New Year, New Life?

In my last post, back in September, I talked about my yearning to settle down. As it turns out, that wasn’t just idle talk.  I’ve slowly come to realize my discontent with nomadic life comes from a pretty deep-seated loneliness. As a deeply introverted person, it takes me a very long time to make friends. The constant moving doesn’t allow for that. I think if I had a partner to travel with I would feel very differently about the nomad life, and would probably not give it up until I couldn’t see to drive anymore.

I’ve spent a lot of time since that last post researching options in my chosen area. I was really attracted to western North Carolina, but when push came to shove, rents there just proved too expensive for my modest income.

So I moved my search across the mountains to eastern Tennessee. As of a couple of days ago, I’ve committed to a small apartment, with a big garage for my motorcycle and my bicycle and all my outdoor gear, in Johnson City. It should be available for me to move in around April. There is tons of hiking in the area, and I’ll only be a half hour drive from the Appalachian Trail.

As always, big changes are both scary and exciting. My biggest fear is that my years of wandering have ruined me for being stationary, and it will turn out that I can’t be content with either life. I do plan to sell the AdventureMobile, but I also plan to buy a smaller RV, something I can tow with the pickup, so I can still travel when the urge strikes.

Now that I’ve settled on a course of action, I’m really anxious to execute it. I’ve never been good at patiently waiting. I’ve got another month here at Big Bend, then in February I’ll head back to East Texas to get the cracked windshield on the AdventureMobile replaced. I’ve got reservations to spend my birthday on the beach in far southeast Texas. Then I’ll slowly start moving east.

Happy New Year everybody!

Happy Nomadversary To Me!

One year ago today, August 30, 2017, I moved into the motorhome and have lived here since.

Probably somewhat uniquely, I didn’t know that’s what I was doing.  I had taken the AdventureMobile to the local state park campground and was expecting my now-ex to join me in a few days once she finished some jobs she had scheduled. Instead, a couple days later she called and told me she wanted a divorce and for me to move out. And wham! I made the transition to full-time RV life just like that. One trip back to the condo to collect some more of my clothes, and I was done.

It’s been a hell of a year. I stayed in the area for a couple of months while she and I worked out the details and while I gracefully exited the business we ran together, then I struck out for parts unknown. I left New England in mid-November heading south. I remember spontaneously stopping at Mammoth Cave NP for a few days, then heading to Memphis where I camped on the bank of the Mississippi and spent Thanksgiving with my cousin. Then I headed down the Natchez Trace and enjoyed the free campgrounds before heading west to Texas where with the help of the Escapees I established Texas residency, got my Texas drivers license, and registered my vehicles there.

I spent Christmas on the Texas coast and New Years Eve in a Walmart parking lot. I soaked in a hot spring on the bank of the Rio Grande in Big Bend National Park, experienced Quartzsite, boondocked in the California desert, spent my birthday on the beach in San Diego, explored southern Utah, hiked in the Grand Canyon, and now I’m winding up a summer of workamping in Colorado. And as icing on the cake, I got to share some of these adventures with a wonderful woman who has come into my life.

I’ve tentative plans for the next few months, but I can’t really say what the next year will bring. I do know that if I find myself somewhere I don’t care for, my home has wheels and I can move on. I think that might be the very core of the RV lifestyle.

I do think I might travel a bit less than I did the first year, and thus spend a bit less on fuel. From conversations I’ve had, it seems a nearly universal experience that folks travel a lot their first year. The freedom is addicting.

I’ve spent more money this first year than I had intended. I need to give that some real attention and get my budget under control. It’s certainly easier to spend less than it is to earn more, so I am determined to do so.

So much to look forward to!

SAD

For years I’ve suffered with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and just about this time of year, when the quality of the morning and evening light starts to change, I’d get a deep feeling of dread for the upcoming cold dark gray days of November in New England. I’m sure my ex could tell stories of how cranky I would become before spring finally arrived.

Now that I am no longer tied to any one place and I know I can leave when I want to, I am actually looking forward to autumn again. I plan to be back in New England to visit family around the first of October, and I am rather excitedly anticipating those cool crisp fall days. It has to be decades at least since I have felt this way. It’s really quite amazing!

Monkeywrench Your Life?

Monkeywrench your life. What does that mean?

According to Merriam-Webster, a Monkey Wrench is:
1: a wrench with one fixed and one adjustable jaw at right angles to a straight handle
2something that disrupts 

It’s the second definition I have in mind; something that disrupts. And yes, I know it’s weird that I write monkeywrench as one word instead of two. I always have and even though I know it’s wrong, I’m going to continue doing so. Continue reading “Monkeywrench Your Life?”