Have you ever had a problem that grew the more you thought about it? How when you weighed your possible answers you kept thinking of more things to consider? More pluses and minuses, more options, and what if this happened, or what if I tried that instead, until suddenly what was once just another problem became a tangled mess that was impossible to sort through?
It wasn’t that the problem was insurmountable, we just made it that way. Until finally perhaps frustration and indecision force us to confide in someone we trust about the problem and they give, maybe not a perfect answer, but at least a reasonable one without thinking more than a minute about it?
It’s not that the person has super-human reasoning abilities, it’s that they have a fresh perspective and aren’t weighed down by all the extra baggage that you’ve walled up about the problem. Basically, you over thought it.
I’m realizing that that is one big benefit of traveling with someone. You have another person to bounce ideas off of and together the two of you can probably work to a good answer. You temper each other. It doesn’t all rest on your shoulders.
Before I hit the road I thought that decision making and working through the problems of where to go and what to do would be easier being solo, because then you don’t have to take anyone else’s well-being and interests and concerns into account but your own. But now I’m finding that it isn’t so.
Actually, thinking of it now I’d imagine that if you’ve learned to be self-sufficient already, that this kind of decision making would be nothing new to you and you’ll adapt quickly to applying that skill to the unique kinds of problems full-time RVers face. I’ve always lived with someone to share the responsibility of big questions like where to go and what to do though, so not having the support network ready at hand is a new experience for me.
In the end, I have no doubt that I’ll be a more capable and self-reliant person by the end of this grand experiment in decision making that is RVing. In fact I’ve already learned a lot about myself in just the two and a half months I’ve been traveling alone. This is just one more hump to get around, and get around it I shall. But right now, it’s a bit nerve-wracking.
Right, so where was I again? Oh yeah, I’m making the issue of where to go after Wisconsin more complex than it needs to be. My tentative plan had me boondocking out in Arizona after the holidays, but I’m concerned that I didn’t get as much overtime at Amazon as I was hoping. After the gas to drive half a country away to get there, investing in a propane heater and a solar setup good enough to live off of for a few months, I’m thinking that I wouldn’t have enough money to make it to the end of winter, and wondering what I should do now.
As much as I’d like to head out West and spend the next few months doing the true traveling and vacationing thing in the desert, which I haven’t been to in ages and can’t wait to see again, the long term sustainability of full-timing for me depends on money, and while I probably have enough where I wouldn’t starve, I’d be worried the whole time about running out and that’s not really a vacation in my eyes.
So I’m going to winterize Cas and take him up to Wisconsin with me, depending on what the weather is like that might be an adventure in itself. I’ll be staying with my folks in Rapids and visiting friends in Madison for a total of about 2-ish weeks probably, between which I’ll be on the internet looking for my next gig. If it takes longer than 2 weeks to find something, then I stay longer.
I’ve found the problem with trying to find jobs too far in advance is places usually only advertise when they need someone, and they want that someone right now. Especially with temporary work, and especially this time of year – employers are still looking for holiday help.
I could continue to sit here scouring craigslist and help-wanted ads and work myself up into a panic that these jobs aren’t going to be available after Amazon and the holiday visit is over (because they probably won’t be) or I can accept it for what it is and move on. I’ll find something after Christmas is over, because I won’t give up until I have.
I’m going to be looking for stuff that’s south and southeast of Wisconsin for the winter months, to save on gas and not be terribly far from both Wisconsin and South Carolina as a safety net in case plans fall through. I know, if I’m looking hard enough work isn’t impossible to find, but it’ll do much to ease the fear, having those options nearby.
For a while I was kicking myself and feeling like a failure for wanting to head back to the familiarity of the southeast, but now I’m cutting myself some slack and realizing that you can’t just wake up one morning and suddenly be that awesome person who can do everything themselves without fear, change takes time. My trip to South Dakota and Kansas was a test of sorts, a trial run before the big takeoff. Overall, I’d say it was a success. The next one will be longer, I’ll make it out to the desert southwest yet, just you wait.
Looking past the first part of the year, for the summer I’m applying right now to some seasonal Forest Service jobs which sound interesting and pay reasonably well, and would actually make use of my two Associate in Applied Science degrees, gasp. I’d also like to make this the year I perform at a renaissance festival with Julie, since I’ll be in the general area, and next year probably won’t be. Again though, sustainability comes first so if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out.
Last Friday I was on the phone with Julie and we came to a conclusion about full-timing without a steady income source or saved up money to rely on: It’s like a leap of faith, but one that never ends. Landing the Amazon job was great, but I need to keep leaping ahead to the next gig or I’ll run short of funds and the adventure is over. It’s like in those old 2D side-scrolling games where you land on a platform but quickly need to jump to the next one because it’ll crumble from underneath you and then you fall.
* * *
Oh, there is another thing I need to stop thinking too hard about also. At the beginning of last month I had a little teaser at the end of a post saying there was an announcement coming and that I’d be giving more information out later in the month.
You guys might not even remember it now because the announcement never came – I agonized over how to make it sound perfect and what post it should come at the end of, and…screw it. As Mary Risley once said, “Just Put the F***ing Turkey in the Oven”. Nothing’s perfect so here it is:
I’m writing an e-book on RVing. Right now it’s focusing on going small and going solo because that’s what I know how to do and there are already plenty of RVing e-books out there with more general info.
I’ve made some good progress on it I think, but the truth is it doesn’t matter what I think about it, it matters what you guys think! Part of the inspiration for writing the Ahoy Landlubber post was to get a sense for what sort of issues you all have surrounding RVing, so I could incorporate more detailed answers than the ones I was able to give in the comments into the book.
Quick important facts:
- If there’s something specific you’d like to see in it, please do comment or e-mail me and let me know
- This will not affect the blog in any way. I’ll still be updating 2-ish times a week with the same sort of content I’ve been doing all along
- More information about it will be coming down the road when it’s closer to completion, but I promise not to be spammy and obnoxious about it
And there, announcement done! Yeah that was much easier than the 72 step action plan you can find online for how to properly announce and launch an e-book.
* * *
One last thing! The 19 short little videos from the sprint from Indian Springs to Sioux Falls are now up on the Videos page for your viewing pleasure. I’ve also redone the format a little to hopefully make it easier to navigate.
Man, this post is kind of messy. Well, that’s okay. Life is kind of messy sometimes, too. Have a good Monday everyone.
Image courtesy of sacks08It's good to share: