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Reflections on one week of full-timing

By admin

Well we have finished our first full week of full timing. To be honest its been going pretty well, though its taken a full week to get to the point that we can actually sit down and do some work and update this blog.

Late day at the office

I think its not the fact we have moved into an Airstream that
is the thing that is taking the most getting used to. Its the fact that in 1 month we totally changed our lives, not only where we live, but our jobs and general way of living. We are used to a 9-whenever job at a research lab with lots of (loud) people around and constant crisis mode. We, and myself in particular, have always worked in a urban environment; LA, Cambridge (UK), London etc…

Today, in contrast, we are camped in Intercourse, PA (yes it really is called Intercourse) right in the middle of Amish country. The campsite is almost empty. Sunday in Amish country is, to say the least, quiet.

When trying to imagine what this life would be like, the things we worried about the most have seemed (so far) to be the least difficult. Firstly, the space. To be honest, this has not really been an issue in terms of feeling cramped. The hardest part, for me, was trying to decide what books to part with (or put in storage). I tried to just bring ones we needed for work or books that are really important to us personally. Even so, I think I might have been a tad over optimistic about the storage

space. The 100 or so ring binders of papers, notes and graphs were scanned own to no space on my hard drive, thats a massive saving in storage. I may consider looking to Amazon’s ebook reader as a solution to some of the book, but I bet its going to be a while until some of the rarer titles will be available. Xiao has found the storage space for clothes an issue (of course ). Once we sorted the “what-goes-where” thing, I actually like the small space. We never had much stuff as a family, and our houses always felt kind of bare and “unlived in”. The Airstream feels very personal and cozy in comparison. The size of the kitchen, ops sorry “galley”, isn’t an issue either, I used to work as a chef and spend 12hr shifts on a smaller work station so this is easy in comparison.

The other thing that I worried about, towing and general RV issues I also feel much more comfortable with. The nice thing about Airstreams (and trailers in general) is that they are wonderfully simple. It doesn’t take long to work out how everything works and how to fix things that do go wrong. The wiring, for example, is much simpler than a modern house.

Towing, so far, has not been an issue. However, I’m already looking at Veggie Oil or a kerosene mix, rather than pay the 4.50/gal for diesel.

The only thing that worries me is a slight sense of isolation. I haven’t really talked to anyone (apart from the Xiao) all week. While thats fine, I hope I get a chance to meet more people soon. From what I read and my own limited experience I hoped that there were more people just “about”. I think our current choice of campground and the time of year means we are living a pretty solitary existence right now.

This week the last few bits we were waiting for will arrive and we will start moving… somewhere. That’s the discussion right now, where are we going? We have been so taken up with all the things that need to be done, bits that need fixing, address to be changed etc… that we never really considered where we would head. Here’s your chance, tell us where is a good place to be a full timer right now. All we care about is that we need good EVDO coverage (for work), and not too cold. Anyone have any bright ideas?

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