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This post is to play ‘Catch up’ for all my travl’in  friends……..

The trip up North to Pa. was just starting to be enjoyable, and I was getting used to sleeping in the van and my GPS. I found one of those atlases that shows where all the walmart locations are, and then would sort of plan my night time stops around one of those or a planet fitness location close to interstate for showers. Both is possible!…lol.

A monkey wrench gummed up the trip with van issues causeing tranny to blow up on interstate in S. Carolina. It was decided it would be too costly to fix it, for the worth of the van….and the location I was at was scarey to me.

I ended up selling it to a junk yard for $500, and still owed 1k on it, so …this is NOT GOOD. I had to throw away or leave in the van most of my new set up, as I couldn’t get it sold and rental car wouldn’t hold it all. ….ROUGH TRIP….

All in all….it would have been much cheaper to do the long trip in a rental car. Now had i been in my van in a close by local area, i could have called my local mechanic friend and he would have fixed me up. Many lessons learned here.

Now I have No vehicle, but am safe and sound at my daughter’s for the summer. I am busy doing gardening and landscaping work at her house and enjoying being around a busy family, and all that entails.

I must say, I’m not fond of driving in the mountains, though they are beautiful. I’ve lived in Florida or Iowa, which are both pretty flat, my whole life, so this is culture shock. Honestly….give me beach side  any day of the week…even in the heat, but this is where family is, so what are you gonna do?

Pa. has lots of foraging for berries opportunities, which I am enjoying…lol

Here are a couple pics of my daughter and I having fun doing a sheet mulch garden. She got me up on the machine I call a ‘Scooper Dooper’….vowing I will be an expert by end of season. She has horses, and i can practice on keeping the manure/compost piles in order.

Me spreading compost on the second layer. Wood chip mulch tops it off.

Me spreading compost on the second layer. Wood chip mulch tops it off.

My daughter doing more than her share....

My daughter doing more than her share….

A pick of me on the backhoe.

A pick of me on the backhoe.

My daughter on her horse, Jake. He is fiesty....an endurance horse.

My daughter on her horse, Jake. He is fiesty….an endurance horse.

I’m saving money and doing part time jobs, , for a permanent home base, and hopefully will find warm weather friends to visit in warmer climate in the winter.  Not so sure about investing in another van, for a time. Open minded….. if any of my friends have space for a stowaway that can pay their share on winter trips….lol.

I spent all day resorting all my important ‘stuff’, that I can’t possibly do without and a few ‘well…I might need it’s’. The bed/couch/lounge/office area is about the only thing you can see very well, as most of the inside of the van is a demure black and blue. I Granny’d it up a little with a few pillows and a sweet roses throw. There will be more pillows when I take off.Image

For convenience I am hanging a chambray shirt for woods cover up and a sweater on the back of the passenger seat. These also cover up a couple spray bottles of baking soda water and water with a dab of dish soap and two hand towels. They are nestled in a pouch the van came with .Image

My Faux Java Cup Coffee Maker/Collapsible Silicone Funnel:

I had been looking all over for a java Cup coffee maker . None of the sporting goods stores or even camping world had them. Then……I discovered this funnel at aOld Time  Pottery Barn store in the gadget section. I will do the drip method of coffee making. Just stick a paper filter in this and pour the hot water over it. I found what they call a turkish coffee maker at a thrift store. it’s blue enamel and I will  heat the water in this on my butane burner.

I am reserving a special drawer just for coffee supplies, as it’s way up there on my list of important things. My foo foo coffee creamers , cinnamon, and special cup will be added to the drawer just before I leave. ImageImageImageImageImage

MY PORTA POTTY:

I was pretty proud of myself in putting together this compact , yet sturdy porta potty. It fits under the bed frame of 9″ height, yet is sturdy enough to support my fluffy frame. I made it from a chamber pot, from a chair for sick folk. It had a nifty lid, and the one i bought for a 5 gal bucket, fit fine on top, even with the other lid on. Then for sturdiness, i cut down a 5 gal. bucket to encase it . Now…lol…on me….in the resorting of the van, it sits out from under the bed and acts as a support for the foot part of the bed. I figured early on that pulling the drawers out every day, would get old really fast. ImageImage

GPS:

I finally joined this century and got a Garmin GPS. I’ve been playing around with it this week, and  I really like it so far. It automatically knows where I am, and I don’t have to type that location in. But just in case….I printed out a trip map and bought a fold out one, as well. Unknown territory is a challenge to those of us that cannot find out way out of a paper bag…..but the excitement of exploring new places trumps the apprehension of not knowing what lies ahead.

