There's No Place Like It
By the time we pulled into our driveway, I no longer cared that we had road trip interruptus.
I no longer cared that our plans had changed so dramatically. I no longer cared that we had taken what felt like several steps backwards, into our old paradigm, back to California. I was just so happy to be home. I was so happy to have a home to come back to. I was so thankful we hadn’t sold the place.
I mean, I did care. I cared very much.
But our plans being completely hijacked was taking a big back seat to the relief I was feeling about having firm ground beneath our feet.
By the time we got home, we were traumatized. Like most of the world, we were traumatized by all the fear we’d been fed for the last two months about COVID. We were traumatized by being out on the road in a climate of quarantine. And if that wasn’t enough, we were traumatized by our rig - our home on wheels - continuing to break down within the climate of a global pandemic. All in all, it felt like one ludacris situation after another.
We rolled into our driveway on May 13th, just as retrograde season was firmly taking hold. And five years to the day from the day we had initially moved in. Funny, the timing of things.
We settled in and settled our minds, our hearts and our emotions. We got into an easy rhythm. Not the rhythm we’d had before we left, but a new one. An improved one. We’d stepped back into our old paradigm, but we brought our new paradigm rhythm back with us.
And we got to work laying foundations for the future.
We left Muskogee on Friday and made it into Texas, where we found a rest stop to spend the night. Saturday, we spent the night at a second rest stop in New Mexico, about 30 miles east of Albuquerque.
Sunday morning, we headed west with plans to make the rest stop near the Winslow, Arizona meteor crater and stop there for the night. We made it through New Mexico and past the city of Gallup, which was on total lockdown. The Navajo nation was under curfew from 8pm on Friday until 5am on Monday.
So, we cross the border into Arizona, and breathed a huge sigh of relief. We had one more state behind us and were so close to our destination for the night.
Approaching the Petrified Forest, our RV, Stella, starts acting up. Again. I’m following behind in the truck, and at the very moment Rob radios me to tell me there’s a problem, I’m smelling something burning coming through the ac vents. Rob couldn’t smell it, but I could. Stella dies, but he’s able to get her started again without stopping.
I saw a sign for Holbrook 20 miles ahead, so I jumped on my phone to locate big truck / RV repair places near Holbrook. I found a place that had 5 stars, parts, service, big truck repair, RV repair, drive train / transmission repair, trailer repair and it was 16 miles from where we were at that point.
We limped it in, by the grace of all that is good in the Universe, and parked her here at ASH (Auto Safety House). It’s a family owned company, in business since 1941, with three locations in the state of Arizona. We’re feeling pretty good about the place.
At this point, we’re about 550+ miles from home. Big difference than 1,500+ miles from home in Muskogee. This means that leaving her here for repair, and booking on home in the truck is now on the table. We wouldn’t have to fly to retrieve her when she’s ready.
Sunday afternoon, we found ourselves spending the night in the parking lot of the repair place, waiting for them to open bright and early on Monday. We count our blessings we were able to limp it here, rather than being stranded again on Interstate 40. We each crack a beer and wander around in the desert to take our mind off of things and have a little fun before making dinner and calling it a day.
Monday morning, I’m making coffee, and thinking to myself that we should just load up the truck and go home. Rob’s awake, can’t sleep, and decides to have coffee with me before we go talk to the peeps here about getting the RV repaired.
He gets down the ladder, gets dressed, goes to reach for something, and his legs collapse underneath him. He catches himself on the dinette chair, and I jump up and catch him as well.
My first thought was that he was having a heart attack. In that instant I was really hoping his back went out, and he wasn’t dropping dead in front of me. I ask him what’s wrong and he confirms it’s his back.
Decision made. We’re going home.
We had coffee, then went in and spoke to the folks here. They’re great, and we feel so fortunate to have found this place. It’s going to be a couple of days before they can even look at the RV, which is perfect for us. It isn’t going to be a problem for them to store it here while it’s being fixed and also afterward, allowing us enough time to come back and get it. Such good news!
So, we spent the day Monday packing up the truck to go home. The truck is pretty weighted down, but the good news is, it’s weighted down. This is good news because we’re heading directly into a wind tunnel of 25 – 30 mph winds with gusts up to 60 mph. Just a little more fun added into the mix.
