles advertising “20% more free product” are no longer a good thing. Instead, I find myself looking for the absolute smallest containers possible. When I could only find a 24oz jar of banana peppers, Kayak Chris bought fresh peppers and pickled them for me. Remember the size of your college beer refrigerator? That’s what we’re dealing with here. I can’t waste precious fridge door space on a value sized jar of banana peppers. It often costs more to buy the small syrup instead of the big bottle, but that’s what we have to do.
5. Wear Makeup or Curl My Hair
In my 20s, I wouldn’t even think of leaving the house without full makeup and a purposeful hairstyle. Those days are over! In all this time, I’ve dried my hair and worn makeup only once. (I had a video conference and I didn’t want to scare the person I was meeting.)
6. Ship Myself One of Every Amazon Product
I love Amazon and have been a Prime member since 2009. My Prime membership gives me free 2 day shipping, but that doesn’t mean a campground is happy receiving truckloads of packages for me every other day. When you live in a campground, packages are delivered to the main office, instead of directly to you. Sometimes this means you don’t get things right away. Because of all this, I have to plan and batch my orders. I try to get my items shipped in as few packages as possible. I have been known to stalk the UPS truck and intercept packages on their way to the camp office.
7. Paint Fingernails or Toenails
I previously had quite the collection of nail polish and special tools. These days however, this level of grooming is just not practical. First, if you polish, you eventually need to remove the polish. That means you are storing bottles for both steps in the already tiny space under the sink. Second, how long can polish actually last when you’re packing and unpacking a camper? Not long. I still cut and file, but don’t bother even with clear polish these days. For that matter, I really don’t bother with pants anymore either. I blend in just fine with shorts and yoga pants. I wouldn’t want to embarrass neighbors by upgrading to jeans.
8. Stock Extra Supplies
Before my camper days, I had enough food and supplies to live comfortably in the zombie apocalypse. A pallet of water? Check! A 50kg bag of rice? Yep! People joked they’d be coming to my house in an emergency. Now we couldn’t be farther from that model. Not only can’t we buy in bulk, we need to watch the weight of anything we buy. There’s a hard limit of how much the travel trailer can handle. Unfortunately, this means if something new comes in, something of equal weight needs to go out. My wine collection has suffered the most.
And here’s a bonus item brought to you by Kayak Chris:
9. Wear Shoes
Chris hasn’t worn regular shoes in 180 days. It’s been sandals all the way! (But not socks AND sandals. We do have some standards.)