We don’t own a television. We don’t own a microwave. We plan to unplug our refrigerator this winter. We gave away our dishwasher. We definitely do not have air conditioning. We had a treadle sewing machine that we actually use.
Clearly, we enjoy the minimalist lifestyle. Excess is not our thing.
So, you may ask, why then? Why do we own a motor home? Is that not the definition of excess?
For some lifestyles, the answer would be yes. In our case, the answer is no. And here’s why.
First, we practice voluntary simplicity. At the heart of this philosophy is the concept of living deliberately. It’s about getting rid of those possessions, obligations, etc. that add stress, cause little to no joy, and go against what our family is trying to accomplish. The television, refrigerator, and microwave did that. Signing Beanie up for every “enrichment” program known to humankind would also do that.
However, living deliberately is not just about getting rid of stuff. It’s also about choosing to spend your time and energy on things that reduce stress, bring our family closer together, and help us to do what we’re aiming to do. We love traveling. We love seeing all there is to see, and meeting new people. Our house is something that is not helping us achieve these goals. While we’re working on improving it, staying in one place is not the lifestyle we desire.
And so we bought Moonraker. And we’re glad to have our land yacht.
What first led us to considering the motor home was Christmas. We’re both blessed with large extended families and friends, and the holidays span the months of November and December. Over my Christmas break, when it is the busiest, we would drive an hour to Midland, go to a gathering (bringing our food, presents, etc), then drive an hour back late at night. The next morning, we would scramble to get on the road and do the same thing, driving an hour and a half to Saginaw. After a couple more of these day trips, we would drive 3-4 hours to Portage and haul all of our stuff to a hotel room–which had to be a suite, so we could use the kitchen and give Beanie her own room (she sleeps MUCH better in her own room!). Then, we would head up north to Ossineke, another 3-4 hour drive. By then, you could imagine Beanie’s disposition! Add to it the fact that there was no way I could possibly have all of her food pre-made before each gathering, so she probably ate some sugar and white flour, triggering her reflux. That’s one ornery kid!
A time of year that is supposed to be joyful because unbelievably stressful as well.
Enter the motor home.
It’s got a comfortable living room, where the Bean can keep all of her toys. It has a very nice kitchen, where I can do my holiday cooking while we’re on the road. When the Bean needs a break from all of the commotion, she can retreat to the motor home. Beanie gets her own room at night. And it’s right there. There is no driving back to the hotel, while everyone is still having fun. We’re not constantly packing and unpacking.
It’s the best extravagant purchase we’ve made since becoming minimalists.