Life on the Open Road

Life on the Open Road
Showing posts with label currently. Show all posts
Showing posts with label currently. Show all posts

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Incredibly Independent

I’m feeling incredibly independent. I’m doing so many new things and living so much of how and what I want to with more clearly on the way, that it feels amazing. I am happier and happier and things are going really, really well.

It feels good to notice that I’m feeling so independent as feeling independent to me means feeling capable, confident, secure, solid, strong and able. It feels doubt free and it is. I hadn’t even realized until just now how doubt free I am about so many things. I really KNOW without question that I can. I can do whatever, I can be whatever, I can have whatever. I feel very free, very sure, very upbeat, and very good. This also means that I’m up for a lot of new things and open to a lot of what I want. I just figure it’s a “Yes, I can” and a “Yes, I will” and a “Yes” to so much good stuff. It’s like when I’m driving and keep getting green lights as I’m ready and eager to go, enjoying the ride, the destinations, and the continuing journey. It feels good. I feel good.

Here are a few pictures of late. First, of meals and second of nature.

It feels really good to have healthy relationships and especially to have a healthy relationship with myself. Inspiration comes from within (contrast to motivation which comes from the external i.e. “a motivating factor”) and feeling inspired to new ideas, action, and whatever else, is really fun. My impulses are good and I see the how things come together so well as I trust and follow them. So much of my journey has been with feeling that- feeling my way as I go. I continue to be lead by this and I’m excited about where I am at and excited about where else I will go and what else I will do. Content is awesome. Ready and eager for more, knowing it is coming, while being happy where I am is ideal. I’m in a really good place; a really good place emotionally, physically, and overall. Life is supposed to be fun and mine is. I’m really happy.

Amongst all of the choices that I’m making, all of the easy decisions that are becoming easier, I had a moment of realizing all of the choices I was no longer making. Better choices have taken their place and a better life has as well. There’s no turning back and lots of forward motion. This is living. This is learning. This is knowing and trusting myself with such certainty. It only gets better and better. I am really proud of myself and my life and all the goodness I have asked for and allowed. It only gets better and better. Life is good!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Three Things on My Mind: Confidence and Knowing

"Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right." 

~ Henry Ford (I have seen slight variations of the quote and like this one.)

"She believed she could, so she did." 

~ while this quote is attributed to few or many, depending, I like to give credit to Shel Silverstein from the poem, "Melinda Mae" though the idea is there, less the precise wording. 

And also from Shel is this poem:

The Voice 

There is a voice inside of you
That whispers all day long,
"I feel that this is right for me,
I know that this is wrong."
No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
Or wise man can decide
What's right for you- just listen to 
The voice that speaks inside. 

All of these came to mind and I thought I would share them as well as have them here for myself to refer back to. 

Sometimes action is easy and clear- "the next logical step"- and sometimes it feels like a "yes" or a "no," both of which lead us one way or another. Sometimes it's a matter of picking something when various choices would feel good. Always it's a matter of choosing how you feel regardless. 

Happy Trails to You

Friday, March 10, 2017

The Best Beach Walk EVER: in words

I began walking left of the pier, my feet in the water as I passed the crowds and headed toward the more open beach. I had music playing and was, as usual, walking in time with it. 

I saw birds. So many small birds that flew together in a way that was amazing to me, in such a big flock and moving very fast that they were almost unnoticeable. I noticed though and I watched as they swirled around. 

I kept walking and swiftly went up to dry sand as a very long turquoise colored jellyfish came up to shore. I'd been seeing a lot of them here and was just talking about them a bit sooner. It didn't surprise me that I'd then see another one and I knew I was safe. 

I continued walking then looked back to see if the couple behind me would stop to look at the jellyfish, too. They didn't, that I saw. They actually appeared to walk right by. There are so many things in the world that so many of us see and so many of us do not. 

I was enjoying the walk and kept going farther down the beach. A motorized vehicle of some sort went by and a woman on it waved to me. I took a moment then waved back, perhaps too late for her to see. Oh well. I briefly wondered if they'd want to give me a ride back. I had not walked this far down before. I was fine though and knew I could keep going. 

Flipping through my music on my phone, I suddenly looked up. A crab! It was like we were just people in passing, paying no mind until I paid attention and jumped back a bit. That immediately got the crab up on its legs, watching me. I moved, it turned to follow and keep watch. We both walked some. It went down, then back up as I got closer. I asked it how fast it can run. It was white and yellow. I was unafraid and ultimately walked onto the dry sand and went on my way. I made a mental note of how crabs are like tarantulas of the ocean. They have some similarities. 