We’re heading out today, straight into the wind. We’re a little too far from home to do this in one day without torturing us and the cat, so we’re breaking it up into two days.
Right now, we are 16 days into a journey we thought would take us 6, maybe 7. Truth is, the time when we find ourselves home, cannot get here soon enough.
It's All About the Mindset
There’s a certain mindset one has to sink into and maintain when deciding to live in an RV full time for a year.
It takes a lot to get to the point where you’re pulling out of the driveway in your RV, and heading off into the great unknown.
By the time you’re there, you’ve acquired a mindset. You’ve had to, or you wouldn’t have made it happen.
There’s a ton of work and expense up front to get you into the RV and onto the road. More than I ever imagined going in. And beyond that work, once you get moving, it’s another kind of mindset.
You have to go with it, whatever happens, adapt to what life hands you, and be open minded. And be open to having your mind changed. Things will happen. Things you have to adapt to. Your plans will change. Constantly. And your mind will change about things.
Both my partner and I have adventurous spirits. Both my partner and I also want to find a home in a location where we want to stay for a good, long while. Put down roots. Plant a garden. Grow some food. Make medicine. Do some woodworking. Build some things. Big picture, what we’re ready to build is the next phase of our lives in a new location. What better way to do that than get in an RV and go exploring to find it, right? That’s ultimately why we’re out here on the road in our RV. Finding what’s next.
We had planned for a lot of things. We had our minds right about pretty much everything. We’ve been quick on our feet in all kinds of situations, and we’ve adapted. What we didn’t plan for? Global pandemic. Lockdown. We have to cut ourselves a little slack on that one. I mean, who does plan for global pandemic? Some people probably do, but we didn’t. At least not this year.
Living in an RV is an adventure. Not an extended vacation. It’s still life. Shit still happens. Things change.
So, after five weeks of quarantine near family in Mississippi, and assessing the situation during the early stages of lockdown, we determined that it was time to travel back to our home in the mountains of Southern California. Our mindset changed. Our direction changed. We sat still for a while and the momentum that was guiding us forward, changed. We decided to go home and regroup. Then later on, when it’s safe and responsible to travel again, we’ll head up the coast to the Pacific Northwest with the focused intention of finding home.
Good plan. Solid plan.
500 miles into our 2,000+ mile journey back to California, our RV Stella, dies on the side of Interstate 40.
Yeah. That happened.
I suppose it’s the adversity in life that makes for a good story. It builds character, teaches you things, makes you stronger. This is another example of how living in an RV is an adventure, not an extended vacation. This is part of it. It’s still life. Shit still happens.
We got her towed to a repair place and checked into a cheap hotel. A couple of days later, we picked her up and headed out on the road again. 20 miles down the road, she died ~ again. We got her towed back to the repair shop, and this time checked into a nicer, more comfortable hotel.
So, as our adventure continues, we find ourselves here, in Muskogee, Oklahoma. For how long? We have no idea. They’re trying to figure out the underlying electrical problem and what needs to be done to fix her. We have another 1,500+ miles to go to get home. They can’t just put a bandaid on the symptom. They have to find the problem and fix it right this time. We’re at the mercy of the mechanic. It’s out of our control, and at this moment, we have to do something quite difficult. We have to sit still and wait.
Being the adaptable creatures that we are, we’re making the best of this less than ideal situation. We’re enjoying the comforts of our hotel room, and adjusting our mindset once again.
Probably the biggest surprise in all of this is discovering how ready I am to get out of the RV. My partner’s been ready for weeks, but I haven’t. For me, it wasn’t the lockdown, or the breakdown, or even the second breakdown that did it. Ultimately, it was the creature comforts of the hotel room that changed my mindset. The comfy bed, the shower, the dishwasher, the ease of climate control, and the ease of, well, everything within the space of our hotel room changed the mindset that I’d had to acquire and maintain in order to live the RV lifestyle.
Reacquainting myself with creature comforts is what has ultimately made me realize how tired I am of living full time in an RV.
