There once was a man who decided to marry a woman who did not share his joy for going outside. In fact she rather hated it. The state of the outside really wasn’t an issue, for the outside always had the potential for wind. And if by some miracle there was no wind, it was cold. And if it was neither of those things there were so many creepy crawlies that it made the woman shudder.
And if you need any clarification, that woman dear friends, is me.
When Seth initially wanted to go camping, I was like, how about let’s go to that sweet little BnB I saw. When he persisted (for a couple of years) I relented enough to be OK with a self catering in the wilderness, where we had to practically be cavemen and make our own meals every day (that’s not a holiday people. That’s just real life in a different setting). Then most recently the closest thing I’d got to camping was the glamping in Stanford.
Until a couple weekends ago, where not only did I end up camping with my husband, I did it for two nights in a row!
But what could be so important that it could illicit such a dramatic mind shift from someone so set on hating something she’d never really tried?
I’ve realised that marriage is really about bringing your two separate interests together. If you can. So by outright deciding that I’d never do that, I was being a bit of a chop. I mean the least I could do was try it and then decide I’d never do it again. But aside form that, we had a pretty good reason to give it a go…
If you haven’t been reading our newsletters, the fact that we drove all the way up to Kimberley from Cape Town to go and buy a 1978 VW Jurgens Campervan would probably have surprised you. The fact that we made it all the way home in said campervan is honestly what surprised me. But more on that next time.
So let me catch you up on how on Earth we got to this point in our lives.
What the heck are you doing?
It all started about 6 months ago when Seth had remodelled our house for the millionth time in Revit. It was finally exactly the right combination of all the things we wanted. Space to entertain and somewhere that we could imagine growing old comfortably in. A true family home you know – one that the kids come back to over Christmas and what not. I want that. But obviously we can’t afford to do massive renovations right now. In fact we can’t do any. We’re not loaded.
So then the obvious next step was to start looking at tiny houses.
I know right, I was confused to. From wanting to renovate and extend etc, Seth had come to realise that we have too much and we take it for granted. So instead of going bigger and better, what about challenging ourselves to be more content with what we have. What about scaling right down and living out of a tiny house in our garden while we rent out the main house to someone else.
I’m sure you could predict my reaction. It was pretty much like this
But the man had a point. We do have too much and we do take it for granted. Our lives are so busy and we really just wanted to take a bit of time to spend it together as a family. To teach our kids to live with less.
Then the idea evolved a little… OK a lot.
What if instead of trying to be completely ridiculous, we just got slightly ridiculous. It’s not something that happened overnight. Seth obsessed over it for months. We had regular chats about it to see where we were at and I think mostly so that Seth could test how far he could push me haha. We went through a few phases.
Idea 1: What about building our very own tiny house on the top of a trailer of some sort? Seth designed SO many great options for this (you can check out his insta for a walk through video of one here – it’s post 4 and 5) Immediate problem? Money to build said tiny house, getting it approved to be on the road and having to buy a monster car to be able to pull this massive trailer. Oh and probably having to change Seth’s license.
Idea 2: What about a caravan that we completely gut and redo. Immediate problem? Still probably having to upgrade our car. And well, caravans just don’t really do it for us that much. We’re not sure why.
Idea 3: What about a campervan? Immediate problem? Um, well, um, we couldn’t think of one. Then we saw Optimus advertised in Douglas, Kimberley and we just knew he was the one. He was just so perfectly retro and adorable. I love that everything is all together in one space.
So we hired a car and blitzed up to Kimberley
It was obviously a bit of a gamble. We could have gotten there to a rotten piece of crap but Optimus was in the very best condition that we could ask for.
The owner was the sweetest and most wonderful seller we could ask for. He gave Seth some driving lessons and they fed us homemade koeksusters and coffee before we sealed the deal. Even when we got stuck an hour away from him home the following morning, he came out to help us and get us on our way.
He was everything we imagined and more…
So we bought him!
More on our first trip driving him from Kimberley to Cape Town in another post. For now I’ll leave you with the rather long video of us getting from Cape Town to Kimberley. And you can check out the #Alfreenos tag on Instagram or follow along on our new account for Optimus’ transformation and future journeys (more personal stories will still be on my personal Instagram)
More pictures of us getting to know the new member of our family who likes to take it slow. But the video gives a much better intro.