I have seen a lot of unusual activity in parking garages since moving to the South. Maybe it is only the parking garage I normally use when going downtown, but I am assuming this is just normal activity for the South.
A few days ago I saw the entire front end removed off a car. 4 guys where installing a radiator and an intercooler. Why on the top of a parking garage in winter? I have no idea. I wanted to ask, but they seemed a little agitated so I stayed away.
I often see people getting wedding pictures taken on the top story of the parking garage we use. Why? I don’t know for sure. It seems odd. I know you can see the sun sphere and a famous church. I also know there are much better places to see those sites, so again, I have no idea why they keep taking pictures up there. The tops of parking garages do not seem radically romantic to me.
Once we saw a bunch of people re-enacting scenes from Dr. Who. Yes, some crazy guy was dressed up as the Doctor, complete with a sonic screwdriver. He had a few companions and photographer immortalizing his achievement of traveling to Knoxville in 2015.
Recently I saw some crazy fellows launching a remote controlled plane. I don’t know if flying an RC plane off the top of a parking garage with people everywhere is a good idea, but they did it anyway. I will admit to being a little jealous. If I had my own RC plane, I would definitely try to shoot his RC plane down in a dogfight over the crowded city streets. That probably explains why I am not allowed to have an RC plane.
I have been talking to my wife lately about how I have been sort of feeling trapped. We left Wisconsin to travel. We now have been in Knoxville, Tn for over a year, and not a lot of traveling has been happening.
In fact, for me very little travel has happened. I work a job with no vacation days, no holidays, no sick days. More then once I realized I could make the same money working at McDonalds.
I look around me and I see people having adventures. Somedays pretending to be Dr. Who seems like an awesome idea when you feel trapped enough.
I read blogs and follow instagram feeds of people enjoying leisurely lives with their families. Right now a bunch of overlanders and van dwellers are hanging out in Baja Mexico. I want that to be me!
Right now lots of RVers I follow are in Florida or California enjoying amazing temperatures and eating at exotic restaurants while they work leisurely remote jobs. I want that!
A few days ago my kid told me he doesn’t want to live in Knoxville anymore. He said he wants to live in Saint Louis. “The Sun Sphere is dumb dad! I like the Arch in Saint Louis!”
I reminded him that when we took him up the arch he was pretty board after about 5 minutes. His reply “I didn’t know it was cool because I was only 12! But now I know better!”
It made me think. I jump very fast. When I was a kid my parents gave me nice things. When I moved into my first house after getting married my parents gave me a few boxes of my childhood junk and told me it was my job to keep it.
After I sorted through all the junk, I saw it. Boxes of colored pencils not used. Reams of hardly used notebooks. Matchbox cars undamaged. I remembered my parents telling me not to use the colored pencils too much or they would be wasted. Not to smash up my matchbox cars. Not to waste paper. I don’t know why, but I think it made me have an un-natural urge to preserve all my stuff I cared about.
I realized looking into the boxes how much joy had been wasted. How much I could have drawn instead of just arranging the pencils into the case. How many jumps my matchbox cars could have taken on plastic tracks. How many of my notebooks should have been filled with terrible drawings.
I took every single toy out of the boxes and brought them upstairs and gave them to my Kid.
I now have none of those toys left. None of the boxes left.
Why do I want my old boxes? I don’t need to have my old homework or school supplies. My kid broke every single pencil and smashed every single matchbox car. Who knows what even happened to all those books.
I just made sure from that point on, I would never waste potential again.
My RV is getting beat up as we use it. Cabinet doors have fallen off. Things break. Good! That means I am using it.
I have a 4×4 truck. It now regularly gets stuck in the mud. Recently my kid said, “dad if you keep taking our truck off road it will break!”
GOOD! Better to break it doing something awesome then to let it rot sitting in the driveway.
My kid has had lots of action figures. Every single one is in a landfill somewhere. He would take the arms, legs, and heads off each of the bodies and mix and match them. I think he had about 5 Luke Skywalker action figures just because he kept breaking the hands off on accident. Sometimes I think he wishes he hadn’t broken them all, but he had years of playing with them, and I think it was worth it.
The day before Valentines day this year, we were invited to a pre-valentines day party. It was made even more interesting because a bunch of Foreign students from the local college were the guests of honor. I talked to Chinese students, Iranians, and someone from India (I think). It was fascinating.
I do not know who I talked to, but I told them a little about our life, and how we lived in an RV. He said he admired my life and how we lived. How even though maybe everything hadn’t work out for me how I wished, it seemed as tho I was mostly happy. And he was mostly sad, and he wished he had a life more like mine.
It made me think back to my Kid saying that he didn’t know he was having fun. He didn’t know we were doing something cool.
My life is full of adventure. It isn’t turning out how I want it too, but its still a big cool adventure.
I do lots of crazy stuff. I have a blog post that needs to be written about how I almost fell off a cliff in January during a winter storm. That is crazy, and yet it is just another day in my house.
I am reminding myself everyday that even the Bible describes us as gods – gods who have to die in our flesh one day, and who will be reborn as Gods – brothers of Jesus, and inheritors of the one true God himself.
I realize I am living an adventurous life everyday. If I had a choice to get my old job and security back in Wisconsin, I would not take it. I sometimes feel trapped and discouraged, but it is different now. Now I am fighting for a future. I am looking and working for a way to sustain my life in a way that promotes freedom and peace. I am not fighting to maintain something. I am not protecting something.
I am growing and exploring. I am getting nicks and cuts in the process, but I am seeing new things and experiencing new things. I used to see a Walmart as a place to shop, now I see Walmart as a free campground. I used to see a car as a tool to commute to work and shopping, but now I see my car as a wilderness exploration vehicle. I used to see a home as a building, and now I see home as the people I live with.
My journey of adventure and travel is not over. It is just beginning. My story will be one where Knoxville was not an ending, but Knoxville was the beginning. Knoxville will be the place I learned to earn to travel, and the place where my adventure truly started.
Its easy for you to normalize everything. Its easy to fall victim to your circumstances and your fears and your troubles.
I am not going to fall victim.
The next series of posts is going to be about financial freedom and working towards a sustainable income. I am often envious of those who are traveling full-time, but at the same time, I often see full-time travelers begging for money because they are stuck and have no financial depth.
I do not have all the financial answers, but I think that is why I need to write this series of posts. Most of the people I see traveling full-time do not appear to be entirely fair with their how to make money on the road posts. We can’t all live on $500 a month youtube advertising fees. Blogging about RVs is not a universally acceptable financially valid posts.
I am going to share with you what I am doing about a mobile income, and I would love to hear what you readers are doing about a mobile income as well.