Wanderlust 2: Jon's Response

Water Mountain Sunset

Psst...If you haven't read the original Wanderlust post in which Ashley totally calls me out and asks me if we can travel around the country in an RV, check it out here. Back? Ok, read on:

First, I want to say that Ashley didn't just spring this on me out of nowhere. We've talking about this for a year or two. If you had asked me 5 years ago what I thought about selling nearly everything we own, getting an RV and traveling around the country with 4 kids I'd say that sounded insane. Like, really insane. Now? I'm not so sure.

Anyway. I'm very different from my wife. She's the free spirit, I'm the planner. Lucky for her, though, I can still get swept up the big ideas before diving back down into the details. And let me tell you - those big ideas resonate with me. Traveling the country, not having a mortgage, being free of our stuff, adventuring, meeting new people, giving our kids a unique and amazing education - it sounds awesome.

Even though I dig my routines and familiarities there's something deep inside of me that is drawn to ripping myself and my family out of our consumer culture.

A couple of years ago I read a book by Seth Godin called Linchpin. In it he talks about how the industrial revolution changed our society - public schools were created so they could have minimally trained, compliant workers for the factories. Not individuals. Not entrepreneurs. Not artists. Not engineers or lawyers or doctors. Replaceable cogs in the big machine. Suburbs sprung up around the schools and within one generation we had created a consumer culture. One generation was all it took to make the focus of our lives be about buying things we usually couldn't afford anyway. We homeschool our kids for a number of reasons, but mainly because we don't believe in what our education system - public or private - is based on.

And yet here we are living in a very nice house crammed up against 400 other houses in a little suburb in East Knoxville. Can we really make our kids question this whole "American Dream" thing if we aren't questioning it ourselves? My discontent has been bubbling up for a while now, longing for something more - something different. Something based not on what I can buy, but what I can experience with my family.

So yeah - I'm really, really interested in this whole traveling full-time thing. I get it. I feel it.

And then my detail-oriented, planner/thinking self kicks in and I start stressing out. Because let's face it - this is a huge, life-altering direction. We'd be leaving our nearby family, throwing ourselves into all kinds of weird and uncomfortable situations, being crammed into a tiny space all the time, getting rid of our house and all our stuff - which we've been accumulating the last 10 years.

That's a lot to lose.

Is the loss worth the gain?

We're not sure yet, but we're talking, researching and investigating. Next post we'll share with you a pros & cons list we came up with trying to work through all these big questions. Stay tuned!  

Image courtesy Artur Pokusin via Unsplash.

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Jonathan Longnecker

About the Author

Jonathan Longnecker is the strongly opinionated tattooed and bearded half of Tiny Shiny Home. He loves making music, designing brands, building websites and exploring the outdoors. Currently his jam is renovating a vintage Airstream.

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Posted August 31, 2014


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