Simple Life RVing: Phase 1

How To Live ‘The Good Life’ in a Car, Truck, Van, Bus, Boat, RV, etc. 
 
 
Phase 1 – Full-Time RVing – A New Mindset
 
Within the next year (more like 6 months), I am preparing to go #FullTimeRVing around the U.S.. You guys know I am famous for creating initiatives, projects, and movements, but this is going to be my new permanent #Lifestyle for me. 
 
In order to prepare and encourage myself for my new lifestyle, it was important to place a map of the U.S. on my wall. As you will learn many RVers will also have a map of the U.S. in their vehicles. So this did nothing but encourage me to keep moving into the direction of my dreams. 
 
Most of you know that I am a stickler for setting goals. I set daily, weekly, monthly, 6 months, 1 year, 3 years, and 5-year goals around — 1) My Health, 2) My Family/Financial Life, and 3) My Business/Career. That’s how I have been able to stay on track in my life.
 
All of you know I love doing things in phases especially Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3. Okay, welcome to Phase 1 of a new idea and lifestyle to bring even more happiness into my life. 
 
These are my Phases as I see them:
  • Phase 1: Getting the Mindset of Going Full-Time RVing. 
  • Phase 2: Finding the Perfect RV.
  • Phase 3: Packing the RV and Getting On the Road.
Phase 1 is simply having that thought pattern and mindset with a PLAN OF ACTION how you will proceed forward. I will be #SwitchingGears and continuing to run my Empowerment and Publishing Company, AngelsPress.com, from the road but many of my teachings will be embracing the #MinimalistLifestyle and teaching RVers how to stay healthy and start businesses on the road — through mostly videos.  
 
Therefore, I won’t take time out of my schedule to write a weekly or monthly e-newsletter, but I will be posting regularly to my NEW BLOG “Simple Life RVing” (SimpleLifeRVing.com), which will feature videos on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Periscope and Youtube. Eventually, I will start another podcast on the road. 
 
I have been able to publish some great products on my website over the years, so basically you need to keep going there to look for some great products and services and share this info with your family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues.  
 
Unlike my One Year On The Road journey in 2013 when I traveled by car for one year to 15 states holding seminars and workshops, this time I will document the entire journey as I also interview others that have chosen to live a #MinimalistLifestyle in their Cars, Trucks, Vans, Buses, Boats, RVs, etc.  
 
The Marie Konda Effect – #Minimalism
 
I am currently living in Orlando, FL in a Studio/Efficiency apartment so everything I currently own besides a couple of tables for my books and computer and my bed, fits in my car so going #FullTimeRVing will be a breeze for me to downsize even further, especially after watching “Tidying Up” with Marie Kondo on Netflix. 
 
Marie is kind of a ‘folk hero’ in the minimalist community. Many of the books on Full-Time RV Living mention her teachings and many folks have adopted these, which has helped them adapt to Full-Time RVing. She said, “Americans have too much stuff and if the things you have don’t SPARK JOY, get rid of them.” It sounds pretty logical to me.
 
I really don’t want to have to pay for a storage unit, which can cost up to $90 a month (climate-controlled) or can run close to $1000 a year, so hopefully, I can leave some of my really sentimental items like pictures, old yearbooks, etc., with my two daughters in their ‘sticks and bricks’ homes. 
 
Some people get storage units and never come back to them so it doesn’t make sense to pay a storage fee if you are living Full-Time RVing. It’s best to get rid of everything and use the funds on the road. 
 
Hopefully, I can find an RV that will fit my bed. I don’t need much just an area to film videos, work in my business, prepare a simple and natural diet, and rest when I get tired. Like most Full-Time RVers, I will be living my life OUTSIDE of the RV. 
 
I originally bought the bed because I had a hard time healing my shoulder that I hurt at CampGladiator.com when I lived in Texas, so I realized that investing in a better bed was what I needed to continue to stay healthy as I AGED GRACEFULLY and now my shoulder seems to be totally healed. So it was a great decision! 
 
Life Can Be An Adventure
 

My entire life has been an adventure so far and I am really enjoying myself. Just some of the things that I look at as adventures in my life include:

  • Surviving my childhood as a Black Sheep Child.
  • Going into the military and traveling to different places.
  • Getting married and having two daughters. 
  • Going to work for the federal government after the military.
  • Working on the El Paso, TX border as a black female.
  • Working and living in sunny Miami for 5 years.
  • Leaving Atlanta after 20 years and traveling around the country by car to 15 states in 2013
  • Getting back to nature and growing foods for an entire year in my backyard in Austin, TX.
Your life can definitely be an adventure. According to Dr. G, Medical Examiner, from the Investigation Discovery Channel and the author of the book “How Not To Die,”
most of the people who end up dead on her slab are white males in their 40s, who are #DareDevils.
 
