Tag Archives: wanderer

Let the light shine through you. Picture of leaves with sun shining through them.

Conflict of Interests

A conflict of interest as defined by Google: a situation in which the concerns or aims of two different parties are incompatible.

I am having a conflict of interest, but it doesn’t involve two parties. It involves two sides of me. I am essentially at war with myself. One party in this conflict is my need to survive and pay my bills. My desire for survival is strong and I don’t want to be hungry, so this side of me has some compelling arguments.

The other side is my free spirit. The one that doesn’t want to be tied down. This is the side that wants the freedom to do what I want, when I want, and where I want. This spirit does not want anything to do with the corporate slave camps again. It has been reminding me of all the dehumanizing and confining issues involved with being a slave.

Another objection is how much life I’ve miss out on because I have to go to work. If I have a time clock to punch, I tend to avoid meeting with my friends until days when I don’t. Punching-in cuts short time I could spend spreading my special brand of nuttiness. Many of my significant encounters happened because I wasn’t confined by a time clock. Instead of rushed visits, I can spend hours getting to know and understand people.

The problem is, unless I’m able to find someone to support my sorry butt or figure out a way to make it on my own, I need money to survive. So I am having to face the impossible issue of which slave owner do I want to commit to so I can make money? At this time, the free spirit is winning, so my answer is none. I don’t want to be someone else’s slave to abuse at will, but if I commit to that choice, I actually commit to another type of confinement.

This other prison doesn’t have cubicles, time clocks, or corporate overlords, but it is just as abhorrent to my free spirit. Poverty is confining in it’s own right. It limits my mobility and adds a different stress to my life. I want the freedom to do a spontaneous lunch date like I did today, but I also want to be able to pay for it. I want to be able to treat others, to give gifts of not only my time, but tokens of affection as well. I also want to take care of the bills that will hound me until the day I die if I don’t.

So right now I have a conflict waging inside me. Do I keep listening to the free spirit, or do I take up the chains of bondage and fasten them to my own neck?

Clearly my free spirit side is winning. The fact that I still see it as bondage tells me what I “should do” is still not something I will do, but let’s look at it from the other side of the equation. For the sacrifice of a few hours a week, I gain the ability to get out from under my debts. Sacrificing my time in exchange for a paycheck would allow me to follow my dream of getting to Washington state. Giving up my ability to do spontaneous lunches would allow me to pay for those lunches.

Did you see what I did there? I didn’t actually see the other side of the equation. “Sacrificing” and “giving up” are not the other side of the argument and the free spirit is still dominating the issue. Persistent little bugger.

The real issue isn’t my need for freedom though. The real issue is what kind of job is worth my sacrificing some of that freedom? I don’t want to sacrifice my time on the alter of corporate greed. I want a job that will allow me to feel like I am accomplishing good in the world. Those jobs are far apart and most of them want a donation of time and don’t pay.

In all my job searches through the years, I’ve only ever seen one job that would give me what I want while at the same time allowing me to do good. That was the job that made me resurrect my Washington dream in the first place.

That job had all my major criteria:
Travel
Adventure
Emergency Management
Helping save lives
Flexibility
Being a positive change
Teaching people

Since I didn’t get that job and I need one that is local, I have been looking into the non-profit realm. I’ve worked with the Salvation Army on several disasters and was impressed with the organization. They are the only organization I would support financially and frankly, the Christmas season is upon us. For the same pay, I can choose to be a security guard working for some corporate overlord protecting someone else’s slave camp, or I can help others while I help myself.

That is something I consider worthy of my sacrifice. I don’t have to compromise my belief system to survive and that does away with my conflict. Both parties are happy.

How many times have you sacrificed your personal beliefs in order to survive? Let me know what your conflict of interests were in the comments below.

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.

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.