I read last night that we’re entering into a mass planetary retrograde season. Over the next couple of weeks, four planets will all turn retrograde: Pluto (April 25), Saturn (May 11), Venus (May 13), and Jupiter (May 14), followed by Mercury (June 18) and Neptune (June 23).
That’s a lot of planets to be in retrograde all at once.
Astrologically speaking, retrograde is a time to step back, to slow down, to review, to go back over what you’ve done and make sure you haven’t missed anything. Cross your T’s and dot your I’s. Maybe even rest a little. Make sure you’re better prepared and ready to move forward again at a future date.
Well, that sounds pretty much like our life right now.
Today, we’re leaving Mississippi and heading back to California.
We’re going back to our home in the Southern California mountains. Our Shangri-Lite home. We feel the responsible thing to do at this time is head back to California and quarantine in the comfort of our own home. I have mixed feelings about it, but all in all, I do feel like it’s the right call.
We’re going to use our time there to regroup. Pick up some creative projects that got put on the back burner in preparation for our road trip. Begin an online search for real estate in our desired location. And rest. Deeply rest.
We’re moving into California Retrograde, so that when things open up again, we’re better prepared to move forward. We’ll be better equipped for our journey, and a few steps closer to finding home. Our Shangri-La home.
Mixed feelings aside, I’m not sad to be going back to California. I’m actually embracing it. We’ve accomplished the main thing we came to Mississippi to do. We’ve determined unequivocally that we do not want to live here. Not that there’s anything wrong with Mississippi. There isn’t. It’s just not for us. We weren’t sure before. But now we are.
As a matter of fact, we’ve been able to rule out about 90% of the country with this one trip. We’ve been given the gift of micro-focus, juxtaposed with big picture thinking.
So, it’s time for a detour back to California to regroup. Plans change, and we adapt.
We're moving into California Retrograde.
And as soon as we feel it’s safe and responsible to begin traveling again, we'll move forward, with our revised and improved plans. We’re not playing around this time.
What We Allow to Grow in Our Garden Is Up to Us.
Chop wood. Carry water. Tend the garden.
Make soup. Be still.
Never before have I so deeply understood the wisdom held within that old adage.
I’m paraphrasing it here because I’m not quite sure of the exact quote.
There’s so much forward momentum right now within sitting still.
I’m sitting still within the juxtaposition of gratitude and discomfort.
Finding ways to be comfortable within the uncomfortableness of all of this.
The simple true is, none of this has been that bad. It just hasn’t.
To complain, even a little, would seem sacrilege, unappreciative and down right tone deaf.
My basic needs are met. I am safe.
I’m with my family; the two beings alive in this world I love like life itself.
I’m not too hot, not too cold. Roof over my head. Food in my belly. Clean water to drink and cook with.
Comfy bed to sleep in each night.
So much to be thankful for.
Still, I’m uncomfortable a lot of the time.
At the same time, within all of this, so much growth.
So much awakening. So much insight and realization. So many revelations.
So much acceleration. So much profound recalibration and rapid evolution.
Evolution is uncomfortable. We’re all feeling it.
Again, with the CONTRAST.
Chop wood. Carry water. Tend the garden.
Right now, my Garden is Within. The garden I’m tending is the Garden Within My Heart.
The Garden Within My Spirit. The Garden Within My Soul.
The kind of soup I’ll make? Well, that’s up to me.
It’s up to me what I allow to grow in my Garden,
While I’m sitting within the stillness, finding ways to be comfortable, within the uncomfortableness of all of this.
Lifeblood During Lockdown
We rolled into Mississippi three weeks ago, two weeks ahead of schedule. The pasture at the farm was, and still is, too wet to accommodate the RV so we parked our Big Girl, Stella in my mother-in-law’s driveway.
And although they could not possibly have been sweeter or more welcoming, after only one week, we needed to get out of there. We’ve been gone from our parents' homes far too long to be parked in one of our parent’s driveway indefinitely if another option is available.
Looking for a place to empty Stella’s tanks, we stumbled upon a lakeside campground that was still accepting occupants. We could not believe our good fortune. We moved into it the following day. Within the week, Mississippi officially went on lockdown and the campground stopped accepting new occupants.
