RV life, minimalism and expecting a baby: Introducing Lindsey and Gerrit
Meet Lindsey and Gerrit, our adventure-seeking couple and soon to be parents!
Lindsey and Gerrit are an adventure-seeking couple who love the outdoors so much they ended up selling a lot of their stuff and buying an RV. Now they live in their motorhome full time while learning to live a minimalist lifestyle and traveling to the United States' most beautiful areas! You can follow them on Instagram @lindseyandgerrit_adventure.
What’s your name? Any nickname?
We are Lindsey and Gerrit VanderLugt. Gerrit hasn't ever really had a nickname that stuck, but many of my friends and family call me Linz. Or when referring to our family, they call us the VLs.
Live in? Grew up in?
Gerrit and I both grew up in a little town in northern Indiana. We both lived there until we went away to college in Indianapolis. After we graduated college we took a road trip out west, with our dogs, to celebrate and before our careers began. It was during that trip that we fell in love with the west, but also with traveling. We realized there was so much more we wanted to see and do than a few vacations a year could provide. That was when we made it our mission to figure out how we could travel full time.
So you’re expecting your first child right? it's so exciting! Tell us a little bit more about you...
Gerrit and I are high school sweethearts. We started "dating" if you can even call it that, at 15 years old. We met in our church's youth group. We have been together ever since and are each other's best friends. We got married in May of 2014 just after our 21st birthdays. Before we lived in the RV we didn't have very many hobbies together, other than being obsessed with our dogs. However, living in the RV has brought us together more than I could have ever thought possible. We both enjoy rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking, and backpacking.
Tell us a bit more about the RV life you’re living…how is that working for you? What led you to it?
To us, the RV is simply the tool that allows us to go and experience what we love. Gerrit has a career as a software developer through a remote company and still works 9-5 every day. The greatest thing we have gained from living in an RV is flexibility. Instead of having to take expensive vacations to fulfill that adventure bug within us, we are already where we want to be when the workday is done. Being from Indiana I never dreamed I would have been able to see so much of the country in just 2 years and there are no signs of stopping! Even with a baby on the way. We have gained a new perspective on how humans impact the environment and the landscapes we love. Living tiny, consuming less, and re-using more has been an eye-opening experience, to say the least.
What are the best and most challenging aspects of it?
We adapted to RV life super quickly. It did not take long for us to forget about all that stuff we used to have to live in sticks and bricks and see the benefit of minimalism. With less stuff, we had gained more time to spend together, and more time to experience nature. Exploring the outdoors through activities like rock climbing all over the country is well worth it. The most challenging aspect has been being far from our family for extended periods of time. But because of how flexible the lifestyle is, we make it a priority to go back and be with family when it matters most.
What do you think about RV life with a baby? What are the values and skills you want your baby girl to get from it?
RV life will be a challenge, but your first baby is going to be a challenge no matter what. I am sure that some days the RV will feel too small and we will get flustered and wish there were more space, but that will just have to be our reminder to get outside. The values and skills I hope our baby will gain are creativity, the ability to just go with the flow, and a love for adventure and being outdoors. I am also very excited that Gerrit and I both get to be home with her and that he won't miss out on a single thing because he has to go into an office every day.
You started a registry on UpChoose writing that “For RV life it makes a lot of sense!"…can you tell us more?
What makes me most excited about UpChoose is that you can send the items your baby outgrows back! That is a great perk, specifically, for RV life! We won't be able to stock up on different sizes or be able to keep anything that no longer fits due to the limited amount of storage space. Our Rv is only 23 feet so it's just not possible for it to be filled to the brim with baby stuff. I also love that when you return items and order the next size up, you will save a bit of money in the process.
What made you want to be more careful about the things you buy for yourself or your growing family? Was there an “aha” moment or specific event?
Very early on in our travels, we became super aware of the amount of trash we would find out in National Parks, Public Land, or National Forests and how it really hampered the overall experience and disrupted the beauty of the landscape.
How did you get started? What were the first few changes you made?
We wanted to make sure we did our part by not only cleaning up those campsites when we had the chance but by also not contributing to the problem. Over time we looked for ways to re-use as much as well could and by just not purchasing items that hurt the environment. Staying away from as much disposable plastic as possible, using biodegradable soaps and shampoos, and donating items we no longer needed instead of throwing them away as some ways we have made an effort to reduce our impact.
❝ I hope our baby will gain the creativity, the ability to just go with the flow, and a love for adventure and being outdoors ❞
What are some benefits you have seen over time, are there things that worked well for you?
We have saved money by having to buy things like plastic baggies, plastic wrap, or different cleaning products. Now our cleaning products are safe for our family and pets and we use things that are multi-purpose, which saves us storage space.
Any tips you'd like to share with other expecting parents who just heard about these issues and trying to figure out their first steps?
My number one tip is just to start somewhere! Every little thing counts and you won't stick with it if you change everything all at once.
What’s most exciting to you about being part of the UpChoose community and what are the most important things we can help you achieve?
I am most excited about the potential the UpChoose community could make for fellow RVers and am excited to get the word out!
If you could have any superpower what would it be?
To be able to fly.
hmmm... I don't think I can choose just one.
Any song from Ed Sheeran. He is our favorite!
Dream place for a vacation?
We can not wait to see Alaska someday.
Anything with chocolate.
What Lindsey and Gerrit added to their UpChoose registry: 0-3m Full set, 3-6m clothes-only set, 6-9m clothes-only set, 9-12m clothes-only set. Create your own registry page on www.upchoose.com (click on Gift Registry in the top menu bar)
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