Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Living in a Small Space, Technology and Minimalism

Hurray, I am done with by BAS in Human Services, and now I waiting for my degree in the mail as I would love to walk in September with my class, but I need the degree in order to find a job in my career field. Now I am working on my Masters in Management that is built around consulting, which is most excellent as it touches on several of the skills that I had been lacking, and have shown up in the workplace. In the future, it would be great if I could telecommute or run my own business, but for right now, I am in the starting over stage in trying to put my life in order, and that is easier said than done. This is truly an exciting time in my life, and thanks to technology, and a combination of online learniing ,and in person as well as traveling in  van, I am graduating school with zero debt from school, which is great, as that was my goal. 
     It has been a long journey in traveling all over the country with one cat as my other was extremely unhappy with the travels nonstop, and it proved unfair, so now she is with a good friend, and is happy as could be. My now 8 year old cat who was born in August 18, 2006 is still young and spry, and adores traveling, walking on a leash, playing with the dogs, and visiting cat shows on occasion, which we have not had a chance to do recently due to the shortage of local shows, and a very tight budget that should hopefully change in the near future. 
     The loss of my van in AZ the first summer I was there that I literally lived in it part time due to a turn of events that I hope to never experience again, but it turned out okay, and it proved to be an adventure that I will remember always. I also formed relationships that are long lasting and gorgeous that I hope to see continue. My road travels and people I met along the way also proved beautiful with some of the best memories, friendships, great times, and life lessons than one could ever imagine, and did I mention the stunning scenery and diversity of the various local cultures. One thing remains for certain, and that is that things happen for a reason.
     Plans are to explore the international scene, visit at least Comic Con festival and medieval festival this summer, and find a local job for the time being to continue on my professional career trajectory. 
     I am planning on a custom layout lightweight RV trailer, and a van to haul it with because even though parking the home is easier, having multiple camping choices is also nice due to group travel and camping with various individuals means taking the car as a second vehicle. I cannot see having a truck and topper style camper due to the extra maintenance of the roof and other parts when a trailer is sufficient, and a van is much easier to maintain. One camper is enough, plus the car. I would love a class A, but would still need a tow car, and 2 repair bills seems a bit much.
    It does not seem to come up to often that a topper style camper requires a pick up truck that is the correct size, and that means that changing either one would be a pain. Plans are for a van that is styled as somewhat of a partial commercial RV build that can be used as a toyhauler. 

The van wil be outfitted with a sink that can be gotten from an old VW camper or something similar, and the shower section will come from the pop up camper shower and toilet in one so the sink does not have to be the main source of the shower. The bed will be taken from the Honda Element seats that will have to be custom fitted unless another type of seat can be found so that the bed can be the seats folded down, or removed. A table that covers part of the side door that flips up can serve as a cooking space for my NuWave, as I don't want a permanent cooking element in the van. 

Hence, the van will have 3 chairs in the front with a center table taken from a Euro van. The seats will fold up as in the Honda Element style, drivers side into a long single bed, or can be removed all together. That takes up the drivers left side of the van, and the right side will have  a double sink, counter for crock pot, coffee pot, microwave oven, single electric burner, and NuWave stove top that can be all be stored below the sink, and removed when not in use, or taken into a hotel or other gathering place as needed to avoid the eating out food bill. Next to the kitchen, towards the rear of the van will be  the shower, toilet combo as having a huge shower with the entire wall seems pointless to me when a shower curtain can be used when the counter height bathroom (hence additional counter space when not in use) offers a toilet and shower. Given that life in any RV will have limited water resources due to the small size of the pump, and other appliances. 

So, that is left side for the bed and chairs with table, and the right side for one long counter with a double sink, and shower/toilet pop up combo.That leaves an entire area in the back for a bicycle and storage. I will have a bike rack installed on the rear of the van, and carry a soft topper, but realistically, I think it makes a vehicle stand out, and draw attention to what is inside when there is stuff on the outside. That means the entire interior could fit in a high low model  with out cabinets everywhere in order to keep everything neat and organized. If the model is a high top, then I will also add an overhead bed to allow for another sleeping space, but have zero plans for a soft top, and the manufactured rvs seem to be wimpy, so a custom built rv that passes inspection with rvia and the canada inspection team so it can actually travel. Hence, the main reason for choosing one that can be custom, and go for more than a cruise to the local rv park. The actual van will be more paperwork to register, but can go to both tent and rv spaces.
    Eventually, based on a desire for international travel, I will be adding a trailer that is a hard sided toy hauler, and under 22 feet so it can go to national parks, and be hauled overseas in some situations. The toy hauler can be used to haul a small motorcycle and/or bicycles, have a living room and open porch on the toy hauler, as well as house more guests for social hour. 
    As I would love to be able to do rescue animal transport, and show cats again, it would be great to cut down on hotel costs and driving costs. The entire plan can be done in phases, which means no diving in, and means something to work for. 

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