Thursday, January 28, 2016

Published 11:28 AM by with 0 comment

A Life on the Road

I've never before experienced such sustained contentment. Call it happiness but it's not as fleeting as that.
When we traded our traditional sticks and bricks existence for one of reduced living space on the road, my wife and I weren't sure what to expect. Our fantasies had us gallivanting around the United States as free as two birds. This huge country could never be fully explored in one lifetime so we would never run out of new places to explore.

From what I've read, people get on the road for one of two reasons; to find themselves or lose themselves. Our motivation is the former although truthfully, I think the actual experience might be a combination of the two.

As I write this, I'm staring out the window of our motorhome at the desert. Specifically, Borrego Springs State Park in Southern California. Unlike my friends on the East Coast, we have managed to elude the wrath of El NiƱo. Although we've had a variety of weather, temperatures have mostly hovered around a very comfortable 70 degrees.

We invested in solar panels last year which dramatically increased our options for camping. We are currently parked off the grid with no electric pedestal in sight. All of our water is on board and, for heat and cooking, we use propane. Every couple of weeks or so, we need to find somewhere to dump our tanks and replenish our fresh water supply but, in the meantime, we are as free as we will ever be.
We are not completely alone out here. There are about thirty other RVs around us, each maintaining a respectable distance from their neighbor. That suits me fine because I feel a sense of security in numbers. Being truly isolated would be somewhat nerve wracking. I have had dreams where we are miles away from anyone and anything and suddenly, in the black of the night, there is a loud knock on our door. Cue the jump-scare music.

What makes this chosen lifestyle such a success for me personally is a frequent sense of gratitude for the opportunities I have. When I read about all of the atrocities around the world and the hardships that people endure, I count myself as one of the lucky few who got away. The world is a beautiful place and I see it and feel it everyday. It's absolutely thrilling and, as a photographer, I simply couldn't ask for more. I feel sorry for people who, for whatever reasons, won't or can't experience that kind of joy.

We will stay in the desert until we are ready to move on, ready to change our window view. Whatever that looks like, one thing is for sure, we will be as free as two birds having the time of our lives.
My Adobe Spark (formerly Slate) presentation of this post is available here
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