There are two things that changed me and brought healing to my life:
- A spiritual program that performed miracles on my personality and changed me at the cellular level.
- A deep and continual contact with nature which is the result of vandwelling.
One thing that remains true about me is that I have very little connection with my emotions. The old saying “Still water runs deep.” very much applies to me. I try to avoid feeling anything, but when I do feel, it’s intense. That worked in my favor in this instance because I easily kept a level head through the whole time I was in contact with the Lion and then, for the first several hours, my emotions were still calm—eerily calm. All the questions I listed in my last post actually went through my mind, but I was never in any danger of making big changes in my life, I don’t generally make emotional decisions. The truth is I can’t imagine what it would take to make me give up this life—nothing less than catastrophic disease could pry me out of my van or my beloved nature! I’m certain that the healing changes that have happened in my life are only temporary and if I give up the two root causes of them (1) my spiritual practice and 2) my connection to nature) I will very quickly revert back to being that broken, miserable human being I was 20 years ago. I will NOT give up being a boondocker!
Very quickly I felt a deep and intense feeling of needing to be with people and not to be alone; that came as a shock to me and was very revealing. I’ve never had that feeling before because I’ve always been such a loner and never felt like I belonged. For example, I’ve been camping and traveling alone for the last 6 weeks and have been as happy as I can be. But take Cody away and I instantly felt a very strong need to go back and camp with my friends. Now that Cody is back, that feeling is gone—I’m perfectly happy alone again. I haven’t spoken to another person in 4 days and that’s fine with me. Apparently dogs have a profound influence on me!
Part of my brokenness is that I can just barely make connections with other people, and then make up for that by connecting with my dog.
I’ve had wives and girlfriends be jealous of my dog and tell me that I loved him more than her. They were right, I do. Oh well, no need for me to judge that, it’s just who I am. I work very hard to compensate for my lack of connection with people by my work on this website. I love, serve and help people safely from a distance behind this keyboard and, to the best of my limited ability, try to do so face-to-face whenever possible.
There has been a lot of scientific research into the human need for nature and the effects of disconnection from it. And one constant in their findings is that being in nature makes us empathetic and being separated from it reduces our empathy (see the footnote at end of the post). I have found that to be extremely true in my life. As soon as I became a vandweller I felt a big increase in empathy for all the broken people out there who needed to find vandwelling just like I did. It was that empathy that led me to start this website in 2005. When I became a boondocker, my empathy gigantically increased and out of it came the RTR, the blog and forum. It was a lot more work, but it was truly a labor of love. I intensely enjoy the thought that my writing may make people’s lives better and I joyfully do the “work.”
I realized that I honestly believe all my preaching about needing to live like our distant ancestors.
The guiding idea behind all I do, say and write is that humans evolved for millions of years deeply connected to nature and that separating ourselves from it now is causing us great mental, emotional and physical harm. I blame my brokenness on being separated from nature and my healing on re-connecting to it. This experience has only reinforced that idea.
I’ve been saying for a long time that humans need adventure, risk and discomfort in their lives—even if it means the serious possibility of death. Here it is a few days since I faced the Lion and I’m not traumatized or afraid of walking in the wild in any way. Just the opposite, I’m delighted to have had that experience! This is going to go down as one of my very best memories in my entire life. In fact there has only been one thing I was more delighted by and that was last year when I did the fly-in bear viewing trip. To stand deep in a National Park and look all around me and be surrounded by wild bears and then have one approach within 6 feet of me—that was the single best experience of my life! The Lion was number two, jumping out of an airplane was the third.
No, death and danger are essential to being fully human and to hate and fear them is dehumanize ourselves and turn ourselves into ants in a hive, or cogs in a machine. I won’t do that to myself.
Is it abusive to put Cody in that much danger?
Because Cody is okay, I’m not really forced to reach a conclusion to the question of whether it is wrong to let my dogs live wild even at greatly increased risk from predators or getting lost. But to me the answer is obvious; dogs are much wilder than we are and if being tamed and domesticated has done us so much harm how much more harm does it do to them? If domestication is human abuse (and I totally believe it is) then it’s equally dog abuse.
