Anyone that knows me can tell you that I don’t have a filter. Often, what goes through my mind comes out of my mouth. It’s something I’ve been working on for years, but impulsive thoughts or opinions still come out from time to time. Along those same lines, I do not believe in making my life look all shiny and sparkly on social media. I’ve had a particularly rough day, and I’m ready to vent. #nofilter
Recently, a few challenges have been wearing down my patience. First up: the cons of boondocking. There are many, many pros to boondocking, but that’s for another day. As much as I absolutely LOVE to find free places to park, there are challenges to not having hookups (water, electric, and sewer. Not having the other kind of hookup is an entirely different problem that I will likely not get into, because my parents read my blog, and I’m working on that whole filter thing.)
Not having electric isn’t a huge deal, because I have a great generator to keep my laptops and phone charged, a key to working remotely. Water is more challenging, because it means filling several jugs whenever possible, and not doing simple things like dishes, showering, or cooking.
I was recently in Bend, Oregon and going into town every day to work and then enjoy some breweries. But I was on Day 8 of not showering. A lot of campers use body wipes, which only go so far. I actually scheduled a haircut just so someone would wash my hair and I could feel human again. My other options: truck stop (safe? clean?), day pass to a gym (this might work in the future with some planning), or troll Tinder for a person that will let me shower at their place (safe? clean?). I’ve since heard that a lot of state parks have shower facilities, so again, that might work in the future. Luckily, my good friend and boss is amazing and reached out to his mother-in-law who lives in the area. I hadn’t seen her in a few years but she graciously welcomed me into her home to shower, and then we went to lunch. It was a real treat, and saved me from some nightmare Tinder dates. Side note: If you’re ever near Sisters, OR check out the Three Creeks Brew Pub- great food, beer, and atmosphere!
Ok, deep breath. We’ll get through this rant together.
Challenge number two: life on the road can get really lonely. I’m an introvert so alone time is crucial to my happiness, but sometimes there’s just too much of it. Although I meet a ton of nice people at each location, I’m leaving them within a few days. I also appreciate the digital community of other RVers, travelers, etc. on social media but again, not many meaningful, lasting relationships. My true friendships are reduced to phone calls and texts right now, and that can be difficult. Long distance relationships, whether they’re romantic or otherwise, take a lot of work.
Solo (single) traveler problems exist too. Sometimes life on the road would just be easier if I had a partner along for the ride. I’d be able to safely back up my rig, divide and conquer the chores, and share amazing experiences with someone. When I’m overwhelmed, it would be nice to have someone else take the lead and the pressure off of me. Someone to share the expenses, and the mental burden of problem solving new issues or planning a route and places to stay. But life on the road proves to be impossible for dating. I’ve been known to move quickly in relationships before, but meeting, falling in love, and moving into an RV in the span of four days before I move on to the next location? Not gonna happen. (Although having a silly crush on someone never hurt anybody.) And at this point, the only hookups I have any interest in are 50amp.
Alright, we’re almost done with my complaining post.
The last 24 hours have been ROUGH. It’s a beautiful weekend on the cusp of summer, and RVers are out in full force. I’m finding out that many non-RVers lack patience on the road, often cutting me off, or not letting me into a lane (I KNOW YOU SAW MY TURN SIGNAL ON!) While driving through Salem, OR I missed my exit THREE times because it comes up fast and people do not let you over. When you miss a turn in an RV, the GPS wants you to U-turn, which is laughable towing a 40-ft rig. Instead, you go around a few blocks if you’re lucky, and tour the entire west side of Salem if you’re unlucky. After the third time, I was almost in tears.
Once out of the city, I was on country roads, which were narrow, twisty, and full of hills. Driving safely (ie the speed limit or 5-8 mph over) caused a long line of cars behind me to get annoyed, since there were few places to pass me safely. Shout out to California for having so many turn-outs where I was able to safely pull over and let the crowds pass. So far this concept seems to have eluded Oregon.
Yesterday, my location took a lot of maneuvering to get in and out of the designated space, which is crazy stressful. I never want to run over a host’s plants or smack into a fence, and I definitely don’t want to scratch up or dent my rig. So when I showed up to my new location this morning, the space was even tighter, and there was no room to turn around. It’s probably my own fault that I don’t feel comfortable backing up my rig without assistance, but I was in no mood for a tricky spot without a turn around. I called my next location, and asked if I could come in a day early. Luckily, they had plenty of room, and I’m now parked on a berry farm in a huge field where unhooking and turning around will be easy. Phew!
Life will have stressful situations, problems will arise, and things will go wrong. That’s the case whether you live in a house, apartment, RV, or yurt, because that’s just life. I was never under the impression that I would lead a worry-free or problem-free life on the road. And honestly, my problems have been extremely minimal. Truck and RV repairs, vet visits, health issues… things could be much worse.
But sometimes I wake up in a grumpy mood, and my window is still broken from the dog busting through it last week, and a cat has learned how to open the screen door and escape, and my tailgate falls open and dents the front of the RV, and I’m getting a zit on my chin that really hurts, and I need to do a month’s worth of laundry, and I keep crossing that damned Pacific Crest Trail, and gas prices are about to go up, and I hit a chipmunk AND a squirrel within a mile of each other more than a week ago and still feel badly, and I need good wifi to bust out a ton of work hours, and the bills are all due this week, and I’m tired, and hungry, and miss my friends and family.
So I’ll take a few more deep breaths. I’ll meditate, call my sister, walk my dogs and snuggle the cats, and enjoy the world around me. I’ll remember to count my blessings, let the little stuff roll off my back, and turn the music up loud- a dance party can fix almost any bad mood.