Illinois Adventures · Multiple Chemical Sensitivity · Van Life

Back To Nomadic – In Search Of My New Normal

The other day I thought to myself “I just want things to get back to normal“.

Then I realized… I no longer have a normal!

Just for the record, I’m not normal to begin with. No matter how you look at it I’ve never been normal nor do I claim to be normal. My normal is completely abnormal. But I’m sure you get the gist.

But enough about that… this is about me finally moving forward, ready to open the next chapter as I leave behind the life I currently know in search of my new abnormal-normal.

I’m so glad to have You along for the ride!

Getting Back To Nomadic

On the morning of October 5, 2020…

I threw most of my belongings into the van, hopped in the driver’s seat and backed out of the driveway.

I didn’t put anything away (in the van) because the driveway is sloped 5+ inches. It’s difficult to keep my balance let alone figure out where I want to put stuff while trying to stay in an upright position.

So… in keeping true to my just wing it motto, I figured I’d put stuff away later when I was on flat ground.

I recorded my departure from the house on my dash cam but, wouldn’t you know it, my dash cam (or maybe that little SD card thingy) must have died while it was sitting dormant these past 2 1/2 years.

This wasn’t the last time I’d be at the house, though. I still have a few things to put in the van but, for all practical purposes, I’ve officially moved out of the house and back in to my cozy little home on wheels.

Albeit bitter-sweet, my hiatus from the road (when I became Dad’s caregiver) is also officially over.

Headin’ On Down The Road

As I set out on my Maiden Nomadic Voyage version 2.0 my emotions flew high, then they dipped low and sometimes they fell in-between.

My plan was simple. Just head to the Mississippi river and go north in search of amazing autumn landscapes.

But that didn’t happen!

Changing Course

Rather than heading out into the unknown while riding an emotional rollercoaster with a van full of crap I haven’t yet put away… I decided to pick a place I was familiar with.

I’d stay for a day or two, get a grip on the ole emotions and get my van put in some sort of order before I ventured out into the great unknown.

I really don’t think the emotional rollercoaster ride is over but I know it’s part of the process. I simply need to ride the tide until it’s over!

Camping At The Pecatonica River Trails Park

When I was on the road from 2015 to 2018 I kept a log of places I stayed and noted whether or not I’d stay there again. I call it my Gypsy Travel Log and it’s a handy reference to look back on.

I took a quick peek at my log and knew where I wanted to stay.

The Pecatonica River Trails Park in Darlington WI was calling my name. I stayed there several times in my prior nomadic adventures and decided to see if a spot was available.

Sometimes this campground is full to the brim but, thankfully now, there were plenty of spots to choose from.

Getting Back Into The Swing Of Nomadic Van Life

I don’t know what happened but I suddenly forgotten how to do everything that used to be second nature!

The electric meter at my campsite wouldn’t work no matter how many times I flipped the darn switch.

I walked over to the next campsite (with my electrical cord in hand) and had the same problem.

After a few more unsuccessful attempts… I did the only thing I could think to do.

I left the campground!

Yep… I hopped in the van and rolled on out of the campground ready to lose the $20 I paid for the site.

My plan was to go back to the house. I’m not sure what I was going to do at the house but I knew that’s where I was going.

Coming To My Senses?!

Once I got around the block I had to stop for a stop sign.

No one was coming in any direction and no one was behind me but I sat there for a while… thinking.

I decided I wasn’t going to let a stupid electric-blankety-blank-thingamabob be the victor over me!

So… I turned back, went to the campground and pulled in to the same campsite I started with earlier.

Then, I confidently walked over to that mean ole electric meter, plugged in and flipped the darn switch.

Woohoo… I had E L E C T R I C I T Y !

Sometimes you just have to calm the heck down and breath so everything can work out on it’s own.

Time To Straighten Out The Van

Now that I conquered the electric meter it was time to head inside and get my van put back in order.

