Sunday, March 30, 2014

The teeter-totter of the van dwelling life

There are places in the US—Quartzsite, for example—where it’s easy to be a van dweller or RVer. Bulk water, sewage dump, bulk propane, showers, RV service and repair, solar energy supplies, good cellular reception, decent over-the-air TV reception, free wi-fi, free or laughably cheap campsites...

The thing is, the convenience of those places makes it very tempting to just stay put. You know, like when we live in buildings. Yet the main reason our vehicles have wheels is so we can travel. 

Some van dwellers talk about living a life of adventure. Not necessarily sky-diving-naked-from-the-edge-of-space-into-a-crocodile-infested-river level of adventure, but at least getting out and seeing the country, going new places. Often.

But travel burns fuel. And finding those needed services and free/cheap campsites means a lot of research. “I’d like to visit _________, but where could I stay for free? Where can I even park my rig?” I don’t know how people did this before the Internet. I guess they depended on word of mouth. (Word of mouth isn’t easy for us introverts. I mean, we don’t want to bother people with our stupid questions, right?)

After spending the winter in a rather small region, I’ve been itching to wander. I kept checking the long range weather forecasts to see where winter is receding. C’mon, dammit!

That’s why I’ve been drifting along the border this past week, checking out areas I’ve never been. It’s why I’ve dared to venture into higher elevations this early in Spring and submit myself to chillier nights. I need to go.

I know the longer I stay in one place, the better I can afford to drive the Rolling Steel Tent all over. It’s a balancing act. I’m fighting competing genetic tendencies: Mom wanted to travel, Dad didn’t see the point (except for business). I was very close to being like my father. I think that’s why I was unhappy as a homeowner, why I just wanted to be rid of that anchor, of that place where I’d just go through the same old routine day after day, becoming so rooted in place. It’s why I needed to go.

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