So know up front at the age of 62, I am not trying to climb mountains or jump out of planes. My adventures are simple — to simply create a life that I can truly love and encourage others around me to do the same.  
 
Growing Up Living “The Good Life”
 
Growing up my mother loved old western pictures with Randolph Scott and I guess you can say her love for these types of pictures also rubbed off on me. I was always
fascinated with how folks used to travel across the desert by covered wagons, hoping to make it to California, Oregon, and other areas so they could claim their share of land to homestead on and live “The Good Life.”  
 
This is my fourth time living in the state of Florida. I have also lived in Tallahassee, Miami, Tampa and now Orlando. When I always used to travel around the country or when I was on my way to Florida, I was always so intrigued by all the RVs that I saw on the road. 
 
I always remarked to myself, “What a life to live like that!” But I never knew that people were actually living these FULL-TIME LIVES in an RV or that I too could do this. It just wasn’t something I contemplated at the time. 
 
As I prepare for another BIG ADVENTURE in my life, #FullTimeRVing, I want all of you to have a front seat. Not only do I want all of you to dig deep within your hearts and minds, but I want you to realize that you too can have a life full of adventures, which I also call “The Good Life.” To achieve this good life, you need to be willing to live a “Simple Life RVing” (SimpleLifeRVing.com).
 
Many people have different definitions for “The Good Life.” Looking back on my life growing up, I was indeed living “The Good Life.” I grew up with 8 siblings in rural Georgia very underprivileged in a house on our farm that did not even have running water until much, much later. I remember taking baths in round tin foot tubs back in the day.
 
I had to get in the water after my 2 sisters and my 3
younger brothers after me. This meant we had to go outside to use the bathroom during the day. At night my father had a big bucket in a patio room, where he would 
put some type of dissolvent to keep the smell down, but during the day, we went to the “outhouse.” 
 
Coming up I lived in fear my entire childhood that I would get bit on the butt by a snake. This of course never happened, but there were many, many snakes on our farm. These are the types of things that were just a part of my life growing up.  
 
We were not only minimalists back in my day, but we were HAPPY and HEALTHY #Minimalists and I  have wanted to live this type of lifestyle ever since. So unlike a lot of people today, I know first-hand that getting back to minimalism is a #DoableLifestyle because I have been there and done that. 
 
We lived “A Simpler Life” and everything we ate came from the land — from our farm. I never remember going to a doctor as a child, simply because of the natural and healthy way we lived. GMOs did not exist until the late 80s (or sooner), so back then we really were in a position to live “The Good Life.” 
 
My Roots and Nature Are Calling Me Again
 
I know I need to get BACK TO NATURE because that is when I was mostly at peace in my life. Sure there were obstacles back then that you had to deal with because you had no other options, but still, it did not take away from the fact, that my childhood was truly living “The Good Life.”
 
I feel so blessed to have been in a position to live as a homesteader for the first 17 years of my life. At that time to get away from abusive family members especially my mother, as a Black Sheep Child, I would go and sit in nature and look at the beautiful scenery and talk to my echo amongst the trees and sky.
 
I would tell myself “If you can just hang on in there, then my life would be worthy.” So that was one of the first promises I made to myself and every day I have strived to make that a reality. 
 
I do this by continuing to walk on a path of goodness and grace for my family and fellow man, without having a wicked or evil bone in my body. I made myself a promise that I would not just live a “worthy life,” but I would also live a beautiful life, both inside and out. And I would help those around me do the same.  
 
Today people have been so consumed with
“consumerism” to the point that many can’t get off the grid or even downsize and become a minimalist
simply because they just want things, in many cases #ShinyThings. And what’s so unfortunate because they desire all these #ShinyThings (#Materialism), they ignore the one thing that really counts – #TheirHealth.
 
Rent is the #BigEnemy – no doubt. I am not saying give up your dream of owning a big beautiful house in the suburb with that gated fence and 2 and a half children, but if your health and well-being have suffered because you continuously try to keep up with the #Joneses, then there are OTHER OPTIONS out there. 
 
People put themselves through stress to have a job. Houses, condos, townhouses, duplexes, and apartments are traps that we fall into. The average American spends 47% of their TAKE HOME PAY for a roof over their head.
 
So if you can knock out that 47% and become #FullTimeRVers or even live in a Car, Truck, Van, Bus, Boat, etc., just think how great you can live and how you can see all the beautiful sites, make great friends along the way and have access to all the ORGANIC FOODS you want. This is truly living “The Good Life.” 
 

The other biggie is #MedicalCare so if you were in the military, you get that for free. For others, many RVers are living on $400, $500 and/or $1000 a month (#ChallengeYourself) so it takes discipline to live on that, but again it’s doable.