I saw a bulldozer type vehicle and tracks from it. They are clearing land or something nearby, I suppose. It is part of the state park, as far as I know. I rolled my sleeves up onto my shoulders and kept walking more on dry sand. 

A couple of people had come to the end of the beach before a turn and I veered left to turn and see what was around the corner. I'm not sure what part of the city it is but I had a sense of it. I also noticed a pretty blue bottle or glass of some sort in pieces, partially smoothed and thought, the beginning of sea glass

I turned around and found myself running and I liked it! It was easy to run and felt good and my breath was so easy. I looked back to see the difference in my foot prints from walking and running. Earlier I was pondering if one could recognize her own footprints in the sand. There is that expression of knowing something like the back of your hand. Would I know my own footprints? I think I would, if I paid more attention. It also brought to mind leaving footprints in the sands of time and how I'd like to leave both footprints and butt prints in the sands of time. I rarely sit at the beach; I walk. 
As I returned to the corner I saw that the couple were now naked and entering the water. They had ventured far from most others and maybe it made even more sense why. I kept my distance and gave them their space. They were having fun entering the waves. I know they looked at me as I went by and I'm decidedly for skinny dipping, nude beaches, and doing whatever you like, really. They had tan lines. He in particular was quite white(she was already in the water more by the time I got back around to them) and this is actually how I first realized they were nude. I laughed and smiled as I continued on. Funny, happy moments and what an eventful walk this was! Rather different than my more common ones. I liked it! 

I ran some more and it felt good. I found myself walking on the thin center sand within the tire tracks of the bulldozer path. How fun, I thought, as I had simply begun doing it because it was fun and I was inspired to that action, then realized it. It reminded me of kids and my niece who will move so easily from one fun activity in the moment to the next. It flows. This was flow. I was flowing. 

I saw something near the water and got closer. A dead seagull. Newly dead, beautiful, not yet drenched. The water came up to it but not enough yet to take it in. I thought to it, You'll be ok/fine and then added right away, You already are. Briefly I sent out an intention and request for greater peace with something. I kept walking. 

I got a text message from someone I wasn't expecting and figured I felt good, so replied. Clarity and fun and ok ness. A recent message from a dream I had woken to a couple of mornings ago now made more sense. 

More people were around again. Many had left and tide was rising. The moon was up and the sun was setting. I looked at the color reflecting on the white of the waves and had felt like it was so beautiful, I could cry. I didn't. I just loved the beauty of it and the beholding of this moment and realization. I was smiling. I must have been. 

I smiled at a woman as we passed each other and she smiled at me. I saw some young folks who had been building something earlier now getting covered by water. They took the high flag they'd had up and were walking with it into the water, saying or singing something. I had my music playing still and mostly ignored their words. I liked the song I was listening to and the harmonies in it. So lovely. 

Someone else smiled and said hello to me as we passed by. I picked up a large feather and then a little one for my cat. As I climbed the steps to get back to the parking lot, I jumped down and think that is when one flew out of my pocket. I still had the little one and gave it to her. 

I went to wash my feet of the sand and saw young adults in the splash fountain having fun. I then saw a bird on the top of it also having fun. Which reminds me of watching a seagull scratch its head with a foot while in the water. I loved that. And I saw a dog rolling around on its back in the sand and smiled. I am a big cat lover and yet happy dogs at the beach? I still smile at that. 

Now I am back in the RV. I have pictures and video from this beach walk which I am deeming the best beach walk ever. I know the feeling of flow and this was the first time I ever felt it like this here and so easily, strongly, and purely. The lightness, in the moment, playful, easy, fun. This is what alignment feels like. This is what playing in life feels like. This is what feeling good feels like. 

It's a picture-less post intentionally. Words can paint a picture and the feelings, the feelings are the best part. Maybe it appears as if nothing changed during this time yet I know for certain a lot changed for me with it. I stepped onto the sidewalk in the parking lot from the sand to the concrete and I looked out at the big, beautiful sun setting across the way and had this feeling, the kind where I knew everything was about to change. Everything was about the change and in really good ways. I was ready. This felt so good. 

The best beach walk ever is the best beach walk yet. 

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Happy Holidays! 

I'm at a campground for three days straight, possibly more, should I choose to stay longer. 

I'm grateful for sites that are kept unreserved for people who just show up, like I did. And I'm thankful I have a smaller RV so I could fit as this campground has a max of 30'. I appreciate that I got a spot somewhat secluded, after being given the choice between two, that I'm closer to RVs than tent campers (who, at least here so far, seem to be a bit noisier),  that I can use my new solar lights outside, have access to daily showers if I want them, and have AC power plus a beautiful canopy of nature around my site and I'm walking distance to the beach and trail. 

