Tag Archives: Wander away

Did you drop anchor in a good spot or just a convenient one?

Home Is…

Yesterday’s post, Solving Homelessness, got me thinking about the definition of the word home. So I looked it up on Google.

Home: the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.

synonym: residence, place of residence, house, apartment, flat, bungalow, cottage; accommodations, property, quarters, rooms, lodgings; a roof over one’s head; address, place; informal: pad, digs; hearth, nest; formal: domicile, abode, dwelling, dwelling place, habitation

Most people in America would say a home is either a house or apartment. At least the people that didn’t spout off with “home is where the heart is.”

The synonym “accommodations” seems to fit my definition of home better. After all, a person living in a tent has a home, but by today’s standard would be considered homeless. Why?

Because most people anchor themselves. They need to be anchored to feel safe, but if they anchor themselves they don’t go anywhere just like a ship at anchor.

I’ve been reading the blogs of people who live in RVs, campers, and tiny homes and came across a blogger today who has lived in a camper van for 12 years. This is a choice he intentionally made and one that works for him. He likes it so much that he encourages others to join him and offers suggestions on how to make the leap from house/apartment dwelling to living in a vehicle. You can check out his blog here.

When I started telling my friends about creating The Wander Away, there were varying responses. One person said, “So you want to be homeless?” Since he has been living in a travel trailer for years now, I challenged his definition of homeless. He has a travel trailer, but he parked it in a semi-permanent manner. That was his choice. Our living arrangements would be similar, but he needs to be anchored. I don’t.

I told another friend and his response was, “You’re gonna be a gypsy?”

I hadn’t thought about it that way, but I guess I would fit the stereotype. I even read palms and tarot cards and know how to change the color of horses so I can conceal that it’s a stolen horse. These are all things the stereotypical gypsy was accused of, so I guess the title would fit.

Another friend immediately told me it was expensive, but he hasn’t done research like I have. I’m paying over five hundred dollars in rent and utilities. Expenses that would cease to exist when I move into The Wander Away. The blogger I mentioned above said he actually spends less in gas every month than he did when he had a house.

The reason? He doesn’t have a daily commute of forty miles. He travels for fifty miles or so and stays for a week or more. Then he moves on again. As a result, he has no where near the gas consumption he used to.

He also saves on utilities by installing solar power and following the ideal temperatures as the season progresses. He works his way south in the fall and wanders back to the north in the spring. He gets to see this beautiful country and stays mostly where it is free for him to stay which cuts down on his living expenses.

Imagine living in a National Park and waking up everyday to that kind of beauty. Imagine spending time in one location long enough to really get a feel for it and the people. One morning at a coffee shop with a coffee klatch will give you the inside scoop on everything you need to do while you are in the area. If you like it, you stay for a while. If you don’t, you move on to the next location.

Sounds like heaven to me, so I guess I am a gypsy, minus the stereotypical horse thievery which I suspect most times they were not guilty of in the first place. What they were guilty of was challenging societal norms. People are not comfortable with nomads, but that is exactly how the earth was populated. It was also how America was founded. People, unhappy with where they were, came here to live. Some of those people found their spot. Others are still looking for it.

Challenging societal norms seems to be my lot in life. I’ve been doing it since I was a kid and I think I’ll keep doing it until people wake up and accept that societal norms are not healthy nor one-size-fits-all. Some people just don’t fit nor do they want to live in a societally accepted box. Because let’s face it, that is what a house or apartment is. A box.

Maybe the people that said, “Home is where the heart is,” were on to something. Maybe instead of sticking people in boxes, we need to be asking “homeless” people what their definition of home is and then make that definition acceptable and possible.

My friend’s desire to end homelessness might be possible if we accept that people have different definitions of home.

How would you define home? Let me know on my Facebook page.

Never let fear take your dreams from you.

Scared Spitless

Right now I am right smack in the middle of scared spitless.

The reason? I found a vehicle that I think could be The Wander Away. It isn’t a camper trailer, I decided my car just won’t pull what I need. What I found is a 1978 Econo-line box truck with what appears to be low miles considering the age. The truck or van, whichever you want to call it, is in my price range, though I will have to clean out my bank account to get it.

Picture of the van/truck.

A clean slate. I already have the outside decorated in my head.

Inside of the truck box.

Lots of space and again, a clean slate. This will be fun.

The good part is, once I have it, I can sell my car and recoup a large chunk of what I’m going to spend on the truck. The car won’t be the only thing I off load. Most of the things I have in my apartment will be going as well. I will keep just enough to equip the truck and make it livable in the short term while I raise the funds to finish the conversion.

