RV Life

Intros & Why 188sqft

January 22, 2016


Hi, I am Mandy. I am 27 years old, 1.5 years into my marriage to Kevin, and am a creative who loves trying new things. My full time job is as a wedding photographer. Working for yourself is awesome, and I adore weddings and all of my clients. I am the luckiest. In the past I have modeled, worked at an e-retailer, fashion blogged (it’s still live but barely), tried and failed at starting a clothing company.

Kevin is my super cool and genius 26 year old (I am robbing the cradle) husband. He is pretty much God’s gift to the tech world, he started reading computer coding books at the ripe age of 13. He has never had a typical 9-5 office job, and it was he who really encouraged me to go after what I wanted, even if it got me fired which it did; shit, back to him. He is running three apps currently which are how he contributes to our bills. Move (an app that reminds you to get off your ass and move), Moment (an app that reminds you to put your phone down and live your fucking life), and Focus (an app that reminds you not to be on your phone while driving because you will die). He is only getting started making awesome apps, so I am sure this is only the beginning.

Why 188 sqft?

So we got married and it was awesome. But we had this moment after like…. now what? Most couples we knew were buying houses, and/or having kids. We almost bought a house, but realized that is not really the direction we wanted to go in. We have a shit ton of student debt, and we didn’t want to add the cost of a house onto that. ALSO, we were dying to explore the world. I have always been this way. Traveling?! YES PLEASE. Even as a child I set the goal to visit every country in the world… Well, I guess this doesn’t get me on track for this goal but hey, this is a good start.

Last winter we decided to take a 2.5 month long trip soak up the sun of the south in my aunts pop up camper. Why? I don’t take winter weddings so I can have time off, and Kev can work anywhere. And well, winter was bumming us out. We had a friend live at our apt to watch our kitty, Nimbus, because he would have hated a pop up camper. We paid rent on our apt while we were gone so when we got home everything was back to normal. 

During that trip we fell in love with the road. We kept jokingly saying, what if we did this full time? There are so many reasons not to, that it kept us at bay for about 5 months. Enough time for us to move into a cooler apt in a cooler part of town, and I was distracted with my busiest season. But as winter approached we started chatting about the road again. That is when we came up with a plan. You can read more about that process here.

But we did it, we got rid of 70% of our stuff (we still have a storage unit), found someone to finish up our lease, bought and renovated a fifth wheel, and bought a truck, all in 1 month… It was insane but so awesome. Since December 17th, we have been living in this camper and so far it’s been about a month and only three times Kev and I have wanted to kill each other. I consider that pretty damn good.

Our plan this year? We are headed West. Since January 1st we have been on the road, and our end goal is Joshua Tree then we have to work our way back to Pittsburgh where we are spending the summer. So that is the plan so far!

wifi stealin

But here we are right now, stealing wifi from a local starbucks in New Orleans. Now we are having new discussions like how we can be on the road full time. That is a different blog post perhaps…

xoxo mandy

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  • Reply Kevin January 22, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    Gosh, I need a haircut.

  • Reply Christina January 27, 2016 at 3:49 pm

    I love that you guys did this! So inspired by you both. 🙂 My husband & I have contemplated this for a year or two, but I need to find a job that I can work on the road. (I’m an accountant, full time. He’s retired from the military.) But really, I love that you guys have so much freedom to see and do everything you want to do!

    • Reply Kevin January 28, 2016 at 1:00 am

      I know you and your husband can do it. If you really, really want it, make it happen. It takes some sacrifice to get on the road, and talking about it won’t make it any better.

      I bet there’s a lot of remote work for accountants. I’d personally like an accountant that understood traveling full time, domicile, and RV-specific tax deductions. Also, there might be room for remote work in your current position. I’m guessing you do most of your work on the computer anyway. Just move your computer to your home on wheels.

      You can have the freedom we have!

  • Reply Quelcy January 29, 2016 at 1:03 am

    You guys! I love that you are blogging about this together! I also love all the curse words in the descriptions! This level of life consolidation has really inspired me, and I probably think about this heroic feat at least once a day. I’ll be following along!

    • Reply Kevin January 29, 2016 at 4:14 pm

      Mandy’s definitely the one with the potty mouth 🙂 But she also deserves all of the heroine worship. She donated 14 construction garbage bags (the huge black ones) worth of her clothing, and kept about 4.

      Now if I can only convince her that 15 pairs of shoes is too many for an RV 😛

  • Reply Christa February 4, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    Hi, 188sqft! I wanted to let you know that I wrote about and shared a link to your site on my blog, Under A House, which documents my home renovation projects. I so admire what you guys are doing! You can view the post at http://www.underahouse.com/blog/house-heroes. Cheers!

    • Reply Mandy Holesh February 4, 2016 at 8:40 pm

      Hey darlin’!! Did you get married yet?! Thank you so much for the share, that was super kind of you! Especially because our site is so new. 🙂 You rock, thank you again! xo m

      • Reply Christa February 9, 2016 at 2:11 pm

        Not yet, but the countdown is on!

        Keep up the great work – having major travel envy over here on my couch in Pittsburgh.

        • Reply Mandy Holesh February 12, 2016 at 1:18 am

          Thank you! So excited for you, enjoy your wedding! 🙂

  • Reply Bill Horsman February 19, 2016 at 10:43 am

    This is just brilliant in every way. More of this sort of thing please.

    • Reply Kevin February 19, 2016 at 4:13 pm

      Thanks Bill!

  • Reply Jill February 22, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    I am loving your blog! Is there any way to receive your posts via email? i seem to be over looking that tab here on your page. Thanks so much!

  • Reply Maria Vargas February 22, 2016 at 4:52 pm

    I came here recomended by Blonde on Budget. I write from Mexico. As my english is kind of bad just wanna say that I love what you do. Living in a simple way inspires many people, so I think that in a future most people are going to need lees things to survive and that will be great for the enviroment. Many of us have dreams, but for one thing or another we just follow the system. So congratulations, be happy guys. I will continue reading abou you

    • Reply Kevin February 22, 2016 at 5:00 pm

      Thanks Maria. Your English is great!

      I hope you can take a few things away from what we’re doing. We’re definitely still making mistakes. We got rid of a ton of clothing, but I still have 20 t-shirts packed into our little drawer. I’m still working on donating even more things.

  • Reply Sophia February 25, 2016 at 11:15 pm

    Cait from Blonde on a Budget recommended you and this is a great start to what’s shaping up to be a cool blog! Not as thrilled about the potty mouth (sorry!) but loving the real-deal feel!

    How about a post or two about how you got rid of 70% of your stuff? Eventually The Hubster and I will be setting off to live on the road full-time and in the meantime I’d love to hear some real-life experiences about the process of divesting (almost) everything we own.

    Thanks and Cheers!

    • Reply Mandy Holesh March 15, 2016 at 9:29 pm

      Hi Sophia! Haha I knew my potty mouth wouldn’t appeal to everyone, but we really wanted to be as unapologetic as ever in this blog. Good idea! I will add that to our list of posts to write! Thanks!

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