I washed all of my dishes last night, plan to shake out and vacuum the rugs and floor, will flush and fill the tanks, and generally tidy up, plus I can use my computer and some new gear to create and play music. I'm also going to clear out some pantry space by using what I have as I did not stop at a store for more food before the weekend. 
Holidays are what we make them. I love a peaceful, quiet day. I love feeling content about where I am and what I'm doing along with eagerness and excitement for more. 
No matter what one celebrates or does not, the collective energy of so many people creates many good feelings this time of year. And, just with any day, I hope whatever you do, you enjoy it. 
Happy Holidays! 
(I got this super short clip while I drove through downtown St. Marys, GA recently and wanted to share it. I loved driving in the lit areas like this this year and that the music somehow was perectly timed for a one second clip was neat, too. I made it longer to post on Instagram which also changed the formatting with font and image slightly.) 

Friday, November 11, 2016

Tips for Keeping Warm in Cold Weather in a Class B or Camper Van (or Elsewhere!)

A recent forecast. Thankfully the temps were still warmer, considering it was snowing.
I’ve spent some very cold nights in my RV and these are some things I suggest and have done to keep warm.
Cover the windows, especially the biggest window. I used a fleece throw blanket across my back window which is also where my head is near while sleeping. This made a tremendous difference in keeping it warmer at night.
I bought some accordion sunshades and cut them for each window, then used velcro to attach them(later realizing they stick pretty well in my windows without velcro, too.) These fold up easily and I have stored them under the dinette cushions or in the seat pouches or side storage areas in the cab area. They are lightweight and easy to cut, fold, etc. I usually close the curtains too so I am not seeing them much anyway. They also have been useful in incredibly hot and sunny weather. Reflectix is commonly used and recommended and I have two pieces to cover the rooftop fan vent and my AC. They are thicker and take more room, thus I found the sunshades much easier all around. 
There is snow falling here. I would love to learn how to quickly get a good picture of snow with my phone. Oh well.
The rug on the floor is usually rolled and stored in my trunk, however, if it is cool enough, I like to keep it out. The floor feels warmer and it makes it look and feel cozier inside,  too.
Blocking the front cab! I have a piece of duvetyne on a rod to go across the front, behind the seats to separate the back from the front cab. This was largely for privacy, however, blocking all the cab windows keeps the back warmer, too. Duvetyn is a curtain material used in theaters and film. It is fire-retardant and fairly heavy-duty, but not so cumbersome that I wouldn't recommend it.
Cooking. Using the stove top to heat is not recommended, however, a hot meal is and the stove top will warm the space while in use.
If you have an oscillating space heater, awesome, otherwise the furnace works well. I just set it to a temperature that’s comfortable(around 55 degrees), keeping layers on. When I was plugged into shore power, I’d sometimes use both the furnace and a heater at once. If not, I might warm it up and then turn it off or keep it the setting very low because the furnace does take a lot of battery power plus is loud. I’d keep my cat’s water bowl near the heat. On some occasions her water was freezing in the night and this helped.
Wool base layers. I tried wool for various reasons and ultimately found I prefer cotton. I do have one pair of Patagonia base layer wool pants that are so soft, light, and comfortable, it is like I’m not even wearing them. I wear those under other pants. I replaced my fleece pants with new cotton pants this Summer but, in the past, I’d wear those over the wool. Plus thick, warm socks. I like to sleep without a hat on, however, some nights I wore a hat, too.
Lots of warm drinks. A good insulated thermos or canteen is great.
Sleeping with a fleece blanket under and over, then other bedding on top. Having the fleece closest seems to warm the best.
Think warm thoughts! I’m not kidding. Like in Peter Pan where thinking lovely thoughts allows you to fly, in an RV when it’s cold, thinking warm thoughts helps you keep warm. Remember the beaches at Amelia Island. Remember the heat wave and awakening to an unbearable temp at 3am, then opting to run the generator for AC even though it is right under the bed and the AC above it thus it was incredibly loud. Remember eating Thai food that was supposedly one pepper’s worth heat yet not being able to feel your lips or mouth and needing a crazy amount of water- even taking someone else’s when waiting for the waitress to return- because wow, that was hot(OK, spicy hot, but still. And that didn’t happen when I was traveling. I’ll note I can eat spicy foods so much more easily ever since.) Ideally a warm temperature you like, hence the beach being my first thought, is best. Sometimes remembering the extreme heat helps me with perspective though. I just think about the feeling of warmth when it’s cold sometimes and it really can warm me up.
Heading to the beach... or imagining it at least!

