Jumping into a new chapter of my life. The living out of my car chapter. Everything has been either put into storage, packed strategically in my car, or donated. I’m getting a lot of questions. How questions, why questions, where questions and I will do my best to answer as many of those as possible here and now.
The big WHY. Why am I doing this? I’d like to be very clear that this is a choice. I am blessed enough that this, while for many people may not be what they want, for me IS a choice. I’ve always been intrigued by this “van life” people talk about. I wasn’t about to go spend a couple thousand dollars on a van though. Sure, my sedan isn’t the most spacious car, nor is it what most people picture when they think “van life” but it’s what I’ve got and I’m willing to work with it. I feel like this experience has the potential to be the most fun I’ve had in a while. This experience also has the potential to be frightening, uncomfortable, and unexpected. This experience to me is an adventure. I feel like there is something for me to gain from this. It might be life knowledge, it might be soul knowledge, it might be personal knowledge, and I expect it will definitely be at least some knowledge that I haven’t even thought of yet.
HOW??? Well, keep in mind I have planned for this. I’m not sleeping on the backseat bench or reclining my drivers seat to sleep. I’ve set myself up a cozy little bed space. My back seats fold down to create an opening into my trunk. My bed extends from the trunk through an opening onto the folded back seat. It’s no pillow-top queen sized bed, but it’s functional and probably the best a sedan can do. Showering? Easy, gyms. I’ve got myself a “night bag.” That bag has all my soaps, a towel, shower sandals, a space for clothes; basically anything I would need for showering or staying the night on a couch (which I will touch on later). Toilets are a bit different. I’ve got a good knowledge of local public bathrooms, but those lock at night. I will have to keep a container in my car for night time pees, and clean it out every day. Now if I have to poop in the middle of the night, which I don’t think has actually happened to me ever, I will have to improvise and let you know how it goes. As of yet, that’s not a concern to me. The other things I’ll keep in my car are clothes (obviously), running gear, climbing gear, shoes, jackets, running supplements, non-perishable foods, beach gear, hammock kit, foam roller, spare toiletries to refill my small “night bag” supply, a solar USB charging port, and a few books.
Where. Here and there. Populated places. Safe neighborhoods where street parking is common and not questioned. Metered parking in safe areas where the meter shuts off for the night, free beach street side parking, and probably occasional camping. I do plan on a bit of couch surfing and I have gotten so many generous offers from friends. I will take you up on that, but I’m not doing this to be a mooch and stay anywhere rent free. If I’m staying on your couch expect your bathroom to be cleaned, your laundry to be folded, or your breakfast to be made. I’ll accept generosity, but not for nothing. The rest of my life will go on as normal. Work, running, climbing, hammock time. I never spent much time in my apartment as it is, so the only added space will probably be wi-fi cafes.
Peoples reactions. WOW have I seen a plethora of different reactions. From denial, to indifference, to excited support. People telling me, “No, no you’re not going to do thaaaaat,” as if it were the most unimaginable and sad thing a person could allow to happen to themselves. Those people make me laugh becuase they refuse to believe me. “You’re not the first person I’ve known to do that,” “It’ll be fun people do it all the time,” which makes me feel safe and confident. Then there are those few who have asked questions with interest and enthusiasm. Some questions I can’t yet answer. These people have made me feel powerful and excited. I feel like these people really understand the why behind this choice I’m making, they understand that it’s the kind of experience that leads to good stories, great memories, discomfort, and growth.