Currently Wandering » Outdoor Family, Adventure Travel, Simple Living - Family of 5 Traveling the United States in an Airstream.

The Good and Bad of Temporarily Living in a Sticks and Bricks House

We’ve been in the condo for over a month. With less than a month to go before our re-launch date, things are getting pretty serious around here. We still have a mile long list of projects to accomplish, a two night canoe trip in Grand Teton, plus friends & family coming to visit. We’ve been able to get a lot done over the last 6 weeks, however, and being in a “sticks and bricks” house definitely has its upsides as well as its downs. We are making the most of it while still getting excited about our travel plans for July & August.

For fun, I thought we’d detail out some of perks of condo life, as well as some of the things we most miss about the Airstream. Ready?

Same View All the Time

The view here in the Teton Valley is beautiful. Even a quick bike ride to town affords amazing views of the Tetons. But… the view is always the same. We miss having a constantly changing back yard, where the view is sometimes a stream, sometimes a forest, and sometimes a desert.

Takes More Effort to Get Out

I wrote over a year ago about how I Don’t Trust Myself in Suburbia. While I feel that I’ve made some progress since then, the struggle is still real. Its so much easier to stay in, let the kids read or watch something than load up and get outside. In the Airstream, adventure is literally outside our front door and the options are always changing. We can walk outside in the evenings and go on a short walk, and the next week that walk is something new and completely different. Sure, we can head out of our condo front door and go for a walk, but that walk is going to be the same every time. I think I’m addicted to new places and get bored easily.

We’ve been making a concerted effort to put the projects on hold and get out and explore. We’ve camped over in Grand Teton at Jenny Lake, had my parents up for the weekend, hiked in the Big Hole Mountains, canoed a small piece of the Teton River,  biked into town countless times to visit the library and park, and most recently attended the Jackson 25th annual Kids’ Free Fishing Day.

The adventure is there, we just have to be willing to throw on the packs, grab some snacks and GO.

Overwhelming Projects

In hindsight, I think our project plans were a bit ambitious. Building furniture, buying ALL the things, and trying to organize everything we brought out of the storage unit has been completely overwhelming. Don’t get me wrong, we are all for a good home improvement project but we like them a little more spread out. We’ve got two bed frames welded and finished, but still need bunk beds, nightstand frames, a dining room table frame, and need to finish the wood top of the table plus two more nightstands. Oiy. We are super grateful for my brother-in-law who has taken so much time to help us with these projects. Yes, we could have just bought furniture, but where’s the fun and satisfaction in that? Plus, this furniture is going to be indestructible.

In addition to that, we still need to fix the Airstream floor from the rot we discovered while in Manti last summer. We did a temporary patch job, but need to replace a larger section under the table. We’ve pulled the gaucho out to rebuild it as the slide mechanism has been going. Plus, lots of little touch-up items that we’ve just been putting off.

Not Planning

Full-time travel requires planning. Not only are the activity options different everywhere, but we need to find a place to go when it’s time to move along. When you do need to plan something in advance, you have double planning duty. After 3 years of constantly planning, 6 weeks of NOT PLANNING has been pretty refreshing.

Rachel Gets to Bake

Even as I type this, Rachel is cooking something up in the kitchen. Recently she’s become obsessed with baking and loves experimenting with different recipes and frosting decorations. It hasn’t been so good for my waistline though, and partially triggered a 21 day Sugar Detox for me! I do love her enthusiasm and I’m grateful we can encourage a hobby she so obviously loves.

Awesome Library & 3D Printing

The local library system here in the Teton Valley is excellent. The kids enjoy being able to ride the library by themselves. They host fun activities, including a Mother-Daughter book club and writing groups. The library also has a 3D printer available for use, which Sam has taken advantage of during our stay.

Stable Friends & Church Teachers

Cara is flourishing at church. This was one of our biggest concerns over the last year as she’s really been struggling. She was scared to be dropped off to her class and left alone with a roomful of complete strangers. I totally get it. It’s nerve wracking to always be the visitor even for me. Having 6 weeks of the same teacher, the same kids in her class, and knowing where her class is has been wonderful for her. At the Teton Kids Fishing Day, she was even content to stay with her group, and didn’t need one of us right nearby!

Bedroom Door that Closes and Locks

Having a bedroom door that locks is definitely the best perk of living in the condo. In our Airstream, we have a couple of curtains we can pull that separate us from the kids. When you pull them back, the latch kind of “pops” so we call it our “early warning system” if uh, certain things should be going on. Also, its kind of hard to snuggle during the day or morning when you pack up your bed and stow it for the day. In the condo, not only do we have a bed that just sits out we have a door. That locks. Blissful.

There are pros and cons to every lifestyle and the trick is knowing what your tolerance levels are. We’ve enjoyed the downtime here at the condo (well, busy downtime), but are also anxious to get back on the road and start exploring again!

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