“We saw that painted bus coming and we thought ‘oh no, here come more of those dirty hippies,'” the Ranger told us at the park gate. “But we were wrong, the bus looks great – and you guys don’t smell bad at all.”
It was as good a compliment as I had hoped for, coming from a State Park Ranger a week after leaving our old home and starting our life on the road.
Once rolling down the highway we planned to relax for a couple of days, but that didn’t immediately pan out.
Life is a work-in-progress and when you think you’re ready, the unplanned happens. That’s the magic, I reckon.
While still overwhelmed with the big change we had just made, and still a little low on sleep, we were able to have an impromptu meet-up with some traveling cohorts in Oregon – Nikki and Jason of ‘Gone with the Wynns’ – an RV lifestyle couple who make a living sharing their journey and tips on traveling. They spotted A Little Further right away when we met up – and complimented us on our DIY style – (thanks you guys!)
Full-timers for over two years now, the Wynns happily gave advice to us, the somewhat discombobulated two-day-ers, and while our goal is definitely NOT to be on the road for years, we wanted to make our tour as comfortable and efficient as possible. They certainly had some great tips. Firstly, that we should take our time, and do one thing at a time. That is the reason for this lifestyle change, after all. Though, they were quick to reiterate that for those of us living on the road, this is a lifestyle choice — Not a permanent vacation. There is still work to be done.
We apologized for the state of our bus and gave them the “grand tour”, mentioning that we had just moved out of our house and that we planned to spend the next few days getting organized.
“You say that now! You think it’s not always going to be like this, but it will! …I understand, though. Downsizing is tough. I cried during many of our moving days. We were moving from 4500 square feet into our first RV,” she said.
It was fun to hang out with some experts and learn more about the places they stay and travel deals they’ve taken advantage of. Seems like they’ve got some great connections and a good rhythm down.
“The best part of RVing is, bar none, you can go wherever the hell you want; a mountain top, a forest, a winery…” Jason’s wistfulness as he spoke about their adventures renewed our excitement and abated our fears.
Next we headed to California.
As we barreled southward, our drive was timed to the beat of our belongings that rattled, rolled and whistled along the two-lane stretch. This particular music had to be silenced to preserve our sanity.
It has been said that any task will take as long as the time allotted for said task. When we moved from our 3-story home into a converted short bus, years of preparation seemed to end in somewhat of a scramble to get things out of the house or into the Goodwill pile – A Little Further filled up really quick so we had to limit our options in order to throw the remainder of our belongings on board in an unorganized fashion.
There’s always that box or two that resembles your kitchen junk drawer – you want to keep it and use it, but you don’t know where it goes. I knew we would soon be paring down once again in our minimalist fashion – yet these things on the bus were the great sum of our possessions. (Thank you again to the Chesneks and Colin and Taylor for helping in that last minute frenzy!)
There is no such thing as a “junk drawer” or “odds and ends” receptacle for us anymore. Everything has a purpose. Everything has a place. Until the next day, when we inevitably acquire more “stuff” and then have to minimize even further in order to be sure we have a little room to stretch out… One day at a time!
We’re working it through. Eating, keeping heathy, rested and clean along with taking care of the dogs is work. It’s amazing how often one can neglect personal priorities when consumed by corporate demands.
We have to keep drawing ourselves back to our ultimate goal, which is to fully recalibrate (an endeavor that requires the un-doing of a lifetime of preconceived notions) and find a place to start a farm, a food joint, and a family.
Now it is the simple things that make for full days. Road time, reorganizing, planning, resting, brewing, eating, researching, working… being present with ourselves, each other, and our surroundings… Taking the time to enjoy life the way we believe we were meant to.
Ca-junk-a-lunk… Ca-junk-a-lunk… No, that’s not the noise a chicken makes… it was the sound of our bus being ushered past the Park Ranger, bouncing down the rocky trail to the Smith River.
Our own rhythm is starting to take form.
-Kristina & David-