After more than a year of preparation, endless rejections and obstacles from institutions and people around me, much ridicule and head-shaking, it is finally done – I am out on the road. Having given up most of my material possessions, I now officially live in my RV full time ! This isn’t just the beginning of a new year, but also the beginning of new life – a life of more freedom, closer to nature and the outdoors, more removed from the trappings of the rat race, less secure and comfortable, and with more personal responsibility; and more genuine precisely because of that.
You know, I must admit that pulling out of my landlord’s driveway for the last time was hard – it was one of those classic “wtf I am doing” moments. Having lived in permanent dwellings for all of my 39 years, giving up the security of a solid house took courage. I am exposing myself to the elements now, to other people out on the roads – not all of which might have my best interests in mind -, and to the mechanical quirks of a 26-year old vehicle. I will need to ensure enough light on my PV panels to keep my batteries charged, will need to find sources of fresh water, and ways to dispose of my waste and garbage in a responsible manner.
My overall plan is simple – I shall be parking and living largely wild. I have scouted out places in my local area where I can stand overnight without much fear of being chased away or otherwise bothered. I will have very few bills – mostly just the running costs of the RV itself, a mobile Internet contract, food, and miscellaneous personal expenses. I will further develop my knowledge of foraging and fishing, to make myself less dependent on the local shops, and also as a spiritual exercise. I am holding down a job, to which I will be travelling as required. I am planning to mostly take my fresh water from a family member’s house, but I have in the past filled my tank from natural sources, and I am certainly not above doing that again.
My biggest concern at present is a certain sense of insecurity – breaking into an RV is all too easy, and my entire life is in there, in terms of belongings. Also, since I have reduced what I own down to what I actually need, everything that gets lost or stolen will have much more of an impact. So this is definitely a concern, and I will take great care when I choose places to overnight and park.
What I initially expect is a steep learning curve, and a certain level of physical discomfort. Yes, it will be cold during the rest of the winter, yes, I still have too much stuff, and yes, I am aware that in the eyes of the authorities I am now classed as being “of no fixed abode”, which makes any kind of paperwork infinitely more difficult. But I am ready for these challenges – I will learn, and I will adapt.
I am doing this because I genuinely and truly believe that ultimately this is a better way to live. I am a free thinker and an adventurer at heart, and above all else I need the freedom to simply go wherever the wind blows me on any given day. Material possessions have never brought me happiness, so now I will focus on only the essentials; minimalism and self-sufficiency are the names of the game for me now. I will spend my days focussing on what matters – learning, nature, spirituality. Being out there, experiencing life, roaming and discovering. Being free. The rat race just doesn’t work out for me, so I take responsibility and find other ways to live.
In the coming weeks and months, I am planning to extensively blog about my experiences of living full time in an RV here in Ireland; outside of the Traveller community I do not know of anyone else who chooses to live this way here, so this is definitely not something that is the “done thing”. So in a way, I am breaking new ground here, and that sounds like a worthwhile adventure 🙂 Please follow my regular updates here, which will help me along the way a little.
At this point I would like to express my appreciation to my family, who, though unconvinced of the value and merits of this adventure, nonetheless let me do it without trying to hold me back. And most especially, I am dedicating this to Kelly Leiya and Raza Ward, who have given me the courage to go through with this and pursue my dream, at a time when I had sincere self-doubts. Without you I wouldn’t be here today.
In the end, I cannot possibly put it any better than Bilbo Baggins has already done in the Lord of The Rings; and on this very special note I shall leave it for today. Follow me on here or on Facebook for regular updates !
The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.
Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate,
And though I oft have passed them by,
A day will come at last when I
Shall take the hidden paths that run
West of the Moon, East of the Sun.