Many of you have ben asking about our recent lifestyle change, and we have been so busy shooting weddings and making this transition that I haven’t had time to really put down into words our plan. Now that I have a minute, I think its fitting that I am writing this along the bank of the American River in California without internet access…
As many of you know we travel A LOT – almost half of the year for over a decade. We have always loved our time on the road and have been sad to return at the end of a great adventure photographing in a wild and beautiful place. This remorse at the end of a trip became so powerful that Kathy and I started to question why we own a big, expensive house that was mainly used as a place to swap out clothing and gear between trips. We started to question the sanity of the typical American dream of working all the time to feed the need for a bigger house with more stuff to fill it, nicer cars and very little time away from work to enjoy any of it. We asked ourselves, if this was our last year to live would we keep this lifestyle of great work and play punctuated by a mad dash home to mow the lawn and maintain the house. Kathy, Abby and I all agreed NO… We would embrace the things we love including where we spend our time and what we do with our waking hours and shed the rest. We love our work and that is the thing that will change the least and feel truly blessed to have careers that allow us the opportunity to share with others what we feel we are born to do.
On June 16, 2014 we sold our home along with an old dream to an amazing family and moved into a 24 foot RV. This leap was the culmination of a lot of time traveling and dreaming about spending all of our time in the places we love to work and play. So we took the BIG step and listed our home and it was under contract in 2.5 hours on the first day it was on the market. This was a real surprise and a sign that this dream was about to become reality.
Just a week before we closed on the house, I flew to Dallas, TX and purchased our new home: a 24 foot Winnebago View Motor-Coach. This is a small RV built on a sprinter chassis. It drives like a big mini van and gets great milage for an RV (13-17 MPG). It has one slide out making a great living area and has everything we really need along with a TV and a few other luxuries. Making the move from a 2700+ square foot house into a 250 sqare foot RV is quite a shake up, and it was hard to know what to store, what to bring and what to eliminate. That paradigm shift coupled with the quick sale of our house caused me to rush the methodical planning I typically would do with such a transition. We had a series of garage sales and countless trips to a local thrift shop to eliminate the excess and moved the rest into storage in Colorado. We brought the most important and useful items with us in the RV.
So far, we are learning a lot about what is rea
lly important and needed. I don’t need 45 tee shirts, 20 pairs of shoes (4 of which are flip-flops) or a 60 inch TV. I do need a small wardrobe of seasonal clothes for work and play, my computer, cameras, lighting gear, kayaks, climbing gear and mountain bike. Having to make these decisions was really tough at first, but now after a month I have a new perspective and it is proving to be quite different than what I originally thought. We already have given away quite a bit and have a big bag of stuff to return to storage next time we are in Colorado.
Our daily life is wonderful. We wanted to eliminate the distractions that eat up life and to be together as a family spending as much time as possible in the outdoors doing the things we love. I wanted to keep doing photography (weddings, family portraits and commercial) and be able to spend more time in the wild places I love. So far this is working wonderfully and living up to my expectations. We have been working all over the western US just having captured a wedding in Laguna Beach, CA. It was so nice to go surfing in the ocean after a full day processing wedding images and then kayaking with Kathy and Abby on the American River after designing a wedding book. Tomorrow will be a day off (mostly) kayaking once again with my girls on the American River in CA. Tomorrow I fly to Dallas to photograph one of my favorite families while Kathy and Abby drive to Boise where I will meet them in a couple of days.
This new lifestyle will change a few things that we have really enjoyed. Parts of owning a home were wonderful. We loved our home based client gallery to hold meetings and show images, but we are working to use technology to aid in this transition which will hopefully create a better quality and more convenient experience for our clients. This will have a few growing pains but I think it will allow us to better serve our clients in the long run. I will also miss our three car garage full of toys, but we are shopping now for an enclosed trailer that will function as a mobile garage and allow us to bring a few more toys with us on the road.
Today marks our 1 month anniversary of selling our house and moving into an RV and it’s been a wonderful first month full of lots of work and a good bit of play. During that time I see a few things that have really changed our lives. 1) We spend time nearly every day having a blast together as a family in a wonderful place. 2) We feel now more than ever, that anything is possible and are looking forward to reaching further and setting all sorts of really big goals. 3) We have opened a box that keeps giving gifts of new friends, new favorite places and encouraging other people to strive for their dreams. The best gift of all has been the renewed energy and encouragement to push on that we have received from family and friends, new and old to keep chasing our dreams and inspiring others through our work and play to live their own beautiful and rewarding life.
We are starting this blog “FamAGoGo to share our adventures and hopefully inside others to get our and chase their dreams. Please Check in with our regularly and will do our beast to inspire and educate with all sorts of family adventures.