Judging by his actions, his answer would be that he chooses wild, free and at increased risk. He seems to greatly dislike being on a leash but loves running wild in the woods. Every morning if I’m slow getting us out for our walk he starts to whimper and whine like I was abusing him. And, to his “mind” I am abusing him because tame is abusive and wild is normal. He doesn’t seem to care in the least about safety versus risk: Nature Is Calling, and He Must Go!!
I guess the best thing I can do is to apply the same rules and standards to him that I apply to myself, I choose to live wild and natural because it is what I was born to be and do and I can’t truly be myself or deeply happy any other way. Live Free or Die really is the motto of my life. If that’s my choice for me, and Cody is even closer to a wild creature than I am, it should be my choice for him as well
And so it is!
I guess this is going to be a three part series because this got too long. I’m so far behind on my travel posts that next I’ll do some of those and then I’ll talk to you about steps I’m taking so I can be safer. I can’t reduce my time in wild nature because it’s absolutely essential to my very fragile mental and emotional health, but standing and staring at a Mountain Lion without any form of self-defense was an eye-opener for me and common sense says don’t let it happen again. I’ll tell you what I am doing about that next time.
I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather that my spark should burn out
in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot.
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom
of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.
The function of man is to live, not to exist.
I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time. ~Jack London
*Footnote on nature increasing empathy: Check out this page from the University of Minnesota:
A quote from the page:
“According to a series of field studies conducted by Kuo and Coley at the Human-Environment Research Lab, time spent in nature connects us to each other and the larger world….
This experience of connection may be explained by studies that used fMRI to measure brain activity. When participants viewed nature scenes, the parts of the brain associated with empathy and love lit up, but when they viewed urban scenes, the parts of the brain associated with fear and anxiety were activated. It appears as though nature inspires feelings that connect us to each other and our environment.”
Excellent post! Comes from the heart, thank you. 🙂
Am gonna do this for the last half of summer. Have too, can’t afford the rent anymore. I’ve had two rent increases in the last year. My question is what type of rv/van do you recommend?
I have only a Volkswagen cabrio so it’s very small so right now it will have to do. I need advise from people with experience.
Kevin, to answer that would require I write a book! Fortunately, I have! You may want to get a copy of my book, it’s listed on the sidebar of the website. It’s 2.99 for the Kindle version (or any other device with a free app) or $7 for the paperback.
But I’ve written a lot about this topic here on the website so start here with these two articles:
Basically the best all around choice (if you can live with a minimum of comfort and room) is a van. It does everything well but nothing extremely well. If you want more comfort, then a Class B is a great choice and compromise of all the variables.
Speechless and so moved. Sending encouraging vibes your way!
Jill, I was too, how fortunate am I that it turned out so well! Bob
Bob, I believe you, like many of us, are an introvert & this is the only ‘disease’ or condition you suffer from. It’s not easy for an introvert to live in an extrovert’s world.
If you have kindle U could access:
‘ The Way Of Introvert’s’ by Sophia Dembling.
PS: Searching your blog pages I came upon this old page ‘ Lessons I learned from my encounter with a mountain lyon ‘
Lucy, yes I primarily think of myself as an introvert. But building the tribe has greatly expanded my abilities and I am more comfortable in a crowd than I ever have been before. But, I still need lots of alone time and if I don’t get it I start to suffer. I’m afraid many people come to my camp disappointed with me because they see much less of than they had hoped. It’s a limitation we introverts have.
This thought-provoking post took some time for me to digest. I’m not sure my reply can live up to the depth of your writing, but here goes.
As far as I can see, most of us are broken in some way. I am glad that you have found healing, as I have. My particular healing continues to involve other people although my tolerance for them is selective and limited. I remain grateful for the availability of spiritual growth.
I understand your need to live at a basic, unfiltered level that the sedated cannot even perceive. I come from the other side of that history. I have taken far too many chances and must now take responsibility for my risk-taking, but without the filters we both disdain. I certainly agree that refusing sedation and insulation from reality is better than trying to extend life without living it. As Helen Keller said, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”
Thanks Calvin! Very wise as usual!
Yes, folks, Cody ranks first on the list of Things Bob Loves. His family is next…. then maybe TV & ice cream? I remember his response when we discussed this on a walk one evening.
“But Sweetie, you’re ON the list.” that eye-opening revelation made me laugh!
