Have you ever met someone that absolutely made you bloom from the moment you met them? Like, they tick every box you had on the list of “must-haves” in a life partner? You daydream about them and every thought about them just brings a smile to your face? Your boss could yell at you, you could get flipped off in traffic, but a quick escape to your daydream destiny gives you all the soul you need to keep going with a smile on your face?
That is precisely how I’ve always felt about living on the road.
It probably all started when I was young and my parents would take us on road trip vacations and I just LOVED road trips. My happiest memories were those childhood trips.
Then it probably expanded in my adolescence when I quickly caught on to the “work 40 hours a week, settle down, buy a house, have children, and die” track of life everyone had. I had like, a 10-year existential crisis from the time I started driving in my teens to my mid-late twenties. Listening to Modest Mouse’s “Truckers Atlas” on repeat for years probably didn’t help and stoked the fire in my wandering soul.
In 2008, during the recession, my family lost everything including jobs, cars, and the house that I grew up in.
But we didn’t lose each other, and at that moment I realized I never wanted to be bound by material things ever again. I saw the pain and strife it had caused my parents and I didn’t want that for myself.
Escape. I wanted to escape from the norms and not live a cookie-cutter life predestined to me by consumerism and reproduction.
I’m not saying any of that to knock anybody’s lifestyle. EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT. Those same things can bring enormous amounts of joy to people. Building a family, owning a home to call your own, dedicating 40 hours a week to a career they care passionately about — these are all valid and valuable things to people and I commend those that work to achieve them. I just truly feel that God never placed those desires on my heart. (Although I will admit, sometimes I wish he had….)
It is difficult to exist outside of societal norms. Especially when you’re an alcoholic and bipolar. Nowhere feels safe, nowhere provides comfort, and nothing feels right.
In this past year, as I’ve gotten sober and stabilized my BPD without medications, I’ve gotten so much closer to God and am so curious as to WHY he created me. As I began writing my book this year, I began developing goals for myself. Where will I want to be in the future? Do I want to buy a house? Get married? Do I want to keep working in property management? None of the answers I gave to myself satisfied me.
Recently, for my 33rd birthday, I went on a mini solo vacation to Sedona, AZ with no expectations but to hear from God. I learned a lot about myself during that trip, the biggest one being: I LOVE BEING ON THE ROAD AND I LOVE BEING IN NATURE. While I was grateful to come back and see my parents faces and see my coworkers and friends, I left a piece of my soul on the I-17 (and literally, my VW Beetle lost a piece of its undercarriage after I hit something, oops) as I drove with the windows down, blasting music, sipping cool lemon water, and taking in the scenery.
Even just thinking about that moment now, my heart is blooming. And because I’m an alcoholic, I NEED MORE OF IT.
I’m planning. I’m researching. I’m budgeting. I’m learning so much about what living on the road and traveling with a teardrop camper would be like. I want this life SO BAD.
In 2019, I plan on building a teardrop camper and, God willing, will hit the road by 2020.
Beyond just the excitement of seeing this beautiful country, I want my trip to have a purpose. Next month, I’ll begin a fast with my church to ask God for clarity and guidance if this is really what He wants for me. I will seek him and listen to him. I only want this with his blessing and I want to use this experience to glorify Him and use this as an opportunity to give hope to people in recovery or struggling with mental illness.
For believers: Please keep me in your prayers as I consider committing myself to this dream. I pray for wisdom, discernment, and protection as I seek to fulfill this desire the Lord has placed on my heart.