There are OTHER OPTIONS out there for anyone who fit into these categories. Is that you? 
  • You are struggling to pay your rent or mortgage every month.
  • You are living from PAYCHECK to PAYCHECK.
  • Your job is making you sick.
  • You don’t know if you can make it until retirement.
Why People Go Back To The “Rat Race”
Everyone needs to simply ask themselves, “What is it that they really enjoy in life? Can it be talking to a friend or camping in a beautiful place with a beautiful view? You can get all of that by embracing the #MinimalistLifestyle and learn to live in your RV or another vehicle full-time. 
 
Some people have been humbled in their lives with #CurveBalls. They have been forced to live with very little because they were laid off from their jobs or had to deal with some type of injury or illness. Many times this happened because they were working in high pressured jobs, where they were treated poorly by their superiors. 
 
As soon as they found another job or got better, they went back and got back into the #RatRace because they had no other ACTION PLAN for their lives. But now they do! However, many people who embrace the #MinimalistLifestyle and/or get off the grid, do give up their freedom and return. 
 
Once you win your freedom, many people go back to #RatRace because they never learned how to generate “meaning” in their lives. What you need to do is generate “meaning” in your life. Once you get FREE  meaning is the thrill of personal evolution. You can feel it in yourself.
 
Personal evolution is a change of perspective and a shifting view of yourself in the world and your role in the world and in your life. It is finding ways to adapt to life and to improve the way you handle relationships and situations. 
 
To evolve means you develop a deepening self-awareness and constant improvement of your skills and natural abilities. It is the ability to create your life in accordance with your unique vision. 
 
Whatever we do all of us have a feedback loop in our lives. Whatever we focus on we create little pathways to go into that direction. After a while, it gets deeper and deeper into your subconscious until it just happens automatically. Whatever is good about people they engineer it in their minds and this is how they create “meaning” in their lives. 
 
Be a Better Person and Get Out of a Rut
 
You set out on this new life and journey — RVing around the country with the idea you are going to become a better person. You are going to live “A Simple Life,” which is also “The Good Life.” You are going to have fun. 
 
And remember just a little adventure makes you hungrier for more and more. After a while, you learn how to adventure  very cheaply so this lifestyle can work for many people. The old person that you used to be will go away. 
 
Society defines how we live but if we can get out of the rut and BE FREE, there is a whole world out there. Many of these RVers have changed and they will never be the same again. Many people think it’s their connection to nature. I believe that’s what it is also.
 
Many RVers believe a “disconnect from nature” or “disconnection from nature” has a part in who we are. You have to have a personal desire to change and become a new person. 
 
The people that you have around you can enrich you amazingly so this is why it’s always important to have GOOD PEOPLE around you. Get #CoDreamers, people who can help you make your visions come true. 
 
Know that there are so many, many benefits to going Full-Time RVing and that you have made a GOOD CHOICE. Every single person that lives Full-Time in their RVs or are Van Dwellers or live in REBUILT cars, buses, boats, horse trailers, etc., has lost weight, been able to tone their bodies and now have a RENEWED ENERGY about life.
 
When you live in nature, you just automatically become more active and that means burning more calories. So not only will you be getting healthier along the way, you will be saving money on top of it. 
 
Full-Time RVing Lifestyle
 
There is no job security anymore. We are all just one or two decisions away from a MAJOR CHANGE in our lives, which include:
  • Loss of a Job
  • Loss of Health
  • Loss of a Relationship

Many are charmed by the living FullTime RV lifestyle and what they are doing is creating their ideal communities.

What would it take for a person today to head out on the road and never work again? Well if you have some type of paycheck (retirement, Social Security, disability, etc.) coming in, then you can do this very easily. For others, there are all types of workamp jobs, amazon jobs and remote jobs from the road. 

You can live cheap and invent ways to make money on the road. It is possible to get on the road and make a living. Many just use the internet and do jobs like counseling on skype, bookkeeping from the road, writing books, conducting training, etc., — the sky is the limit! 
 
Prepare For The Journey
 
Figure out which RV you can afford. Part of the

enjoyment is the participation. People are going to think you are crazy. It’s not about you. It’s about them so don’t listen to  naysayers.

If you have reservations about RVing full-time in the U.S., then rent or borrow an RV and make a long trip and see what you think about it. Also, try to visit local RV repair shops to learn about typical problems with RVs. 
 
Read about living in RVs from online forums and visit campgrounds to get a feel for living in them. Watch Youtube.com videos, read books, talk to others who are already doing it. If you are unhappy with your life — JUST DO IT — #TransitionNow to #FullTimeRVing. 
 
What’s holding you back from living “The Good Life?”Tell your adult children you are leaving and going full-time on the road. They can stay with a friend or another family member, and/or get a roommate. If you have young kids, they can learn online as you travel on the road.
 
If you have a home start packing up things and have a garage sale every week. Many RVers downsize and just end up turning their homes over to their adult children, but their children must be committed to maintaining EVERY ASPECT of the home or Full-Time RVers should sell these homes outright.    
 