Lucky me; I am!
That I’m good with this speaks volumes for the emotional healing that the boondocking lifestyle has had on me as a 4 times divorced woman.
I’ve learned not to try changing this wild man. Bob can love Cody best yet still be so very dear to me.
I can’t wait till you get back to where you belong!!
I can’t even tell you how much I love this post. Suffice it to say, I see a lot of myself in what you’ve written, although you seem to tolerate being around people better than I do, and I would suffocate in a week if I tried to be in a relationship (6 years since my last one).
Since school has let out, my campground is never empty. Ever. The constant bombardment of people, lack of privacy, responsibility for keeping the rules enforced (fire restrictions now, no campfires or barbecues, and nobody likes it!) and the filth that people spew everywhere is really affecting my psyche. Even my days off are no escape as I’m far too accessible to passers-by, and an “Off Duty” sign means nothing. I cannot count the number of times people have knocked on my door, and said, “I know you’re off duty, but…” I need to take my dog and boondock somewhere far, far away from people for a very long time to recuperate.
Speaking of dogs, I’m totally guilty of over-protecting Bella, so I’m taking steps to rectify that starting today.
Those Bear pictures are amazing, by the way! Where were they taken? What kind of bears are they?
T, I was always so remote that I never had the problems you are having now. If you can make it through the season next year will make it much better because you will have more choices of campgrounds.
I know what you are saying about relationships. But what if you were in a relationship with someone who honestly asked nothing from you and wanted nothing from you? That describes Judy, and so to the best of my ability I give everything I can to her out of grattitude and love.
Those are brown/grizzly bears (the same thing) in Katmai NP The fly-in bear viewing was in June 2014, it cost $700 for three hours of flight time and three hours of being guided through Katmai NP. See more here:
If a man, with Judy’s remarkable attitude towards relationships, entered my life, I might make an exception. I’d be okay with him camping nearby, but he’d definitely have to have his own RV, and travel down separate roads from time-to-time. It seems unlikely that such a person/situation will arise, or if it did, the odds of my also being exactly what HE’S looking for, are slim-to-none, so I’m perfectly content with just Bella for company.
I’m happy that you and Judy have found each other though!!
T, I reached exactly the same conclusion you have and was just incredibly lucky to find Judy! But I find that happens pretty often, when you fully embrace your life just like it is, the perfect thing comes along. You never know!
I understand the need to protect your dog as well as let her be free so she’s happy. The hard part is finding that balance. Leash her when you think its in her best interest. Watching your dog get attacked by a mountain lion or a bear isn’t going to do any good for your psyche and the guilt you’ll feel if she’s harmed will eat at you 4ever if you could’ve prevented it. Just my 2 cents.
What Calvin R said applies to so many of us – we are all broken in some way, and the past repair work may not be holding too well in all cases. Recovery is a daily battle, and your heartfelt post describes how you have tailored yours to find your best life. Hope to some day meet up with some of you guys – your openness and realistic view of life is so refreshing. Bob, thanks for all your do, and BTW, Judy is a jewel.
Thanks Elaine! Plan to come to Quartzsite this winter and you can meet many of us!! Judy is a very rare and wonderful Jewel!
good post!! i think that women have less need for an adventure like your recent one. but having had a bear experience or two of my own (me and 2 small children and a mama bear and her 2 small cubs), it does give you a whole new priception(sp) of both wild and your own life. also just because you don’t fall apart during an emergency does not make you flawed! i would much rather have someone around that did what was important, then fell apart. as for you judy,you have learned a lesson that many people never learn, especially women–you can not change people, you can only love them–and give them the freedom to be themselves–good job
Thanks Margo! Your very right about Judy! There are very few women who could tolerate being with me!! She is very special!
Great job stereotyping all women there, Margo :-/
Hi Bob, Glad you and Cody are safe! I was wondering how you would respond to people suggesting that letting Cody explore off leash is bad, and I think you explained your perspective wonderfully. Your posts are such a pleasure to read.
Christine, I just accept how deep our society has brainwashed us into constant fear of danger, discomfort or death. Most Americas live their whole lives in stark terror that any one of those will ever touch them. I’ve embraced them as lovers and allies in a truly full and good life. I don’t hold it against people that they are products of their indoctrination; it’s very difficult to break out of it.
