Hello! I’m Connie.
I currently live a full-time nomadic lifestyle in my cozy little home on wheels – a Ford Transit cargo van named Bella.
My blog doesn’t start at the beginning of my nomadic journey. It starts about a year and a half after I hit the road full-time.
To bring you up-to-speed at a glance, I created this About page to give you a little of the backstory, some recent tidbits and a little bio on the main character’s mentioned in my blog.
Why I Chose A Nomadic Lifestyle
I chose a nomadic lifestyle as a way to live better with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS).
For more details, check out my Living With Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) post.
My Original Plan For Hitting The Road
I had never camped or traveled far nor had I ever lived in a home on wheels.
My goal was to slowly move to a full-time nomadic lifestyle.
The plan was to convert my van into a home on wheels, take short trips to learn how to camp and learn how to use a darn map!
Then, in 2018, my fool-proof plan was to retire early (age 55) and hit the road full-time.
But things didn’t go as planned.
Life Had It’s Own Agenda
In August 2015, my job of almost 30 years was eliminated (along with 122 other’s who lost their jobs).
Nikki (my daughter) was planning on leaving the nest by the end of 2015. She and Cookie (our dog) would be moving from northwest Illinois to southeast Florida.
I briefly considered staying in the little one room house I’d been renting in northwest Illinois. But my job loss and looming empty-nester-hood presented me with an opportunity to hit the road earlier than planned.
So… albeit totally unprepared… I went for it!
October 2015 – Hitting The Road
My first day of full-time nomadic living was October 1, 2015.
I began my nomadic journey in a 2015 Ford Transit Cargo Van named Bella.
Since I was jobless and Nikki and Cookie were moving to Florida, I decided to take them to Florida myself.
The 3 of us traveled in the van and made quite an adventure out of it.
We hit the road in a partially converted camper van… never having camped… never having traveled more than a few hours from home… and never having lived in a tiny little home on wheels.
I wasn’t planning on jumping in head first and clueless but life opened a door and I chose to walk through it.
The First Few Months On The Road
Nikki and Cookie traveled with me for about 4 months before they settled down in south Florida.
The first few months on the road were quite adventurous. They were also heavily sprinkled with challenges and struggles.
Adjusting to my new nomadic lifestyle, job-loss and becoming an empty-nester all in one fell swoop was quite a load to manage.
But it’s those challenges and struggles that made me stronger.
I kept moving forward and, in doing so, I got to do things I never thought I would do and accomplished things I never thought I could do.
March 2018 – Taking A Hiatus From The Road
In mid-March 2018, after 2 1/2 years as a full-time van dweller, I took an unplanned hiatus from the road to move in with and take care of my Dad.
Dad lived in northwest Illinois.
When I got the call about Dad, I was hanging out in southeast Florida – visiting Nikki.
Just before I left Florida, Nikki had to move to a new place and wasn’t able to keep Cookie with her.
Cookie came with me to live with his Grandpaw (my Dad).
To read posts about my time with Dad, check out my Caregiver Adventures 2018-2020.
February 2020 – Life Deals A Harsh Blow
Both Dad and Cookie passed away in February 2020.
The Covid Chronicles began shortly thereafter.
In the middle of a global pandemic, with the help of family, Dad’s house was sold and his final affairs were wrapped up.
I was back on the road in early October 2020.
As for the rest of the story… it continues on the blog!
Who’s Who and What’s What
Here’s a little info about some of the regular people, places and things you’ll find mentioned in my blog:
Nikki is my adult daughter.
In early 2016, Nikki left the nest and moved from northwest Illinois to southeast Florida where she resides today.
Misael is Nikki’s boyfriend (sometimes referred to as my Son-In-Law).
Nikki and Misael began as friends and have been together as a couple since 2011.
Cookie joined Nikki and I in 2006. He is (in my opinion) the cutest little Toy Poodle ever!
Cookie went to live with Nikki shortly after she moved to Florida.
Cookie traveled with me a few times but he technically lived with Nikki until March 2018 when her housing situation changed and she couldn’t keep Cookie in her new place.
In March 2018, Cookie came to live with me.
Check out my Poodle Adventures posts highlighting some of Cookie’s escapades during his time with me.
Cookie crossed the Rainbow Bridge on February 13, 2020. You can read more about it in my Cookie’s Final Poodle Adventure post.
Dad – Grandpa – Grandpaw…
My Dad… Nikki’s Grandpa… Cookie’s Grandpaw from northwest Illinois.
Dad passed away on February 27, 2020. You can read more about it in my And Then There Was One – Remembering The Boyz post.
Bella – My Cozy Little Home On Wheels…
Bella is a 2015 Ford Transit cargo van that I converted to a mini RV / camper van.
My conversion is very simple – it’s cozy and functional but nothing too fancy.
You can read how I live the van life along with tidbits about my simple van conversion in my Van Life posts.
Lulu – The Trailer…
Lulu is a 2021 Jayco 145rb travel trailer.
Trailer Life was something I wanted to do for several years. In June 2021, I took the plunge and got Lulu.
By February 2022, I learned that trailer life wasn’t for me and moved back in to the van.
You can read more about my travel trailer adventures in my Trailer Life posts.
My Homeland is northwest Illinois.
I lived in northwest Illinois from the day I was born until the day I hit the road in October 2015.
Home is where ever my cozy little home on wheels is parked.