You don’t have to be “debt-free” to become an RVer. Figure the debt into your budget. You can do it sooner than you think. Conduct…Research, Research, Research. Get the smallest RV, but check reviews on make and model and get on a facebook group for that model and remember size does matter.
 
This is “The Good Life.” If people can GET FREE, they will discover what fascinates them. Remember everyone has some type of skill or talent, which is of value to others.
 
Discover your fascination, wake up your creativity and share yourself on the road. This can be done very cheaply. Freedom is so wonderful! There are really fine people out there on the road that live the life with you. 
 
Most people said they have more friends RVing on the road than when they lived in houses, condos, duplexes, apartments, etc. so remember because of GMOs, which turns the brain off, many people don’t even speak to each other anymore in ‘bricks and stick’ homes and many RVers are eating even healthier on the road because they are saving money. 
 
Took Sick To Travel – #GetBetter
 
I suggest you start planning and if you are not healthy enough to come out on the road, then #GetBetter by living a HOLISTIC and NATURAL lifestyle. Before I embarked on my One Year On the Road Journey in 2013, I had to get better and stronger and that I did because I really wanted that experience in my life. That was the beginning of creating the life that I could truly love. 
 
Resources for Full-Time RVing
 
There are so many books on Amazon.com, the world’s largest book website, and other book websites and in stores and libraries to help you transition into this type of lifestyle. 
 
Just some of my favorite books that are helping me prepare for my journey include:
One of my favorite websites that can help you prepare for a #FullTimeRVingLifestyle or living in a Car, Truck, Van, Bus, Boat, etc. include:
There are always RVers in facebook forums, who can answer all your RV questions so check them out day and night at: 
Or join a Van Dweller’s group on facebook if you rather just save even more money and live in a Van: 
Major Yearly RV Events:
 
Google RV shows and start attending RV shows near you or just go to RV dealerships or attend Vandwellers events. Vandwelling, a portmanteau of the words “van” and “dwelling”, is a lifestyle of living full- or part-time in a vehicle, typically a van that has been modified with basic amenities, such as house batteries, solar panels, a bed platform, some form of toilet, sink and storage space.
 
If you have the money to purchase an RV or another vehicle outright, start looking on facebook marketplace, eBay and Craigslist to buy an RV from a personal seller. 
 
Go into a period of study to see if this minimalist lifestyle, vandweller’s lifestyle and/or #RVingLifestyle around the country can work for you. What do you have to lose?
 
Remember you can always move back in a ‘sticks and brick’ home or apartment again later on, so it’s not like you are losing anything. Just don’t forget to #Live, #Love and #EnjoyTheJourney along the way. Good luck!
 
Cathy Harris is a soon to be a Full-Time RVer living the good life and her blog website is www.SimpleLifeRVing.com. She is also an Empowerment and Motivational Speaker, Advice Columnist at DearCathy.com, Non-GMO Health and Wellness Expert, Business and Love Coach and Self-Publishing Expert and the author of 26 non-fiction books at www.AngelsPress.com. Her books covers topics such as family and community empowerment, health, youth and adult entrepreneurship, writing/publishing, workplace discrimination, whistleblowing, government, law enforcement, domestic and international traveling, politics, media, beauty, car buying and selling for women, aging/retirement – just to name a few. She offers seminars, workshops and consultations at www.CathyHarrisInternational.com.

Living The Tiny House and Minimalist Movement

At 62 both my daughters want to make sure I am okay as I go into my golden years. After all, that’s why many people have kids in the first place – right? After speaking to both my daughters on the 2018 Thanksgiving holiday by phone, they have really given me some great ideas.
 
I raised my daughters to think logically so all 3 of us kind of tag team ideas off each other. I am seriously thinking about becoming a Minimalist and going off the grid and moving into a “Tiny House.” 
 
When you call a person a Minimalist, you’re describing their interest in keeping things very simple. A  Minimalist prefers the minimal amount or degree of something. But anyone who likes things very simple could be called a  Minimalist.
 
I am currently living in a Studio/Efficiency Senior apartment building in Orlando, FL, but since everyone smokes cigarettes, I will definitely have to move after my one year lease is up. 
 
But because I moved into such a small space, it actually gave me the idea to think about “Tiny Home” living. However, this is not the smallest space that I have lived before. In 2014, I rented out a room at a big house in Tampa, FL for $450 (with everything included Rent, Wi-Fi, Electricity, Gas, Water). I was there for 6 months.
 
I am at the very early, early, early stages of conducting my own research so this title of “Tiny Homes” might come up now and then, while I work on other projects and ideas for my listening audience, especially going into the New Year. 
 
The Pros and Cons of Tiny House Living
 
Remember a “Pro” is something good and you should move forward, but a “Con” is a reason to stop and rethink your idea. 
 
The first “Pro” I can think of is I would save tons of money so instead of driving all around the country as I do now, I should be able to afford to hop on a plane and fly and #Teach. 
 