If it was anyone else..I’d accuse them of abuse; let me explain:
Other than you I have never met anyone so in tuned to the nature connection. Most people make judgments about nature…particularly predatory animals from media, politicians, or other non-qualified sources, which are usually myths. Not you…you are living it…so you know.
However, since you understand Cody so well…how could you not?…I believe what you say, and know that you “get” him. In my business I meet people every month that wouldn’t know one tenth of anything about their animals that I do in the hour that it takes for me to sign them up as clients. That’s unfortunate, but true. It sometimes gets me in trouble because I must tell them…especially if what they are doing is damaging to their animals…which it usually is.
So, at the risk of starting an argument with some of your readers…let me say that in all your “dangerous” animal encounters you had several things in your favor…that technically made those encounters decidedly un-dangerous.
Firstly, the animals likely were not hungry. If you are meeting them in the middle of the summer, in an area that has plenty of food available for them to eat…they don’t want you, and they likely don’t want Cody either. Secondly, you did not antagonize them, nor did you immediately “act like prey.” In other words you didn’t immediately freak out and start running, like so many others would have done. And you didn’t immediately feel that they were “threatening” you…thus causing you to scream at them…throw rocks, or in fact threaten THEM.
All these things cause an animal to then become “dangerous.”
However, if you were to come upon a bear say, right after he came out of hibernation…and he was hungry as hell. Um…that’s a problem. Or you came across a lioness with cubs, and they were hungry…and also hunting. Um…that’s also a problem.
You get my drift, I’m sure.
Anyway, may I ask how much it cost to be dropped into that field of bears? And when you did that trip? I’d sure like to do that!
Keep on truckin’ Bob…you sure got it goin’ on!!!
Hi Cindy, I know many people think it’s wrong to have a dog off leash in dangerous territory and I respect their opinions.
The fly-in bear viewing was in June 2014, it cost $700 for three hours of flight time and three hours of being guided through Katmai NP. See more here:
Knowing your dog and the bond you carry,a leash is sometimes restricting for the natural communication between the two of you. I have no fear of my little girl staying close, the fear is my own of the unknown and not able to move fast enough to protect. But KIA, all 7LBS OF HER has a 3 ft limit range of me.Being called for closer range holding the harness as her next step if she can not keep her range. My question is have you seen cats on the road as the van pet? Any where to research note travels. I am thinking BUS INSTEAD OF VAN?
Fear is a very basic emotion and one that has been manipulated by governments for centuries in order to control people. Security is a bit of an illusion, but something that people will trade for their freedom.
Cae, I totally agree! Fear is the grease that makes civilization work. Without it, it would grind to an instant stop.
Just wanted to let you know that I read and enjoy your blog posts. Today’s Daily Word made me think of you. You are a traveler, not a tourist! Thank you for sharing with traveler’s eyes.
Thanks Deborah, that is very very good!
I don’t know Bob, if I can agree with you on the off-leash thing with a dog. For myself, when I walk my dog in the city, she is always off-leash. I live near an environmental reserve and that is where we walk. We walk through the reserve to the park, no cars. She loves to run around but I always watch her because I think she is a bit of a “dumb blonde”. I have seen her charge into situations where I am not sure she understands the danger.
I think if something had happened to Cody, your perspective would be completely different and it would be a completely different post. Abuse, I don’t think so as you obviously care for your dog. Foolhardy, yes, I think it could be!!
Like children, dogs look to us for food, affection and companionship and in the wild – anything can happen. Myself,I tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to my BFF.
Lynn, I totally understand and respect your viewpoint. However, I live my life by the philosophy of “Today is a good day to die.” I would rather live a full, free life and be killed by the mountain lion than stay home and be safe. I believe that Cody would make that same choice if he could.
Death and danger are my allies in fully living life and I don’t fear them.
Bob in your last post you said homer was under the van. That remindes of a story my dad told me, they were coming from roswell nm to waco texas in coverwd wagions with 6 mules (yes I said covered wagons) this was in the late 20es. one night the mules started to get skidish and the dogs got so close to the fire it burnt the hair off their legs and they had to physically remove them from the fire. the next morning they found cougar track verry clost to camp
Thanks for a great story Larry!
