Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Day 10 - Fears and Second Thoughts

As with all my large dreams and plans, I'm starting to second guess myself and become afraid. What am I giving up that I may never have again? What will I do with all the things I can't bear to
part with? What if this happens? What if that happens?

What if I get out on the road and hate it?

All of those are completely legitimate questions to ask myself, and they're questions I've asked myself many times before this decision. I still don't have the answers to any of them, so let's explore them.

What am I giving up that I may never have again?

Honestly, not much. Through moving 5 times in 5 years, I learned that "things" are not so hard to acquire as one may believe. I came here with only a bed and a few pieces of family heirloom furniture, and I now have as much furniture as I could ever need, most of it gotten for free as gifts or from beside the dumpster.

The only thing I can think of that I'm giving up is isolation and loneliness. I can always get more "stuff" and find a place to garden. 

What will I do with all the things I can't bear to part with?

Parting with treasured possessions is always hard, and I have quite a few. I've been thinking that I should put them all in storage for a year until I can decide if vandwelling is really for me. 

My situation is somewhat different in that I have a few family heirloom furniture and other pieces that I really don't want to part with. My son would probably take a couple of them, but he has a very small studio, and they're very large pieces. I hate to sell them, but if worse comes to worse, maybe someone will get them who will love them and care for them for their whole lives. 

But still, they are just "things," and I've lost so many other treasured things over the years, these would just be a few more. Maybe parting with those things will give me a new freedom that I've never had. Still, it's hard to part with things that you really love, that have always been part of your life, and that can't be replaced.

What if I get out on the road and hate it?

There is much to hate about living in a van. Here are just a few things that I think about a lot.

Lack of a proper bathroom - I've said that I will be mostly a city vandweller because I need to be somewhere that I can have proper showers and bathrooms. Sponge bathing and not being able to wash my hair regularly are just not my thing. I can do it for short periods of time, but as an entire lifestyle? Probably not. 

Lack of climate control - Yes, I can chase the weather, but I've found that if you have nice daytime temps in the 70s, it's usually very cold at night. Then there is the summer, and if I'm forced to find a/c to stay alive, but have to sleep in a  hot van at night, or be stuck in there during bad weather, I'm honestly not sure I could bear it for long. 

Food Issues - I love to cook. I love having a nice kitchen where I can spread out and choose to cook what I want from my cabinets and refrigerator. That isn't going to happen in a van, especially not a minivan. I won't have enough solar at first to have a refrigerator, so I'll be eating a lot of raw food very quickly, and having to eat a lot of canned and dried foods. I love raw food, but I'm used to being able to put a lot of it in my fridge and eat it during a week or two. That isn't going to be possible in a minivan, which is another reason I want to stay close to cities and towns, so I can shop often. There is basically no baking in a van, so I'll have to buy all my baked goods, and the thought of no more hot-from-the-oven homemade biscuits is saddening.

Breakdowns - I'll have the best AAA I can buy, but still, if you're in the middle of nowhere, and your van won't start, or it conks out on a hot, desert highway, you're screwed. I broke down on the side of an interstate once at night, before cell phones, and luckily, I didn't get murdered before the highway patrol came. A few men stopped and asked if they could help, but I just asked them to call the highway patrol. I truly thought I was going to get blown off the road by the truck whizzing by, shaking my car. I don't relish having that happen again, which is another reason I want to stay close to cities as much as possible, although some highway travel through isolated places is inevitable.

Illness - This is my worst fear. What if I get bit by a snake, or get very sick and can't drive to the nearest city? What if I die in my van in the wilderness where no one will find me forever? Recently, a man was found dead in a WalMart parking lot. I seriously cannot imagine the terror of being deathly ill and not being able to contact anyone.

There are other things that scare me, but I keep watching videos of successful single van dwellers and think maybe it won't be so bad. If I decide I absolutely hate it and can't bear another minute, I can always find some place to land and settle down again. 

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