Holy Cow! 100 Days!

I’m well into Trip 2 and decided this was a good time to update the blog.

This trip feels incredibly different from Trip 1 (Oct 2017- July 2018) for so many reasons. Trip 1 started out with a partner along, but that only lasted 2 months. After crossing from Wisconsin to California, I was stationed at the front desk of an RV resort for five months. I really enjoyed getting to live in the RV and making it a home while parked in one place, but five months is too long in one location.

Trip 2 is clearly solo- well, except for the two cats and two dogs! Juniper (June) came on board in Cincinnati, and filled the Iris-shaped hole that was in my heart, after having to put her to sleep just days before leaving on Trip 2. All of the pets adjusted to her presence quickly and she is now a pro at RV life. Thus far, I’ve been in 9 states in 100 days, with my longest stay in one spot lasting only nine days. Oh, and it’s in a new rig! Losing 3,000 pounds and 8 feet of length has improved gas mileage a bit, but I still can’t back the thing up to save my life. Regardless, it has become a comfortable new home that we’ve settled into nicely.

Juniper is playful and mischievous, but snuggles up on my pillow every night.

Two weeks before I left on Trip 2, I went into a slight panic. I’m really big on planning, but have learned to roll with the punches and adjust my plans accordingly. I started to think that instead of heading east and then south, I should head west and then south. I missed the open landscapes of the west, the endless hiking, the free campsites! In the end I stuck to my original plan (or some version of it) and made my way from Wisconsin -> Michigan -> Ohio -> Kentucky -> Tennessee -> North Carolina -> Tennessee (again) -> Alabama -> Georgia -> Florida. I’m happy with the route because it has allowed me to reconnect with many friends and family along the way, explore new cities, and enjoy the warm Florida temperatures in December.

While my location often changes, day to day life is usually pleasant and low-key. I’ve learned so much in my new position that allows me to work full-time from the road. I’m looking into buying and installing solar panels so I can easily boondock with less use of my generator. I enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner on the tailgate of my truck in Alabama, and will spend Christmas on a quiet farm in Florida. I continue to plan up-coming locations, only to change those plans a half-dozen times, all in an effort to keep things affordable and exciting.

The RV life is ever evolving. I see people on social media who recently started RV/bus/van life, and others who are ready to sell their rigs and settle back into a normal home. I spend a decent amount of time thinking about what it will look like when I’m ready to wrap up RV life, but the “where” and “why” have been elusive thus far. There are plenty of places I still want to see, but the rushed pace of Trip 2 has been exhausting. I have started to considered a part-time workamping job again, if the right one comes along, for the financial savings and sense of community it brings. Or perhaps finding an RV park I really enjoy, and grabbing a part-time job in the area. So many options to consider, and the decisions can feel overwhelming. That’s when it’s time to take a deep breath, look out at the beautiful land I’m parked on, and just enjoy the moment.

Hope everyone has a happy holiday season!

Author: mandi

Just a girl chasing after some adventure.

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