Wednesday, April 6, 2011


On one of the definitions of metamorphosis is: 

3. any complete change in appearance, character, circumstances, etc.

Since this blog is about our transformation from the working world to the retired world, I'd say change in circumstances fits our story just fine. And we currently have a change in plans.

About a year ago, when we started this blog, we had agreed that we would ready the house for sale starting January 2011 and put it on the market in the spring of 2011.

We've been painting the interior, scraping ceilings, replacing carpet, etc., etc., etc. Lots of little cosmetic things to make the house more appealing to someone who wants a house they can live in immediately, and eventually tackle projects here and there to make the house their own.

While all this has been going on, Hans has taken on several large projects at work and in the meantime, fuel prices have gotten higher and higher. These pressures have had us discussing endlessly the pros and cons of selling now or waiting a while. Ultimately we have decided that now is not the best time for us to proceed with marketing the house. We've decided to see how the work situation plays out and continue to save money, building our fuel nest egg. Perhaps some time in the next year we'll be ready to sell the house and hit the road.

The metamorphosis continues, just at a slower pace for now!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Metamorphosis Road Guiding Principles

Words to live by, on the road and off. We'll post these prominently in the RV.

Be present

Acknowledge love

See beauty in all things

Keep an optimistic outlook

Slow down and experience the moment

Live simply and within our means

Practice forgiveness

Be prepared

Be grateful


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Is Fulltime RVing Environmentally Friendly?

As we slowly but surely make our way toward life on the road in an RV, we are constantly questioning ourselves, making sure that this is the path we should be on. The current state of the world economy and the environment are parts of the equation that must be considered.

Currently we do what we can to control our water usage, cut down on the packaging we consume, keep our long driving trips to a minimum, and limit our purchases to products we "need" as opposed to those products we simply "want".

Obviously I am heavily biased towards fulltime RVing! That said I do believe an argument can be made in favor of the fulltime RV lifestyle when compared to our existing lifestyle.

Currently we are two people and a cat living in a 2400 square foot house...waaaaaay more house than we need. We've got to heat and cool and clean and maintain those 2400 square feet as well as take care of the yard.

Currently we own, operate, insure and maintain two vehicles; which we drive to work daily, separately, adding to the congestion of San Diego freeways.

In comparison:

Living quarters in the 5th wheel trailer we are considering are around 400 square feet. These days every time I clean our expansive kitchen counters (and anticipate having to do this constantly while the house is on the market) I can't wait for the transition to a smaller space! So: less to clean and maintain. Less water usage since we won't be maintaining a garden (except maybe a pot of basil!).

Some aspects of life on the road are the same as the stationary lifestyle: we will still purchase and cook most of our food which means when we buy food we continue to do so with the intention of limiting packaging and avoiding waste. We will still be able to recycle packaging, even if it means finding a recycling center.
On the road, we will own only one vehicle. This vehicle will be a large truck, possibly diesel, that will perform dual duty as our tow vehicle and our daily driver when the trailer is stationary. This truck will get fewer miles per gallon than our existing vehicles, but we will be driving together everywhere and we anticipate spending as much time as possible walking, hiking and biking instead of driving. Also, the longer we stay in a campground or RV park the cheaper it is to stay and the less we tow the trailer so we get better mileage!

We anticipate doing some boondocking on the road, that is, camping off the grid, on public land. When boondocking, we will only be using whatever electricity we generate ourselves, and the water in our RV tank.

In our quest for the road we have been purging unnecessary belongings for the past year or so, sending many truckloads of perfectly usable goods to Goodwill and AmVets. This has been a therapeutic process that has me eagerly anticipating a lifestyle that celebrates minimal consumerism (no sense in buying tons of stuff when there's nowhere to put it).

I believe the only way we could retire early and make less of an impact on the environment would be to purchase a small piece of land with the intention of growing as much of our food as possible and limit our exploring to a very small area. At this stage of our lives we don't want to be of the reasons for retiring early is to make the most of the years when we are young and healthy enough to go places and see things and get out and explore.

Our goal on the road is to enjoy and explore our country with minimal impact to our wallets but great impact to our souls. I think that can be acheived responsibly, and I'm looking forward to making it happen!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Big Island Wrap up!

I would have liked to have posted every day while in Hawaii but we didn't always have internet access. This is a wrap up of a wonderful trip...

We got to swim with turtles! We saw this guy at Kiholo Bay, along with several others:

We got to tour a private garden in Kona with our host at Tiki Island Hawaii. This 8 acre property was a tropical paradise:

The second place we stayed was the Adventurous Lava Rock Hale: This was a unique experience! It was waaaay off the beaten path, off the grid and very tranquil.

Champagne Pond is a geothermally heated tide pool accessed by a rough lava road. It is a mixture of salt and fresh water that was about 90 degrees in some areas. The mixing of salt water, fresh water and different temperatures made for some psychedelic underwater viewing...every time you passed into a different water field the water was wavering as if you were in the Matrix!

This was the closest we got to the current lava flow. The lava in the foreground is about 2 weeks old and still too hot to walk on. The steam in the distance is rising from the lava flowing into the ocean.

We saw several waterfalls, this one is Rainbow Falls:

One of the most amazing snorkeling experiences was at Kapoho Tide Pools. The picture doesn't do the place was acres and acres of large and small tide pools with crystal clear water and many, many beautiful fish and corals just waiting to be discovered.

On the last full day we stopped at the end of the northern road at Pololu Valley Lookout and hiked down to the beach below:

Altogether a fabulous trip!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Big Island - Day 2

Started the day out by snorkeling at Kahalu'u Beach Park. Swam with turtles and saw so many varieties of fish! I wonder if one could ever get tired of seeing the incredible variety of sea life and landscapes and colors under water?

Next we headed North hoping to find a good swimming beach. Stopped at the Old Airport park to eat and hike to a potential snorkeling spot. Turns out the lava was too crazy for the shoes we were wearing to make it to the snorkeling spot. Flip flops aren't the best shoes for lava walking!

Then we headed north in search of Kekaha Kai State park. Traveling North of the current airport, we turned off onto a road that was paved at one time. Now it is a roller coaster of bumpy lava...luckily we have a jeep, because this road wanted to jiggle the teeth out of your head! We couldn't believe some people had taken regular cars out there!

The beach was worth the jolting though...a postcard perfect beach, with thick white sand, shade trees, palm trees. lava in the distance and turtles! But not so great for swimming.

More exploring tomorrow...!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Big Island 2011, Day 1

So here we are on the Big Island, a mere 2 hour time difference from home, and weather pretty similar to home. We met some people last night who had barely made it out of Maine (via Boston) to get here, a true paradise for them!

We haven't planned anything in advance for this trip beyond our lodging. Our first 5 nights are at Tiki Island Hawaii,, a one bedroom apartment which is the first floor of a two story house on the hill above Kailua Kona. It's filled with tiki decor, a view to die for, a pool and lush gardens outside our door. We are a short 10 minute drive to the beach.

Day one, we visited Place of Refuge, ancient Hawaiian ruins, and snorkeled just around the corner at Two Step. It was an amazing snorkeing experience, we saw a turtle, many, many colorful tropical fish, many types of coral and I saw an eel. Then a picnic at the gorgeous, quiet, and somewhat secluded Place of Refuge picnic area.
Place of Refuge picnic area

In the evening we drove down into the tourist area of Kailua Kona and witnessed a beautiful sunset over mai tai's at Don the Beachcomber. I'm not too impressed by the tourist zone...but you can't beat the location:

Sunset at Don the Beachcomber's