However, I love the freedom of driving a vehicle and seeing the gorgeous countryside and I can put all my 18 non-fiction books in my car. It would be expensive to try to take books with me on planes so I would have to mail my books ahead of my events.
 
My second “Pro” is I will be in a position to grow my own foods again as I did in Austin, TX for an entire year when I had 3 raised bed gardens. The fact that ALL MY NUMBERS (cholesterol levels, blood pressure, blood glucose, tricyclerides, and other important numbers) were always at their lowest when I was growing foods in my own backyard, just tells me this is the lifestyle that I should be embracing. 
 
I might not get there over the next year or two, but eventually, I will try my best to get back to growing my own foods again and becoming a Minimalist.
 

The first “Con” right off the bat that I can think of is it will be isolated where I will place the “Tiny House”, on 30.5 acres where my 3 brothers already live, which is a very, rural area. 

Being isolated this would mean I would probably be living in a “food desert” and would not have access to good, clean organic foods until I was in a position to grow these foods myself.
 
The second “Con” is I am not even sure if I want to live on the land where I grew up as a “Black Sheep” child, even though my Mom and Dad is no longer alive. So this might just be something I do in the future. 
 
Will a Tiny House Be Too Small For Me?
 
I am currently single, but dating, and don’t need a lot of space for what I am trying to do with my life. When I left Atlanta in 2013, I actually became a Minimalist and cut down on things. The hardest thing I ever had to do was to give my paperback books away. 
 
Before going on the road for an entire year in my vehicle, with my Empowerment Seminars
 and Workshops, and putting what was left of my life in a storage container in Atlanta, I purged and downsized many material things from my life.
 
This level of thinking and action plan brought so much happiness into my life.  My last mate was very materialistic. He had 8 vehicles including 2 brand new Mercedes, a brand new truck, and put all his money into his home. 
 
He rebuilt the home from the ground up and bought all this expensive furniture, had every electronic device you could think of, had put several 60 inch widescreen TVs in several rooms, put in new countertops and floors, redid all the bathrooms and had just finished building a $45,000 sunroom — two weeks before I left.  
 
At the end of the day, he put garbage (GMO processed foods) into his body so it was making him sick and angrier and he was on tons of medications. He put materialistic things before gaining access to good, clean, organic foods, so I knew from the very beginning of our relationship, we weren’t compatible.
 
Many women would have been really impressed with all his material things, but not me. What is the use of having all these nice things if you are not feeling great and can’t spring out of your bed every day? What’s the use of having these big gorgeous homes, if you are too sick to enjoy them? 
 
And I certainly don’t want to be like many women today, especially single women, who live in these big sad homes with all these bills, unable to buy good, clean organic foods or do all types of exciting and adventurous things with their lives because they are tied to their homes. 
 
I never wanted that to be my story.
As I drove around the country  in 2016 and went up north to 8 cities to hold events, I saw tons 
of these beautiful homes with big  attractive lawns and the occupants of these homes were too sick to even walk outside to the mailboxes. 
 
Again, I never wanted that to be my story.  I always wanted to be as free as I can — able to get up and go at the drop of a button.  I don’t know what the future holds for me, but for now, I know that a “Tiny House” would be ideal for me. 
 
I can imagine if you tried to live in these “Tiny Houses” with another person and especially an animal, you would have to ask yourself, would there be enough space. 
 
So I am leaving my options open and if I desire to team up with another mate, significant other, partner or husband in the future and need a bigger place, we could always rent out the “Tiny House” or turn it into an AirBnB.com .
 
RVs and Trailers vs. “Tiny Houses”
 
One of my daughters said if I got a RV it would work like a  “Tiny House”, but I told her I did not want to get a RV or Mobile Home/Trailer because they were made out of “unhealthy” material (I thought). 
 
And this is why I never bought or rented an RV to drive around the country to give my events, instead, I chose to drive my car and stay at Extended Stay and other hotels, and with family and friends for an entire year.
 
A  Mobile Home  (also trailer, trailer home, house trailer, static caravan, residential caravan) is a prefabricated structure, built in a factory on a permanently attached chassis before being transported to site (either by being towed or on a  trailer).
 
We learned that during Katrina when they put many families in Mobile Homes/Trailers, many ended up sick from the material the Trailer is made out of. 
 
But she argued with me and said an RV is made out of different material than a Trailer, so my next move is to visit RV, Mobile Home/Trailer and “Tiny House” showcases, go on Google.com and YouTube.com and conduct more research and even sign up for “Tiny House Workshops,” where I will probably have to travel to another city.
 
Your Biggest Issues – Zoning and County Codes
 
Zoning and county codes will be different in each county. So one person in one county can get away with placing a “Tiny House” on a property and another person in the next county over might be told no they cannot place a “Tiny House” on their property. Some will need more convincing so don’t give up.
 