My biggest thing is to simply not be in such cold weather! Sometimes it happens and I add a bit of the pink RV antifreeze into the tanks(except the fresh tank) and will keep the cabinet doors open at night so heat gets in to keep the pipes warmer. I have insulating foam around the pipes under my sink, too. Even in Florida last Winter we had a couple of really colds nights and even a freeze watch. My propane tank was almost empty and I was able to fill it in the day and be set to run the furnace through the night. If there is any likely chance of such cold weather, having a few things ready like this helps. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

It Doesn’t Matter Who the Next President Is

Yesterday as the day became night.
I recently found myself paying too much attention to what is, the news, opinions, and negativity. In order to even see all that, I had to have had it active in myself some, too. I woke one morning with insight and a reminder of what I know to be true: It doesn’t matter who the next president is.
As an American, I used to think of myself as being freer than I would be in other countries. In various states, I would think there was more freedom or less, depending. I thought of freedom as something granted to me from outside of myself, to a certain extent. It’s not.
I’m free and I know it and I feel excited for others to remember and know they are, too. No one has control over us or greater control over our experiences than we do ourselves. My feeling of freedom comes from knowing I’m free, not because of a president or a constitution.
On this election day, I am glad I voted. I’m glad there is a candidate and a party (Libertarian) I am FOR and I didn’t feel like I was voting for the lesser of two I didn’t care for. I’m glad that this can be a big election in terms of change as the duopoly of a two-party system will shift with the addition of a third major party. There's some great momentum. I’m glad that people have so much contrast with growing clarity of what they want and do not want so that truly only good will come of it, regardless of who wins. I’m glad I know that it doesn’t actually matter and that anyone has the potential to be and do great things. I’m glad that I know this and choose to feel good no matter what.
I’m free. You’re free. Wellbeing really is the nature of all things.
One of my favorite films is Labyrinth. Unlike Cinderella, where the lead is looking outside of herself for conditions to change in order to feel free and happy, the lead in Labyrinth eagerly takes on the journey ahead. Much like with Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, the man behind the curtain is perceived as in control. Yet Sarah knows this isn’t true and the line she keeps forgetting comes to her in the final moments. “You have no power over me,” she says. He flies away for he must. He can’t control her when she knows she is in control herself.
To the next president, whoever you may be, I wish you the best. May you live in alignment with your true self and act out of that inspiration for "one who is aligned with source is far more powerful than millions who are not" and there are millions who are not who will benefit greatly. We will benefit from the contrast created as well.
And to all others, may you feel empowered to also live aligned with your true self, knowing you are free and can be happy right now and for the next four years and ever more. You are in control of your life. I wish you the best, too.
It really is all good.
This was not long after the first picture above. It appeared to happen suddenly, in maybe 15 minutes or so.
When I woke this morning, I put on Jon Secada's "I'm Free" and felt the excitement of hope, optimism, and relief from today.
Some lyrics to focus on:
"Do you see what I see?
a rainbow shining over us
in the middle of a hopeless storm
we'll be safe and warm
I'm free, I'm free!
things are only as important as I want them to be
we'll have a breath of sunshine when the rain goes away"
I hope you enjoy the day! 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

I Took a Drive

I took a drive yesterday with my feline friend in the RV. She was happy to be home and so was I. We've been staying in some family's house while the RV has been checked out(chassis and brake inspections) and a fridge solution is taken care of. 
I recently learned of a product called BG44K for cleaning the fuel system and added a can to my tank and then 20 gallons of gas(tank was on empty) and then drove around some. Yesterday I decided to drive more, for various reasons, and wow, what a difference! It is smoother and the revving up that had started to happen when I first turned the key is gone. I'm incredibly impressed and expect a tremendously improved drive and fuel system from this. 
It felt good to be home and driving around again. I had no destination, it was pure enjoyment. I drove through towns and on highways. I saw the Fall foliage and at one point grabbed my phone to take a picture. At that precise moment I saw it was 3:33pm and a hawk was flying above. I took one picture and captured some of all of that -the trees, open road, and hawk. Awesome. 
Later, I laid on the cushion in the back playing a new to me app game called Bubble Clouds and just enjoyed the calm, quiet, space to myself.
Traveling is like physical movement to me. The same way one might be drawn to stretching or some form of physical activity to get the flowing feeling throughout them, I feel that with driving and new places and things. I didn't stop anywhere and I didn't need to. I just enjoyed recognizing and looking at places I have been, places I know about and have only passed by, the seasonal changes and decorations, new stores, old stores, progress. The smile on a biker's face as he looked at me while passing by. The delivery truck driver bundled up and patiently looking for when he could turn. The ease of things despite traffic. 
The feeling of being who I am now in a place with much past experience is interesting. I know too much now to see it the same way, yet some old beliefs and patterns of thoughts were here where I left them. The higher outlook creates a gap and I'm doing my best to shift and change, to stay aligned while I am here. Some of it is easy and some of it has a lot of contrast to it. I am aware of that and also very aware that I am doing very, very well. Like being at ease and moving without trouble throughout that traffic yesterday, actually. I saw it and paid it no mind, continuing on about my journey and simply stopping when I was ready to stop. What a cool parallel! 
Things are aways working out, always. 
Hawk in the sky yesterday. My one shot, in the moment.
It's all good. 
I have a little bit more on my Summer travels to come before shifting gears a bit to what I have been up to late Summer and Fall, plus something I've intended to share here for a while. Lots of good stuff! 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Some Thoughts on Travel, Happiness, and Living 

