I had been waiting for my youngest son to graduate. I made an agreement in 2013 that I would stay in Seattle until he finished high school, and then I could leave. I’ve been wanting to live in the country, on land, in a yurt or tiny home, homesteading, for many many years. As his senior year began, I started to listen for the call. I had many ideas of places I might ‘land’, but none were calling to me. It was radio silence. Hmmm, this wasn’t something I could force, and yet I desperately wanted out of the city.
In early November, as I was filling out a questionnaire (probably the fiftieth one about ‘What Do You Want To Do With Your Life?’; I do these sorts of questionnaires every few months because I’ve always loved filling out forms), I noticed again the things I love – solitude, open expanses, no set schedule, teaching, working with a team remotely – and the things that I didn’t love – too much time indoors, too much time in front of a computer, teaching the same thing for 15 years, paying rent even if I’m traveling for a month. And while I absolutely LOVE my house and the urban farm I created, being in the city is stifling for me. I know these things about myself, but it’s always good to write them down.
Swiftly, a vision came to me where I was on the road. I could see incredible vistas, and have hours of solitude. At the end of the day, I would cook a simple meal and snuggle in my bed. I could spend a few hours a day on my laptop, in between exploring the parts of the country I’ve never seen. Perhaps those were the places that will call to me, I thought.
The vision was so clear and so alive, within a few minutes I was googling ‘camper vans’ and making lists. I adhered to my “3-day rule” (I have to wait three days when getting any big idea or big feeling or big anything to see how it settles before acting on it). And then I told my son about my idea. And then my sister. And then a friend. And then another son. Everyone responded, “Oh yes, that’s totally you.”
So I kept making more lists, and started drawing plans for my van. By the end of the month, the announcements had been made and a timeline was drafted. I would start looking for a van in early 2019, start divesting myself of belongings in Spring, and be on the road by late June or July.
Of course, it didn’t unfold quite that way. But that’s for another story… In future posts, I will detail the process of finding and converting my van. I’ll share about the emotional excavation I experienced when I gave up my household (and how I found a renter to take over my urban farm). And maybe I’ll soon have enough distance to describe what it feels like to walk away from the business and community that have defined me for the past 18 years.
For now, I can only speak to the act of following an idea, and being pulled into a new way of life that is calling me. I am physically and emotionally stretched, apprehensive, excited, and eager to be on the road.