Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Slowing Down to Save My Health and Peace of Mind



I've been stressing myself out too much over my one-year timeline for hitting the road in a van. I've also been questioning whether full-time van life is really for me, as I've posted here earlier. After much serious thought, I've decided to keep the goal, but change the
timeline.

Being Totally Set Up vs. Doing It As You Go

I'm a person who likes to be totally prepared and have everything I need before I take off on an adventure. I make lists upon lists, and when I made my lists for this adventure, I realized I would not have enough money in time to outfit my van life so that I could be comfortable enough to enjoy it. I know that some people just start out with nothing and build along the way, but that's not how I like to do things.

Case in point: I want a refrigerator in my van. Now a mini-van is not going to be able to hold a large refrigerator, but I have seen a couple of builds that have decent sized ones. In order to have even a 12-volt fridge, I need at least 200 watts of solar plus as much storage in batteries. Both are expensive, and there is no way I can get that much money together in a year with everything else I have to buy...namely, the van itself.

Leaving Beloved Things Behind

The more I thought about decluttering, the more I realized that there are things I simply cannot part with, and the only solution would be to put them in storage, which would cut into my traveling budget a bit. These aren't valueless things. I have some rather valuable family heirlooms that i haven't even been able to enjoy because I've moved around so much.

Then there is my garden. Gardening is what keeps me sane. I don't know if I could ever give it up completely, even if I was planning on visiting a lot of botanical gardens along the way, and maybe having a few small plants in the van itself. There is something about growing plants that feeds my soul. Would I really ever be happy without some sort of garden? It would be like losing a limb, I think. I'd be somehow incomplete.

Same Goal - Different Plan

I still want to live in a van, even if only for a year, and travel the country, but I simply don't think it's practical for me to push myself to do that by next July. There are just too many questions I still have, too many "what ifs" to confront.

For example, I haven't had a vehicle since 2008. What if I get a vehicle and find out it makes my life here so much easier and happier that I don't want to leave?

I've also never really furnished or fixed up my apartment the way I had planned when I moved in. I had so many plans for this place, but none of them have taken shape. I'd like to at least make it into what I always dreamed it would be, and see how I feel about leaving. What if I never do that? I'll always wonder what could have been.

So the new plan is to take an extra year, get the van, fix it up a bit and take a year making trips of varying lengths to see how I deal with van life. I'd like to get out of here during the summer, so next summer would be a great time to make a long trip out to the Pacific Northwest to visit my son and see what it's like out there, plus spend some quality time with him and see some of the country besides.

In the meantime, I'll have more time to save money, get in shape and declutter what I truly don't want to keep. If I decide to do full-time van life, I may actually have enough money to get a better, larger van as opposed to just a mini-van and build it out to be a bit more comfortable.

Taking Time to Explore Possibilities

I guess the conclusion I came to is that I need to explore making my life here better rather than rush to where the grass may not be greener once I get there. I have it pretty good here. My apartment is nice, and it could be gorgeous if I carried through with my original plans.

I have just enough room here to garden, and if I had a vehicle, I could maybe get a small veggie plot in my old community garden that I loved so much that is a little too far away to take care of on a bicycle. I could also get involved in the gardening community like I wanted to before, but couldn't because I couldn't get to events and meetings without transportation. Who knows how that could change my life?

I still want to travel very much, and the thought of moving to Mexico for awhile is still in the back of my mind, but I'm not going to push myself. I'm only 66. A lot of people don't even retire until they're 70. By the time I'm 68, I'll hopefully be healtheir, wealthier, and wiser about what I want to do with my golden years.

As for this blog, for the next two years, it will still be about my journey to lose weight, get in shape, build my affiliate marketing business and declutter my junk, but now I'll also be posting about decorating my apartment and exploring possibilities here. Of course, once I get the van, it will be about how it changes my life, fixing it up, and my travels.

Stay tuned! There is much to come!

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