We can move locations within the grounds as much as we want, but once we leave, there’s no getting back in, as long as lockdown remains in effect. The lake itself is even closed.
Gradually moving into a state of acceptance, and coming to terms with the fact that we’re going to be here a while; yesterday, we left the outskirts of the campground and moved to a slip deep into the grounds and right on the water.
For the first time in a very long time, we’re in a space where I feel comfortable sitting outside.
Sitting here on the banks of this beautiful lake serves as a heart centered reminder of how much I need to be outside and within nature.
And how much I need the water.
I need the Water like the Air that I breathe. It’s sounds, it’s energy of presence. It’s Spirit. It’s unceasing movement in space and in form. Always changing yet remaining constant in it’s essence. Never static, always recycling itself.
Lakes, Rivers, Oceans, Clouds, Steam, Morning Coffee, Glaciers, Icicles, Life Giving Rain, Humidity, Morning Dew, Mist and Fog, and I’m only getting started.
One of Mother Earth’s greatest gifts, most sacred treasures. Lifeblood. My lifeline within Lockdown.
Sitting here on the banks of this beautiful lake with the Spirit of Water, I finally feel better, like I can sit still for a while.
I am so incredibly thankful to be here.
And I’m reminded how important water is in our Quest for Finding Home; which is the basis of why we’re out here on the road in the first place.
For the last three weeks we’ve been sitting within a state of gratitude, even more so than usual. We’ve been incredibly uncomfortable, yet so thankful and acutely aware of how fortunate we are. There are people in this world who are truly suffering. We are merely uncomfortable and inconvenienced.
Sitting here, indefinitely, on the banks of this beautiful lake, I feel that someday, when we’re able to travel again and looking back, I may actually miss being on lockdown in Mississippi.
We're Even More Steadfast in Our Resolve that We’ve Made the Right Decision
My partner and I moved into our RV full time in December 2019 because we had vision.
We wanted to get out of California and find Home.
We talked about doing it for a couple of years. Then we spent the entire year of 2019 preparing for this extended road trip of one or two or three years.
This adventure was several years in the making and well planned out. We planned to travel around and explore, find our new home organically.
We have some ideas about where we want to be but nothing set in stone.
We want to let the place find us.
We just have to travel around and listen. Let the land speak to us.
And we are just as interested in crossing places off the list as we are finding the right place.
We want to remove doubt, the idea that the grass may be greener somewhere else.
We want acreage; to be undisturbed in the middle of nowhere. We want to be in a place where water actually falls from the sky on a regular basis and is plentiful. We want to grow vegetables, herbs, flowers and fruit trees. We want to be mostly food independent.
We want to find the place to live out our days and plant our roots deep. And we want to do it while we’re young enough, with enough juice in the tank to make it happen.
Three months into our journey, we find ourselves hunkered down. We are fortunate and blessed to be in a beautiful location near family. And we’d already planned to be here - at this time and for a couple of months.
Sure, we’re not zipping around, exploring and hanging out like we’d planned. But still, we feel like we’re in the best possible place for us to be right now.
And we are so thankful.
Is this the best time to be living in an RV full time?
But this is where we find ourselves and honestly, we feel that we got out and into this RV just in time.
Recent events just make us even more steadfast in our resolve that we’ve made the right decision.
And with my newly found spare time, I’m cataloging my seed collection!
I Saw Mythical Beings and I Remembered What It Was Like to Be Wild.
Two days ago, while driving through the Navajo Nation in Eastern Arizona I saw Wild Horses for the first time.
I wish I could have snapped a picture. They were on the side of the road as we drove by and the sight of them was imprinted upon my mind.
I saw two separate groups of them in rapid succession. It was as though they were coming to greet me, to say hello, and I was close enough to look into their eyes.
They didn’t look like the same species as any domesticated horse I’ve ever seen or been around.
They held their heads higher; there was so much spirit in their eyes and in their body language.
They were free.
They were unbroken.
Their backs were straighter and their musculature more defined.
Their manes and tails bouncing.
Their eyes bright and alert with a Fire: of Life, of Freedom, of Spirit.
They owned the space they were occupying.
They were completely and fully ALIVE and IN TUNE.
They looked more like Unicorns or Pegasus. I almost expected to see them take off in flight.
