Luckily, I don’t have a gag reflex

Published June 5, 2017   Posted in In Retirement

The longer Courtney and I live this life of full-time travel, the more patterns emerge that help to keep us happy, yet out of each other’s way as we go about our business in our 200 square footΒ rig.

And luckily for me, one of those patterns has me working a lot with pee.

Human pee. Actual liquid waste. Why, you might ask? Because we have a composting toilet that works by separating the solids from the liquids, whereby avoiding sewage. Our composting toilet is the second best upgrade we’ve made to our Airstream. Solar being the first.

Me and the pee

Every couple of days, the pee needs to be drained. Guess who signed up for the job? Or, got signed up, anyway?

Courtney would totally gag and dry heave if she had to smell pee. Thus, it’s easier for both of us if I take on that chore. I can practically shove my face into the pee container and take a giant, man-sized whiff of that dreadful liquid and not gag. It only makes sense that I accept the responsibility of depositing our pee.

But, Courtney’s all about the solid waste stuff. She’s the one dumping our compost into one of those green bags for discard. She’s also chopping up the coconut core to make fresh composting material. She only needs to do it every six weeks or so, but still…

…I think I got the better end of that deal. Though, I do help to pour out the used compost into the bag. Delightful job.

We’ve teamed up!

Both Courtney and I have our separate roles around this place. These are not responsibilities that we consciously picked out. They have emerged naturally over the past several months based on how we live our lives together.

For example:

  • I do the pee; she does the poop πŸ™‚
  • I have taken on the responsibility of vacuuming (because Courtney hates it), but she will do the “swiffering” (mopping with a wet microfiber cloth to pick up dirt and grime).
  • When we move, I’m the one preparing the outside of the rig and she’s the one ensuring that we don’t have a floor full of shit that escaped (dropped or moved) from cabinets or our desk during travel.
  • She is the primary planner in the household; she’s the one on Google Maps at night figuring out our next stopping point – which could be something as simple as a Walmart or as elegant as a KOA. If we need diesel during a trip, she’s the one using Gas Buddy on her iPhone and pointing me in the right direction.
  • Courtney also puts together the grocery list every week, which is a completely thankless job.
  • I do most things in the way of information technology around here. I maintain this blog. I’m also working with the one-and-only J$ atΒ building the next version of Rockstar. I do the video editing for our YouTube channel, too. The majority of those things that bring in a little extra change during the month are primarily my undertaking.
  • Courtney does maintain her own Instagram account for A Streamin’ Life that’s more popular than mine!
  • Courtney is the one scheduling our videos and planning what is next; she’s the visionary in that whole thing
  • Courtney is the chef in the house; sometimes she even has help with the cleanup! Sometimes. Cooking is something that I’ve tried to make myself enjoy (yeah, like one of those “college tries”), but I don’t. I just don’t get my rocks off by cooking.
  • I am the primary beer and wine drinker, too. Courtney enjoys wine, but her aversion to histamines has put the kibosh on her enjoyment of an evening glass of wine, unfortunately.

Courtney whipping up some chili

Especially in a small space, teamwork is freaking essential. We love our new life of full-time travel, but it absolutely requires that you spend a hell of a lot of time around your spouse. If you aren’t good friends and work together, things will always be way more difficult.

Courtney will find hikes and other adventures that we BOTH enjoy, not just her. I do whatever I can to produce the highest quality videos that I can for A Streamin’ Life, which is primarily her channel. Heavy lifting, too. Like the dog food bag? Yeah, I carry that shit.

I don’t help with dinner as much as I probably could, but my goal is to make it up to her in other ways. So far, so good. We’re both incredibly happy and ready for more. Even when we’re broken down in the middle of nowhere on westbound I-80 (yes, there’s a video for that), we are both happy, healthy and living the good life.


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25 responses to “Luckily, I don’t have a gag reflex”

  1. I am a sympathy puker so if I saw your wife gagging on the pee, I probably would start dry heaving as well, even though pee doesn’t bother me. I definitely agree that you got the much better end of that deal. I’d rather deal with pee than poop any day of the week.

    Looks like you’re having a blast and it’s been fun watching your journey

  2. When we had kids, we made a plan that I did diapers and he did vomit (sympathy puker here too!) I definitely had more work – but happy for the trade off! We’ve discussed long-term travel and my upcoming retirement and how it can affect your relationship when you haven’t spent all that much time together. It would be crazy to think that going from a few hours of being together a day to all day, every day would just magically “be fine” isn’t realistic. Lots of communication and dividing up what you’re both good at would be so important. You guys seem like a great team!

  3. Sounds like you have a good system. Definitely communicating on who does what is one of the keys to a good marriage. We have young children, thus you know we are familiar with your excrement adventures. Sadly kids can’t be put on a timer, so that ones a share duty. (Off day one of potty training the youngest.)

  4. brian503 says:

    We are all about dividing and conquering too, when it come to the chores. I’m not sure about pee and poop in an airstream. I might handle them both. I’m lead on bathroom duty Having three kids pitching in helps too.

