After a month and a half of living full-time in a 15ft. camper, I know what I miss and don’t miss about my previous standard of living. You could probably guess some but be surprised by others. If you’re curious about how I feel about this new adventure, read on!
What I Miss…
- Spaciousness: I miss freely moving around. I dislike bumping into everything and knocking things over all the time. Though bumping into Shane means more hugs, kisses, slaps on the butt, and other goofing around. 🙂 Our things are too cramped, and we have to limit the things. What things we have are perpetually in the way. Shane loves the downsizing. He feels the expansion of freedom with the decompression of space and stuff. Me? I miss some of my things…all my books, creepy decor, candle holders, pictures, the things that I feel define me. I prefer open rooms, large kitchen and bath, high ceilings, and the ability to move around. You know, a Gothic mansion. Lol I can’t even do most of my physical therapy exercises because of the lack of space. At least I’m not claustrophobic. Lol
- Family and Friends: Little more needs said about this. I have no family or friends nearby, except Shane. Though an older gentleman has befriended us. The only good thing is I’m an extreme introvert bordering on hermithood so it doesn’t really impact me as much as it would others. As my good friend Lisa says, I’m “socially selective.” I like to say I’m a stereotypical socially inept writer. 🙂
- Indian restaurants: I miss our favorite Indian restaurant, Indian Spice Train. However, we did indulge ourselves during our visit home. Paneer 65, spice level 10! YUM! The closest Indian restaurant is in Pittsburgh about an hour or longer away. But we haven’t yet ventured to the big city.
- Convenience: The closest grocery stores, retail stores, and entertainment are 20-30 minutes away. At our house, I could walk to the store, save gas, and reduce my carbon footprint. Not here, and due to lack of space, I have to grocery shop often. My physical therapist is 5.5 hours away. If I partially dislocate my pelvis again, I’ll probably have to go to the hospital, which is a half hour away. Except my PT says I won’t receive the right care in a hospital. Scary, huh?
- Specialty products found only at home locale. I can’t find my protein powder, my low carb wraps, my magnesium supplements, Gold Star Chili spice packets, Dr. Praeger’s veggie burgers, etc where we’re currently staying. This means I have to stock up on home visits.
- Private clean showers. Since our hot water heater is still broken (where’s the part you promised, Forest River?), we shower in the chilly campground facility. They haven’t cleaned them in the month and a half I’ve been there. Ew.
- A real oven. The camper convection microwave oven is small and isn’t very good in my opinion. It seems to take twice as long to cook meals. Plus, for some reason it doesn’t melt and brown cheese. Unacceptable.
- A warm toilet seat. Sitting down to pee shouldn’t elicit a yelp. Unless the toilet monster rises from the deep and bites your ass.
- Feeling of Place. Since we’re temporary residents, we don’t have roots or any of the place attachments of a permanent home. We’re just visiting. As an environmental geographer, I understand the importance of place and the emotional/mental well-being associated with a sense of place in a particular space. However, I definitely love the place, all its natural beauty and opportunities for adventure.
What I Don’t Miss
- City noise. I don’t hear hourly trains, horns, sirens, or neighbors yelling at each other. Nor do I hear a neighbor screaming for help because his drug-dealing brother ODed. I prefer the quiet of the country.
- City congestion. Living in the middle of nowhere means hardly anyone on the roads. While drivers still pull out in front of you without stopping, they at least speed up most of the time. My stress levels have improved, and I enjoy driving.
- City pollution. Due to higher population, more trash exists along the roadside in the city. Higher traffic volumes also mean higher emissions and smog. If people do one good deed for the environment and wildlife, they should not litter!
- Angry people. We haven’t encountered a single road-rager, raving junkie, abusive arguing couple, or any other nasty behaving individual. Not saying they don’t live in the middle of nowhere, just we’re not witnessing those behaviors. The people may just be nicer because the landscape is nicer. Maybe they don’t air that sense of entitlement to engage in disrespectful or inconsiderate public action because someone probably knows them in a small town. Not quite anonymous. I like decent folk, even if they’re putting on a public face.
- Ugly landscape. I prefer wild landscapes to urban landscapes, so I absolutely love the Wanderful Life because of where we’re at. I feel more energized, relaxed, inspired, and peaceful because of my surroundings. The trees are happier here, and there are way more trees than people. Can’t say that at all about home.
- Stress. See all the above. 🙂
For me, the best thing about The Wanderful Life is wandering into wonder. I live more in awe now. It truly is wonderful. ❤
Our friends who joined us at our favorite Indian restaurant during our visit asked Shane if he enjoyed living here in a camper. Without a second’s thought, he blurted, “Hell yeah! I absolutely love it!”
I think that sums it up well. 🙂 We love it because we see the bigger picture–how the Wanderful Life gifts us those moments that take your breath away and quickens your pulse; how our cramped camper is merely the resting spot during our adventures, where two hearts beat for each other and dream of a future homestead. Home is where the heart is, and I found a heart here…