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page." Saint Augustine
"Birds flying high, you know how I feel..." lyrics that come to mind with this photo.
I follow a fair number of RV related people and businesses online and often see quotes like this. While I love traveling, I don't feel they apply to everyone or that travel is truly necessary like they often suggest. I don't believe anything is essential for everyone to experience. Each is unique and entirely individual so, while I sometimes like seeing these quotes, I don't really agree with them.
I recently met a sales rep who commented how some towns he drives through he knows little about and asked me if there is really something to see or do in every town. I said yes. This came about as I was explaining that I like to go from town to town VS taking the highway because I want to SEE the country. I'm not just driving through it. It reminded me of a woman I spoke with in Bloomington, MN this Summer who talked with me about all sorts of places she or her family had visited yet drew a blank on what to see in the area. Being that she was from there, she hadn't explored it in the same way. Yet I recall the driving instructor I practiced with during driver's education as a teen had lived his whole life in a town and seemed so thrilled with it, knowing the history and sharing with such enthusiasm. (Funny enough I remember he didn't feel it was necessary to practice or learn parallel parking because I'd never need to in the area... I insisted as I was in a nearby city often and even in my own town at the time, there was some parallel parking. Also, seriously, I wanted to know how to drive including parking... I digress. :))
One of the most interesting and like-minded people I've met yet was a 20 something of age skater in Florida earlier this year. I mentioned him previously in Starting and Joining Conversations as a Solo Traveler. He came to the USA from Vietnam as a young child and had hardly traveled more than maybe an hour or so away from his home. That amazed me, yet he seemed so happy in the small town, making his life his own, living how he pleased, knowing lots of people in it. In fact, it was partly that he didn't recognize me that drew him over to say hi. We live so differently still share such similar mindsets and approaches to life. He eats when he is hungry, and sleeps when he is tired, for example. Something so natural as that may seem crazy to many.
Some people have commented on how they are loving seeing pictures and hearing about my travels. For some, it's a neat idea they'd likely not actually want to do themselves. For others, it gives an example that it CAN be done. And others still may be inspired just to get out more in their own area and say yes more when opportunities come. Again, each person is different and will vary, those are just a few responses. I'm convinced that a person traveling is not necessary - I or someone like myself or some other resource, can come to you and we can share in our differences the joys we have in common. That can bring about similar or greater personal expansion and you don't even need to leave your home for it.
"Well traveled" is like "well read." Doesn't how and why and where you travel make a difference as what you read does? I'm not interested in glorifying either. I'm also not really interested in judging your reading material. (One of my favorite books is by Crayola titled, "This is the Moon or Is It?" A great book, geared to children, however, I love it and got it as an adult. It is filled with pictures of what might look like one thing and becomes something else and something else... love it.)
There is also this somewhat common theme of an idea about people in businesses with offices and 9-5 type jobs being unhappy and longing for travel. This is not true! Not for everyone. There are people who have jobs like that who love it. They love their office, the people they are working with, the stability and flow of the job. At one point, I was one of them. If you love your job, wanderlust and travel may not even be on your mind other than an occasional vacation. There can be excitement in your days whether you are traveling or not. For what it is worth, not everyone who travels a lot enjoys it. This is not a one size fits all world nor would we really want it to be. The diversity is vast and fun and amazing.
I love this idea I came across one day:
and so does 8+1 and 7+2 and 3+6. Different can also be "right." There is more than one way to create 9 and there is more than one way to live a happy life and nothing says that just because you're enjoying how you are living now (or not) you can't change things and enjoy a different way later. And again and again and again. It is not what you do, it is how you FEEL as you are doing it.
If you're happy, I don't care what you are doing or where you are located or whether you travel much (or read books - we read so much in this society, without any books needed!) or anything else. If you're happy, I'm happy for you and perhaps our lives will cross paths. We each have something in common with everyone - yes, everyone- and rendezvousing with a variety of people and experiences can happen with or without traveling, reading, or whatever else.  I personally love traveling and maybe I'll be that visitor who comes to you, as amazed and enthused about learning about your life, however you are living, as you are intrigued and curious about mine. That would be fun.
These are some thoughts I woke with this morning and a picture of a slightly cut off illustration I've had for years. It'd do us wonders if we'd shift from "right and wrong" as definitive for everyone and instead just focus on our own choices and desires, leaving the freedom to choose to each individual and the judgement of others' choices for themselves out of it. Live and let live, if you will.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Some Thoughts and Musings on Contrast, Travel, and Optimism Regarding the US 2016 Presidential Election 

