I’m so excited to share Kate from @thestreamlinedlife on the blog today! I started following her family because of their travels, but quickly fell in love with her motherhood podcasts! My hope is sharing all these amazing families will give you a push to not let go of your dreams & trust the process!
It took us nearly 4 years to get the courage to hit the road full-time and after 8 months of living tiny, we only wish we had taken the leap sooner.
In less than a year, we traveled ocean to ocean (driving more than 8,000 miles!), took major leaps of faith, faced our fears, and became closer to our three kids than we could’ve ever imagined. It took saying just one yes to a different path than the typical American lifestyle to flourish and grow in ways we could’ve never dreamed of a year ago.
Just one year ago we were drowning in old house repairs, busy and over scheduled days, and a lack of purpose. We knew we were capable as a family of creating a meaningful life together, but felt utterly stuck. My husband, Kirk, suggested we sell our house, pack up our belongings and hit the road; an idea I had had years ago, but decided would never happen.
When we voice our dreams and give them the space to grow, big things happen. We followed through and hit the road in March 2018 with our then 6 year old daughter, our 4 year old daughter, and 10 month old son.
We started in a 19 foot Scamp 5th wheel (just google it, they’re pretty tiny for a family of 5 and funny looking to boot) and later upgraded to a triple bunk 26’ Lance 2185 travel trailer. For once we had “just enough” and no visible clutter. The mental strain we had been under in our old life eased away, but it also made my anxieties more obvious.
We had more time, open horizons to chase, and financial freedom. All of this potential was both absolutely freeing and totally overwhelming. You see, when we’re busy with the typical path, the home, the jobs, and all of the activities, it makes it easy to ignore what’s happening in our hearts. Full-time travel made it impossible to ignore the areas of our hearts that had gathered dust over time.
My anxiety was always fear-related and spontaneous travel definitely triggered all of the “what if’s?” I learned to lean into the fear and accept it, such as the time we drove our truck and trailer on HWY 1 in California, with steep cliffs on my side and no guardrail or the countless times our GPS stopped working and we got lost. I let my children venture farther and farther from me in their outdoor play, trusting them as they also grew into their capable and wise selves. I trusted that God had led us to this path and that fear had caused me to play small my whole life. We wanted bigger for our family than the limitations we had always allowed to hold us in place.
It was a fresh start in every possible way. Kirk and I had nightly talks, envisioning our path together and as a family. We fixed the ways we communicated as a couple and learned to listen better to one another. We took the time to hear our children’s hearts, their fears, and their dreams. Bit by bit, we all began to grow into more resilient and happier individuals.
As I overcame my fears and leaned into motherhood, I envisioned a community of mamas doing the same. Women choosing a streamlined home and life, whether that’s on the road or in their stationary homes, and finding their value as mothers. I created a podcast called Streamlined Motherhood to share what the road had taught me, and I began working one on one with other women to create their own meaningful lives. Kirk began writing music again and playing shows while we traveled, finding and breathing life into his own calling. The road life became an endless well of creative inspiration for both of us.
Our gamble, this lifestyle that others see as so different and alternative, paid off. We began marking our days in the experiences we had. Our daughters learned to swim like fish in California, experienced their first waterpark slide in Nebraska, ate clam chowder in Rhode Island, and learned about pioneer life in Nevada. Our youngest learned to walk at an RV park in Northern California, and we celebrated his first birthday at the Pacific Ocean. Most importantly, we created a family culture around being brave, believing that your dreams matter, and that experiences are greater than things. Our children are not the same as that snowy day we left Indiana and neither are we.
Road travel, for us, was always about more than living tiny and sightseeing in the United States or perfect Instagram shots. We love those parts of full-time travel life, but also craved the personal growth that we anticipated would come with this lifestyle. Road travel has been a way for us to grow into the family we saw ourselves as and become the type of people who are courageous, who take action, who love deeply, see education as a way of life, and who prioritize family and faith above all. It wasn’t easy to transition to this lifestyle, but we don’t ever see ourselves going back to the way we did life before. The road changed us for the better, and for that, we are so incredibly grateful.
The Streamlined Life website: thestreamlinedlife.com/socialmedia
Cohesive Home, Kate's other podcast and community, for families choosing to live simply and by their values
Streamlined Motherhood Podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-streamlined-motherhood-podcast/id1436254835?mt=2
Kirk Saffle music on Bandcamp: https://kirksaffle.bandcamp.com/
Kirk Saffle music on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/5xkg3LShDnqQfWLINNpeM5