Sunday, November 7, 2010

Getting Ready to Hit the Road

Less than a month ago, as I began to recover from a long illness that had kept me homebound a lot, I realized that what I really want to do more than anything is to travel. I love to travel, and I can't get enough of it. In the past, my traveling has pretty much been limited to vacations and/or obligatory trips for business or to visit my elderly parents. Spending a few weeks out of the year on the road just isn't enough for me--especially when a lot of my recent travels have been by plane rather than the meandering sort of roadtripping that I really enjoy most.

As it turned out, about the same time I realized my deep need to travel more, other circumstances in my life suddenly made the prospect of traveling full-time more realistic. For one thing, I am in the process of getting a divorce, and I had some money from a property settlement to buy myself a small used RV.

Also, my 18-year-old kid, Sly, is just about ready to leave home. In fact, we are looking for an apartment for Sly right now, and I'll be able to schedule my own departure once that happens.

Originally I thought I'd spend the rest of the winter here and hope to be on the road by springtime. But with Sly's imminent departure, I hope to be on the road sooner. If I can be out of here on New Year's Eve, I'll be delighted! I'd love to be heading south to spend the rest of the winter somewhere other than the Pacific NorthWET. My goal is to spend New Year's Eve playing bingo for really big stakes at Seven Feathers Casino in Canyonville, Oregon, on my way to California.

Fortunately for me, I've been successfully selling stuff on eBay for many years. I used to sell all sorts of antiques and collectibles, glassware, pottery, housewares, etc. But a few years ago, I decided to limit my auctions mostly to textiles, because scarves, linens, fabric and such can be stored flat in a small space and they won't break in the mail. Since I started specializing in vintage ladies' designer silk scarves a few years ago, my eBay business has been better than ever.

Right now, I'm starting to practice doing my eBay business out of a small space so it won't be any big shock when I am working from the RV or from various coffee shops with free wifi along the way. I've got all of my packing supplies in one large tote and all of my inventory in another.

I'm planning to remodel the RV interior so there will be places for these two totes, plus the two I'll need for the sewing and other crafts that I'll be doing along the road. The current configuration of my Toyota Dolphin's interior is very cute and great for casual weekend camping. But I'm going to have a big work table built in with storage space beneath it, plus I'll be replacing the dining area chairs and table with a restaurant-style booth with storage under the seats. The table will drop down onto the seats to convert into an extra bed for when Sly or one of my friends comes to spend time with me.

I've been spending lots of time investigating free and cheap places to stay. I hope to break up some of my camping out with occasional housesitting gigs. I'm also hoping to meet up with some more experienced RVers in the south, maybe at Quartzite or Slab City, to get some help with such things as solar panels. Depending on how things shape up over the next seven weeks, I may just see about getting my interior remodeling done down there, since I understand that's where you can find some really good experienced RV folks to help you out at reasonable prices.

So that's the basic plan, as it stands right now. I'm sure it will be tweaked about a bajillion times. That's okay. Getting ready to go is part of the journey.


  1. Glad you started a new RV blog... I'm looking forward to following your travels. First, you mentioned looking for free places to park, so I wanted to share the list of links I made at Vandweller News:
    There is also a list of "Services" on the same site for free wi-fi hot spots, rest stops, and rv dump stations.
    I hope this helps.


  2. omgsh Sue! How wonderful! This is going to be so fun to be sharing this wunderlust hjourney of yours! Thanks for keeing me as a contact. Happy travels!

  3. the ebay scarf lady! i think your idea is brilliant! i do look forward to following your adventures....

  4. Hi Sue, I look forward to following your journey. It sounds like you have put in some good thinking into your plans and are ready to start the fun.
    My partner and I have just begun extended travels and plan to live in our Roadtrek camper van for many months ahead. We share your enthusiasm for the open road. Perhaps our paths will cross in Quartzite of the Slabs this winter. We've never been to either, yet. We have begun our trip in the Sunshine state and plan to head South West in the months ahead.

  5. Hey Sue, great blog and I think you are planning/doing things rather well! I had a little Toyota C when I started full-timing too! Modified it constantly! Much like our Roadtrek now, it is a bit of an addiction with me! We will be in Quartzite as well as other SW locations all winter so hopefully we can meet up! (we refers to my wife Heidi - see first comment - and myself). At any rate, we should have lots of fun to stuff to talk about!

    Glad to have found your blog listed at vandwellers, I always follow my fellow vandweller blogs! Good stuff!

    -Mike & Heidi
    97 Roadtrek 170P "Taj Ma Trek"

  6. Well, I can see Mike, Heidi and Katie have found you... so you are in good company. Our tribe likes to help others with there vandwelling projects and amoungst us... there are lots of experienced people. Welcome home.

  7. HI! I'm enjoying reading your adventure from the beginning!