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Simple Stories – Melissa

Simple Living Stories - Melissa

Today we have a special guest post from Melissa.  A super fun family who have figured out how to live the life they want.  So fun!

Simple Stories – Melissa

Two years ago my husband and I decided to sell almost everything we owned and move into an RV to travel fulltime.  So you may be wondering why… Why would we sell it all to live in a tiny space?

Well, almost two years ago, our little family of four moved into my sister’s house while they moved overseas for three years. We were coming from the tiniest of tiny houses and their’s was…well, lets just say we didn’t even need to use the rooms upstairs!

My husband had just started his own business, which was going great, and I had just relaunched mine. We were excited and life was good.

…Until one day when my husband heard a “pop” in his back while helping my brother-in-law move a very heavy filing cabinet.

He tried to ignore it over dinner, but by the time we got home he was in extreme pain. Over the next eight months Robert went from fully functioning to severe pain because his body was trying to cope by pushing his spine sideways.

I was literally living with a crooked old man!

Simple Living Stories - MelissaWe finally found a specialist who was so good to us and treated Robert holistically, healing the problem, not just the symptoms.  Over the next two months, as Robert visited him, he went from daily excruciating pain to being able to sit through dinner, return to work, hold the girls.

We felt like fresh air was blowing through our lives.

If you have ever experienced any kind of extended illness or injury in your home I don’t need to tell you it was hard.   Sometimes the stress and worry would be almost palatable.  It is really hard to see someone you love so much in so much pain and not able to do anything about it.  I could see the hurt on Robert’s face when the girls would ask to be held and he had to tell them no.

So all that to say: that year put a great strain on our family.

Enter close friends who are traveling full time.  She lets it slip that even though they are a family of 6 living in a tiny space together, that they have never been closer.  That their relationships are not strained but actually the opposite.

Now here is how Robert and I go to sleep:

  • Robert – goes to sleep.
  • Melissa – lays in bed and thinks every possible thing over until she is exhausted and falls asleep.

Simple Living Stories - MelissaWell a few nights of that, as well as finding a a forum with fulltime traveling families, was all I needed to start trying to win Robert over.

What I wasn’t expecting was how on-board he was.  I actually thought he was joking when he said, “Yeah, that sounds like a great idea.  I think it would be good for us.”

It took me asking him once if he was serious before I lost myself the next few days searching out everyone who had ever done it before – reading every blog post and watching every YouTube video….

When I finally came back to the ‘land of the living’ to take care of my family I realized we were both still excited about it.  Neither of us was put out by my rehashing every family’s story to Robert.  We knew this might be it for us.  Over the next few months we continued to talk about it and brainstorm trying to figure out if this was for us.

Everything we came up with that might be a struggle we thought of ways to get past it.

Simple Living Stories - MelissaDuring that time I slowly started getting rid of our things.  The first few yard sales and trips to goodwill were rather painless and even fun!  I will admit that the hard part came when it was time to decide what I should keep from from vintage estate sale finds.  I found that I could deal with it a lot better if I gave the things to friends and family that I knew would love them like I had.

But, after a while, even that didn’t hurt.  It became slightly addictive and oh so freeing!  Now, even if we never travel and stay living in a house I don’t think I could ever go back to having so much stuff.

Where we are now:

We are now remodeling our RV and searching for the perfect truck to tow our new home.  We are expecting our third little one in July and hope to be on the road in September.  The last two years have been a bit crazy and full of change, but, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  The long hard experience taught us that we don’t need things to be happy… just each other.

Bio: Melissa West is a professional lifestyle photographer who saw how hard mamas were struggling to capture memories they loved.  Her blog offers tips and inspiration to teach you how to take more meaningful photos no matter what camera you own.   Click here to receive free access to an entire segment of  The Snap Academy Workshop.

Thanks so much Melissa for sharing today!  I am super excited for your family and look forward to hearing more about your adventures!


  1. Melissa,
    An inspiring post. How will you decide where to go first?

    • Christine, My brother is getting married in August in TN so we’ll go there first then to Ky to visit my other brother then…wherever the wind takes us:)

  2. Hi, so interested in the RV move. Something I’ve always wanted to do. Did your husband ever have X-rays, or MRI ? The reason I ask, and not to be an alarmist, but I had a similar pop back in 2003, checked with a NP, but not MD. Fast forward, it seemed to heal, I wasn’t in a lot of pain but still a little limited. I was 51 young to have a compression fracture. Fast forward, it was a type of cancer that causes fractures. Holistic is great, my husband practice shiatsu massage for years, but be sure your checking the medical side.
    Good Luck in what will be an extradinary adventure.

  3. What a great, inspiring story! Thanks for sharing with us. 🙂

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