Howdy from Eye-dee-hoooh! We're watching fall approach in Island Park, ID, loving this campfire weather. Prior to this summer we'd been off the road for over a year while searching for a new vehicle, then prepping it as well as a newer camper for travel - hence, silence on the blog.
Thoughts on our current version of RV living. This is a slice-of-life word picture. If you don't want to read all these words, go read Happiness Is A Choice You Make by John Leland, instead.
This human capacity to be both content and restless is really interesting.
Husband and I are approaching a transition phase - our time taking care of 20 RV park lawns is coming to a close, and we hope to be on the road again soon, before really cold weather comes. I'm experiencing, while watching myself in the experience, which is always kind of a mind trip. I'm frustrated by anxieties and worries - unfounded and pointless, like using a rocking chair and expecting it to get me somewhere.
We have a flipping awesome seasonal job. We get paid to work outside, which suits us as outdoors-lovers. It's not just any outdoors; it's a low-humidity, moderate altitude, moderate temperatures outdoors with very little rain through the summer. The skies here are so blue, the beauty of blueness and sunshine against the green of growing things is almost a physical pang sometimes. I don't know how many times I've looked up from watering the grass, and had to breathe deeply just to try to take it in somehow.
This is very far from the rat race. Yet there are vague hints of that exact thing: there's the routine work schedule, the fact that we've been parked in a gravel lot in full sun with varying amounts of neighbors for 4 months, and the consciousness of why we're doing this thing - more-than-our-usual financial obligations, of course. This is not the forest, with the silent sun charging our battery bank, the wind in the trees, wildlife showing up, or not, as it pleases. This is not privacy.
We talked about all this months ago, as I hope couples do everywhere - knowing what we each like and don't like, and agreeing we could do it, accept the trade-offs for the pay-offs. We have, and we are! The pay-offs (full hookups, for goodness' sake!) are so worth it. But I notice a fatigue that wasn't there at the start of the season, and isn't completely remedied by a full night's sleep. I notice I'm a little more on-edge, a little further away from my usual level of chillness. I have to manage my brain more, talk it down from that edge of "stay tense, stay alert" when it's not at all necessary. This is Sara, after spending months away from her natural habitat. Even so, I fully expect I'll be sad to leave, just as I was super-excited to get back here.
Now it's coming to a close, and we'll be on the road again soon. We're putting zero obligations on ourselves - time or destinations. Our limit is basically the weather - no extremes, please. I'd love to keep from running the air as much as possible. (A/C means generator, which means noise and spending money on gas). I'd like to sleep with the windows open. We can stay warm with propane, and with extra sleeping clothes and blankets if we want to keep it cooler. We made the trip out in 7 brutal driving days, and it sounds so luxurious to take our time and simply wander in a general southeasterly direction.
I won't be surprised if I sleep for a few days, once we're in the woods. I suspect we'll both have to remember how to relax, and it might take us a few days. There won't be internet, after being plugged in for months. I'm actually looking forward to a little detox, that way. I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm way more attached to my phone - games, ebooks, Facebook, NPR, Pandora - than I'd like to be.
As far as worries go, I don't have many. Our truck is a little underpowered for our camper. It probably wouldn't be, except with a service/utility bed it's heavier than a normal pickup. It made it out here admirably, considering that. We put a LOT of work into it together...
...and I remember that whatever we experience on our upcoming journey, we face it together. We're a team, and I'm extremely blessed to have an excellent troubleshooter, a real handyman who's not afraid to tackle anything, for a spouse. I can't guarantee the trip will be uneventful, but I couldn't have anyone better to face it with. I still hope we don't have to pull too many mountain grades, though!
Once we get wherever we're going - further east and south, ultimately - we'll likely have some decisions to make about truck and camper. Downsize the camper? (Dang it, I love this camper!) Beef up the truck? (It'll still have to pull itself...) Sell it and buy a more adequate one? (But we've already put SO MUCH time and money into it!) Where will the money come from, and can we keep ourselves free from the rat race or even a diluted version of it if we do make some changes?
This is where faith comes in, for me - faith in how things have worked out so far, and in how we've been taken care of, and in how I can admit uncertainty while holding onto my inner peace. I find such comfort in how little control I have over all of it. Letting go of the illusion of control is a freedom I can enjoy no matter my circumstances. It feels so good to remember that!
There is lots to think about. But that's for then, whenever it comes. Now I can enjoy secret excitement imagining the possibilities of what could be. I look forward to times on the road with my husband - we'll probably have good discussions about our future and other things as we're traveling. I cherish those talks. I look forward to sitting across the campfire from him, walking through the woods with him, looking out of the windshield at new country with him.
So I focus on enjoying the last week or so parked in gravel. The aspens are beginning to change... Husband has been so hoping I'd get to see them like he has. We might even get one more kayaking trip in. There's not too much to do to get ready for our upcoming trip - I'll go through my clothes. At some point we'll probably check the camper's tongue weight and shift cargo as we need to. We've used up some supplies, and I don't think we'll be leaving with much more than we came with, if anything. More sriracha sauce, fewer beans. More flour, less canned tuna. Less coffee. Less debt. More brown skin. Less sunscreen. Plenty of contentment, and more restlessness. Richer for all of it.
I hope your summer has been all you wanted it to be. Peace in your travels, wherever they take you!