Hear About Our Radical Living Challenge

The Experiment: Meet Our Rental RV “Baby”

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In order to do an experiment, you have to have something to test, an hypothesis. After reviewing our peak experiences over the last few years together, (an annual tradition) we realized that whenever we are in nature and having an adventure, we feel the things that are most important to us like joy, peace, connection, and fun. So we decided to test if we liked traveling in an RV, and believed that it would be ideal to have a small vehicle so that we could boondock (camp in national forests and places where big rigs can’t go due to their size) and maneuver easily in cities and small towns. So, we set out on our first experiment in October 2020 in a 24-foot Airstream Class B vehicle we rented using the app Outdoorsy. (Airbnb for RV’ers!). Over dinner the last night of the two-week trip through Utah and Arizona, we discussed what worked and what didn’t work. We discussed the lessons we learned and what adjustments we might make in a second experiment.

After reviewing the ‘data’ we collected during our last RV experiment, watching tons of YouTube videos in the last six months, and heading to a few RV sales lots, we decided to rent (this time through a business that specializes in RV rentals) a 36 foot Tiffin Allegro who we have named, “Baby.” This is a big-ass RV! She’s 36 feet long and since we are also towing a Kia behind us with two electric bikes attached to it, nobody is putting “Baby” in the corner! We wanted to rent a big rig because we wanted to be able to easily work and travel for long periods of time. I wanted a residential-sized refrigerator and space to cook healthy meals. Jeremy wanted space to bring surfboards and the stand-up paddleboard. We also wanted to haul electric bikes which we have enjoyed in the past. And, while the 24-foot vehicle was small enough to drive in small towns, it was still difficult to navigate and park. We are traveling for five weeks in Baby through Washington, Oregon, and California to test a number of hypotheses including:

  1. Would we want to RV full-time for one year until we decide where to put down roots when we sell our LA house in October? (that is a separate post coming soon!)
  2. If we do want to do this full-time, would a vehicle like “Baby” work for us?   Is “Baby” too big or just right? What floor plan would want that fits our lifestyle?
  3. What kind of internet would we need so that we can work and travel seamlessly?
  4. Can we RV and maintain other things that are important to us like fitness, cooking healthy meals, and spending time with family and friends?
  5. If we decide we don’t want to do it full-time, would we want to move to any of the areas we are visiting during the trip now, or do we need to continue to experiment?

It has been quite an emotional journey for me to get to a place where I am ready to free myself from the house that has been our family home for 22 years, even though Jeremy has been ready for a new adventure for several years. (In the meantime he’s been patient as a saint devoting himself to supporting me and the girls in all of our endeavors. I feel very blessed!)

During the last month I have been deeply exploring what freedom means to me. Ultimately my oldest daughter Kloey articulated it best when I told her we were thinking of selling the house,

“Mom,” she said, “I get it. The house is like an emotional museum. So much has happened in that house, and yet it’s not right to keep it just so that we can all occasionally visit the memories.”

She helped me realize that nostalgia isn’t a reason to stay comfortable. And, I knew if I had a finite time to live, (which we all do) I wouldn’t want to spend it in LA, attached to the past. I have things to do. Experiences to have. I have to live and explore an identity beyond mom and CEO. I had to remember that in order for me get to the life I know I am meant to live, one that is still ‘beyond my wildest dreams,’ I have to let go of what is cozy and comforting; I have to be willing to experience discomfort because I know I am meant for a radical living experience.

I feel it in my bones. And so, after much soul searching, I finally feel free.

About the Author

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MARNI BATTISTA

I am Marni Battista, entrepreneur, mom of three, wife, and lover of travel. My husband and I have spent the last three years being intentional about creating a life that feels like an authentic expression of us as individuals and together. We have a mutual love of adventure, nature, peace, and freedom which has resulted in a series of experiments in honor of our desire to experience a radical living challenge! This blog represents the beginning of this journey.
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