Life Travel

So… I moved. Into a house.

November 6, 2018

You heard (read) that correctly.  I moved.  Into a house.  Like a legitimate adult.

Let’s backtrack a bit before we get all huffy and worried about my abandonment of #RVlife.  I’ve got a lot to catch you up on.

I’ve been living out all of my gypsy fantasies for the last year and a half, in a wanderlust-filled period of roaming the country in my 21-foot travel trailer with my best bud, Lola.  I’d been dreaming of buying an RV and hitting the road for a few months.  Worried that maybe I was really searching for love, I decided to get a boyfriend to see if that would fill the void I was feeling.

Being in a relationship didn’t change anything.  So I dumped the dude, bought a truck the next day, and bought the RV the day after.  I sold everything I owned because I had no idea where I’d want to settle down when – and if – I ever did.  A little time spent outfitting the RV with solar, a compost toilet, and the other things I’d need to run my business from the road – and I was off for another epic adventure.

And epic, it was.

Over the last year and a half, I have grown and stretched in so many ways.  I was after growth, I was seeking challenge, adventure, newness.  And I got it.  I left Florida last year as a woman who had no idea what she was doing – as someone who was scared just to switch lanes when towing, who had only driven a handful of mountain passes (in a car) in her life, who got sweaty palms every time she had to get gas because it meant she’d have to navigate the tight space of a gas station.  I left Florida with zero backup skills, no idea of how to change a propane tank, monitor my solar, gauge my water usage, start a generator.  I was as green as they come.  But I knew that I’d figure it out.  I was sure there was no problem I wouldn’t be able to solve, either on my own or by attracting in the help I needed at the moment I needed it.  There were plenty of problems I had to solve, plenty of things I had to learn, plenty of uncomfortable moments I had to sit through… and countless rich, incredible rewards for my willingness to dive headfirst into the unknown.

I hiked, biked, scrambled up mountains, made new friends. I gazed at Andromeda (our nearest spiral galaxy) from 10,000 feet up in the clouds.  I climbed eight 14,000 foot peaks.  I biked to the top of Trail Ridge Road for the third time in my life.  I crawled up rocks and sat atop all of the vortex sites in Sedona.  I gazed at the Milky Way every night for a month while I was in Utah.  I made a single tank of fresh water last for a month.  I grieved the loss of my dog, Chloe… and then I was blessed with Lola.  My business took off as I worked off Verizon and AT&T signals from a converted work space in my tiny, 100-square foot living quarters.  I learned to back up my trailer!  I started boondocking.  I got brave enough to venture off to remote BLM and national forest land to set up camp.  I listened to coyotes howl and bushes rustle around my camper at night.  I came face-to-face (within 5 feet) of a young bull moose during one of the coolest wildlife encounters of my life… an experience I will never forget.  I saw my first bear in the wild, 30 yards from my camp.  I had a playful fox approach me at camp, darting back and forth, inviting me to chase him.  I watched the sunrise from 14,154 feet after hiking to the top of Mt. Democrat under the stars with my new friend, Kristen.  I laid underneath the stars on a dark night and watched the Perseid meteor shower with another new friend, Luke.  I even flirted with love and entertained the idea of staying in Colorado forever.  But alas, circumstances kept my gypsy soul roaring forward.

Over the last year and a half, I have been inspired to breathlessness.  I have soaked up life, I have said yes to experiences.  I have been full of gratitude.  I have been forever changed.

I have grown. I am more loving.  I am more connected – to people, nature, the essence of life… to the universe.  I’ve recognized the undeniable truth that no matter how alone I may feel in any moment on this physical plane, that I am never truly alone.  Ever.  I have tuned more into my ability to create the life I want for myself- whatever that may be, at whatever moment I may experience it.  Now, more than ever, I see my life as this beautiful, dynamic, adventure.  I recognize that it is my right – my duty – to change and evolve.

