We Sold Everything and bought an RV & Super Easy Vegan Sushi Bowl Recipe
Picture this, I am sitting on an ottoman at our dining room table in our Grand Design Solitude 310GK 35′ (well 34′ 11″ to be exact) as the rain drips inconsistently on the tin (?) roof of the slide outs, under decades old (read… HUGE!) trees “decorated” with beautiful Florida Spanish Moss. We moved into this Fifth Wheel just four weeks ago, after four months of intense purging (read selling, donating, and giving away) all of our belongings, signing the closing docs on our house, and buying the biggest pickup truck I’ve ever driven. One of our first meals in the RV was this delish and SUPER EASY VEGAN SUSHI BOWL… so stay tuned for that recipe at the end!
Starting at today doesn’t really paint the picture of how this came about. In fact, I don’t know if I can paint the picture in just one blog post, but let me give it a whirl.
Where to start
Let me build a bit of a foundation for you; I met John while we were in college. I was young, crazy, and adventurous and I had dreams of living in a beach town and driving a convertible with a large dog (can you see it?), and I knew I was leaving NY after grad school and heading south. For my small town hubby, that seemed so uncomfortable; but he stepped out of his comfort zone and came along! He moved me and all my stuff to a little apartment on Lake Norman in Cornelius, NC and then he drove the 10 hours back to St. Bonaventure University to complete his final year of school, while I started my first year of teaching fourth grade.
That first year was tough, but he visited on breaks, and we adventured – we went to Blowing Rock over Fall break and Charleston over the Christmas Break, and we took day trips around the area. We certainly caught the road trip travel bug that year, and when he moved to NC in May, we never questioned hopping in the car and driving back to NY for a visit, or out to Raleigh, or the beach or the mountains on a whim. We loved to travel and road trip together. Fun fact, we’ve both flown separately, but in the 17 years we’ve been together, we’ve never flown together, we always drive.
Our Second Move
Fast forward nine years and loads of life experiences, we decided to pick up everything, sell our condo, and head to the suburbs of Pittsburgh, PA. It was close enough for a visit to western NY but still gave us our independence.
A lot happened in PA for us. We got engaged, bought a house, adopted a 3rd cat (Eddie <3), went vegan, got married, got laid off from our jobs within a month of each other, started VegInspired, and started to talk about next steps & our future. We had purchased a townhouse, not a lot of privacy, not a lot of room for a garden, but plenty of room for our visitors when they came; in fact, we often joked it was 2/3 too big when it was just the two of us. We made lists of places we wanted to go – some places we actually did go – Chicago, Baltimore – but mostly those plans got put on the back burner for other expenses.
“One Day We Will Do That Too”
When we started the VegInspired YouTube Channel, we talked a great deal about remodeling the kitchen – giving it an update if you will. But that was all talk. One random day about three years ago, John mentioned buying land and looking at tiny houses, or small houses, or sod houses. And then he found beautiful modular homes that had incredibly beautiful kitchens. And as months passed those talks were also dreams that fizzled out. Then we stumbled upon some people traveling the country in campers – or RVs – or travel trailers – or whatever you want to call them.
We watched their adventures and experiences on YouTube, and we said, “one day! One day we will do that too.”
Like usual, life got busy; we fell in and out of habits, routines, and discussions like those passed too. And the days passed. And then life happened. Irreversible situations that trigged us questioning whether we wanted to wait for “one day” to arrive.
The Beginning of a Worthwhile Journey
On February 10, 2018, we went for the first time to look at fifth wheel RVs to “get an idea” of what we wanted. We met with an awesome salesman at Campers Inn RV in Ellwood City, PA and he listened and showed us some trailers and told us to keep in touch. He said the end of summer was the best time to buy, but to come back when it was warmer so he could open the slides and really show us around. That day was a monumental day in our decision process because that was when we stepped inside and the dreams started to become real.
On February 13, 2018, we went to look at pick up trucks. Just looking, also getting an idea of what we wanted. The dream still seemed so far away; I mean we had two Honda CRVs that we under lease agreements until Sept 2019, we couldn’t do anything right away – could we? Life continued with the dream in our hearts, but we never expected it to happen this year. “The timing just wasn’t right!”
Things in our lives started to change. VegInspired started to grow, our YouTube channel was growing, our email list was growing, our Instagram followers and engagement were increasing, and I was daily getting the itch to focus all my energy on VegInspired. I dug deeper into Food Blogger Pro and joined groups on growing our social influencer business; I took advice from the people who were where we wanted to be. We ended up in a fantastic Facebook Group which started to inspire our dreams, as many of the members were full-time RVers or camping and traveling a lot. And the reality seemed to become more apparent. We went through some life stuff -family stuff -and really started talking about life being short and “what if we did it now.”
“We are going to sell everything and move into an RV to travel the country.”