Mythical creatures from the days of old.
And it’s got me thinking again about how tame, how domesticated everything and everyone has become.
How reliant we are on a broken system.
How we’ve lost the wild spirit of who we once were.
In the eyes of those wild horses I saw who we once were.
I saw past our homogenized earth.
I saw mythical beings and I remembered what it was like to be wild.
Everything Out of Alignment Must Go
We rolled into town road weary, beat up and exhausted. We’d planned to spend one week in Sedona and even that seemed like too long.
I was ready to put miles behind us, head east to the coast and get out of this godforsaken desert. But we wanted to visit Sedona, had plans to meet up with friends and there was Superbowl Sunday to consider.
We were still trying to get our bearings within our new lifestyle, living full time in our RV. Things had been pretty rough and we weren’t adjusting as well as we’d hoped.
My greatest hope was that our time in Sedona would be a reset button.
I felt the shift beginning within 12 hours. It was that quick. It was subtle and kind, yet profound and distinct. I was finally able to get my mind right. I began embracing rather than resisting. My energy was changing. I was healing. We both were. I felt lighter, free. I wanted different foods, cleaner foods and a lot of fruit. I wanted fresh air and exercise. I felt a shift toward health. I wanted to move my body, get out and explore. I wanted to get to know the land, the energy of the region and of each individual place.
I felt like I was being restructured, recalibrated, upgraded. I felt like I was becoming an improved version of myself. I was becoming who I would be. My energy was shifting, the old falling away and the new rising up and taking its place. I was coming home to me.
Everything out of alignment had to go.
We extended our stay a week, then another, then a couple more. I couldn’t bear the thought leaving. I knew Sedona was exactly where we needed to be. It was magic and so were the experiences we were having. As I got to know the land, I got reacquainted with myself. As I discovered Sedona, I was rediscovering myself.
I didn’t necessarily buy into the whole “Vortex” thing when I got here. I didn’t necessarily discount it either. True to form, I wanted to experience it for myself, come to my own conclusions, make my own discoveries. I got the scoop on the location of the purported vortices and visited them. I hiked a lot of trails. I got out into the land. I tuned in and I listened. I wanted to get to know as much of Sedona as I could in the short amount of time I was there.
What I found, what I experienced, what I’ve come to believe is there are vortices, power points and portals dotted all over this land, if only we take the time to tune in, to notice them, have the eyes to see and the senses to feel them. It’s not only the ‘Big Four’; not even close.
The red rock views in Sedona are spectacular. There are so many hiking trails you could be here a year, walk a different trail most days and still not cover them all. The rock formations are gorgeous to look at; awe inspiring to say the least, but what makes Sedona so special, what makes Sedona stand out is the Heart and Soul of the place. It’s the Spirit. It’s the Energy. It’s the Love. It’s the Otherworldliness of it. It’s a place where the veils between the worlds are very thin and ley lines intersect.
Sedona is pure magic. It’s an oasis in the Southwestern desert. For me, part of the lesson of Sedona is to take that magic with me. To bring that magic into every place I travel, into the experiences of my daily life. To embrace life in a state of allowing rather than resisting. Sedona has taught me that and so much more.
We love you Sedona; we thank you and we will be back.
I'm Still A Solitary Faerie
When I was a younger woman, I wished for a teacher.
But the teacher didn’t come.
Instead, I found my teachers in the rocks and the trees; the wind and the rain; the clouds, the Thunder Beings; the streams, rivers and oceans; the mountains and the deserts; the elements, the elementals, the winged ones and the four legged.
When I was a younger woman, I thought these teachings were somehow less valid, less validated because they didn’t come from human lips, human ritual, human ceremony.
Instead, I instinctively made my own.
Now that I’m an older woman, I know that what the Spirits of the Land, of Fire, the Air and the Sky have to teach me is more potent, more pure, more powerful to me, than any human guide could ever be, because their wisdom comes directly from source. Their teachings are unique to me.
Now that I’m an older woman, I understand what I’ve learned from the Spirits of the Land is more sacred than I ever imagined, when I was a younger woman.
It’s no wonder I’m still a Solitary Faerie. 😊