I drove so fast to get to one location and as I went, I passed signs for places I would have liked to stop. This was not my favorite way of traveling and it was an unnecessary way of doing it. 
I can always appreciate the contrast of what I want and what I do not and this is no exception. So I explored for a few days and admit my mood was not the greatest. Without a doubt my mood was creating my perception of things. What intrigues me and comes to my awareness when this happens- when I am not feeling so happy in the moment- is how I still have wonderful experiences. Like my noticing so many people were smiling. Just smiling because. That's just about the best kind of smiling there is. Or a friendly conversation with the campground staff. All the driver's respecting the pedestrians and crosswalks. The beautiful bluff and nature I was surrounded by. There were still so many good things. 
When you're telling a joke, timing is everything. If you rush it or say something incorrectly and have to explain, even if it is funny, it doesn't get the same laugh as when you're in the flow and it is easy and hilarious. That was what I did. I rushed to get somewhere and I was not fully aligned with it. My mood was less than ideal and I enjoyed it less. 
So yesterday I left. I drove south along the coast at a pace I love, stopping here and there at a park, beach, downtown, and lighthouse. I saw two weddings! I saw houses and fields and cows and horses. I saw rabbits playing with each other, a deer poking its head out to see into the road, farm markets, birds. I felt the breeze and heard the sounds from the waves crashing. I saw so many folks stop to walk around and enjoy it for themselves whether for hours or just a brief stop. 
I walked around an area where all my senses kicked in- the place had such energy and presence. I could feel the air and see the thickness of it, hear the waves, smell the water(which I at first thought totally smelled and felt like salt water though it was fresh), sense the earthy greens and soil... it reminded me of The Secret Garden as I climbed stone steps up among the trees. 

Last night I found myself smiling as I drove. I felt it on my face and made a point to look at myself in the rear view mirror. The roads were flowing and I had a Great Lake to my left and fields to my right. Occasionally a car or few would come behind or from the other direction. They'd pass me and soon the road was open again. I loved the mix- the fields, the homes, the vastness. Then I'd drive through the little towns and see others here or there. I never got the sense it was empty or I was alone. I felt that people live here. Yet it wasn't busy. The radio news had even mentioned that roads were expected to be busier with the festival over the weekend. If this was busy, what was not?! :) 
I drove through small towns with cool names like Alaska. I stopped at a lighthouse harbor and walked all the way out to the end and back. I watched at the beach in Algoma as people enjoyed the sand and swim. 
The journey is the fun part. Taking a bite of something delicious and savoring it, recognizing its components and how beautifully they go together to create the whole. Carpe Vitam! Harvest life. 
It's not about the destination. It never was. You can't get lost when you don't have a set place you are going. And my GPS will continue to guide me to the route no matter what turns I take. 
Now I am parked in a beautiful setting. I can hear the highway noise from nearby. Yet I can see the field and grasses and watched the sky as it turned pink and purple and lovely shades this evening. 
I walked some trails at a large park this morning and jumped when I realized eyes were watching me. I had passed by a fawn curled up on the path, just near the tall grass. I jumped and then it jumped. It would have just stayed resting, I bet, had I not been startled. It moved away and I said something along the lines of, "Wait. I didn't know you were there." And it waited, scratched its back, turned and looked at me. I snapped some pictures. I knelt down and thought it might come over to me, then thought it might be best not to have it so trusting of people. I'm sure it could tell the difference though as it was still so calm and seemed to take a liking to me. Then I left and kept walking. No clue where it was when I came back through. And I wondered how many times I pass things by without realizing as I hike and figured I probably do it every time. 
And I didn't have to notice the people I see smiling, the curtesy of the drivers, the island type vibe of this peninsula I had visited. I wanted to, and so I did. 
I want to notice more of these things and continue being aware of them and enjoy them when I do. 
Not having a set place I was heading next was slightly getting to me. As I drove yesterday and today, today actually ending up rather different than I was first thinking and my current location other than I thought it would be, I noted how much I love the traveling part. It isn't about where I am going! I picked a place and meandered on my way there. It's the movement and discovery as I go that I so enjoy. I love the rendezvous along the way, the moments and people and animals and nature and experiences that I simply could not plan. It sometimes feels like I happen upon them yet my belief is that we meet up with each other because we are like magnets drawn together, open to the shared experience and connection. I can trust myself to feel my way and I can trust that there will always be a match to whatever it is I want and whatever it is I am feeling. 
For now, I choose to feel better. And then better than that. And better than that. Better feels good. 
There is something else regarding contrast that's been on my mind since the other day. I've summed it up:
The most fantastic thing this election is giving us is the incredible contrast of what so many of us do not want. The clarity gained from this on what we DO want is tremendous! And I remain optimistic about this election and steady in my knowing and belief in the wellbeing of our world.