I know the zoning and coding issue will be a BIG ISSUE because many of these county offices, do their best to prevent families, especially black families, from putting dwellings on these family lots (family farms, etc.) so that the families can eventually sell the land. 
 
Our farm, or should I say our land, where we had a family farm when I was a child, is zoned as an agriculture property (30.5 acres), which means we can grow foods there. 
 
But when we contacted the county office (my 8 siblings and I) a few years ago when my Mom died and left the land to us, (my father had died 25 years earlier), we thought we would be able to split the land between all 9 of us.
 
But the county office said we could only split each lot up 5 ways instead of 9 ways (5 lots instead of 9 lots).  Again, this is done, so that families cannot and won’t end up homesteading on these lands again and allow other family members to move onto these lands. 
 
This is one of the biggest tactics that the government uses to keep control of YOUR LAND. So again, you have got to fight with these county offices, if you are serious about putting a “Tiny Home” on your property.
 
They are hoping families get discouraged and give up and just sell the land. And as soon as families fail to pay yearly taxes on the land, the government will grab the land. This happens all the time, especially to black families.
 
First Step Before You Go Too Far
 
Before going too far in your “Tiny House” planning, try to meet with the city planning staff or county zoning office or call them on the phone and make sure you are even allowed to put a “Tiny House” on your property.  
 
If you are not allowed to put a “Tiny House”on your land, and you still want to live in a”Tiny House”, then look around for other lots where you can put this dwelling.  For instance, the homes of families and friends or just go out and buy other land or just take these “Tiny Houses” on the road with you.
 
Reach Out To “Tiny House” Builders Before You Go Too Far
 
You have to fight to have these “Tiny Houses” put on your property. The gas, electricity, water, and sewage will be set up like a regular home. 
 
Remember many of the “Tiny House” builders will specialize in different styles, shapes, and prices of “Tiny Houses.” So reach out to several of these “Tiny House” builders — even others from other states. 
 
One “Tiny House” builder said he only offer homes from around $45,000, which are 28 to 34 ft., however, he is building a cheaper “Tiny House” version over the next year that will run from $30,000 and up, which will be the same size at 28 to 34 ft., but will offer the bare minimum, for instance the house might not come with a loft, oven, bathtub, etc. 
 
According to a “Tiny House” builder out of Atlanta, since the “Tiny House” will be permanently affixed with steel to the ground, where they will remove it off the wheels (but can put it back on wheels to be moved to another location), it is call a “Modular On-Frame House” and these “Tiny Homes” can last a 100 years. 
 
Therefore, it can sustain any type of rough weather that you experience, since it will be permanently affixed to the ground.  So when talking to your county office, the zoning department, tell them it is a “Modular On-Frame House” and ask them how many square feet is the “Tiny House” required to have for the county. 
 
There is a difference between an On-Frame and Off-Frame Modular Home. Off-frame modular homes are lifted off the transportation carriers by a crane and placed on a foundation. On-frame modular homes have a permanent steel beam chassis and are built to state and local building codes instead of Federal HUD Codes.
 
The maximum square footage for many of the “Tiny House” is from 550 square feet. You might have to go by the zoning office and show them a picture of the “Tiny House” or drive it there in person so they can understand that it is built to state and local building codes instead of Federal HUD codes. 
 
If they tell you that the usual 550 sq. ft is too small and tell you the home need to be at least 1230 square feet, as they told me, if you already have other dwellings (houses) on the land or property, ask if you can put the “Tiny House” there next to the other properties as an “Alternative Dwelling Unit (ADU)” .
 
If they still say “No,” tell them you want to put 3 “Tiny Houses” on your property and use them as Airbnb.com rentals. And see what they say then. 
 
So again, try to work with the “Tiny House” builders and realtors that specialize in selling “Tiny Houses” so you can come up with the right wording for your county zoning offices. But don’t give up! 
 
You might even need to help change the laws in your county by running for office yourself — so conduct research before you get your hopes up of putting a “Tiny House” on your property, a family members’ or friends’ property or even before you purchase any land.
 
What Cities Are Embracing the “Tiny House” Movement?
 
The “Tiny House” movement is fairly new and there are tons of these communities springing up all over the country, where you can just go and set your “Tiny House”  for FREE. Other places like RV’s and Mobile Home parks will charge you a monthly fee.
 
States like California, where housing is too expensive and the homeless population is out of control is embracing the “Tiny House” movement. Plus these “Tiny Houses” do really great in warm weather.
 
In Colorado, where occupants must go on a WAITING LIST to find housing, the “Tiny House” movement is extremely important. Colorado, as with other states, “Tiny Houses” often fall into a grey area in the law. 
 
More often than not, a “Tiny House” on wheels will be classified as an RV in Colorado.  Whether a “Tiny House” is legal in your backyard will depend primarily on local zoning regulations. 
 
Cities like Atlanta that have TOO MANY BUILDERS and TOO MANY VACANT HOMES, probably won’t embrace the “Tiny House” movement like other cities. So again conduct your own research. 
 