The adventure chick is me is grinning from ear to ear and pumped up on adrenaline. I like adrenaline. It’s some good shit.

The caveman part of my brain is screaming, “NOOOOOOO!”

Apparently my caveman brain parts, known as Ug and Grunt, are not comfortable with the idea of giving up a perfectly good and pretty cheap apartment for an adventure into the unknown. Ug and Grunt don’t like the unknown and tend to be pretty spineless when it comes to adventure.

I know I’m going to buy the truck. I’ve already made the decision. The hard part is getting Ug and Grunt to quiet down long enough to listen to logic.

1. No rent or utilities.
2. Move where I want, when I want, and stay as long as I want.
3. Living my dream.
4. The ability to see amazing parts of this country and eventually other countries.
5. Be able to work on my writing and photography full time.
6. Low stress.
7. High potential adventure.
8. Engineering challenge of the conversion.
9. Inspiring people along the way.
10. Being where The Divine wants me when I’m supposed to be.

Number ten is of course the most important one, but the rest are pretty amazing.

Ug and Grunt are shaking their heads, but I think they are coming around. The idea that I would never have to worry about being homeless is getting through. Figuring out if I’m going to have enough money for rent every month gets them upset. With the truck, I can be a turtle and drag my home around with me.

I wonder if I can find a cat that would like to travel with me? I’ve seen truckers with cats sleeping on their dashboard. There must be more adventure kitties out there. Maybe one will want to join me.

Somehow, the thought of an adventure kitty joining me has placated Ug and Grunt.

So, while part of me is still terrified, the rest of me is yelling, “Oh, hell yeah! Let the adventure begin!”

Everyone grows at a different rate. Accept yours.

Wander Away


My life plan has taken a couple turns in the past few days. I know now that the job in Washington state is neither mine, nor what I really want. The Universe has made that clear. I understand that it was a catalyst to get me thinking about moving, getting out of this rut where I’ve been stuck.

That job listing started the thought process that will change my life and I hope yours as well. You see, my new plan is to live full time in the Wander Away traveling, writing, meeting people, and taking pictures. I have a few ideas about how I can fund this. One will be through writing and I think another will be speaking and teaching others how to do what I’m going to be doing. Both things I’m not only good at, but I also like.

I spent all day yesterday thinking about my little camper. I’m calling it The Wander Away. The engineering of it just plain wore me out. Anyone who thinks that thinking is easy has never done it. A hard day thinking can be just as exhausting as a hard day working.

My challenge is with the floor layout. I’m working with sixty square feet, but I have two wheel wells that are about 30 inches by a little over a foot. These will pop up twelve inches and I’m trying to figure out how to get a twin size bed into a six by ten foot space as well as a tiny galley, clothing and supply storage, and a toilet of some sort.

Image of a hand drawing for the floor layout of the Wander Away.

This is what I’m working with. One square equals three inches.

To complicate things, the interior walls at their highest are only going to be a little less than four feet tall and will be a tad shorter in front. Weight distribution has also crossed my mind. I don’t want one side of the trailer heavier than the other.

Side view showing the profile of the Wander Away.

Side view. End result will vary.

I have the whole thing taped out on my floor and am using that to visualize what I need. Nothing will be single purpose. That just isn’t practical when you plan on living long term in sixty square feet.

I had thought to create a Murphy bed to free up floor space during the day, but I think the wall height might prohibit that. So, if that doesn’t work, what I could do, is create two foam panels on hinged trays. These will allow the tray closest to the wall to go upright and create a sofa. The space under it would be taken up with the wheel well and storage.

To combat the low ceiling, I’m going to have a rolling stool that will save my knees and work as a foot stool when I’m sitting on my nifty sofa.

The Wander Away's tentative floor plan.

Still a work in progress. Galley design is next.

On the opposite side, I will have my closet and some storage as well as a camp toilet. To save weight I’m going to build the shelves out of one by two lumber and use plastic or fabric bins for drawers. The whole thing would be modular and removable without much hassle. Another advantage to this type of shelving, is the fact that light can get through so I can see what is in the cubby and if I don’t like the look I can always wrap it with a pretty fabric.

The whole point to this is that I am designing everything around exactly what I need and how I live. Everything from the size of the bed to the location of a shelf will be exactly what I need and nothing more.

I don’t know if the ideas I have today will be in the end result, the Divine will let me know when its the right time. After all, there may be something even better that I would never think about without the right trigger.

So, for now I think, plan, and dream of wandering away.

Please share or pin this post so my dream can happen. It’s just a click, but that click could change the way someone looks at their world.

Thank you and God bless.