As I start the final countdown to beginning this new lifestyle, there is still much that is unknown and incomplete. There are things I assumed would be closer to completion at this point, but there are also things that are clearer now than ever. This is the first in a series posts that will share my progress and thoughts as I countdown to the start of a new way of life. I will talk about things that have gone right, those that have gone terribly wrong, and my choice to move forward with my plans regardless.
Finances: To be honest, things could be better. Everything is still completely doable and money will not affect my timeline, but I am definitely having to make some adjustments. I am nowhere near the financial goals I set a year ago and for reasons mostly beyond my control, my savings account is currently barren. Thankfully, I have a small investment maturing in September that will provide a few months living expenses if necessary. The businesses I have been building in the past year are not gaining momentum as quickly as I had hoped they would by now. They will in time, but I cannot count on them yet. I had hoped to avoid working a ‘regular’ job once I hit the road. Right now it appears that is not going to be possible. No big deal, a part-time remote job will do just fine and still give me the extra time I need to really focus on building these alternate income sources.
Choosing My Mobile Home: I have mentioned recently my decision to go with a van. I continue to research in case new information presents itself, but I’m pretty clear on what I want to get. I will most likely get a Chevy Express cargo van and build it out, but I’ve been drawn to a couple of really unique late 80’s and early 90’s camper vans in the last 2 weeks as well. The prices on them have been ridiculously good and the thought of having a ‘ready to roll’ van is kind of cool. While there is the potential for repairs on an older vehicle, it’s not like buying a newer van guarantees you won’t break down. Any vehicle could break down at any time. And older vans have so much… character.
Buying the Van: Not much of a countdown here, things are in a holding pattern at the moment. I have some unexpected, costly, and unavoidable repairs that must be completed on my car before I can sell it or trade it in for a van. I’ll be working to resolve those items well into early May. Right now I am window shopping and don’t expect I will be able to actually make the van purchase until at least mid-May, possibly early June. That said, the universe brings us what we need sometimes when we least expect it. Should the right deal show up and a way to make that deal happen presents itself, I could buy my van much sooner. I continue to keep my mind open and alert, my eyes peeled, and I email my Dad and Mom for advice often.
Building the Van: If I do NOT get a prebuilt older campervan, the build of my van may actually end up as a work in progress when I get on the road. The weather should be mild through October, giving me plenty of time to insulate and install solar before temps begin to dip. I know the general direction I want to go with solar and batteries and I have a general design/layout planned in my head as well. I’ve looked at a crazy amount of builds and until I actually begin to build the van, this will continue to be part of the countdown process. I want to know every viable option there is and build my van the best way I can with the money I will have. I want to replicate what is working for current van dwellers and ditch what isn’t. I’m also going to need to find someone with some bad ass carpentry skills to help me out.
Emotionally: I have been emotionally ready for this all my life. Moving and travel are second nature to me. Honestly, the countdown is making me nuts. I am ready now and hate that I have to wait. For months now, when my friend Patrick would ask me if I’m getting nervous or scared, I would laugh and tell him I really didn’t have any fears, I was fearless. Newly on the road and more experienced than me in this lifestyle, he would politely smile, but never once challenged me on the subject. Last week I was video chatting with him about a potential van purchase. I told him that suddenly I had fears of breaking down and not having any money to fix my ‘home’. He laughed and told me that was the kind of fear he had been talking about all along! He also told me it was perfectly normal and it definitely could happen. He assured me if I do break down, I will simply stop where I am, work, save, repair, and move on from there. I definitely needed that pep talk!
Miscellaneous: Living in the constructs of societal norms no longer works for me. I don’t mind if it works for you and I am genuinely happy for you if it does. It simply no longer suits my needs for the foreseeable future. There is a fierce need inside me to have this adventure. There will be no perfect time to go. No perfect set of conditions. Am I willing to look back one year, 5 years, 10 years, or 20 years from now and know I had the chance to fly, but instead allowed my wings to be clipped by circumstance? No way. That’s not an option.
Will life on the road be perfect? Nope, probably not. Are there things that scare me about it? Oh yeah. But the alternative is unthinkable and that scares me more.