Van Life Update

Clayton

Hello beautiful beings. Sheesh, it’s been some time since I’ve updated you all or shared any awesomeness here on the World Wide Web.

How cool that daily access and utilization of the www. is a reflection of 5th dimensional expansion and existence. It’s a sharing of < time + space > without a requirement of physical space share. If you haven’t already, this is a great time to just pause and take a nice deep breath of gratitude that this thing even exists. For all of the blessings that are here because of technology advancements.

I wanted to write the rest of this post with a focus on van life and what my experience has been so far. If that’s not interesting to you, no worries. Please know I have decided to take some time off of the www. and social media realms to refocus myself and rededicate/allocate time. While I will remain active on this platform, I will be taking some time from Facebook and instagram to work on what I want to share in the ether.

I hope that this easy read finds you happy, healthy and safe.

And first, an opportunity for meditative healing…

I am sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.

Above I have shared the Ho’oponopono prayer.

“Ho’oponopono is an ancient Hawaiian spiritual practice that involves learning to heal all things by accepting “Total Responsibility” for everything that surrounds us – confession, repentance, and reconciliation.”

I recently felt called to sit in a short and sweet meditation using mantra saying this! I started first in my mind only, and slowly incorporated audible noise. The sensations I experienced were profound and I encourage you to try it out! <3 When we take time to speak or think this mantra we are alchemizing our very existence here. The connectedness we share allows us to say this and be speaking it to ourselves, to others, to the Earth (Mama Gaia), and all other surroundings. What a beautiful gift. I hope you enjoy this.

~

Since the time of my last share, I have made it all the way around the sun again (yay, twenty-seven). Zach helped me celebrate by surprising me with body painting and a photo shoot. It was an intimate and expressing experience, as I am not always excited to be in front of the camera. Zach and I both had so much fun painting each other. Would also recommend this practice to any of my creatives out there.

I have written a couple songs, led and/or moved through yoga sequences, started and finished some creations, both paintings and earrings. I have definitely put some miles on Clayton, and checked the oil a few times. I’ve clocked in and clocked out, and sat my body on the beach soaking in the juicy sun codes until I needed to leave. We volunteered and attended Reggae Rise Up which was awesome. I have drank a good bit of kava, had dirty feet, and eaten lots of meat which I used to not do at all!

It has truly been divine. Every. Moment.

~

Van life so far…

The sunshine state is a wonderful place. I have never spent this much time in Florida, and quite honestly I see why people move here, or visit often.

I have had such a delightful time exploring Saint Petersburg. Food, kava/tea bars, art walks, vending opportunities, festivals, oh and the friggin’ endless parks! So many great parks. I actually spent some time in a new park today, Abercrombie park— it was beautiful and full of Florida flora galore. It also had a great shady spot for Clayton (the van) that was much appreciated.

How are you staying cool?

Oh what a good question! This has been a tricky learning experience in the van. The van is equipped with: 1 maxx air fan, screened doors for the side sliding door, and back doors (when they are open), two small screened windows in the back, and a three speed rotation fan that is mounted to the wall on the side of the bed area.

In all honesty, there have been hot days (and if you’re from Florida, or have spent time there don’t judge my weakness to the heat please)! My biggest concern on the hotter days has been my sweet pup Sue.

Van Life Doggy Style: Sue girls favorite place to relax, in the breeze!
Baby girl and the wall fan. <3

When I’m working and can’t spend the hot days outside, finding a balance of sunshine basking and shade… Sue stays cool by being in Clayton with windows open, a full water bowl, and shade of palm trees.

She has acclimated well, in my opinion. We are constantly out n’ about which has also been exciting! Not only have I met some amazing beings and stopped into great places, but so has Sue. She even has a dog and cat friend she’s regularly had play dates with!

What about your cleanliness?

You know how when you live in a house you typically pick a day to clean or divide it up and conquer it in a few? Well, in the small space with two people and a dog, cleaning is usually done on a daily basis. I have not purchased a battery powered small vacuum YET, but it is in the near future because sweeping could be done every day and still leave the floor dirty!

It has been humbling to find peace and okay-ness in the dirty.

Sand is sometimes everywhere, and it truly doesn’t bother me! If I had one complaint it would be attempting to keep the gray water jug smelling decent. I have cleaned it with bleach once… it helped for a couple days but also resulted in the van smelling of bleach. My latest hack utilized soap and water, and then lemon essential oil… which works at first but fades quickly. If you have an idea, please send it over!

I will also add that laundry is typically a chore that is accomplished on a day off work and includes hanging out at the laundry mat and taking sue for a walk. While stuff spins in the dryer I normally take trash out and sweep, and find time for artwork or guitar practice.

Let me tell you my favorite thing…

You are probably not expecting this. But in keeping with my honest and transparent nature of being, I have to share that my favorite discovery thus far in van life is the she-wee. I do not personally own the brand she-wee that is linked previously, but they have all sorts of information! I purchased this one on Amazon. They also carry a version at Walmart in the camping section.