As of May 1st, I’m taking a trip to visit my family in Scranton Pa., area , with a few stops along the way. I will be visiting a friend in Melbourne Beach, and am thinking of taking a day to visit the Thomas Jefferson Gardens, in Virginia. It’s only a tad off I-95, then then I can detour Washington traffic, by taking 81 the rest of the way up. Win win to me…..

Hopefully there will be road side advertisements for a few other things to do, and I’m sure I will see cute shops I have to visit along the way. I kind of wanting to hit a jazz or Blue grass festival. if anyone can recommend any in the area I am heading, please let me know. Should any fellow group members want to meet for coffee along the way…let’s try to make that happen. Garmin GPS

I am fortunate in that I already managed to get most items on my WISH LIST. I allow myself around $100 a month for this , and entertainment, dining out, etc. Here is a list of wish lists items I already obtained:

Luggable Loo

Curtains and rod system

Pots n pans

Thermos

Butane Burner

Gym membership

Dishes

Wifi booster…ordered…waiting on it

Power Pack system

Personal size blender/smoothie maker

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ITEMS STILL ON THE WISH LIST:

Car top carrier…..turtle shell kind

Twin mattress

Hot Pink bedding

A more rvish type Van or Minnie Winnie, than what I chose

 

As I lay wide awake, trying to sleep in my new van bed, I ponder how can I make this thing actually ….liveable. I don’t want to have to tear apart all six tubs every time I need to find something. All these extra cute, neat containers I’ve set up, have no home to store them. Right now a bunch are piled in the passenger front seat and floor, as well as on top of all the other tubs. IT’S A MESS!

I need to make a ‘media’ area…for laptop and phone.

I need to get ALL my clothes in one tub…not two. I think if I hang my two big leather coats on the back of the front seats, I might make it, as they are what takes up most of one tub. Honestly…how many Harley shirts does one need when one hasn’t ridden more than once in six months…..Give it up Girl!

Getti’n tired and misspelling …not on purpose………………Nitey Nite!

Home Sweet Home

Everyone thinks about chucking it all and ‘Hitting the Road’, at some point in their lives. Pipe dreams????  For most …..Probably…..more like a daydream. Certainly not for everyone.

We all have different, very personal reasons for ‘Hitting the Road’. Some of us do it part-time and some of us take a leap of faith…..usually shocking friends and family and aim for 24/7….living in a mobile , small space.

At the ripe age of 60, I looked around and wondered what happened to my life. Where is the paid for cottage in the country…..loving life mate…..money in the bank to enjoy retirement. I certainly thought all that was a GIVEN……

I could see the writing on the wall, and decided to start trying to Live Life, instead of Living to Work. I didn’t have the guts to do it all at once, but started downsizing to see if I could live in a very small space. At the time of this post…..I have researched all aspects of living on the road, as a nomad…24/7. I think I have my ducks in a row.

Something I really hate….is people thinking living in a vehicle is being homeless. It is simply your choice of abode……it’s a lifestyle. Ok if you’re rich and own a house in addition….somehow NOT OK if all you own is your 4 wheels……something is quite wrong with that philosophy.

After careful deliberation, I opted to make my new ‘Home Sweet Home’, a Mini Van. Not much room to lounge or stretch out….no indoor plumbing. It is my choice, as it’s what I am comfortable in driving and handling, as well as better gas efficiency. Very Stealthy. I am OK with not having it be a mini rendition of a brick and stick home.

My plan is to use it as a comfortable place to sleep, store my clothes, food, and actually live life outside of the vehicle. That is the point. Go…see…do….enjoy. I embrace the KISS system of life, and simplicity. Most certainly not for everyone.

Those of you thinking about doing similar….I just hope you think about all aspects, and partake after figuring out what is right …For you.