Our Urban Lifestyle

If there’s one advantage to this whole “life on the road” thing it’s that we can experience a wide variety of lifestyles in a relatively short time and without great hassle.  We’ve spent days in remote parks, miles away from anything with views of only desert, mountains and highways in the distance.  This week we experienced almost the total opposite of that, parking the trailer in a private RV park just outside of San Francisco, and commuting into the City to teach one of our ExpressionEngine Classes.

While an urban lifetyle is probably old hat to many of you, we are born and raised suburbanites who have always (when we were employed by others) owned cars and driven them everywhere never thinking about paying for parking.  While there is some public transit back in West Michigan it was never super-convenient for us so we never used it. 

Knowing this location would present a learning curve for us we got here a day early so that we could find the park and ride station close to our RV spot, learn how to use the ticket machines, navigate the BART routes, get used to the trams, learn escalator habits (move right to stand, go left to also walk up), and plot the walk from our destination station through Union Square to the class location where we’d spend the day.

This was a great experience for the kids to go through - seeing that for many people the routine of getting up early, making it to the station on time, filling that commute time with smartphones, books, games, or disaffected shoe-staring, then walking several blocks more to an office to spend the day - this is life.  Day in and day out.  I worry that one result of our homeschooling/self-employed and now nomadic lifestyle is that they don’t understand how blessed we are to be able to live in a more free manner, and there are no guarantees that either we as a family or they as adults will be able to continue to live this way.  We are incredibly privileged and need to take advantage of it while we can. Complaints of “that was a boring day” were great conversation starters in this regard.

I tried to document our commute with the photos below.  Some of them aren’t that great but I want to keep some visual reminders of these few days because they have been quite different from most of the rest of our big adventure.

Our urban apartment on wheels.

Our urban apartment on wheels.

Using BART passes preloaded with enough cash for a week.

Using BART passes preloaded with enough cash for a week.

Stick card in the front, grab it from the top as you walk through.

Stick card in the front, grab it from the top as you walk through.

Plotting a route and watching signs for the right tram

Plotting a route and watching signs for the right tram

Storybird catches the breeze from a passing tram

Storybird catches the breeze from a passing tram

Riding the tram. Don't make eye contact.

Riding the tram. Don't make eye contact.

Use escalators to move to and from street level.

Use escalators to move to and from street level.

Walk up a busy street.

Walk up a busy street.

See and hear cable cars along the way

See and hear cable cars along the way

Walking up another street

Walking up another street

Class spot is upstairs.  No elevator.

Class spot is upstairs. No elevator.

Kids create a Risk game to keep themselves occupied.

Kids create a Risk game to keep themselves occupied.

The class picture - newly trained ExpressionEngine developers.

The class picture - newly trained ExpressionEngine developers.

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