“Tiny House Workshops”
 
Personally, as a female I am not trying to build a  “Tiny House”  so if you are unsatisfied with the current  “Tiny House” builders, many are offering classes to build your own. 
 
Keep in mind that you can’t buy a USED “Tiny House” because they don’t exist. There is not a market for USED “Tiny Houses” because once people have these made to their standards or make them their own selves, no one gives these back.
 
There has been a lot of hearings on these “Tiny Houses,” especially from builders of “Tiny Houses.” Many are saying that when they build they are putting toilets in with showers, and they should not do this so there is a lot of specifications and codes that have changed since the  “Tiny House” 
movement first came on the scene.
 
Pay attention. Black people are the last aboard and the last to reap the benefits of any new movement — so pay attention to the “Tiny House Movement” and become a “Tiny Home” builder yourself. 
If we are ever going to tackle the homeless problem in this country, the “Tiny House” movement is certainly a way to look at long-term options. Good luck!
 
Cathy Harris is a soon to be a Full-Time RVerliving the good life and her blog website is www.SimpleLifeRVing.com. She is also an Empowerment and Motivational Speaker, Advice Columnist at DearCathy.com, Non-GMO Health and Wellness Expert, Business and Love Coach and Self-Publishing Expert and the author of 26 non-fiction books at www.AngelsPress.com. Her books covers topics such as family and community empowerment, health, youth and adult entrepreneurship, writing/publishing, workplace discrimination, whistleblowing, government, law enforcement, domestic and international traveling, politics, media, beauty, car buying and selling for women, aging/retirement – just to name a few. She offers seminars, workshops and consultations at www.CathyHarrisInternational.com.

My Year On The Road: How I Found True Happiness

Article Originally Written Jan. 8, 2014

By CathyHarrisInternational.com

At 57 years old, I count my blessings every day and feel really blessed on how my life has turned out – so far.  I have had a lot of successes in my life such as two daughters graduating with Master’s Degrees and are now business owners; I helped protect black women international travelers from my co-workers when I became a federal whistleblower; I won my discrimination lawsuit against my job and retired at the age of 48; I started my own empowerment and publishing company in 2005 and now have 20 books released and offer some of the best self-improvement seminars and workshops in the country; and now — I spent one year on the road traveling, building my company, AngelsPress.com, and living my dreams – just to name a few.  Can it really get better than this?

Change brings about happiness in your life, but why are so many people afraid of change? Last year in December 2012, I decided to purge my life of things which I realized would allow me more energy to focus more on what really mattered in my life.  

I realized the reason I had been so successful in my life, so far, was that I was never materialistic. So purging my life of things was easy for me and it allowed me to move even closer to my dreams.

Some people need things to validate their lives (beautiful homes, beautiful cars, beautiful clothes, etc.) and they rather spend valuable money to get these things while they ignore the one and the most important thing in their lives – THEIR HEALTH.  

Many people live their lives eating bad foods — feeling sick, sluggish and run-down. They are surrounded by beautiful things that they can’t really enjoy because they ignore their health. Many are empty inside because they have nothing of value to offer the world and I never wanted that to be my story.

After my daughter’s car was stolen from in front of my place when she visited me in Atlanta, GA and after I experienced two attempted car thieves in my area myself, I realized my neighborhood wasn’t what it use to be and it was time for me to move on or out of that area. When neighborhoods go bad, it’s just time to move on. I had never lived around crime and I was not about to start now – not during my Golden Years!

Not only did I move out of the area, I decided to move out of the city totally. What I was preparing to do with my life was bigger than Atlanta and it needed to be shared with the world. And because of this decision, I was able to manifest even more joy and happiness into my life by moving even closer to my dreams.

Traveling has always been a dream of mine. After all, that’s why I had joined the military years ago. Because I was in my 50s, I realized I still had 40% of my productive life left still left ahead of me so I realized it was time to take the steps necessary to find even more happiness in my life.

Because of purging my life of things and concentrating on what I really needed and wanted for my life, I was able to make the following dreams come true: 

  • I was able to see the country by creating a humanitarian tour”Cathy Harris Humanitarian Tour” and traveled by car to 15 states.
  • I was able to meet some of the people that I had been networking with on the internet for 10 to 15 years.
  • I was able to build my business, AngelsPress.com, by building my audience with my empowerment lectures, seminars, and workshops.
  • I was able to release a line of empowerment non-fiction easy-to-read e-books and paperback books for the entire family, which can be read by 12-year-olds and above. 

To purge my life and get on the road — it really wasn’t that hard. To get on the road as a Speaker, Author, and Coach, you have to be healthy; eat healthy foods along the way; get regular exercise along the way; have a good running car; have a GPS; figure out where you will stay (family, friends, extended stay hotels, etc); and set up events.

