Did You Hear The Exciting News?

Hello, hello everybody!

Wow, you guys… it’s been an eventful month, and we apologize for our lack of updates. We’re going to try and catch you up on a handful of important items in this one post.

So, I’m going to start with [what we think] is some of the most exciting news to share, that many of you probably already know, but…

WE ARE HAVING A BABY!

That’s riiiiiiiight, I’m PREGNANT! We have a little baby girl cookin’, and she will be earth-side in March. It still feels so crazy + surreal to say it [write it] out loud— but we are honestly like, so freaking excited. We are so, crazy excited to meet our little girl, and to grow + experience life with her. We had our first ultrasound at the end of August, and there is just no way to describe what that experience is like. We saw her heart beating, her itty bitty feetsies and hands, and just watched her as she wiggled around like CRAZY. We are already so.in.love.

I’m sure many of you are wondering, so I think it’s important that we publicly address an, already very, frequently asked question that we’ve received since sharing our news with the world.

“Are you guys still going to travel/live in the van?”

The short answer is YES. We are absolutely still going to travel. YES, we are absolutely still going to live in the van, with our baby.

While many of the folks we’ve already discussed our plans with are in full, 100% support, there are others who (you guessed it) aren’t sure how it’s all going to work out. Which is understandable.

Before I say anything else, I need to be very, very clear that I’m not sharing any of this as an attempt to justify anything to anyone, or get anyone’s approval. We are extremely solid + sound with our decisions, and will continue on with our plans, with support or without it. I’m sorry to be so brash- but it’s important that I make that part clear. However, I’m not oblivious to the fact that our situation is less than traditional. I’m aware that, to some people, it simply doesn’t make sense. There are a lot of question marks, and I truly understand WHY. So I’m here to try and shed a little light on the matter for those of you who don’t completely understand, and to have a resource to refer people to who have the same questions or concerns.

I’m going to rewind a little bit here, and address something different first. Initially, A LOT of people have asked us, “why do you guys want to do this?” or “what if it doesn’t work out?” or rather, simply state that they could never do what we’re going to do. Ty + myself are both huge fans of living simply (hence, one of the reasons why we bought a van to live in + travel around with in the first place). Even when we had a house, it wasn’t overloaded with a bunch of stuff that we never used— we had an entire 700 sq ft. basement EMPTY due to the fact that we literally don’t keep stuff around that we don’t use/need. Our vision, since we started dating almost four years ago, was always for us to move towards this idea. A life that allows for us to live minimally, but also one that could provide us a way to travel + see what else is out there. Colorado is a magnificent, magnificent place, that is something we both agree on (and A LOT of us can agree on, if you’ve been here). But why do we need to just go ahead and “settle” somewhere, without knowing if we are meant to land somewhere else? This is one of the obvious reasons, I think, why SO MANY PEOPLE are doing what we are about to do. These are the people who can’t fathom the idea of landing somewhere without knowing if there is a better place for them to do so. The bottom line is, we just want to see what else is out in the world, period. Some folks decide to never leave the places they grew up, AND THAT’S OK. Its OK for people to want to stay close to what they know. It’s OK for people to settle before knowing what else is out there. We truly, truly believe that all of this is great— HOWEVER… this is just not the life we envision for ourselves, along with many other people, and that’s OK too. Some people NEVER settle, and you know what? That’s OK! What I believe is needed for my life is going to be different than what a bajillion other people believe they need for their lives. But I think it’s important for us to agree that, there isn’t a right or wrong way. Your way isn’t better than mine, and I’m definitely not here to say that mine is better than yours. The truth is, we could absolutely discover that the life we are about to embark on is NOT made for us… but why shut something down before knowing? Why do we need to plan for the worst before we even know how it’s going to go? The very simple answer is, is that if it’s not meant for us, we just won’t do it anymore. We would probably return somewhere in Colorado, and find a place to rent/buy. We aren’t blind to the fact that it might not work out, such as all things in life. But nevertheless, we are excited to try and feel enthusiastic about our upcoming adventures. I would never force anyone to try living a lifestyle they didn't want to live, or weren’t comfortable living. I would never try and talk someone out of wanting to live a life more traditional, if that’s what they wanted. I can only hope for that same respect in return in regards to our decisions for our own lives.

So with all of that being said, we have known for a while that we wanted to start a family. It has always been our vision to raise our children in a way that allows for us to live simply, be together more + see the world together. We have just been fortunate enough for the timing of everything to completely coincide. We believe our home + life on wheels will provide just that, and here’s a few reasons why.

