I have been at a standstill now for several months. As those of you who have followed my journey know, I was driven back to my hometown in February by the weather, and here I am, five months later, still sitting here. I had not anticipated this turn of events and certainly had not thought I’d be here for as long as I have. My traveling partner (and best friend) and I have been staying in the RV at a campground just outside of Champaign, IL, which is where I grew up and where my parents and my brother and his family live. I have been working at my brother’s company and enjoying the time I’ve gotten to spend with family. But once the weather started to turn, the road began to whisper sweet nothings in my ear. And now those whispers have become a roar, and I find that I can’t resist much longer. The road is such a convincing romantic. I have been swayed to believe all that is held before me to tempt me to follow the road wherever it may lead me.
This time, however, things will be different. I will be heading out on my own, for my biggest solo adventure yet. It was so great to have my best friend join me in this crazy venture for the past year. What an adventure it has all been. I am so grateful to have had a partner in crime and someone to rely on for support when we were faced with challenging situations.
But now, she will stay here for a while because an opportunity arose that she cannot pass up. And I must go. Because it is in my blood. I will head west.
I had originally thought to point the rig to the east/northeast first but going west again feels right. I’ve had enough of the rain and humidity to last me a good long while. I am ready for drier alpine environments. For towering rugged mountains and crystal blue lakes. For blue skies and puffy white clouds. For pine needles under my boots and views that go on forever.
Am I nervous? Sure. At least a little bit. I am in a 30’ 1993 RV traveling solo. And I will have no car…just my bike. There will be new challenges, some of which I am already aware, and others that I am sure will blindside me unawares somewhere along the line. I am sure there will be frustrations aplenty along the way. Moments of anxiety as a new problem arises that I am unsure of how to fix. But those are just part of this life. And for all that, I get the rewards of the freedom this lifestyle offers. Opportunities to grow and gain strength. New trails to hike and amazing views right outside my window. Views that change as often as I care to move. I get the quiet and peace that being alone out in nature affords. And when I hit those rough patches, I’ll just turn up my music and “dance it out” (in the words of Meredith Gray from Gray’s Anatomy), or head out for a good, long hike, understanding that rough patches are only temporary setbacks on my path of living a life doing what I love.
I will not be completely alone. I am travelling with three boys. Three furry boys. Gatsby, Bubs, and Arlo are a bonded tribe. The Boys’ Club. And neither of us wants to break that tribe apart. Gatsby and Bubs are happiest living this road life. I’d never have imagined it for Bubs, but he’s come into his own out here and I’ve never seen him happier. Gatsby was made for this type of life. I can’t fathom him back in an apartment. He has an adventurer’s soul. And Arlo? Arlo is truly happiest wherever Bubs is. So, it will be me and the boys on this journey.
I have discovered that this road life is an important part of the path I need to follow. My creativity relies on the freedom, adventure, changes in scenery, and time out in nature that I get living out on the road. I have started writing the sequel to The Undoing, book 2 in the trilogy, but I’ve found that my creative brain just doesn’t work as well sitting still. Part of the joy in the journey has been, and still is, that all of the different sides of me fit together better. I feel more complete, more creative, more at peace with myself and others. I am free to be who I am deep down to my roots, and I can live a life that rests in love. Do I think it’s necessary to live this kind of life to feel peace and to rest in love? No. This life isn’t for everyone. And I’m sure that even for me, it isn’t necessary. But it is right. For me, it is right.
The boys and I will be in Champaign a bit longer. At this point, it looks like ETD (estimated time of departure) is at the beginning of August, when Gail can move into her new digs. In the meantime, Knight will be getting prepped to leave as well. Next weekend, it will be time to tackle replacing the brakes, changing the oil, connecting the inverter, and a few other minor tasks to make him road-ready again. This part of the path will teach me something as well. It will teach me that lesson I have always struggled to learn. Patience. Patience to wait for those things that I look forward to. But it is oh so near now. I might have to occasionally plug my ears to quiet that roar a bit, turn it into more of a whisper again, before heeding the call of the road. It is time. When the whisper becomes a roar, you know it is time to listen.