(I'm voting for Gary Johnson, as I did in the last election. This adds further to the contrast- it feels great to be aligned with and excited for a candidate!) 
Onward we go! 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Sounds of Silence, RV Maintenance and Visiting Family in the Midwest

I'm digging the new cover of "The Sound of Silence" by the band Disturbed. It was originally called, "The Sounds of Silence" and the title somehow got shortened. And how fitting as my posting has been so little this month so far.
I have been spending time with family in the Midwest and taking care of some RV maintenance. Little things like checking my water heater's anode rod- still good to go for quite a while. Having routine maintenance done for my generator- the technician told me every 100 hours, still I wanted it done now for peace of mind since it had been about two years(before I bought it.) Sealing two leaks - one the back door which additional weather stripping took care of, the other a new leak on the side window. I open the windows so often that I think it was getting worn from use and the window began separating from the seal on part of it. Glued and good to go! And having my fridge checked since the temps were a bit off. The propane valve wasn't open fully and they cleaned it out to have a good, strong blue flame. It works great now! 
Tonight I prepped the RV with a rinse for a wash and wax tomorrow. I last washed it before I set off and it has gotten lots of use since. People usually think it is a newer RV than it is as it looks so nice and clean and is so well maintained. I love it. 
I also got a new 12 volt extension cord. It is 12 feet long and I have wanted one for a while. It can be used inside or outside and what I really wanted it for was mostly for my fan. This was the fan I was running at night from the front cab area not knowing that I was draining my engine battery instead of using the house battery like I thought. Now that I have the added length with this cord, I can put the fan up front and run it off the house battery when I want to. It's quiet on low yet loud enough I prefer to not have it so close to me in the back. (I have been working on an Amazon store with products I like and use and will add links to the fan and cord once I have that up and running with my site.)
I'm about 1,200 miles from my next oil change and will say that so far, I am liking the express lanes at the dealership. No need to stay in the area and wait for an appointment, just show up and you're good to go! I continue to love having a small class B that can be serviced at most dealerships for the same cost as the usual auto price. With my less common 5.2L engine, it only takes 5 quarts. 
So all this taken care of, I'm enjoying some more time with family and a different pace as I near a departure and more travel. 
Kayaking at a preserve the other day.
I'm loving new experiences like eating authentic Lebanese food (delicious!) and enjoying the different flow. All is well and excitement is building for what is to come! 
I've got travel posts in the works for my trip here and will get back to more regular posting soon. 
Until then... :)    

