Forgive me, readers, for I have sinned.
It's been one year, two months, and 29 days since my last entry. I promised friends and family (and some lovely strangers) that I would keep them up to date with my travels and adventures. I failed pretty miserably. Sure, there have been Instagram and Facebook posts. But how much can you really convey in those?! Look, Ma - I’m in New Orleans. Hey! My feet are in the ocean! So, here we are...
Tomorrow will be my one-year vanniversary. How is that even possible? It seems like a good time to jump back into the blog. I mean, I think a year of adjusting to van life is enough time to accumulate some stories. So much has happened between then and now, it’s hard to know where to begin. How about a recap?
I had decided to make some significant life changes in the fall of 2016. #operationhomelessby40 commenced. And, sure enough, by June 6th of 2017, I had sold my home and was frantically trying to empty it of the accumulations of many years and many people. It was exhausting, both mentally and physically. If it weren’t for family and friends stepping up in amazing ways, I’d still be drowning in the detritus of my own life. Someday I’ll share in greater detail the turmoil of strolling through the entirety of your life piece by piece. It was eye-opening and served to affirm that I had made the right choice. It was time to let go and move forward.
So, there I was. Homeless! My parents generously let me stay in their RV as I searched for my new home on wheels. I soon became enamored with the Travato, a Class B Van by Winnebago. I searched high and low for the exact model with the right exterior color and interior upholstery. When I found it, it wasn’t quite as close by as I had hoped. It was over 1600 miles away in Houston, Texas. But she was THE ONE. I knew it. A Murphy bed in the back with a dinette I could work from. A wet bath, nice refrigerator, propane stove and a Truma heating system that everyone seemed to rave about. In love and blind to any other options, I knew what I wanted, and it was in Texas. Upon describing it to my travel bestie, Kathryn, her response was, “When do we leave?”. Within days I had put a deposit on the van, and we had purchased our airfare and begun plotting our adventure.
Kathryn and I landed in Houston on July 11th, 2017 and grabbed an Uber to Camping World. After a quick walk-through of the Travato, I signed my life away and handed over the certified check. Looking back, I feel like I should have been nervous, but after all the work that had taken place in the year previous, this felt like the easy part. I took the keys and in we climbed. The smile on my face was even more ridiculous than usual. Until the nerves set in. It’s just a van. Not a Mack truck. But you can’t see out the back. And you can’t really see what’s to your side that easily either. I was nervous as could be and so thankful to have a co-pilot who could check lanes for me so I didn’t run anyone off the road. Our maiden voyage took us to Chuy’s for much-needed margaritas and tacos. After a sleepless night working out the kinks, we headed to Dallas/Fort Worth for Kathryn to do some work. I’ll say this; there’s nothing like driving through a major metropolis to get your legs under you. Fast.
Work. Food. Tequila. More driving.
New Orleans via Baton Rouge. Just under 1000 miles of driving under my belt at that point. And that’s where I’m going to leave you. Because New Orleans is a (very humid) story unto itself.