“Turn and Face the Strange” David Bowie Changes
Changes occur at every moment during road life. I took to the road for a change. I felt stuck in life, finding it easy to have a dream, set a goal and make it happen. Actually, this had become so easy that I set up road blocks just to add some pizazz to it all. I, of course, was unaware of all this. It wasn’t until I spent endless hours driving across the country in Jones that I had time to contemplate (obsess) the depths of my life.
Once on the road, I had NO idea what I was in for. The first day I totally forgot to find a place to camp for the night (something I had never done alone before), I forgot to map out my route and I even forgot to pack food. Like it mattered. I was such a mess by the end of the first day all I could down was a room temperature beer. (I even forgot ice!).
The changes I faced living in a 38 square foot van included but was not limited to the following. Battling a 60 lb. boxer dog that hogs the small bed you both share, making my entire nights sleep total crap. Or after a rain storm, trying to find sticks and twigs to fuel my badass clean energy Biolite stove so I could enjoy a warm meal. Then, ending up just eating cold beans out of a can. Or when I had to pee in the middle of the night but its too creepy outside to leave the van, that’s when I found the amazing gift of a car funnel and empty bottle. Or once snuggled into bed ready to read my favorite book then realize that the book is underneath me! This means getting out of bed, opening the van and digging under layers to retrieve it. This is just a tiny glimpse into about, oh an hour into road life.
There are also more difficult things l had to figure out like: how to get mail, how to make a living, how to get paid then how to deposit that money into my bank, how to find India’s brand of food across the US (even in little tiny hick towns). Then there’s staying in touch with the world via wifi, which DOES NOT EXIST on the road. Texting or calling my family to tell them I was safe when there is no service.
So there are challenges and a TON of changes not only in road life but every day regular “normal” life too. I spent the first part of van life just treading water to keep up with all these changes, then midway I began to ignore or beat down change every moment it showed its little face. Finally, like fear, I sat with it. I welcomed it and accepted that it will always be there. Once I turned and faced the strange it became familiar, transforming into knowledge, into wisdom then empowerment. This change reminds me that no matter what happens, what curve ball life throws your way, what detour you hit, there is ALWAYS a way!