Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Letting go of convenience

As the time to leave gets closer and closer the reality of my decision is setting in. From the moment I hit the road in my van I am surrendering the comforts and convenience of the life I have now. I live a pretty modest life but even in that I know I'm privileged. Clean clothes, a hot shower, and even electricity are all luxuries I take for granted. Not to mention the fact that I can just push a button and my personal waste just 'goes away'. Now I will have to deal with my Campa Potti and all of the joys THAT holds.

Simple things like doing laundry will become more of an event and I will have to think creatively. I know I can go to a laundry mat but I'm looking to save every penny. Thanks to the Internet I can just Google my quandary.  I found this video on how to wash your clothes while driving. Seems like a good idea.

Cooking will be different too. Especially since I can't stand up in my van! I do have a small propane stove with one burner and will probably buy a little BBQ. Alternatively, I could try to cook my food on the van's engine like in this instructional video. Sounds ridiculous but it looks like it works pretty well.

Hot showers? I was told once that many gyms give out free trials. So I could have a shower AND a  workout! There's also truck stops, beach showers, lakes, state parks or campgrounds and birdbaths in public washrooms.  I invested a couple of bucks in a solar shower which is basically a black bladder with a hose coming out of it. You fill it with water and leave it in the sun for a couple of hours. We'll see how that goes....

The biggest question of all for me is where am I going to park night after night? I have lived in my tiny apartment for the last 2 years and oddly enough it's always been in the same place. I just go home to it and it's there! When I'm traveling my van will be my home and will be located wherever I take it. I've done a fair amount of research on this topic too. (I don't make many life-changing decisions in my older age without researching it to death). I found websites like which lists free places to camp in the United States and Canada. I like this website because you can browse campsites by state and even add a site.

Although I'm hoping to stay away from towns when I sleep, there's also Walmart parking lots, church parking lots, and even the residential streets of the suburbs if I have to find a place in a pinch. My hope is to always sleep under the stars, quietly tucked away form the lights of civilization.

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