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Choosing to Be Happy 

The same way there were so many things I let be my excuse for not allowing myself to do what I really wanted to do- to get an RV and travel all over- birthdays and holidays and this and that coming up, family, and could be's and what if's- I could put off being happy, too. And I did. And at some point I realized it and wondered what would happen once all of that was "done" (it never would be, there could always be something) and I was living how I wanted to. 
The story of how I got my RV is a good one and the story of setting off may be even better. Both are in the past and the present and future are far more exciting to me. What I want to comment on is the momentum. There was so much push and pull that when I finally let go, I soared. There were tiny bits of turbulence along the way as I experienced my own resistance to a smooth flight, yet overall it was good. Even those bumps were part of the ride. I'm not going to say struggle makes you stronger. I don't believe struggle is necessary, especially not so much. One can have contrasting experiences that are just as thrilling as when everything is going downhill with ease. It isn't the situation, it's how I choose to feel regardless of the situation. It is unconditional. 
The momentum was strong as so much of my resistance had been released and I remember saying aloud to myself one day last fall, "I don't know how I'm going to do this, I just know that I am." I KNEW it. I knew I was going. And I left without looking back. 
I can appreciate the bumps on the road here and there as aid in my alignment. Noticing how I respond to things helps, too. What I notice most of all is the sense of trusting and ease I feel. I know everything is always working out for me. I know I will get a great parking spot, I know I will always find a safe place for me to park at night, I know it feels so incredibly wonderful to go as I feel like it and that that enjoyment will bring me and the places, people, and situations I want to experience together. And I love that.
The other afternoon I thought to myself, I am doing what I have always wanted to do. Like woah, really! I am! 
There can be excuses to live differently than desired. There can be external factors that most people will accept as good reasons to do or not do something. When one's happiness and choices are based on such external factors, it is conditional. If someone else needs to do something for you to feel good- a partner needs to give you something, your kids need to behave a certain way, the government needs to do this or stop doing that, whatever it is- if it is outside of you, it is out of your control and it is a conditional approach to be dependent on that for your own joy(peace, life, whatever.) 
A beautiful sunrise view one recent morning.
"You can choose to be happy." I don't know who said it. I remember being a teenager and reading that and I wrote it down and put it inside my bedroom door. I understand it way better now. 
It may displease some people that I do things the way I do. There may be "obligations" to many that I no longer view as such. There may be moments when someone wants or expects something from me in a conditional way (to make them "happy.") And there may be moments when I am less than thrilled with what surrounds me. 
I can't change what is outside of myself. I can change how I feel. Just through my thoughts, I can change how I feel. I can choose to think things that feel better and good. I can choose to believe things that feel better and good. I can choose to trust myself and that strong feeling of knowing all is well, that knowing that I am safe and supported in living how I want to, that feeling of alignment with who I am. I can choose to be happy regardless of the conditions. And as I do that, my perspective of the conditions changes. 

And as I do that the way those conditions are in my life changes. And my life gets better and better. 
I won't wait until this or that situation, person, whatever, changes to make me happy. I will choose to be happy now either way. Happiness is a choice, not something from outside oneself. 
I won't put off what I feel inspired to do, I will move when I feel moved to. 
I can choose to be happy. That is the most powerful thing I can do. And as I do it, everyone and everything around me shifts. Everyone senses a light in the darkness, even those who cannot or do not see it. Everyone senses it. 
And the ones wanting the light go toward it. And the other lights make it brighter. And once there is light to see, there is clearer contrast and there is hope. 

I can choose to be happy. And so can you. And a great thing about doing so is how what you really want comes to you when you do. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Games for the Solo Traveler

As a game loving solo traveler, I narrowed down my somewhat massive game collection to a few with me on the road. (Full disclosure: I still have some stored in a closet at families' house, even after donating and selling a bunch!) Many games just don't make sense to carry since the space taken and need for other players would make them used less than it's likely worth.
On the road, I keep it simple. In terms of physical games, I have Bananagrams, dominos, and a dice and cards set. These are small and compact, can be used in different ways and for various games, and work for solo or more play. I love it!
There is also an alphabet game that is fun. Basically, starting with A and working through Z, I think of something that starts with each letter. For example, sometimes when I'm in the woods I'll play this and go through what I love about being in nature. "Abundance, Beauty, Clouds, Deer, Earth, Freedom..." and so on and so forth. This is something I play in my head as I walk, and could work just as well with others aloud, picking whatever theme you want. I choose topics that feel good, to focus on what I like.
Like with so many things, technology and the internet allow for access to a lot of options. I have a poker app and had an app similar to Catch Phrase on my phone. I know some people have gaming systems and computer games. I personally don't carry either.
Then there are athletic sports games. Visiting so many parks inspired me to buy a second-hand tennis racquet and have three tennis balls with me. When I find a racquet ball court, I play against it. Sometimes I just throw a tennis ball against the wall or bounce it as I walk a trail or path.
Obviously what you choose to carry will vary not only by space and use, but interest. While it is nice to have your own for if and when, there may be options available to rent, borrow, or trade items. For example, I have considered a kayak or small boat of sorts and ultimately decided not to carry one. I can rent one as needed. Same goes for a bike. If I used these often, I'd likely take a different route. For now, this works.
A general guide for fulltime RVing is if it has multiple uses, can fit somewhere, and you enjoy it, it's worth bringing. So far, I'm happy with what I've got!
Bananagrams, a dice and cards set, and Dominos make up my RV game collection.