We are back from our amazing holiday and have moved into the bus! It sounds more exciting than it actually is because ...... We are still going to work each day. The transition has had a few hiccups along the way. When we first got back from Europe we decided to stay at a campground for the first week back to ease into the bus transition and give us use of all of the amenities (pool, showers, washrooms,laundry...). Unfortunately there were millions of mosquitoes there and we got eaten alive! Our friends made it bearable by loaning us a net tent and a fan but it was a pretty rough start to life in the bus. After our week at the campground we decided to just try to live as closely to how we would if we were travelling around. We started parking at different locations each night around town and searching out for the amenities we need as we need them. It was fun! It felt like we were on an adventure in our hometown! At first we were spending too much money eating out everyday and wasting gas driving around but as the weeks went by we came up with better ways to do things. The installation of our solar panels and inverter helped as did our purchase of a Coleman stove. We started relying on the fridge and shopping for food a few days at a time. Our favourite places to stay give us the perfect view of both the sunset and the sunrise or have amenities like pavilions with picnic tables. Friends helped again with an excellent suggestion of where to shower and clean up and as a result the hot water on demand unit isn't even a priority anymore. Surprisingly, neither is the toilet! It's amazing how many public washrooms there are in every town!
For the most part (even with going to work) this has been a dream come true for me! Everyday feels like a vacation the minute I leave work and I've been surprised by how many absolutely beautiful free spaces there are in the area! It's been a little more difficult for Michael whose prime responsibility has been to watch the dogs. It sounds silly but all of a sudden it's like having two year olds again, you can't just leave them on the bus. Michael is used to keeping busy and making things so this has been like slow torture in some ways for him but soon it will be his turn to work while I hang out with the dogs! Even though the original plan was to start travelling as soon as we got back from Europe this time has been a blessing in disguise. Some things that we thought we needed to finish right away on the bus we have realized aren't even priorities while other things we hadn't thought about seem more important to finish. I'm glad we are still in our hometown and able to access our tools while we finish up the bus. Having the storage unit nearby has been so handy because.... We packed way too much stuff! Every week we have been getting rid of more stuff or putting it into storage for later. It's amazing how little we actually need to live! There has also been a bit of a learning curve with what we actually want on the bus. At first we thought we wanted stuff to resemble a house like having real plates and glasses but have since realized the lighter the better! The IKEA dressers were a great idea at the time but don't take the abuse of driving even with the rare earth magnets installed to help keep the drawers from moving. We aren't going to change them out (we will just beef up the hardware) but I think a better solution for the next bus (yes we already talk about what's next) would be tool dressers that have locking drawers and are made to take the abuse. Some of the little changes we have made include screen inserts for the windows to keep the bugs out and a fan that we installed above the back door to help keep it cool. The fan made a huge difference but I can still envision an air conditioner in the near future! There are still a few more improvements we need to make but it's getting there and we are becoming more organized and efficient each passing day.