In May of 2018, we announced our plan. We told family members. It was real! That was when I started to use November 1, 2018, as my “hit the road date.” In fact, we began to talk about it a lot, daily I think. We started to tell people our dream, which in my mind was our plan. The more we talked about it, the more excited we got.
On June 23, 2018; we found our “rig” We fell in LOVE with the Grand Design Solitude 310GK. The length was perfect (under 35′). The layout was excellent, even has hook-up options for a washer and dryer. It had an island, so continuing to film VegInspired YouTube Cooking Videos would be possible and practical, and the kitchen was beautiful… so that would make an excellent backdrop.
Selling the STUFF
On July 18, 2018, we met with our Real Estate Agent to begin the sale process for our townhouse. We had not purchased the RV yet, or the truck and our house was still full of stuff! After that meeting, we had one priority… minimalize and get our stuff out of the house so she could take photos.
By August 12, 2018, our house went live on the market. All of our “possessions” were in piles in the garage, and our huge garage sale was looming. We priced everything and spent weeks taking photos of items we felt had perceived value that might be easier to sell online. I set up a facebook group and arranged our garage sale for Sept 14-15 to coincide with the neighborhood garage sale weekend.
We hadn’t purchased the RV yet, but they had some great sales in August, so we went ahead and pulled the trigger on that purchase on August 31, 2018, and arranged for storage at the dealer for 90 days. I was still focused on Nov 1, but now we had to pick that trailer up by Nov 30! WOW!
We continued to have showings and continued prepping for the last garage sale we will ever have because we both agree, experiences over stuff from now on. NO more STUFF ever! Some days were harder to part with things than others, but we knew we couldn’t keep it all. We did arrange for a 5×5 climate controlled storage for some antiques & mementos… but we didn’t want to increase that space. The stuff had to go. Let it go… liberating and scary at the same time.
$hit got REAL!
Friday, Sept 14th, we accepted an offer on our house with a tentative closing date of October 17. Then $HIT got real; really real. Fortunately, we went into our garage sale knowing we had to be out in a month. So we accepted offers and sold stuff, and told our story. It was such a fun weekend, and I am forever grateful that we did it by ourselves and could experience it because it certainly solidified our dreams of minimalism and not having STUFF – ever again! Even now we joke about purging even more as this journey continues.
As the garage sale came to a close and we still had stuff everywhere, we started boxing our items up and scheduled AmVets to pick up a large donation. We sent them with over 30 boxes of usable, good condition items, and we are so happy to have our stuff being used for charity.
Next, we focused on the furniture. Some went in the garage sale, but most of it went via Facebook Marketplace. If I ever have to sell furniture again, I will use Facebook Marketplace. I had a great experience and met some wonderful people, and overall it wasn’t so bad.
We set our moving date for October 13, and that is the day when we would pick our RV up at Camper’s Inn and tow it to the Rose Point Park campground for our “maiden voyage.” We purchased the
big enormous truck on October 11 and had the hitch installed while we did the walkthrough of the camper. It was a whirlwind weekend, picking up the truck, walking through the RV, towing the RV for the first time to our first campground and then moving our stuff into the camper. But we managed, and it was awesome. Even the cats seem to have enjoyed their first night with us (you can follow them on Instagram too @wearecampercats).
That was all four weeks ago. So much has happened in these last four weeks, but those events have to be separate blog posts because I am already over 1600 words and I really wanted to share this Super Easy Vegan Sushi Bowl recipe with you. Let me know in the comments if you like these long-form posts.
Super Easy Vegan Sushi Bowl
This is doable in a tiny kitchen, with minimal ingredients. It is super flavorful and so incredibly satisfying. We used short grain brown rice since it was closest to sushi rice texture. Sushi rice is typically very sticky, and we’ve yet to find brown rice that is that sticky, so if you want sticky white rice, pick up some sushi rice and cook according to package instructions. We prepare our rice and grains in our Aroma Rice Cooker – which “made the cut” of kitchen gear that came with us. The grains or rice turn out perfectly every time – we love it!
- short grain brown rice, cook according to package - we use our Rice Cooker
- seasoned rice vinegar - drizzle or two, (or unseasoned if you skip salt/sugar)
- shredded carrot, enough for your bowl - I like 1/4-1/2 cup per bowl
- 1/4 sliced cucumber, or more if you like
- 1/2 avocado, more or less
- sesame seeds , sprinkling
- kelp granules, or nori sheets, etc., for the "sea" taste
- soy sauce for drizzling
- Put cooked rice in the bowl, add a drizzle or two of rice vinegar
- Add all your veggies and then drizzle on soy sauce and sprinkle on sesame seeds and kelp granules/nori
Nutrition Information:Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g
We love to see your creations, and this one is so easy! Be sure to snap a pic and tag us on social media @veginspired #veginspiredfoodie.
Oh and be sure to stay tuned for RV tours, and a possibly a second channel all about our travels.
Until Next Time!