You might be laughing, and that’s okay… but if you are a bearer of a penis let me just tell you, I used to be jealous in situations where that is handy, but now I don’t need to be! Level up ladies, you won’t regret it.

When you gotta go, you gotta go!

It’s so silly to me how easy it is for people with wieners to pee literally anywhere and it not be socially frowned upon (I mean set setting, of course). But as a person with a vagina I grew up learning how to squat in situations where a toilet wasn’t accessible. Squatting is obvious. It can’t be done as discreetly, and while it is a great skill and still comes in handy… the she-wee has provided so much freedom and alleviated stress in my life!

It is cheap. Easy to clean. Works great when you don’t want to sit or hover a porter potty and doesn’t take much effort (although you can make a mess, that’s another story).

Anyway, everyone has to pee. It’s a part of being human and why not find ways to simplify!

I have found using the she-wee inside and outside one of the biggest game changers living in the van! I hope this share doesn’t scare you away… and if it is a little intimidating, do some more research.

So where do you sleep?

This is probably the most frequently asked question! And while I could disclose the information for the safety of myself, Zach, and Sue girls I will keep it simple.

Finding places to sleep isn’t hard. Gym memberships to gyms that are 24/7 access is golden. Public parks, neighborhoods, Cracker Barrel, friends you make… all reliable and safe places to land for the resting hours.

I will add a short story: We found a lake with free parking around it and stayed a few times. One night we stayed things seemed normal and dandy. We woke up to a man sleeping half on the curb, half off next to the passenger front wheel. He was in deep sleep and didn’t get up until after I pulled off, BUT it was startling and we have not slept over there much anymore.

Discernment is a big constant reminder in my conscious and subconscious currently and man does it really matter with this one. Have clear discernment and don’t draw unnecessary attention~ everyone deserves peaceful sleep!

Van life isn’t for everyone…

I have covered a couple of things and here I will add a few more points.

I’ll start with cooking…

It has been interesting to plan and prepare meals in Clayton. We have a small fridge space, plenty of dry goods storage, and two burners to work with. Zach made an amazing dinner the other week. He cooked seared tuna with pineapple-coconut cashew fried rice and I was impressed by his cooking and plating given the reality of the van kitchen. Photo for proof and mouth watering below! This was reinforcement that it CAN be done and be amazing. But it takes a little more planning and commitment to cleaning. I am contemplating creating a van life cook book for this reason as it has been difficult to find recipes and plans catered to this lifestyle specifically and not just camping food plans.

Van life eats! Seared tuna with pineapple-coconut cashew fried rice! Carrots and broccoli too.

Mom always said “don’t drive your house”…

It’s been a couple months but my serpentine belt and crank pulley both had to be replaced. This was scary and financially not something I was expecting. The van has been fixed and my experience at the mechanic was probably the best one I have ever had. Zach was working so Sue and I spent the day at the shop. Their hospitality, care, kindness, and determination to fix it in a timely manner was everything I needed to feel confident that even when things go wrong, it’s not the end of the van life adventure. This is definitely something to consider if you are seeking van/road life. Be aware and be prepared, you are literally driving your house. And, if the vehicle needs maintenance you may have to find other accommodations on top of paying to fix it.

I have no intention of ending this share on a sour note, but it has come up for me lately and I need to share.

Van life just isn’t for everyone.

I feel often times, because of the van I drive and call home, that people are quick to think my life is a dream, easy, and must be lucky. While all of those thoughts are not not true (because I am living the dream, it sometimes is easy and I do feel very lucky to be here and now), it is not all or the truth.

Truthfully speaking, there are days where this life style is exhausting. The constant thinking of where to park, mechanical maintenance, cleanliness, diesel (which isn’t just at every gas station), filling up water, emptying water (before it overfills which has happened and was an experience in itself)… there are a bunch of moving pieces, constantly.

People like to say “in life the only constant is change” and this is not only true in everyday life, but especially true in van life! As least in my experience thus far.

You never know until you try!

All in all, I will end this by saying that you really never know until you try.

On my solar return (birthday) I felt so aligned in life. Balanced. Grateful. Expansive. Humbled. Curious. Excited. And all of these feelings came from deep reflection of my life overall with emphasis of the last seven years.

When I was twenty, my attitude towards life partnered with crippling anxiety and seasonal depression had me showing up as someone I do not resonate with anymore. I was participating in activities I am deeply grateful I no longer have space for. I am grateful for all of those experiences. Even more grateful for the friends and family that stuck by me and loved me without limits in through the challenges.

I have not felt so much peace. So much joy. So much aliveness, ever. And a part of it has come from making the decision to flee from a monthly rent commitment and open myself up to a flowing life that has plenty of space! There have been and are boundless opportunities for play, experience, and healing.

I am sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.

As always my lovely beings near and far, I appreciate that you are here.

We are leaving the sunshine state in the beginning of May, heading back towards North Carolina where we will find time in all three regions (coast, my hometown, and Asheville area). From there plans are still being finalized!

I look forward to continuing to share my van life adventures with you.

I am also planning to share some deeper taboo-ish concepts I have found myself holding on to and moving through, always with love and sweet curiosity.

Until next time, cheers!

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