When I embarked on this journey, I had no idea how long I would stay gone. I figured I might do it a couple months and hate it, or I could decide to never stop traveling.  The truth ended up being a balance – which is perhaps the main theme of my life since I hit the road.  There is balance in everything, and I crave it.

I’ve cherished the travel, but I also found myself craving a home base more and more over the last couple of months.  I still want to travel a lot, but I want a home to come back to.  I don’t want to feel like I have to keep traveling all of the time.  For as amazing as it is to be on the road and off grid, there is also a LOT of work involved.  The creature comforts that you take for granted in a home (water, electricity, heat, a flushing toilet) are things that require constant work in an RV.  When I travel, I have to constantly think about how much water I have, how full my gray tank is, how charged my batteries are and how much sun is forecasted in the coming days, how much propane I have, whether I’ll need to use my generator (and whether I have gas for it), whether I have adequate cell signal to work, how safe my location is, how long I can stay (there are always limits when you’re boondocking, and you must know the rules), where I’ll go next, and on and on.  Things on an RV are always breaking, things are always beeping, you’re always having to fix something or pay attention to a potential issue.  That’s just the reality.  And as fun as it is, it requires a lot of energy just to make sure your basic needs are met.

Thus, full-timing, solo, while also running a business and sneaking in as much adventure and fun as possible – I really have had no time to rest.  Less than a month ago, I woke up to snow in Flagstaff and decided I didn’t want to hang around.  I made a game day decision, packed up, and headed east.  I had no plan other than to get out of the snow and start making my way back to Florida.  I really didn’t want to go back to Florida, but I also wanted out of the RV.  Unsure of where to go… I just drove.

Four days later, I found myself in North Carolina.  I’d planned to go to Asheville, but all the campgrounds were full.  So I ended up 20 miles south in a town called Hendersonville.

By the second day, I knew I wanted to stay in Hendersonville.  By the fourth day, I’d found a house to rent.  By the 6th day, I’d signed a lease, and by the 7th, I’d bought furniture (Remember, I owned nothing).  Within two weeks, I put the RV in storage and Lola and I moved into this adorable house built in the 1920s.  We have a yard. I have an office again.  There’s a huge, beautiful deck.  I’m within walking distance to just about everything.  And the people here are some of the friendliest I’ve encountered in the country.

I’m moving into a new chapter in my life – I can sense it.  And this chapter certainly still involves plenty of RV travel (I have plans to explore the northeast next summer), but now…I need a community.  I need a group.  I’ve experienced so much in the last decade of my life, and there’s something I feel compelled to do with that.  I want to inspire others to live exciting, authentic, incredible lives.  I want to help others see that they can create whatever type of life they want for themselves.  I want to build a tribe… I want to help other people see how awesome they can be.  I really feel called to work with women.  And as incredible as the universe is – I think I’ve already found a partner.  And guess what? She lives next door to me.

So I hope you all will stay tuned to whatever is in store next. Things are changing – a new chapter is starting… and truly, I’m so excited about that.

To close, I wanted to share some of my favorite pictures and memories from the last 18 months. Here they are, in no particular order.

Enjoy <3

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  • Armen
    November 6, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    Such breathtaking pictures of your travels, but where is a picture of your new home base with the huge deck?

    • Jessica
      November 6, 2018 at 4:24 pm

      Forthcoming! I’m going to do a video… you know, now that I have actual broadband wifi again!

  • Nate
    November 7, 2018 at 1:57 am

    Sounds like an awesome journey. Both in sights and in self.

    Good ol NC. Spent 6 really good years there.

  • Tiffany
    November 9, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    I love your desire to inspire. I hope you never lose that drive – although, I have a feeling you never will. Can’t wait to see the new digs. I’m excited about your new roots! Love you! Tiff

  • Kevin Mandig
    November 13, 2018 at 11:13 pm

    This is amazing! It was such a joy to read this. Best of luck in your new home!