— November 2017 —
We were just days away from the end of our lease, and Carl and I were in the final throws of clearing out the apartment and preparing to drive away in our 20’ travel trailer RV … for what was going to be an open-ended full-time Nomadic Living experiment.
We bought a notebook at a nearby drugstore to use as our Nomadic Living Travel Log, keeping a record of the places and dates of our stays at each location. I picked a small, thin notebook off the shelf. Carl chose a thick notebook, which made me smile, revealing that he thought our Nomadic Living experiment might last long enough to need a thick notebook.
The first night of our Nomadic Living experiment began on November 5, 2017 in the Alexandria, VA parking lot that was directly across from the apartment we’d been living in. It was late that night when we got the last of our things out of the apartment and crossed the street with our dog, for our home on wheels.
Truth be told, we were far too exhausted to be excited. We later admitted to one another that we both fell asleep that night questioning if this was a good idea or just a nutty mistake.
But, regardless, the journey had begun. The next morning we drove off and headed for our first campground just 30 miles down the road in Dumfries, VA where we spent our first 5 days of RV living. We intentionally chose not to go far so that we could ease into figuring things out and find our groove. Freezing temperatures made for a crash course in how things worked.
Seeing as we weren’t far from DC, we even drove back to meet some friends for a night out at a favorite salsa club (where Carl and I first met).
After our stay in Dumfries, inching our way south, we went to just outside of Richmond, VA. Living in such a small space was a big part of our learning curve. Basic things like making coffee, the bed, and taking our dog Cosmo for a walk in the morning set up a rhythm for the day for what was otherwise “typical” – work (we both work remotely), making meals, etc. This location called itself an RV Resort, offering amenities like an on-site gym that I used, and dinner for all its guests where we ate and talked with people over soup and salad. We went dancing in Richmond and tooled around the town a bit. I bought a pair of cowboy boots, we ate falafel, we explored some of the history of the area, visiting Confederate statues that had recently been in the news.
Our next stop was Karr Lake, North Carolina. This is where I feel we exhaled. We were finding a rhythm, we were getting into a flow with set up and take down and we savored beautiful sunsets reflecting off the lake. We sat by the campfire, and relaxed … appreciating our surroundings, the change of pace from DC living, nourished by nature all around us.
On Thanksgiving day we called family and delighted in the simplicity of having a rotissory chicken along with a mix of yummy sides (brussle sprouts are a favorite). We felt at home. We were home with each other and present to our surroundings. It was lovely.
One year later, in a “Nomadiversary” video, Carl shared how our time at Karr Lake stands out in his memory as a pivotal point in our journey.
The last few days of November and the first few days of December we had our first boondocking experience, parked in a family member’s driveway while visiting.
Getting into their driveway was tricky! A dip at the end required a make-shift “bridge” in order for the back wheels to compensate for the angle so we didn’t scrape along the driveway as we pulled in. It was a team effort, and some old doors they had stored in their garage were sacrificed so we could drive over them to avoid the “dip.” My step-sister and her family where the first of many friends and family that we would visit with along our journey.
I also got to visit with Marcy, a friend and colleague. And before leaving Raleigh, Carl and I went dancing.
So, that was November 2017 in a nutshell: month 1 of our nomadic living experiment.
Never did we anticipate that one year later, we would have a Nomadic Living 101 course, a Book (10 Things RV Dealerships Don’t Tell You About Nomadic Living), and be featured speakers at RV events! If you crave more travel, are curious about a location-independent lifestyle and have wanderlust in your soul … Start here >>> This book is *loaded* with tips, tricks, and insights to get your wheels turning! Download your copy of 10 Things RV Dealerships Don’t Tell You About Nomadic Living. Here’s to the journey!