optimism, anxiety, and living on the road

IMG_0530 put it out to the universe and you shall receive. maybe not exactly the way you planned, but it will happen. it’s been a while since i last posted and things have changed quite a bit in my life. i’m no longer living in the camper shell, i have a new camper. i have a partner that i’m very excited about and i’m no longer being held down by a stationary job. i’ll be the first to say that happy people used to annoy me, i couldn’t understand how someone could be happy all the time (or it seemed like it). i set out to examine habits in my life and how they affected my happiness. i quit habits that were not life serving and gave more energy to the habits that were life serving. life serving for me, means that it provides happiness or contributes to happiness in some form (i.e. a job that provides the money for you to travel). as mentioned in my blog posts earlier such as ‘not buying anything for a month‘ and ‘reducing my possessions‘ were ways i could tackle some of the habits that weren’t life serving. i found out what gave me the most anxiety and tackled those problems, that was alcohol, weed, and tobacco. i examined my communication habits not only with others but also the self-talk. i incorporated non violent communication into my life and i can highly recommend marshall rosenberg’s non violent communication book. this may be something i cover in a later post because there is a lot to talk about. so, ever since this mentality shift, good things have happened. some right away and some have taken time. i’m still adjusting to my new lifestyle and i do have the occasional anxiety breakdown but i’m in a much better place to make decisions and tackle obstacles that arise.

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about the camper and how it fell into my hands…

the camper is a cabover that sits on top of my 2004 dodge dakota. i called on memorial day about a camper that was for sale on craigslist. after speaking with the gentlemen for a few minutes, he be became upset with how many questions i was asking and started to use foul language. i explained that i was driving a long way and wanted to make sure it would be a good fit (there was a lack of pictures, only one of the outside). i said thank you for your time and hung up the phone. i received a text shortly after from his wife stating that her husband loses patience and he’s not out to make a profit. i responded by saying ‘i understand, i’ll be living in it and wanted to make sure it would be the right fit, good luck with selling the trailer”. a couple minutes later i received another text saying he would let me have it for free. so, i jumped in my truck and traveled three plus hours to the central valley in 100 degree heat to pick it up. the guy ended up being friendly and helped me maneuver the camper into the back of my truck. it all worked out and i’m very grateful for his kindness!

 

IMG_0327let the work begin….

my mom and i spent two days refinishing and sprucing it up before i had to spend my first night in it. cleaning was a big chore, it required a lot of elbow grease, goof off, and soft scrub (which cleaned the grease, smoke stained wall paper to new). i also had to set up my solar system, replace levers, refinish wood, remove a lot of rust from the stove, replace screws on the inside and outside, and i’m continuing to complete work like replacing lights, painting, and installing a new bed. to me, having a nice sleeping area is key to having success on the road. so, i splurged and bought a custom mattress that’s being shipped as i write this post.

IMG_0457living, finding parking spots, ramblings..
i’ve been living part time out of the camper for a couple weeks now.  i’ve camped out at a few places such as friend’s houses, schools i’ve attended, and the occasional state/regional park. one thing that i’ve realized and has upset me is the outlawing of sleeping in your car, to me, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. isn’t it better than sleeping under a bridge? does the government expect people to all live in a house and pay ridiculous bills? i’m hoping to create a community where we can share car sleeping friendly cities, parking lots, and camp sites. i see a lot of people living on the road but no overarching community that helps each other thrive on the road.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetspace issues…what’s next?
i’m being very cautious with the extra space. just because i have the space doesn’t mean i need to fill it. i also have to keep in mind that my partner will be joining me at some point. i want to keep it to basic essentials. i think naturally, most people living on the road are minimalists out of necessity. otherwise, you won’t find anything, everything will be constantly cluttered and you will become frustrated. with that said, i’m constantly making lists of what will improve my living arrangements. i find this very helpful because at times, i think i will remember my thought but i usually forget in a few hours. stay tuned, i will be continuing to post on my travels. tell me what you would like to see more of! pictures? recipes? instructions? products? tips?

Oats

Reading about Henry David Thoreau, living a life of simplicity near his lake in “Walden” or John Steinbeck, traveling with his dog across America in his truck ‘Rocinante’ in “Travels with Charley:In Search of America”. And my own pursuits of living a more simple and less complex life have brought me to talk about oats. Yes, oats. Oats can be prepared in many ways, it can be grown by oneself, it’s healthy, provides energy, and is not expensive (even the organic oats). A mason jar of oats can prepare breakfast for weeks. Add a few strawberries, maple syrup, maybe dates or raisins, there are so many possibilities. Don’t have access to hot water? If you blend the oats before a trip, you can just add any nut milk and let it sit for four hours or longer then the oats will have absorbed the water and be ready to eat. That is what I call ‘overnight oats’ (view my recipe below).

tea is a great way to consume the health benefits of oats.
tea is a great way to consume the health benefits of oats.

I’ve had that problem of overdosing on oats. Yeah, there comes a point where the last thing you want to eat is a bowl of oats for breakfast. But, by mixing it up with different additions or doing every other day a bowl of oats, you can reduce the possibility of the dreadful OD on oats.

Not only, are oats great for eating but they are amazing taken as an herbal medicine. They are what you consider a nervine, the properties of oats (Avena sativa) work on the central nervous system to calm and relax the system. I take these when I feel I have frayed ends or under a stressful circumstance. Oats tincture and some deep breathing go a long way! Check out my ‘how to make a make a basic tincture’ post here.

Also, making a tea works just as well if not better than a tincture. Plus, the process of making tea is a natural calming process in itself. It’s important to know that buying oats for medicine is slightly different than buying for food. You’ll want oats that is picked during it’s milky stage which hasn’t quite matured to a viable seed. The milky stage is when you pierce the oat and a milky substance comes out. If you go to a local herb shop, all their herb will be (or should be) harvested at that milky stage. If you’re buying oats for food, well, you can go to local Whole Food’s or Co-op bulk bins.Either go to your local store to buy teas that contain oats or buy oats bulk through your local herbal medicine shop. If you don’t have a local herb store, Mountain Rose Herbs is a great place to buy online.

Recipe Time!
Here is a recipe on a pudding I like to make which involves oats, chia seeds, berries, and banana. It’s a form of overnight oats but thicker.

1 cup of oats
2 cups of nut milk or dairy
a handful of strawberries
1/2 a banana
2-3 dates
a tablespoon of chia seeds
optional-hemp seeds

overnight oat pudding

Blend the oats in the blender. Then add milk, strawberries, banana,dates and chia seeds. Blend those together. Pour into glass jar, sprinkle with hemp seeds and more chia seeds. Let sit for at least four hours.