(Title: Robert Louis Stevenson)
After years of thinking about it and talking about it, and the six months it took to blow up and rebuild my life …
A couple of weeks ago I left Port Orchard for a trial run of a nomad’s existence. I stayed at the Tulalip Casino in Marysville, Washington, for three nights; camped by the Sandy River in Troutdale, Oregon for seven nights; spent three nights on Lake Sammammish in Bellevue, Washington; fell asleep nestled between the Greenwater and White Rivers in Greenwater, Washington for four nights; and “freebie parked” for one night at Camping World in Fife/Tacoma, Washington. Along the way I saw the local sights, visited with family and old friends, made some new friends, blogged and promoted the blog, and felt more comfortable and relaxed in my own skin that I ever have. (Like in my entire life.)
Was the journey perfect in every way? Well, of course not. It began with me covered in excrement. It was challenging without a leveling system, but I parked at advantageous angles. It rained, and I mean a lot, on my friends’ annual Labor Day weekend bash. My Constant Companion also kept me from attending a memorial celebration while I was in Seattle. I had to face my fears about safety and security when two RVs were burglarized at the casino, and again when the Greenwater campsite was remote and secluded; by the time I camped alone in a parking lot in the industrial area of Fife I felt secure, confident in my rig and in my exit strategy in case of trouble. (I will blog about security concerns soon.)
Setting pesky things aside, the plan I hatched so long ago has been realized. Not only can I do this – I can do it well. Nellie is home, and she feels like my home. I can pack up and be on the road in less than an hour. There’s no need to worry about what to bring – everything I own is with me. I enjoy driving to the next location, especially when people see the graphics and wave as they pass. I am no longer fearful of driving Nellie, or of hooking up and towing the toad; it feels natural and comfortable to me now. I love looking out the same windows at different scenery. I relish being out of my comfort zone and embracing the fact that I am rarely, if ever, in control.
Many have asked me if I miss certain things, but that question is best answered by listing the things I don’t miss and the things I am looking forward to. I don’t miss the stress of the work. I don’t miss the house. I don’t miss all the responsibilities that came with the house. I don’t miss the feeling of being trapped. I don’t miss shoes and coats and handbags and bric-a-brac. I am looking forward to warm Palm Springs in wintertime, to more visits with friends and family, to volunteering time to charity, to feeling and being healthier, and to New Year’s Eve with good friends in Las Vegas.
“In a world full of people, only some want to fly. Isn’t that crazy?” — Seal