So, I bought a campervan. Nothing big, nothing fancy, nothing new. Just new to me. I want to approach this kind of like a fiddler crab, edging sideways towards a new hole in the sand; or maybe a hermit crab, checking a new shell for a better fit, always remembering that it is me there still underneath. The shell or hole doesn’t change me. That’s work I have to do if I’m not satisfied with me, no matter the place. Roamin’ Ruby will just be a means to an end.
As I approach this realization of an old dream, I was finding myself thinking of how to recreate the life I have now, just in miniature. That is a wrong perspective. Why am I not creating the life that I actually want to live? And, what DOES that look like?
Because we have so much space, most of us, we often also have so much waste. I’ll give you an example from my own life. I really like tea and coffee. I drink a lot of both. But because I have feet and feet of cabinet space, I buy things that provide immediate sensory appeal, try some, and then it gets lost in the cabinet along with the others I have bought. This process never allows me to find the precious things, the things I really value. Things I would want in a small space because they are good and bring value into my life. I cannot take 20 types of tea with me in this new space. This makes me look at what I have now with more clarity, appreciation, and truth be told, a bit of disgust at myself. How could I be so wasteful and greedy? How could I trade the hours and hours and hours that I labor, for things I never even use? Do I value myself and my life energy so little? Should not every dollar be thought about with that impetus behind it? I realize that you don’t need to try on a mobile lifestyle for this to hit you on the head, but apparently it has taken that for me. For someone often called ‘smart’ by others, I surely feel dumb a lot of the time.
We are marketed to death, via so many pathways that we are now the commodity. Hence why our data is so valuable a resource now. Remember that TV show “Little House on the Prairie”? How they went to town once every few months and how darn little they bought? I recently had a moment of panic when I realized I WILL NOT BE ABLE TO USE AMAZON!! – at least not in the way I do now. You know, that ubiquitous service that we have come to rely upon to satisfy our every whim conjured up in our pajamas, late at night, with a click of a button; which we are assured will arrive by Tomorrow if we order in the next 3 hours and 12 minutes. Packages from Sears and Roebuck took foooorrrever to come, and you couldn’t even track their every move through an app! The horror. How did we do it? Conversations often revolve around ‘those kids just have no delayed gratification understanding’; how about us as adults, hmm? With such services including food delivery, laundry pick up, grocery drive-thru, we rarely really have to give thought or plan. If we forget something we can just order it, right? I still remember the excitement of when drive thru Beverage Centers opened. Wow, you could just drive up and pick up that gallon of milk you forgot. How cool! How quaint that seems now.
I’m rethinking every thing. Especially me and my habits, faults, patterns of living. Never a bad thing to rethink yourself and check to make sure you are still happy with that skin. I hit that stage several years ago and then lost it again. It feels good to be reacquainting myself with that person. I like her a lot better than the person I feel like I’ve slid into. Maybe I need to include some Velcro or Command Strips to my skin suit, so I don’t forget 🙂
This is a way to try to meet several needs while encasing my own desires. All of my family lives elsewhere. I travel to and fro a couple of times a year already and couch surf with relatives and friends. I enjoy (most of the time) visiting my family. I sometimes feel intrusive being in their homes and I realize it also puts a pinch on them as well. Same with my friends, particularly my married friends. It’s also pricey to stay in a hotel along the way, especially if you have a dog. That takes care of the practical reasons.
My personal reasons?
I want to do more with less, for one. This is definitely NOT the path I’ve been on to date. I have too much of everything except money (see stuff above) and time, lol. But I’m not selling it all and hitting the road right away – maybe ever. Home bases can be good, too, if they don’t have a lot of overhead. I may find I hate it and it’s claustrophobic. No matter what or where, I need to de-stuff. Define what brings me contentment and is precious to me.
I want to jump start my creativity again. I was at my most creative in small spaces with lots of nature. I walked around with my camera looking at life differently. I wrote about wind, rain, smells, sights. I felt things more deeply. I looked at things differently because I wanted to see. Yes, this can be done at home, and I am starting to do that again. But being outside of your comfort zone heightens awareness and spotlights the ordinary making it extraordinary.
I want to meet the desires of my family without compromising what brings me joy. My kids often complain, along with my mom, that they don’t see me often enough. If I can mosey on down to see them, imbibing in nature along the way, I can handle more ‘people’ time. If I have a place to retreat to in order to recharge or just give everyone space, I think it will make for better and longer visits, even if I am sitting in my van AT their houses.
I want to travel. I’ve always had wanderlust (one might say my entire life is wanderlust, moving over 25 times in the last nigh on 40 years) Camping is about as cheap as it gets to travel, if you don’t have to pay for campground fees every time you turn around (and people stop burning up oil fields causing gas prices to rise!) While less luxurious than hotel stays, it also puts you out and about in the places you’re visiting. But what is luxury? Is it mountain vistas shrouded in fog? The ability to view millions of stars away from the night sky clutter of cities? Burying ones toes in the edge of surf and sand? Standing by a waterfall and lichen-clad logs checking out trilliums? I’m afraid we’ll always have lots of cities, but I’m not so sure how much longer we’ll have wildness.
I want to meet (a few) new people. Most of my truly deep friendships have been formed over distances, usually via writing and shared interests. I could not ask for better people to have in my life and I love them dearly. They have held me up during times I thought I would shatter into oblivion. They’ve also been doing this for years, and I think they need a wee break, to spread the love of Sheket around a bit, ya know? 🙂 I’ve been in a very needy space for the last four years or so, and I’m not sure I’ve given back as much as I’ve taken. But the up-in-your-bidness life of living in an RV park was not for me. I’m hoping to form some new connections on the road that are here for a while, then separate – but the threads of connection remain until we bump into each other again. A roaming tribe so to speak. Recently I have been so hungry for adult conversations that I have started (usually this happens TO me) conversations with perfect strangers! I find it very interesting that I did this, as it is not my norm, which means something in me has changed. Yes, I chat with my neighbors from time to time, but I really have no other interpersonal interaction other than work, which is also remote. Work and personal really just are not a good mix, so I need other outlets.
This was long! To make up for it, here’s a video of some interesting mushrooms I found while re-stacking my wood for the winter. Sorry, no cute kitten pictures
And how could I end a post without music, hmmm? Elle Beale’s Camper Van
Look inside and don’t be scared to rummage around – you might find something you like!