For starters, our home on wheels is completely paid off. Therefore, our monthly expenses will not include a rent/mortgage payment that equates to $1,700.00/month (on the very minimum side) and we won’t need to each work 40+ hour-a-week jobs, just to make ends meet. With that being said, of course we will have other expenses! Of course we will need groceries, diapers, gas, you name it. Ty and myself both have a [flexible] source of income, and will continue to while we travel and home-base in different areas. It just so happens to be that, for most folks who are living in a way similar to the way we are about to, expenses tend to naturally decrease without having to pay a hefty check for rent/mortgage, bills, water, heat, TV, etc. Meaning, we naturally have some flexibility with our work schedules and a bit more financial freedom. Meaning, we can all be together more— which is huge.

Secondly, I will not need to rush back to work 4-8 weeks after the baby is born, and we will not need to pay $800.00/month (minimum) for childcare, because I will have the opportunity to be a stay at van mom ;) which is huge.

Thirdly, we will get to see our families more than once a year. Because of our flexible work, minimal expenses and the fact that, everything we need will be with us at all times (because our house will be with us at all times)… it will just be easier. Which is so, so huge.

Lastly (kind of… *there are so many more reasons why, but…) we will get to be insanely present parents. I understand this comes with its own set of challenges that I’m not blind to (like the fact that we will all be in the same room, almost all of the time). But we will also get to show her EVERYTHING that we get to see. She will get to learn about life in so many different places. We will simply have the opportunity to be together more, and watch her grow. Go on more hikes together. Take more photos together. Sight see more with each other. Adventure more. We will get to do more of the things in life together that slows time down, rather than speeds it up. ***I’m definitely not saying that, if you are a parent(s) who needs to work 40+ hour-a-week jobs, that you aren’t present parents. That is absolutely, 100% not what I’m implying. The fact of the matter is, most parents DO need to work crazy long hours to take care of their families! Most mothers have to be away from their babies shortly after childbirth! We live in a world that basically requires that of us, right? In fact, I strongly commend the parent(s) out there that, despite working the longest days all week long, paying expensive bills, expensive daycare costs, etc., can go home to their babies and work even more to be the best parents they can be. That takes true strength, and I have so much respect for all of the millions and millions of parents who need to live their lives this way. I am not saying that I think every family needs to move into a van in order to be more present with one another. I do, however, think that this lifestyle can provide an easier way to do this, which is why we are excited to try. I’m not saying that our way is the right way, and that anyone who does it differently is wrong. There are a million right scenarios, and at the end of the day… it’s the scenario that works best for you and your family. <3

The bottom line, is that all of our needs will be met, all of the time. And the second they aren’t, if for some reason it’s just not happening, we aren’t going to push it. We aren’t afraid of the possibility of walking away from this, if that is something we need or decide we want to do. But we are excited about the possibilities of what this kind of life will present us. As individuals, and as a family. We are excited to see where it will take us, what it will show us and what it will do for us. We are going to learn so much along the way.

From the bottom of our hearts, we appreciate everyone’s support, love, concern + encouragement.

As for the van/travel timeline, here is our latest update:

We are set up for all of our prenatal care in the Denver area, and will essentially home-base here until the baby is born. The van is roughly a month or so away from being complete (SAY WHHAAAAAAAAA!) and we plan on doing some sort trips between prenatal visits. Once the baby is born, it is our intention to stay put around family + friends until we feel comfortable hitting the road. That could be two months, that could be four-six months. We aren’t putting a time on it, because we just don’t know how long we’re going to need. I know there is some hefty postpartum recovery time, and definitely don’t dig the idea of running straight into the van and hittin’ the road right as soon as the baby is born. The comforts of a home will be necessary for a while, I think. Plus, it’ll just be nice to spend part of the newborn phase with some pros who know what they’re doing ;)

We had a very nice (much needed) ten-day break from work the beginning of September while visiting Ty’s family in Iowa. Upon returning, we shot a wedding in Grand Lake, Colorado (SOSOSOSOSOOOOOOOOOOOO BEAUTIFUL, holy cow) and jumped right back into van shenanigans. Also huggggggeeeeee shout out to Ty’s brother, Nate, who welded our battery box for us while we were out there. You’re da best!!!

As mentioned above, the van is coming along SO.QUICKLY. Ty installed our vent fan over the weekend, and has also started the framing for all of the cabinets. It’s seriously starting to look like a little home in there! We received all of our solar, and will get that installed here in the next week or so. Checking things off the list left and right, and can’t believe we’ll be moving into the rig in roughly a month or so.

So that’s all I’m going to report for now (before this gets too much longer). We will have some more van-specific updates coming your way soon, so stay tuned!

Amanda

Tyler Till