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Settling Down

We’ve decided to settle down in…

SPOKANE, WASHINGTON!

It’s the most logical choice. We’ve lived there twice before. We have friends, doctors, dentists, family and other services already established so there’s no start-up stress. It meets all of our criteria for hobbies and activities. Spokane is warm and dry in the summer, cold and sunny in the winter and experiences the four seasons. And it’s affordable to live here without breaking the bank :)

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The Tides Have Turned

When we set out on this journey 11 months ago, we didn’t know if we’d make it past a week in this lifestyle, let alone permanently. So we set a goal to give it a year and then re-evaluate. We are wrapping up our year and have experienced so much; met some wonderful new friends, saw some much missed old friends, and have evolved as human beings.

We’ve learned how to be respectful of one another in 300 sqft. of space—1000 sqft. less than than the smallest house we’ve ever owned. As a family we’ve learned to practice patience with one another, although I may need a refresher course. My favorite aspect of this adventure has been the process of becoming minimalists—only keeping the essentials with us, even if I need to declutter routinely. The small space allows us to deep clean in about 15 minutes, even if there is so little to do that it’s hard to find chores for the kids to help with. I guess that’s a good problem to have.

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The Badlands

It stormed heavily the night before we planned on exploring the Badlands, but after breakfast the next morning, the sky rapidly cleared and a beautiful day had begun.

During our night’s stay in Wall, South Dakota, we had asked a few people if we could drive the Badlands in our motorhome with a car in tow, and half said they’d recommend just taking a car, and half said it would be no problem if you liked winding roads—no problem!—so we decided we’d head out with the motorhome and toad, and make our way though a small loop of the Badlands before continuing west again.

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Iowa

We are west of the Mississippi again!

Neither of us had ever been to Iowa before, and since we were headed west, we decided to stop and see my childhood friend, Jenn, who lives near Iowa City. I haven’t seen her for 14 years.

Both her and her husband are veterinarians and they own their own practice. They have a 120+ acre farm filled with sheep, ducks, chickens, horses, dogs—lots of dogs!—and a tortoise. It really is beautiful property but the weather was a little brutal. She told us it was a cool day but it was still very hot and humid. Apparently the winters are harsh also. It was very reminiscent of “Little House on the Prairie” :)

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Hocking Hills State Park

Hocking Hills State Park ranks high on my favorite places list. We were last here for our first wedding anniversary and the area is just as beautiful, albeit a bit more civilized. Let’s just say it has the nicest Walmart I’ve ever set foot in.

We stayed at the KOA nearby, who made us stay a minimum of 3 nights in order to get full hookups, which was a first—crazy. The park was excellent though, so it wasn’t a hardship.

We did hit some undesirable weather on the first day, so we sat home and started school for the year. The kids were thrilled! Ok, not really. The next day was perfect though, so we set out to explore!