I wrote this maybe 2 days before we all got laid off from our jobs due to Coronavirus. It’s pretty crazy looking back and realizing that I was feeling restless then, and now I’ve been home for almost 4 months and am juuuust starting to feel that little itch to travel again.
Six Months of Van Living…
How can something simultaneously feel so long and so short? I took one of Ashley Galvin’s yoga classes today and she talked about noticing how your mind starts to race when you slow down and there’s no physical movement to distract you. I laid there in pigeon pose thinking about how true that is for my life. When we’re moving and traveling it’s really easy to not get caught up in… well, honestly, much of anything. We’re so busy finding places to sleep, get water, eat, planning routes and stops… There’s no time to really worry about too much. It’s easy to focus on existing and completing tasks one at a time. When we’re stationary though, whether that be in the van or the house we fall into routines. I have too much time to think. My mind starts to wander. Restlessness sweeps in like a summer storm, unexpected but powerful. I find myself craving movement, new places, old places and familiar faces, anything but the last few months day to day.
I guess that’s part of the beauty and draw of living in a van… when you get bored you just move on to the next destination, right? When you’re craving movement, you move. When you want stability, you stay. It’s not exactly that easy all the time, though. We have jobs, upcoming travels, and other things that keep us from up and going somewhere right now and you know what… I’m glad. How lucky am I to be sitting in the van looking up at a ski slope dreaming about surfing back home?! Infinitely. Without these slow times looking forward to busy times I would lose my mind during the savagery of full-time travel. Without missing surfing or snowboarding I couldn’t fully enjoy it. Without living a somehow both simpler and more complicated life in a van how could I truly appreciate the more complex but more comfortable life I enjoy at home in my house? Without winter, what fun is summer?
March, bring on the restlessness. I welcome you, because I know you are only temporary. I know that I will look back and long for you. But also, April. I cant wait for your long days of travel, stressful moments of uncertainty and new sights, I also know you are only temporary.
I am thankful for life in every speed, because it makes me appreciate every single moment of life in this van and the opportunities it has given me.
Funny enough, March ended up being the craziest month yet. We lost our jobs and the lifts stopped running the day we got the four feet of snow we’d been waiting for all winter. We spent a week hiking with friends to ride and then decided it was time to start heading home. San Francisco and most of the southern California was on full lock-down at this point and we didn’t know how living in a van during a pandemic would look.
We took about two weeks to make our way back across the country to North Carolina, but unfortunately with all the national parks closed we didn’t get to see even a fraction of what we had planned to explore on our travels home. We never even got to surf in California.
April was full-on quarantine when we got back to our house. We only left the house for essentials, and couldn’t even surf when we got home because the beaches were closed. It was crazy times for sure, but now it’s almost August and we’ve basically been back to business as usual for the past 3 months. Working, surfing, enjoying house life.
As fall slowly starts approaching, we are starting to wonder… what’s next for us? Do we leave for another winter? Do we want to be away from our friends and family for that long? We love life here in Carolina Beach. We’re five minutes from surfing whenever we want, where there’s always pals in the water. We have a comfortable house, our families are close by. We built a dang mini ramp in the garage! But… We know in the back of our minds as soon as those mountains start getting snow we’re going to be itching to be out there somewhere. There’s so much stuff we didn’t get to explore that we still want to see, I know that restlessness is just around the corner for me.
I hate to leave you hanging like this, but that’s real life right now. A big, gigantic cliffhanger.