A year ago, I sold my condo and 90% of its contents to downsize and move into an RV full time.
Sound a bit crazy? Maybe a little. Unfortunately at the time I made this decision I had a brain tumor. It was a bit smaller than a golf ball had been growing in my frontal lobe. A tumor in this area of the brain can cause behavioral and emotional changes; impaired judgment, motivation or inhibition; impaired sense of smell or vision loss; possible paralysis on one side of the body; reduced mental abilities and memory loss. This tumor was most likely responsible for a lot of strange things that I did for several years of my life, as they said it had been growing for about 4-5 years. So selling my condo and buying an RV might have been influenced by the tumor in my head.
The police also suggested I move. I learned first hand that when you press assault charges against a crazy ex boyfriend and you don’t feel safe in your home, this is what the easy solution is.
Maybe this choice was actually a little crazy. But at this point how will I ever know?
Looking back I do have some regrets. I miss my condo that I had spent so much money, energy and time to make it my own. However, despite having moments when this makes me very sad, what can I do? I realize more and more each day that I can’t go back and what is done is done. Moving forward is the only option.
Getting rid of so much stuff was cleansing for my emotional and physical well being. I had no idea how much stuff I was just holding onto for no reason. I was only living in 580 square feet but I had filled just about every empty space that I could with stuff and things and junk.
With the money from the sale of my condo I was able to pay off my debt, put a chunk into a tax free saving account and save some to travel.
My tumor was removed and it was the most amazing day when the neurosurgeon told me that it was not cancer. My follow up doctor appointments came back and was told that they wouldn’t have to see me again for a full 12 months.
Having a house on wheels means I can go anywhere that has a road on this continent. I hate winter so heading to Mexico just seemed to be a simple choice. I had been off work because of medical reasons and since I had a bit of money in the bank getting away for a few months just seems like the right thing to do.
Like it or not, life had pushed me in a direction that I didn’t want to go and I had to accept it.
Looking back, I still struggle with the question, ‘Was I just running away from my problems?’ Instead of standing strong and dealing with them, did I just run away. Maybe. But I think what I did is what most people in my situation would do.
Choose to get away from the life that was filled with bitter memories and bad feelings. Knowing first hand that life is short and waiting is not always an option. Making the decision to leave was what I needed for my emotional, physical and mental well-being.
To say I had the road trip of my life is a bit of understatement. Driving from Vancouver Canada to Tres Amigo RV park just outside of Mazatlan is about 4,000km. I stopped in Vegas, Phoenix, Quartsite and every place in between. I visited old friends and I made new ones. I saw some of the most amazing sunsets and sunrises. Eating new foods, seeing new places and waking up each morning without any real plans felt like I was dreaming.
Stress was pretty much gone. Life on the road is freedom. But life in an RV is a lot of work. As an RV newbie I was not prepared for how much work it would take to live this lifestyle. Though I love the feeling of freedom, I did not enjoy all the new things I had to learn to deal with. I did not enjoy having to do all the work by myself either.
Three months on the road is a lot of time to reflect. To learn and grow and understand myself a bit better.
But now I am home. I am back in Canada. Back to work. Back to the hustle. Back to the stress, the stuff and all the things that gave me anxiety before I left.
I think my adventure can be summed up in this quote:
“Sometimes the most scenic roads life are the detours you didn’t mean to take.”
No one chooses to be in an abusive partnership – often we don’t see the forest because of the trees. No one wants to get a brain tumor, but this was nothing that could have been predicted.
Looking back at the last 12 months I am in shock of my own courage. When others have told me how inspiring I am I didn’t understand. I thought these were just words that people said to be nice.
But look what I did?!
- I took action
- I did it today instead of waiting, planning and hoping for the future.
- It was scary and a bit crazy – but I did it.
- I did something that many people dream about doing!
- Despite being afraid of what ‘could’ happen I just said fuck it and took a chance.
Getting home has not been easy. I have changed and I have grown. Unfortunately, ‘home’ and all the people and things that are here have not. Everything around me is still the same.
So what now?
Honestly – I have no idea what I am going to do with my life when I grow up! Last year, that would have terrified me to the bone. Today though, it excites me. Don’t get me wrong, I am still afraid. Where will I live? How will I pay my bills? What am I going to do for work? What if the tumor comes back? And on and on and on… Don’t you have some of the same stressing your life, too?
It’s just life. And I don’t think any of us have it figured out.
“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.