Good post, Bob. Personally, I find it depends on the dog. With some past dogs, that were reliable off leash and came when I called, I would feel fine about not leashing. My present guy would wander off in search of food and does not come when he is occupied (terrier), and he is so small that he would make a nice, light snack for a predator, so he is not off leash.
Another issue is wildlife harassment. If there is wildlife about that is under stress from human population pressures, I don’t feel good about having my dog chasing them add to their stress. There are just too many of us humans on this planet, and it doesn’t look like that will change until it’s too late.
Ming those are both very good points. I have had to leash Cody because he was killing rabbits and that was unacceptable.
So glad you and Cody are safe and still happy! Don’t know what we would do without “our” Bob! Can’t wait to hug all of you in Dec/Jan!!! And for Judy to be back where she belongs as well! I’d love to hear about your spiritual practice one day…but you’re always so busy when we see each other! Maybe one day. We love you Bob and Cody and Judy! See you soon! <3
Thanks Kyndal! You’re right about me being too busy, I’m going to work on that!
My feeling about that is, yes, you could keep a dog totally confined, feed him the most scientifically balanced diet, monitor his every waking movement, and he would probably live way past his natural life span, but would it be a life worth living? Zoo animals can live double the life span of their naturally living relatives and have you ever seen pictures of elderly prisoners? A lifetime of being out of the sun’s harmful rays, medical care and balanced diet – hardly a wrinkle on their faces. I don’t think of the dog I live with as ‘mine’ – he is an old guy who lives with me. I provide for him since he has no means to do that for himself, and I cannot even imagine the day when his journey ends – by whatever means , but when it does I want to never doubt myself that I allowed him to be his natural self and make as many of his own decisions that a domesticated animal can. I had most of a lifetime as an animal trainer but have grown way beyond the belief that animals exist on earth to be owned by humans or serve them, and I feel somewhat of a sense of shame that I ever did.
Ian, I love your comment! You and I think very much alike!
Bob – thank you for writing from the heart. It shows. It has impact on all of us, who like you, have suffered damage to our hearts. Your recovery and skill and honesty at writing inspire many. Please don’t stop listening to what your heart says to write.
Randy [a lurker for over two years]
Thank you for your very nice letter Randy, I appreciate it!
I heard there are guides with guns to shoot the bears if they get “to close”
Ann, I’m not sure what you are referring to, but I think it’s unlikely on Federal land like National Parks. I took a fly-in bear viewing rip into Katmai NP and our guides only had bear spray. On private tours on private, State or National Forest land that might well be true.
Great article, Bob…I relate to everything you said and my views are pretty well in lock step…how’d you get in my head?!….
I agree about danger and death – and lost my fear of them when I had a death experience…I’ve been able to live fully since the….
Being in nature is also essential to my existence…the longer I fulltime the more I know this…and I love the studies being fine on the effects of nature on humans…tho, why do we need studies…seems a no brainer…
If you’ve not done so yet, and like to read, I highly recommend a book called “a language older than words”….a very interesting read…
Glad you made it through your mountain lion encounter, and I got to meet you…
We think a lot alike, Pish!! But I’ve found that with most vandwellers!
Well do you think an older women with artificial knees with a medium size dog could live in an Explorer? I’m packing a tent too.
I need to leave as I have made mistakes and bad life decisions all my life. Those have I found out affected my family and I have tried changing through the years, but, I am what I am. My decision will in the long run be the best decision, good or bad for my family. I love nature and dislike being around a lot of people. My dog too is older 10 years old. She’s quiet and timid but so faithful. I love my family enough that I have to leave so I soon influence my grandchildren.
Carol I know many older women living in vans an some with knee replacement, that’s easy. But living in a Explorer will be harder because you will have to be on your knees a lot. I believe you can do it! Do you have the finances to trade it for an used mini-van, that would work much better for you.
If not, you can still do it. I’d suggest checking out this post: http://www.cheaprvliving.com/blog/12-years-living-cars-suvs/
I’d also suggest joining my forum http://www.cheaprvliving.com/forums/
Very moving tale, Bob. You are such a good writer – you are willing to go deep and share yourself.
I really identify with the challenge of connecting to people. As an rather extreme introvert, I spent years trying to learn to be more extroverted, since those traits lead to success in work and business. Trouble is, that’s not who I am!
