In just one month, so much has changed in my life. It feels like just yesterday that I was waking up in a basement in Pittsburgh, PA. Today, I woke up in my van, alongside my dog Mo, in the city of San Francisco, CA. Just a few short weeks ago, I was living an entirely different life.
After an impromptu trip across the country in September of 2016, it became evident that something in my life needed to change. Driving to California for a work opportunity showed me how much things in Pennsylvania had begun to stall out. There was to much comfort. To many conveniences, and not enough challenge. The open road taught me something valuable. The further away from help and support I drove, the more reliant on myself I became. While my first trip across the U.S. was only 6 weeks long, and ended in Colorado; it was the founding experience for what transpired in the months to follow.
After deciding that it was time to leave Pittsburgh long term and to live in Colorado, it was time to regroup and create a longterm plan. Something more spacious and winter appropriate than the front seat of my Hyundai Santa Fe was going to be required. A friend and fellow wanderer had arrived in Denver with a van he was living in, and the idea, in actual form, inspired me. It was time to head back to Pennsylvania and begin my planning and development.
Skip ahead 6 months (promise to do a future post about those months) and #vanlife has become a full scale reality. With a 77 square foot living space built in my 1990 Ford E-350, and with my dog at my side, the adventure has only just begun. During the course of the build up, plans changed. That kind of thing happens over a period of months. Life took me and my dog back to California. While Colorado may still be in my future, for now, life takes place in San Francisco.
One month of living life in my van, and just like the first trip across the country, I am more self sufficient than ever. Each morning starts the same, I wake up with a choice. The choice is to be happy or not. The choice is to do it, or not do it. While living in a van and with no nearby familiar support, not doing it doesn’t feel like an option. Each new day affords me an opportunity to make life great. It isn’t the things you accumulate that make life worth living. Life is the experience itself. Go out and meet new people, learn from them. Go out and explore nature, learn from it. Go and be alone with yourself, learn from that. Love; and learn from that.
There have been a lot of lessons to learn from living life little. Those lessons are still teaching me daily. It is my intention to start exploring where these lessons are taking me. It is also my intention to share what I’ve learned. In the works right now are a weekly blog post, and a weekly podcast. For now, it will be the occasional blog and a few weekly posts on social media. I am in no rush to create content, for contents sake. My aim is to live my life to the fullest, and share the journey as seems appropriate. My sincerest regards to those who follow along. Know that you are loved. Never stop chasing your dreams. You are on your path, and that is right where you are meant to be.