  5. Life is much better with a teammate. I don’t know how single people get everything done. I really don’t know how single parents get it all done. They are the major rockstars in my book. Finding someone that is willing to do the laundry while I do the taxes has been very good for both of us.

    Tom @ HIP

  6. The Tepid Tamale says:

    First, super jealous of life in the Airstream, nice work!
    Second, dividing tasks is one big key to a successful marriage! If divided fairly, both parties know what the other is responsible for, and there are no hidden expectations like: “I cleaned the bathroom last time, I am waiting for her to clean it this time!” This never ends well! Of course, once you enter a marriage, you are giving up a lot of ‘self’, so you are putting “them” before “you”. Once you have done this, even if these little items happen and not everything is perfectly balanced, you suck it up and all is good!

  7. First off, I always love a good poo/pee story! So thanks for that.

    And it sounds like you have a good division of labor. Mrs. Freaky Frugal and I have also FIREd, but I think she does more than I do. She does the bulk of the cooking, grocery shopping and cleaning. I deal with all matters related to technology and finance.

    I’ve always wondered what it’s like to live in an RV. I’ve never even traveled in one. I watch lots of HGTV/DIY episodes on Tiny Homes. Do you ever wish you purchased a Tiny House instead of an RV?

  8. Sounds like you two have a great system going. How long are you guys planning on traveling using an RV? Or is it a permanent thing, at least for the foreseeable future?

  9. Ayup! Mr. Picky Pincher and I also delineate who does what. I tend to do the cooking (because of my work schedule), cleaning, and menu planning. I still think I got the better end of the stick, though! Mr. Picky Pincher does all of the household upkeep sort of things (lawn work, etc.) and he usually does the dishes since I hate that. It’s all about finding a groove. πŸ™‚

  10. Mr. Tako says:

    “I do the pee; she does the poop”

    Aawwww, how romantic! I think most couples fall into patterns like this for the daily chores. Just make sure one of you doesn’t end up resenting the other over the ‘chores’ that fall on your shoulders. One person cooking all the time can get old. I know, I cook meals around our house nearly every single day.

    Sometimes it’s good to mix things up. Maybe you could handle the poo for awhile, and she can handle the pee (with a nose plug). πŸ™‚

  11. RB40 says:

    Thanks for sharing the dirty side of RV living. I haven’t even thought about waste disposal…

  12. Mrs. BITA says:

    We have a three year old. Over the last few years we have dealt with so much pee and puke that it doesn’t bother either one of us in the least. Mr. BITA is far more friendly with poop than I am though, so he does the poop stuff. He has changed more poop diapers than I have. Now that our tiny human poops in the potty, human poop is something we get to keep at arms length at all times. Wheeeee. He still has to deal with picking up dog poop though. We used to take turns with that, but when I was pregnant, I started to heave if I went anywhere near the dog poop. At that time Mr. BITA took over completely, and we’ve never gone back. I hope he never realizes that I’m not pregnant anymore.

  13. RootofGood says:

    Sounds a lot like me and my wife (well, minus the hauling pee and poop around – we’re on city sewer πŸ™‚ ). I do the IT stuff, pull in a little extra income from the blog and hustling, get us involved in social stuff, make us go on vacation and plan most of them. We split cooking, and I’ve mostly escaped dishes duty (about 20% of the time I’ll put a load in the dishwasher). Our kids mostly clean the sinks and toilets. Mrs. RoG does the vacuuming. We split yard work right down the middle – I mow, blow, weed control, and miscellaneous spreading chemicals on the lawn while Mrs. RoG plants trees, trims stuff, and generally oversees what needs to be done.

    Works for us! I’m sure having zero work hours scheduled each week certainly helps us.

  14. Jordan says:

    It’s been quite interesting for me to read how you’re pulling off this traveling lifestyle as a couple. Most of what I’ve read in the past on other blogs has been mostly single guys backpacking around which doesn’t seem like something that can be done forever. Awesome job with your team work and new lifestyle!

  15. Amy Blacklock says:

    I wasn’t sure what I was going to find in this post with that headline. Glad it wasn’t anything worse than toilet talk. So great that you guys are finding your own grooves, together. Way happy for you! Looking forward to hearing more about this next version of Rockstar you hint about. Stay awesome!

  16. Mr. Groovy says:

    Only real men can lovingly put their faces within an inch of piss and take a giant wiff! I love it, Steve. Thanks for sharing the division of labor that evolved in your Streamin’ Life.

  17. Jim Wang says:

    For us, kids kind of removed the “yuck” response to pee and poop from overexposure. πŸ™‚

  18. Great teamwork!!

    I have been dreaming of buying an RV and doing the travel thing part time once we reach FIRE. Just the other day I mentioned to my husband that I would want a composting toilet so we could be less dependent on hook ups. So my question is, where exactly do you dispose of the waste? Do you still have to go to a dump station?

    • Steve says:

      Thanks! We do go to the dump station for the gray water (sink water), but we strictly don’t have to do that if we are out in the middle of nowhere. We can usually release our tanks anywhere (though we usually find a dump station). Regarding the compost, we just dump the crap (literally!) into a compost bag and drop it into a trash can somewhere. Doesn’t smell. Perfectly safe to do. πŸ™‚

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