Many of those skills are valuable, its true, but to the extent I shamed myself for my very nature, I perpetuated a damaging view of myself.
Now I have a spiritually focused way of living that honors who I am. I only wish I had found it sooner.
as far as beloved dogs go, I negotiate with my animals. My current dog is not much trouble – she gives chase but returns on command like a magnet. She chased 2 bear cubs once tht I thought were racoons, and when I realized what was happening I called her (with great urgency I might add, looking around for mama!) and she came right back. She is a loyal beast, completely bonded to me. Recently Ive had negotiations with my young cat. I moved to a place where the dogs next door are cat killers, and they are left neglected outside most of the time. Often they escape. So many neighbors said “Keep your kitty indoors. But she was born in an alley and knows she’s being confined. I believe its cruel to keep her in always. so weve had to work it out.
I had to rescue her once from them – terribly traumatic. but now she goes out at certain hours when I am around to watch and listen. I call her and she comes – not to come in, but she shows me she’s OK.
I think a lot of people believe we own animals and should control them. I believe they have souls.
Patrise, I agree 100%, were partners, there is no ownership, no more than we own our children. Lot’s of people get that wrong too!
I’ve only just discovered this website and am loving it! As someone who has always needed a very great deal of alone time and is really unhappy in crowds, it makes me feel like maybe I do belong somewhere, after all. There seem to be many people like me staying at Quartzsite, so perhaps I’m less ‘weird’ than I’ve frequently been called.
Regarding your beloved Cody, I was wondering if you’d read “Merle’s Door: Lessons from a free-thinking dog”, by Ted Kerasote. If not, I highly recommend it. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.
Thank you for all your wonderful videos that have helped so many people. As a result, I’ve been thinking I may try an RV lifestyle, myself. So far, my itchy feet have led me to live in eight countries. People always imagine it takes a lot of money to do that but nothing could be further from the truth! I save up for the return fare and then just go. I think: If it works out, it works out; if not, I’ll go back. In every case, it has worked out. It helps not to have a house to worry about. I’ve always rented. Very freeing. Also, I’ve never been someone who worried about having a career, which also helps!
Bless you, Bob, for helping people to drop their fears. My obsession with needing freedom, and my spiritual practices, are what fuel my travels. And freedom can’t flourish when a mind is filled with fear.
Hey Bob, just came across your site…..a quick read and its very compelling…..love to meet you and buy you a beer sometime going full time myself within a month or so.. your attitude about nature hits home and its the main reason Im preparing to head out..!st up into Maine for a couple of weeks then down to Florida..where Im not sure …but free sounds good to me………also at this point have a number of canine buds that are joining me……a couple fairly old and back up the spectrum to about 3 years………Id give my life for any one of them….so healthy happy well exercised ..Yes to that…..danger Id avoid…….seems lots of interesting info here ..Ill be searching back often….stay well and thanks for such an interesting place to search Steve Bouffard
Hi, we were staying at a Koa when our indoor cat got outside. She’s a rescue who’s terrified of outside and was too scared to let us get close enough to catch her. After the second night out we bought a trap, set it with her favorite toy and some food. In the morning the trap was tripped, and empty of food, cat and toy. We think she may have been taken by a lady who ‘helped’ us look for her. She has been full timing with her construction working husband. The site was in St Mary’s, Georgia but they’re home base is elsewhere. We’re desperate to get our cat back. We can prove ownership and loving care but we need the RV communities help to find her. Can you help get our story out?
Hi Laurie, I think you just did get your story out, I hope it helps. I know how desperate I would be if I lost my Cody.
Hi Thank You and my question is what do you do for cody regarding ticks fleas teeth etc. His health ?Rabies? all the things that we are always warned about by vets please advise
Bob, I’ve recently found your website via Frugal RV Gal, Carolyn’s RV Life, etc. I enjoyed and was enthralled by your article, even though it’s 2 years old! It’s important for many of us to be who WE know we are and not let society package us. For most of my life my Mom expected me to grow into the typical female, get married, birth children blah blah blah. Definitely not who I was at all. Always been more at peace outdoors and sharing my life with dogs. I’m reminded of a quote I held dear many years ago…what IS normal? ha ha
Take care and continue your chosen path!