I had dreamed 5 years earlier about getting on the road. I visualized it but there was a lot of obstacles in my way. I had these terrific friends that I could not leave. My mom was elderly and I knew if I left Georgia, I probably would not see her again – plus I was also unhealthy.

After becoming housebound and bedridden in 2007, and self-educating myself on how the human body works, I became a Holistic and Natural Health and Wellness Expert and launched the “National Non-GMO Health Movement” and wrote a line of health books about my experience.  

Once I got healthy and after my friends and mom had passed on, it was just time for me to do what I truly wanted to do with my life. However, had I gotten on the road 5 years earlier, I would not have had access to all the great information that my company now offers especially the health seminars and the line of empowerment products. 

What was really one of my determining factors that made me realize now was the time to make my life-long dream come true of getting on the road was  — after reading the book “Eat Right 4 Your Type.”  

The book was the icing on the cake for me and it helped me reach my maximum level of health and I eventually came up with my own wellness program “Cathy Harris 12 Steps to Wellness Programs,” which are the 12 chapters (12 steps) in my first health book How To Take Control of Your Own Life: A Self-Help Guide to Becoming Healthier Over the Next 30 Days (Series 3).”

Once I read the book and implemented the changes and started eating foods for my blood type, within a matter of days, I had a major surge of energy. Because I was eating good food, not only did I get a surge in energy, but my brain even worked better which allowed me to come up with my own plan of action to make my dreams come true.

Next, I sat down and compiled a list of every city that I wanted to visit and the people that I had been networking with over the years on the internet that I just had to meet.  

I then looked at my living arrangements and since I had a relative in the Detroit area, I decided to go there first because of all the cities in the U.S., the city of Detroit had major issues, but I knew my company could make a difference with our line of empowerment lectures, seminars, and workshops.

So on Jan. 2, 2013, I sat out on my journey to make my life-long dreams come true of being a Speaker, Author, and Coach on the road and because of this — I loved every minute of it.  

The scenery was absolutely beautiful along the way especially from Youngstown, OH to New York. The green trees looked like the trees in the movie “Gorillas in the Mist.” Sometimes the horizon ahead was so blue it looked like you were driving into an ocean but it was just the sky meeting the ground.   

And what about the color of the trees around Halloween and Thanksgiving – the bright red, orange and yellow colors. I had never seen anything so beautiful in my life. All of it made me think of my home in Georgia and I thought about how lucky I was to have spent the first 17 years of my life as a homesteader – working the land.  

Even though the city of Detroit was extremely cold and it looked like a wasteland, in my neighborhood outside of Detroit, the view of the snow looked like a beautiful postcard. You just have to learn to see the beauty in everything.  

I was raised in Georgia in the south, 2 hours outside of Atlanta, and had never in my life lived in snowy cold weather except when I was in Germany in the military in the 80s. I had never driven a car in snow so I had prepared to stop at a hotel if the weather got bad on my trip.  

But all the way from Atlanta to Detroit, it was easy sailing. Even though there was snow on the sides of the roads, I had missed all the major snowstorms. It was like I was being guided by a force to live my dreams.  

It was as if someone had made everything easy for me because when you step out on your faith to change your life and the people around you, everything will fall into place. Everything was happening to me in divine order. 

I could have exited any of those exits in my one year travels on the road and set up my home. If you have a car and money coming in, you can actually move anywhere. Some people might not be able to get their lives together because they might be in the wrong city. Your family is not just your family. Your family could be the people you have met in your lives that have touched your hearts.

I love meeting people and don’t know if I will ever get off the road. The biggest joy that I have experienced along the way on this tour is during my seminars and workshops when I see the light go on in my audience eyes especially young people when they realized they could indeed change their lives. Now that I made my life-long dream come true of being on the road in 2013 by launching “Cathy Harris Humanitarian Tour,” I can’t wait to see what 2014 will bring but I have a good idea because again, I have already visualized it Cathy Harris Empowerment Tour.” 

What I am saying to all of you is if you want your dreams to come true in 2014, keep walking in the directions of your dreams every day but come up with a plan of action to make them come true, but don’t forget to put your health first. Embrace change and in return, it will embrace you with joy, peace, and happiness and I am living proof of that…Good luck!

Cathy Harris is a soon to be a Full-Time RVerliving the good life and her blog website is www.SimpleLifeRVing.com. She is also an Empowerment and Motivational Speaker, Advice Columnist at DearCathy.com, Non-GMO Health and Wellness Expert, Business and Love Coach and Self-Publishing Expert and the author of 26 non-fiction books at www.AngelsPress.com. Her books covers topics such as family and community empowerment, health, youth and adult entrepreneurship, writing/publishing, workplace discrimination, whistleblowing, government, law enforcement, domestic and international traveling, politics, media, beauty, car buying and selling for women, aging/retirement – just to name a few. She offers seminars, workshops and consultations at www.CathyHarrisInternational.com.