Do you have any regrets?
We are often asked this question by families thinking about ditching the suburbs.
We understand the angst behind the question.
That house took months to find and buy. You just got the lawn to where the neighbors aren’t frowning at it. The tidy new garage shelves still smell of fresh-cut lumber.
And that’s just the stuff. What about your family?
All that time evaluating and purchasing the best homeschool curriculum. All that worry - making sure your decision to homeschool them won’t hurt their chances of success.
And the socialization. Yea - you are tired of hearing that question, have read 100 blog posts about how well-socialized homeschool kids are, and have ranted to your spouse about how stupid it is that people keep bringing it up. Yet, you do want your kids to be comfortable in different social settings.
The idea of selling it all to hit the road sounds a lot like freedom. But your head starts doing the what-ifs.
- You hate it?
- You hate it and can’t afford to buy a house again?
- Your kids can’t find other kids to play with out on the road, on the water, or on a farm?
- Your kids end up behind where they should be academically or socially?
- Your kids end up….weird? Unhappy? Resentful?
- This idea of a big family adventure is just candy-coating around your personal mid-life crisis?
Do you have any regrets?
When I hear that question what I hear instead is:
Please save us from making a decision that will bring us pain.
I scanned back through our first year on the road, looking for the most painful moments. I wanted to ask myself: Because of that pain, do I regret our decision to ditch the suburbs and hit the road?
Here are the two most painful things that happened to us that first year:
Truck Accident/Ice Storm
It was Christmas time. We had dropped the RV at a friends and were driving back to Michigan to be with family. We got into an accident on the freeway.
We got to Michigan and got the truck into a repair shop. We stayed at relatives and at borrowed condos. We lived out of plastic totes. A planned 10-day visit turned into 25 days.
We finally got the call that the truck was done. We picked it up and headed south - straight into an ice storm that paralyzed Atlanta and delayed us again. We spent 10 days in a tiny hotel room. We taught a class twice and got paid once.
When we first left Michigan our daughter was a black hole of anger in the back seat of the truck. She was upset over leaving her comfort zone and scared about what life was going to be.
This accident and storm broke through the ice in her spirit.
So no, no regrets.
Later that year we took the RV in for a brake inspection and drove away with a $7K bill for a roof replacement.
To help recover from that unplanned expense we took a crappy camp-hosting job in Washington. The campground owners lied to us, watched us work through a telescope, monitored our radio conversations, and wanted us to launder their uniforms on our dime.