Hi Bob!Thank you so much for sharing your life experience with every one,living on the road.I have learned so much from you over the last three years.I took the plunge 2 years ago ,down sized and bought a trailor and F-150.It was a learning curve for me.I am retired and have a pensionBoy did I go through money!Needless to say I will start my first camp host job in April.What I am trying to figure out is not having electricty.I have been spoiled for two years with a full hook up in till I get a generator and solar.I will figure it out…oh yes!Wait till you come eye to eye with sasquatch! Yes…wildlife has a way of giving you a different perspective on life! Lol! Thank you again Bob!
Bob, I’m 50 and married with two beautiful kids. I have been a carpenter all my life. I have in the past 7 years lost my business went homeless and as I write this am living in my brother garage with my family. I’m going to buy a travel trailer in the next month or so and we are hitting the road. I can not and will not raise my kids to be zombies of society. There is life out there and I’m going to show them it. Thank you for your time on this website,blog, YouTube and thank you for showing me I’m not crazy, well lol. I might be. Blessed be my friend. Maybe one day we will cross paths!
do you ever cover canada?
iam in bc n plan to get a van to live in next month, now iam seriously considering going south in the winter, iam 54 on disability. with a 13 yr choc lab Rose. cant sfford any rents here n we need to enjoy life with nature. i need to be warm n comforatable. i love your info, maybe one day we will cross paths
Tammy and Rose
Did you get the van and head south? I’m in mid BC, approximately a 2 hour drive from Prince George. We are basically off-grid and live the prepper lifestyle. I have to leave Canada as my immigration permit isn’t going through. For some reason, they don’t believe that I am married for love, just because of lack of pictures, large marriage ceremony, guests etc. etc. etc… I asked them if I should have faked it and just taken random pictures? So, I’ve been here for 2,5 years, gotten settled in. Love my husband and area. Have most my life lived off-grid, except for when I was raising my 3 children, (I’m 58 yrs young) I forced myself to do the town life while they were growing up, so that they hopefully wouldn’t end up as much of a “loon” as I am. I have a traumatic past history/childhood which has shaped much/most/all of how I react, feel, etc. I’m on a disability pension for PTSD and know that money is tight but, I do believe living on the road is doable. I’ve always been a minimalist, so, I don’t have lots of stuff, as well as always been most comfortable when I’m alone. Although, the stuff I’ve managed to accumulate over the past 2,5 yrs, is more than will fit in my car/truck. Oh well, been there, done that and can do it again. Downsizing I mean.
Anyhow, I just wanted to know how things have worked out for you as I’m heading down to the lower 48 as well. I’ve filed for an appeal to try to be able to stay at least until after winter, as I do have things I need to get fixed on my vehicle. (I’d also prefer not having to drive in snow/ice…) I also have a dog. A German Shepard girl by by the name of Nova. She’s just turned 1 year old and thankfully, she has all her paperwork and shots done. She is my lifeline, companion and family. She’s also registered as an Emotional Support dog, as she does help me feel safe and also lets me know when my sugar levels are getting dangerously low… I’m a US citizen by birth but lived most my life in Europe and decided that it was high time to bug out of there, so going back there is NOT an option, even if life would perhaps be easier. Second thought, I don’t think so and it hasn’t gotten better in the last 2,5 years I’ve been over here.
Wishing you all the best and perhaps we’ll also meet somewhere on the road.
Meetings animals in the wild …bears ,mtn lions, ducks snakes rabbits leaves me with the everlasting internal feeling that we are all part of the food chain. We just had friends down from AK relived their story of a birthday mtn. bike ride In which their 16YO daughter played dead curled up while their lab was just about killed. By a sow griz. I really didn’t hear a change in how they will live their lives out of fear just a respect for Mother Nature. The dog was flown out after a night of plugging holes with a finger or two to stanch blood flow. After several months the dog is out and about
Hi Bob! Have very much enjoyed watching your videos and good sound advise to others for a few months now. I like your encouraging words, truthfulness about your life, and your constant sharing of the van life with all of us! It’s great!
I will continue to watch videos, things you write, and listen to your optimism. At age 73 and female, I see this now as an option. We don’t have to be trapped! Thank God!