Funny thing is, I can’t remember how I had it set up 2 1/2 years ago.

Talk about being discombobulated! Yikes!!

I fumbled and stumbled a lot for a few days but, eventually, everything started to go more smoothly as I got back into the swing of it all.

The First Morning

The mornings are my favorite time of day whether I’m living the van life or not.

I woke up more refreshed than usual and decided to take a morning walk.

But first…

I had to get a picture of the sunrise reflecting off of Bella’s tinted windows.

Reflections of the sunrise on Bella (my van).

As the sun makes it’s appearance I wander around the campground. I stop periodically to take deep, relaxing breaths and inhale the crisp autumn air.

The morning air smelled so fresh and clean.

My nose and lungs were lovin’ it!

The Pecatonica river at the Pecatonica River Trailer Park in Darlington WI. #TravelWisconsin #Camping

The Pecatonica river was just across from my campsite.

I mosey on over to the Pec. The closer I get, the more clearly I hear the sound of rushing water.

I bet that water is cold!

A huge tree sits on the river bank. I hang out under the tree for a while, listening to the peaceful sound of the flowing river as the birds, hidden somewhere among the trees, sing their morning songs.

I notice the trees right next to the river are still green but behind the green… fall colors abound.

Fall hasn’t even peaked yet. Very soon, though, vibrant fall colors will pierce the landscape.

And Then The Let-Down

I’m always a bit let-down once the sun has fully risen in to the morning sky.

Oh well… the risen sun is simply my cue to get on with my day.

Parting Thoughts

This past week has been a bit exhausting but, thankfully, I’ve been sleeping much better than I did at the house.

The closing on Dad’s house is scheduled for October 15 but I still have some items to get out of the house before the new Owner takes over.

I plan to be romping around The Homeland until October 19 (unless I change my mind haha).

I Don’t Do Cold

It’s starting to get colder and, with no insulation in the van, I’ve always tried to follow the weather. Even with a heater, an uninsulated van can get darn cold.

Most northern USA campgrounds also close around November 1 and don’t re-open until spring.

I don’t always stay at campgrounds – sometimes I boondock. But I do need electricity if I want to run my heater (I can’t use the propane type heaters).

Where Will I Go?

I’ll need to think about moving elsewhere soon but where or where will that elsewhere be?

Elsewhere will be somewhere south of the cold (sometimes sub-zero) temperatures, blizzard conditions and ice covered terrain I’ve experienced here in The Homeland these past 2 1/2 years.

Van life nomadic adventures version 2.0 has begun. #vanlife #vanlifediaries #simpleliving

Thanks for following along!

2 thoughts on “Back To Nomadic – In Search Of My New Normal

  1. Well your almost completely on your way. Getting back into you van that you have emptied out will take time to organize again but you’ll get it done in your own time.

    Are you alergic to all insulations is there one you might be able to use? I used reflexit and then a thin layer of a foam type. There was also carpet on the walls of the shell which I really didn’t want but they put on anyway. But when it’s cold it’s cold but it was better than the first outing with only the carpet. I nearly froze to death. Went to Northern, AZ and it was 30degrees LOL.
    The sunrise on your rear window was beautiful.
    You only have a few days left before the closing and then you will be back to your nomatic life.
    I will be following along with you as you go.
    As I read this I was thinking it has almost been that long since I have gone off anywhere also. Guess I need to empty out my camper and get everything washed agian.

    Take care and you will be just fine!

    1. I can tolerate certain insulations. When I moved into the van 5 years ago, I was short on time and energy so I decided to go with no insulation. I’d read of people who chose not to insulate and said they didn’t have any problems (I think they need to reconsider!),
       
      I almost froze in Arizona too! I spent a couple months there (I think in 2016). The days were fine but the 30 degree nights were very cold. 

      I seriously need better climate control and I’m working on a solution but it will take a little time to get to that point. Thanks for following along!

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