I’m writing this blog from my new home. It’s one room, less than 200 sq. ft., and lacks traditional indoor plumbing.
Oh, and did I mention it’s on wheels?
I have fallen in love with my Micro Minnie travel trailer over the past six weeks, but it’s definitely not where I thought my life was headed a year ago.
Sure, I had flirted with the idea of living on the road before (Why freelance if you don’t take advantage of the flexibility to work wherever you want?), but it had always felt more like a fantasy than a possibility. There were plenty of reasons to file the idea under “Nice But Never Going to Happen” and move on.
It was something I was used to, a pattern I’d developed throughout my childhood. Real life would never live up to the fantastical stories I devoured as a kid, so I spent years forcing my yearnings into a box I labeled “Contentment.”
It took many years to realize what I’d actually shoehorned myself into was complacency.
It was easier to dismiss opportunities than to risk pursuing them. I couldn’t be disappointed by the inevitable shortcomings of reality if I never did anything outside of my comfort zone, after all.
Still, the dreams of doing more remained. I got really good at making up excuses, instinctually creating obstacles for even the smallest opportunities. Relationships are what’s going to matter at the end of my life, I told myself, so focus on your family. Prioritizing proximity kept me close to them and became the number one reason why I couldn’t pursue some of my wilder dreams.
And then I started counseling.
It only took a few weeks for Christie, my counselor, to recognize the adventurous spirit I’d spent much of my adolescence denying. As I began to validate and honor that spirit, it became easier to explore new things. I learned that opening myself to adventure didn’t mean committing to it. Rather than painfully stuffing down my desire for an idea, I could see how it developed and let it go if it didn’t feel right.
Last December, when I decided that I wanted to stop losing money to rent and find my own place, for example, buying a house seemed like the logical next step. I even visited a house that was on the market on a whim, which quickly sent me in a spiral of panic over my own daring and the potential of actually owning a home.
Rather than ignoring my feelings, hiding my panic, and doing what I thought I “should do,” I took the risk of saying no to the traditional route. I then reached for an idea I had put to rest and allowed it to mature.
Three months later, I found my future home on Facebook marketplace and took an expensive and terrifying leap. During the purchase, planning, renovations, and move from an apartment to a box (talk about downsizing),
I was always prepared for something to go drastically wrong.
But it didn’t.
It still hasn’t.
And it probably never will.
I don’t mean that everything is always going to go smoothly or work out perfectly. I mean that nothing will happen that I can’t handle or recover from.
As Christie pointed out this week, this experience isn’t the blind leap I’ve seen it as. I’d been researching tirelessly for months before buying my travel trailer. I sought out people with experience and wisdom (thanks, Darryl!) for advice. I continue to read posts and watch videos daily to gain confidence in full-time RVing.
Every day, I affirm my trust in myself. I don’t have to be impulsive to be adventurous. I can do big things without preparing for every single possibility. There’s a balance, but no metric. Life is what I make it.
Plus, every time something works out, it becomes a little bit easier to try the next daunting task.
Yesterday, I installed a new toilet all by myself. I’m now pursuing my scuba diving certification, something I’ve wanted to do for years.
I’m learning to be excited about the adventures to come and the possibilities they bring. Are you?
This week’s musings were inspired by Marley Parker, another adventure seeker and the guest on this week’s episode of the Hectic Podcast. Since taking the courageous step to start freelancing as a scientific writer, photographer, and videographer, she has had some truly incredible experiences. I’m talking months-in-the-Arctic kind of adventures.
Get the full story here to learn about the risks she took to become a freelancer, how she wants to impact the world through her experiences, and the personal lessons she’s learned along the way.