One of the fascinating aspects about planning to do what I’m doing, and doing it, is how people—friends and strangers alike—respond to the concept and to Tamasté. Most friends expressed some type of envy at my being able to run off and explore nomadically, or they admit a secret desire to do this someday. Strangers don’t know the back story as friends do, yet the strangers hold the same freedom dream.
It happened again in the parking lot at the Bokeelia, FL, fishing wharfs at the northern end of Pine Island. Shortly before going to Captain Con’s Fish House for, hopefully, some fresh fish (it was both fresh and grouper, which I apparently can’t get enough of), I’d come off the fishing pier trying to take pictures of a pelican diving repeatedly for his mid-day meal. I then noticed a youngish couple looking at Tamasté and pointing to parts of it.
Approaching them, I just unlocked it which always elicits an “Oh, is this yours?” from the curious. As I usually do, told them a bit about it, answered their questions, and saw the usual wishful curiosity in their questions and faces. Didn’t realize when I headed into this nomadic RV culture that driving one of these is tantamount to walking through a park attached by lease to a cute puppy dog.
After the tasty grouper, I headed back to the parking lot and guess who was still pointing and admiring Tamasté? Yup, same couple. I then offered to show them inside and they were beside themselves with excitement and interest. And, as I’ve seen before and will again, while inside they begin discussing how they’d fit and use an RV if they had one. I guess nomadic fever can be catching.
The reality is it’s not just about hitting the road to nomadic nirvana and tossing the metaphorical bow lines off and heading…out there.
In these encounters, I don’t go into this lifestyle’s aspects that are not easy to justify, nor the massive shift from comfy behaviors lived for years on end that now are modified, or shedded to live more like a boy scout on perpetual camping than a snug and secure homeowner with autonomic activities.
It’s an exciting path to venture forward on, but not without emotional and intellectual challenges. Most see what I’m doing as some sort of long vacation, rather than this is how I now live and the only home I have (for now). Don’t get me wrong: retirement is really quite cool and this open-schedule lifestyle stimulating and freeing, but I’m still adapting to it and have much to learn about coping with the solitude, the more intimate impact of weather, and ever-changing places, cultures. Not to mention the daily reminder that Tamasté’s 168 square feet is my domicile, my roof, my only four walls.
It’s all good of course, and no question I’ll look back on this period as the grandest adventure of my life, but it’s not as simple as dreams might hope it to be. Still, I’m completely solid on the decision and eager to see what happens tomorrow, the next day, the next week, and so on down the road…and to share the good, the bad, and the ugly with you here.