A good friend of ours interviewed us recently because he was trying to speak with people who were leading both intentional and extraordinary lives. My first thought was who? Us? Then, I took a step back and thought hey….this is pretty cool, isn’t it? This same friend and business partner had asked us this very question many months ago; is every decision you make getting you closer to where you want to be? The answer to this isn’t always simple; but right now it’s a hard yes!
We purchased Wild Air (our 1971 Blue Bird Wanderlodge) in October of 2020 and have been living in it for almost four months now and I have to admit that if you would have heard me talking about my dreams a few years ago; living in a tiny home/RV probably would not have been on the list. Amanda and I are very passionate about traveling and we have always thought that living in a bus/van life was really cool; but we didn’t necessarily think it was for us. When the idea first came about; it was the summer of 2020 and we were living in a downtown apartment near our small business, Bona Fide Green Goods, while also running an Air BnB out of our mountainside condo in northern N.H. The Air BnB was going well and had been much busier than we had anticipated; especially for the summer season. We had purchased the condo with the idea that it could be our New Hampshire summer home for when we moved away. We would rent it out the rest of the year; but live in it in the summer. After renting her out for about two years or so; we quickly realized that summers are our busiest season; and we really don’t want to live in northern N.H. in the summers anyways.
How about a good old Before and After?!
Greenly’s first time in the Wanderlodge!
In the heat of the pandemic; we ended up meeting a woman named Bridget; who quickly became a very close friend to our little family. We originally met because she had been helping us to spruce up our store (painting, rearranging, redesigning). After spending many days with her; Amanda quickly realized that I needed to meet her and that we all needed to be friends. Well, she was right! We all became fast friends and Bridget’s family became a very important part of our Covid bubble and now a big part of our life. This is when Bridget started to talk to us about opening a store of her own. It sounded wonderful and we were excited to potentially be a part of it with her. We schemed for a few months, had some meetings, and we were planning on how we would make it all work.
This all came screeching to a halt when Amanda and I took one of our long drives. We did this pretty regularly during the thick of Covid because there wasn’t really anything else to do. It was a great practice because it gave us time to talk, time out of the house, and Greenly got a long nap in. We brought coffees, a snack, and it was a date. This particular drive somehow went differently than all the previous ones. As usual; we were discussing our store, our Air BnB, and our new potential partnership with Bridget. It wasn’t until Amanda stopped the car, looked at me, and said “what are we doing”? I said, “ummm, what do you mean”? She said “Mandy, we don’t even want to be living in N.H. anymore; why do we own a home here and why are we opening a new business here”??? I honestly didn’t have an answer for her because I completely agreed. I mean, what we’re we doing? We were doing what so many people do without taking our own advice. Opportunities will arise all the time; but it doesn’t mean that you have to take them. At that very moment, we pulled the car over, took out a notebook and pen and did what any sane person does when they are trying to make a decision does… a good old Pro and Con list. This list quickly told us exactly what we needed to hear; we should Not be creating more roots in New Hampshire. We love New Hampshire; but we hate the winter, have lived here forever; and are ready for a change.
I have no doubt that a business partnership with our friend would have been amazing. I would have loved working beside her and would have been so proud to own something with her. It honestly made us a bit sad when we came to this decision. Bridget is a wonderful friend, a wonderful designer, painter, mom, daughter, and so much more! The truth was that she didn’t need us; and I don’t believe we would have been able to be as good of a business partner to her as we would have wanted to be. Her friendship is also so important to us and we didn’t want to risk it. Today, Bridget is the solo owner of a beautiful shop on Concord, N.H’s Main St. called Spruce Home & Company. Her shop is filled with goodies ranging from local art, gifts, tea, glassware, home goods, paint, and so, so much more! We are so proud of her and everything she is creating; now go and check her out at #sprucehomeandcompany.
The second decision we made to get us closer to our dreams was to sell our condo. With our business partners being realtors and the market being where it’s at; this was not too difficult of a task. The Hvizda Realty team got our condo on the market in record time and it was sold in a matter of two to three days. The minute the sale was closed; Amanda realized the stress that our Air BnB was adding upon her. Was a guest going to ruin our home; what if they couldn’t get in? It was a great experience that taught us a lot; but we now know what we would do differently if we ever chose to do it again. We loved our condo; it was a labor of love that paid us through our maternity leave; and it gave us some great memories. But, we also thought of it as a fall back. It was our safety net for if any of our crazy ideas failed. It was time, the bandaid needed to be ripped off. The sale of our condo took away unnecessary stress, paid off two credit cards and allowed for a little bit of money for us to renovate the bus. We have no regrets.
So, here we are, living in a beautiful Wanderlodge, that was not a part of our dream and you may be wondering to yourself; how will this get them closer to where they want to be? This little bus/RV of ours forced us to be more minimalist; naturally encourages travel; and will be taking us out to California this January for three months. We are so excited to be escaping the worst part of winter and to continue to thrive in our Wanderlodge in a beachside campground. Our campsite will be tiny and similar to a parking lot; but it will be by the ocean and it won’t be snowing. We are hoping this trip will give us a little bit of time to see if California really is where we want to live. The second best part is that I will be temporarily transferring to a San Diego Trader Joes; which will allow us to continue to make money and have insurance etc. Thank you Trader Joes!
In the meantime, you can find us enjoying New Hampshire, family, friends, and this beautiful fall foliage while still on the East Coast.