A year nomadic has taught us far more about ourselves than we could have imagined. The padding of externalities have been worn down along with the tread on our tires, the core of our being now visible.
With sometimes harsh realization we accept our limitations and embrace our strengths. Things we thought once defined us are tossed aside, found to only be masks of our true self.
Aside from our self-exploration, we have learned to live a much simpler life. We have reduced our physical needs by some order of magnitude unobtainable other than living in an eight-by-six-foot box. With every passing day the thought of moving into something larger seems overwhelming. How would we use all that extra space? Would we just fill it with junk?
All this time on the road has given us a new-found appreciation for small things we once took for granted when stationary.
Nothing tops the list quite like the luxury of having a level spot to call home. Any other inconvenience on the road we can usually correct for: earplugs when it’s loud, shades to block out light, blankets when the temps get cold and fans for when they’re hot. But if we’re slanted too hard to port or the bow of our land yacht is up, there’s little we can do to fight gravity. Leveling blocks have proven an invaluable tool, but they are limiting. The simple joys of cooking on a level skillet or sleeping in a level bed without fighting gravity all night were never recognized until now.
Pooping in peace, with no pun intended, comes in at number two. When cat-holes can’t be dug, our relationship grows ever stronger putting up with each other’s bodily movements. The privacy of a public toilet and not worrying about filling our port-a-potty is an unexpected joy. We must look like mad-people beaming from ear to ear as we race into rest stops.
While we love to brag about our bathing routine and how little water we use (less than a quart per person!) it would be a lie to say we don’t miss showers and bathtubs. We never pass up an opportunity to let warm water cascade over our tired and soiled bodies in a seemingly endless supply. Imagining a natural soak sends shivers down our spines. Our quest for natural hot springs was born from this desire.
Privacy is something we don’t find much of on the road. Between two humans and a dog in the size of a modest walk-in closet, there is barely enough room to move, and no real way to separate yourself when the need arises. We’ve learned to appreciate the few times when one of us has the camper all to ourself, and to give each other the space to remain sane. Even though we have the whole world outside our back door, we have found that we often crave the safety and comfort of our humble abode. Little did we realize we’d have such an issue with other folks invading our space. Often the intrusion is welcome, but every now and then our peaceful moment together is interrupted by a, “Hey! Sweet camper, where are ya from?”
It’s humbling to watch the majority of our troubles crumble away. The problems of a “normal” life still linger, but they hold less value than they once did. Instead we live a delicate balance atop Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. We have our shelter, our food, and safety always with us. We’ve slowly built a community and are in the process of finding our purpose. We’ve come to find ourselves at the meaty core of living, inventing less problems and seeing life for what it truly is – beautiful.