It’s been a great debate in my household whether it is more correct, grammatically, to say, “you can’t eat your cake and have it, too,” or “you can’t have your cake and eat it, too,” and I finally verified, via Google, of course.

Now that we know the correct usage, my husband and I are on a mission to get the word out that you actually can “have your cake and eat it, too,” but you cannot “eat your cake and have it, too.”

Okay, since we have that all squared away, we can talk about whether you can have your camper and eat it, too. No, that’s not right. The question is:

Can you live in a camper and have a traditional home, too?


Here’s the thing about RVing—some folks considering life on four wheels don’t want to make a long-term commitment to the highway, and that’s OK. Full-timing is not for everyone.


My husband, Spanky, and I have lived the nomadic lifestyle since 2010, and in the midst of it we decided to “settle down” and buy a house in 2012 in Placerville, Calif. It was vastly different from the first time we had our own place, which was an apartment in Fresno, Calif. In Fresno we bought everything brand spankin’ new. We had gift cards out the wazoo from our wedding, and they were burning holes in our 22- and 23-year-old pockets, so we went on a shopping spree to fill our new space and we did not spare any expenses. We bought a $2,000 couch, for crying out loud.

fresno, apartments, nomad

That first Fresno house

couch fresno first house

The couch!

When we moved into our home in Placerville six years later, after having lived in a 27-foot travel trailer for a year and a half, we vowed to do things differently this time around. Instead of buying brand new, we bought all second-hand, either off of craigslist or at antique shops. And, we spent less than half on our second couch what we spent on our first couch.


But Placerville didn’t last long. It was a year before the wanderlust bug bit again (to tell the truth, the symptoms never really wore off). While we easily nestled back into the comfort of a community, Spanky’s job just wouldn’t allow us to shake off our rambling ways; plus, we had made a decision that being together was more important than having a home and only seeing one another on weekends. Lesson No. 1: Set your priorities.

placerville homeowners houses lawn new house

Placerville Homeowners

Well, we’ve done it again. Recently, my husband and I purchased another home. I know, shocker. How can this gypsy girl, who preaches simplicity, have sold out? Trust me, I feel that way at times. Well, I like to justify my actions by saying, “It’s an investment.” Not only did we buy a house, but it came with a cabin (bonus!). So, we are renting out the house and sprucing up the cabin as a home base.

cabin lake house placerville

Our little lake cabin

Does that make me any less of a gypsy? I think not.


I have learned valuable lessons from both ways of life, and the nomadic life has made me a better homeowner. Though Spanky and I purchased a home as an investment, we no longer purchase homes as heart investments. We don’t get too attached. At any moment we could easily put it and everything in it on the market. Our family and friends know that, with us, everything is for sale for the right price (just don’t tell the bank that—it’s hard enough for gypsies to get a loan).


Foundation vs. Four Wheels

Perks of a foundation:

—Stronger sense of community

—A place to keep all your crap

—More creature comforts and stability

—Not as many weird, skeptical looks


Perks of four wheels:

—Forces you to live simply

—If you don’t like your neighbors, you can move

—Less house and yard work

—Greater sense of freedom and more free time

lake sunset view forest

The lake

I think the real question is whether you can live the ideals of a nomadic life and still have a home. Part of the reason we chose to live in a fifth wheel—besides the fact that it made sense for work and met our wanderlust wishes—was to keep it simple and minimize the amount of stuff we owned.


Life on wheels is a lesson—but it’s also a way of life. It forms habits and values. The real challenge is maintaining those values when and if you ever transition back to a foundation and four walls.



Keep up with Sarah Reijonen’s nomadic lifestyle in her bi-weekly column called “Home on the Road.” If there’s a topic you’d like her to cover, please comment below or email her at Twitter: @spankyandsarah. Instagram: @countrygrlswrld. Happy Trails!