Updated: Apr 3, 2019
Bryan and I have received many questions about how we are able to swing our cross-country road trip financially. We knew a couple of months before I quit my job that we wanted to take this trip across the country and started taking steps to make that happen pretty early on. And while I would like to say that we were extremely smart about our money and were able to save everything we needed without taking drastic measures, that wasn’t the case (hello student loan payments, mortgage, bills, credit card debt, paying off the luxury vehicle I thought I needed when I got my fancy attorney job). We knew we wouldn’t be able to take the trip if we were still saddled with debt the entire time and so we needed a large chunk of change to get us going. So we made the difficult decision to sell our first home together.
Bryan and I bought our house in Reno in March of 2016 and we were lucky that it was a buyer-friendly market.
In three years, we built up a good amount of equity and knew that if we sold the house we would be able to pay off some of our debt, buy a used RV and partially fund the trip. And even though we bought the house knowing it would not be our forever home and that we wanted to ultimately flip it, the decision to sell was tough. It was our first home together. It’s where we brought Judge home. We had three Christmases as a family there. We loved and laughed and fought and grew there. We worked so hard improving the house (and when I say “we” I mean almost exclusively Bryan!) We thought we would bring our first baby home there.
But the alternative to selling for us was to remain stagnant. For me, it was to remain in a career that I was unhappy in, that caused me to wake up every morning with crippling anxiety, just so we could continue to make mortgage payments and live the life that we grew into based upon my salary. And that just didn’t make sense. So we listed the house, and just about three months later we were moved out.
The weekend we moved out was incredibly stressful and exhausting. One, because we have SO MUCH STUFF. Bryan has an entire garage full of tools. And that is not an exaggeration! Two, since we are planning the RV trip, I wanted to be careful about packing things up to go in storage that we would ultimately need on the trip. So it took a lot of time to sort and pack all of our things for thrift, storage, and overflow at our parents’ places. But, with the help of great friends and family, we got it all done.
And at the end, I had the last moments in the house completely to myself (I would have rather that it be Bryan and me
together, but he had to rush to make a dump run and get the U-Haul back). It was the first time I got really emotional about leaving. Seeing our home empty and ready for a new couple to move in was hard. I guess some people might refer to it as bittersweet. But in that moment, there was nothing sweet about it. It was moving out of a house that I loved and that had become our home, a house that held so many memories.
In the days since the move, however, I am remembering the reason behind this all - to fiercely chase our dream. This step was the much needed catalyst towards something bigger and greater. And sometimes in life you have to let certain things go to move on to bigger and better things (or in our case, smaller and older, but you get the point).
We could have used not having money as an excuse to not go on this trip, to not go after this dream of building The Remarkable Golden. But we didn’t. We made a difficult decision that was necessary to pursue our passions. So if you have something that you deeply want, something that you want to run towards but there are roadblocks in your way, don’t use them as an excuse. Find a way around. Trust me, you will be glad you did!