I feel as though I owe my readers an explanation. After all the hullabaloo and rigmarole in preparation of living in my tiny trailer, it only lasted 5 months. I spent two months living in the trailer here in Arizona to work out the kinks before spending three months on the road. I travelled through California, Oregon, and Washington, and it was while I was in Washington that I decided to call the full-time life quits.
Why didn’t it last? I wasn’t in a head space to travel solo. I believe if I’d been traveling with my late-husband, I’d have stayed on the road indefinitely.
Here are the things I loved about the short time I spent as a full-time RVer: The 17’ trailer was perfect for me. I could drive Sarandipity easily, and was even gaining confidence in backing up. Living a minimalist lifestyle reduced my stress. I’ve always equated a lot of belongings to feeling weighted down. There’s freedom in being able to leave a location at any time with all you need in tow. Plus, there’s nothing quite like seeing the sunrise as you drive down the road, sipping on hot coffee, and dreaming about the next campsite. Along the way, it made me smile every time I’d pull over on a whim to do my photography. No one waiting in the wings. No pressure to hurry up.
But there were things that I didn’t anticipate. I’m an introvert at heart and I didn’t think spending a lot of time alone would bother me. But, as I visited beautiful locations, I felt a sadness at not having someone to turn to and share these places and experiences with. I found myself sitting in my trailer much of the time, lacking motivation. Perhaps, if I hadn’t been through such an ordeal this past year, I wouldn’t feel this way. But, I needed to mentally regroup after the cancer and I was still mourning the loss of my husband. I didn’t have the energy to ‘make friends’ along the way, or play the tourist, or enjoy the sights by myself.
So I began to question if I was happy on the road. It felt good to be away from the daily chemo, the scorching heat of an Arizona summer, and the stress of my old life… but what was my goal? I reframed the travel and used the time to rest, and read, and visit with family members along the way.
By the time I arrived in Washington, I was told by my property management company that the renters in my old home were moving out. I needed to return to Arizona for an oncology follow-up so I used this opportunity to check on the house.
“I’ll know what to do after a walk through”, I told myself. “If it feels right, I’ll stay. I can move back in, and fix it up. If it doesn’t feel right, I’ll put it on the market.”
Well, I did the walk through, and even though it had been years since I was last in the house, it still felt like home. The home that I raised my children in. The home that I struggled to hang on to for most of my adult life, living month to month, on a teachers salary. The home my son died in and my daughter graduated in. The home near my parents and precious friends, all waiting to welcome me and help me through my grief and healing.
So, I moved my few belongings back in and have been fixing it up. I’ve vowed that nothing will come through the doors that I don’t absolutely love and I’m keeping the minimalist life-style. All of my walls will be decorated with my own art work and photographs. Yiska has two comfy beds in prime spots in the living room and bedroom, and a huge backyard to run around in.
I’m also keeping the trailer, Sarandipity. It’s parked a stones throw away at an RV storage facility. I walk by it each day when I walk Yiska. And when the weather grows too hot here in the summer, I know I can take Sarandipity down the road to cooler country because I’ve proven it! I can navigate my way across country, hitching and unhitching at lightning speed (really, folks, I’m fast!) and back her up when needed, all while ignoring the honks. Perhaps, some day, I’ll even find a partner that wants to travel with me. But, if not, that’s okay too. I’m happy with where I am in life.
I don’t regret my choices. The excitement of planning my life as a full-time RVer is what got me through some tough treatment days at the cancer center. The alone time on the road allowed me to evaluate what’s important to me at this stage of life and examine my needs. It gave me confidence and reminded me I can do anything I set my mind to doing.
Now… to decide how to revamp the Sarandipity Travels blog. It’s fun to share my life with you, so I don’t want to quit just because I’m a part-timer now.