So it seems it’s been quite some time since we announced we were gonna gypsy-it for a year, and here we are on the eve before our departure! Eeeps! A LOT has happened since our decision to hit the road. For starters….. we got pregnant 🙂 Yea…. that was kind of surprise after our two miscarriages we were (well I was at least) coming to the point of acceptance that we may indeed be done. But this wee-one has decided otherwise. Likewise, SBJ has opted to return to school to complete his BA in Health Management Services, and is likely up for promotion with work real soon.
With these two major developments in play, lots of shifting and rearranging has come into play with our “gypsy year” and we’ve evolved to have our cake and eat it too.
For starters, we are seeing that SBJ is going to be here more often that originally planned. Continuing with work and school, but hopefully traveling with us as much as he is feasibly allowed (employment-wise), and we will also be going for stints on the road for a month or two here and there so that we as a family can have our touch-base and reconnect. Vitally important.
Tomorrow being our D-day….. we (all) depart for Sandusky, OH where we join our annual waterpark gathering. We have gone that last five or six years now to this unschoolers’ conference and it’s truly become a family annual thing. SBJ will be joining us. We’ll be staying a night less than usual so that we can embark on a camping trip with up at Niagara Falls for a few days. Ending his trip with us will be a stop in Pittsburgh to reconnect with a Peace Corps buddy and SBJ will be grabbing an Amtrak train home to hold down the fort for us.
The kids and I continue on to a week of camping in PA, a birthday weekend (for D) in Harrisburg/Hershey, PA, and a very special trip out to Hoboken, NJ to see the Cake Boss’ bakery. Among other stops will be Somerset, Gettysburg and the Statue of Liberty. From there we are at the start of June and head north with an overnight in Boston. From there…. sky’s the limit truly. We plan to boondock the rest of the trip. The idea is to do Oceanside in Maine, see VT, NH, and more of NY state. But the kids are also really enthusiastic about joining in on a homeschoolers annual camping trip that is happening in June. If we decide to partake in that adventure, we will be heading back to the Midwest earlier than originally planned to do that weekend with friends, and then perhaps have a summer romp around Lake Michigan before heading home.
We’ll be home mid-summer to enjoy the beach with friends and get settled in before our newest J-bundle arrives. He/She is due to grace us at the end of August or start of September. I do feel, though, that we have done a great deal already to prepare. I think it’s more of a need to convene on the beach than anything that calls us back in the summer 🙂
From there, the kids want to partake in the first fall session of AJCW, perhaps we will run a small soccer session (there has been quite a bit of pull/requesting to keep it going even when I was sure I was closing that chapter 🙂 It is really nice to know that it has had such a wonderful impact on the homeschooling community. If the volunteerism is present in the fall, I see it feasible, otherwise with a wee-one…. well…. we’ll just have to see.
We are also spear-heading the homeschool craft fair this fall! It usually runs a bit later in the season, but I was asked to step onboard for getting it going this year, and since we’d like to pick back up with travel, we opted to push up to October. That will give us a Halloween and home, and November 1st to hit the road again!!! From there, the skies the limit truly. We have friends who want to travel with us at some point, and many places we want to venture to. G’ma also wants to meet up in NM! So there are many things brewing for the newer gypsy-version-year.
As we scramble around here trying to figure out how minimally we can pack and leave things behind, I have gotten very creative with space. We were unable to convert a vehicle as we had originally hoped. Keeping our apartment was not something originally budgeted for. Since we are doing so, we are doing what we can to make it all work. We purged and got rid of so much stuff and cut back so tremendously that we were able to repaint and furnish a room in our apartment to rent out. We have interviewed with an exchange program and hope to have a summer placement/student from June through August. We also have a rental ad up on Craigslist, but that has not proven very lucrative at this point. The best option (thus far) has been our work with AirBnB. We have been able to find travelers who are interested in staying in the room, and then they pay for their nights here. So far, it’s been good. But you know reservations come and go, so it’s not all that stable. I am sure that something will pan out, and it will be the thing that is just right and meant to be.
Since we have had to alter the financial to accommodate all of the changes, we kept our blue bus and had to get really creative. When I travelled last time with the kids for a full month heading west, the biggest added expense were the night we go hailed out of our camp spot, or accommodations were not what we had originally intended. I knew this time around, exactly what we should book (out to Hoboken), and then I decided I was going to stop booking anything at all. I found some great free spots to pull into, websites and apps that will assist us, not only in cutting back financially, but keeping it real with the experiences we are being driven towards.
With that in mind, we had to get really creative with packing and the ability to sleep with in the car. I found this awesome diddy called a Saddlebag. You see, when we picked out this blue bus, the things that did not even cross my mind were roof racks/rails and/or a back hitch. Both of which are crucial for traveling with a large family! Last year, during our month-long we attempted this roof rack system that essentially straps onto the car…. I found it at a pretty reasonable rate, thankfully, as it helped some, but was not the best solution. We lost a folding chair off the top, and it was many stops to adjust and readjust things to keep them secure. This time, being pregnant, I did not want to deal with roofing situations, so I scoured on what our options could be. Luckily I found our newest contraption on Ebay for half the retail price! I truly scored with that, plus the free shipping. I hope it works out well for us.
So the plan is to extend our trunk with our new saddlebag, have the back seat up, and other seats down to be able to pack in a manner that also allows us to sleep in the car. If all works out well, we’ll be in a really position to travel as nomads! I have condensed the rest of our stuff to Rubbermaid boxes, camping stuff will be all stowed away in the saddlebag, and we’ll have the space to accommodate travels! We just concocted our interior curtains today as well. Found a great steal at the thrift store that prevented me needing to sew anything, and with some sticky hooks have curtains in the bus! We are excited about the prospects ahead!
It’s a new adventure to travel eastward! All of our huge adventures have been out west. This will be a big change for us, and we’re excited to see what’s ahead. Stay tuned for updates on our adventures!