I can ballpark it — the miles driven in the last six weeks.
Around 4,000. Or 6,440 km for those in the metric world.
Some 4,000 miles in six weeks. That’s an average of 100 miles (161 km) a day. And 1/3 of the yearly average! In six weeks!
Four states — Arizona, Nevada, California, New Mexico, then back to Arizona for more new adventures.
And now I come to rest. For a while.
It’s been a mixed bag of a road trip. As a trip among many, many as an adult across the continental United States, Japan, Asia and Europe, it’s about the worst.
Not that others haven’t been without their discomforts, trials, tribulations, challenges and woes. Most certainly being without money in the final days in Europe and riding the rails Destination: Anywhere as a ticket to sleep — gotta love that Eurail pass! — had its discomforts.
But then again, I was like in my early 20s! Sleeping on hard or rugged surfaces at 23 is a helluva LOT different — read: easier — than at 57!
Discomfort’s hardly a foreign concept to me. As a girl with a lotta grit and will of steel when circumstances dictate, I’m not bad-mouthing a lifestyle of sleeping on the ground or in the back of a car. Mine’s a Subaru and even with the seats down, cargo space is tight for even this small frame. Like I’ve said, Subarus are GREAT cars but they’re not designed for big people. 🙂
So, six weeks and 4,000 miles later, coming to a stop — for a while — means first getting up off the ground and/or out of a car that’s transportation by day and sleeping quarters by night.
Sleeping on an ACTUAL bed — which I hope to God is comfortable in my upcoming rental room! Showering daily. WHOOO HOOOOO! Brushing my teeth in a sink with a faucet with running water … rather than swishing with a brush and toothpaste, rinsing with a swig from a water bottle and spitting onto the dirt of a primitive* campsite.
*Primitive = dispersed dirt camping. No services, no water, no fees.
Coming to a stop — for a while — means having an address again. One of the harder aspects of being homeless, for me, is having no address. I get anxious when I can’t receive mail — the important stuff, I mean, like bills, bank statements, notices from powers that be. I can’t imagine an IRS agent being too compassionate as I plead for my life, explaining that I really and truly wasn’t ignoring some IMPORTANT NOTICE PRINTED IN RED CAPS. I was, simply, on the road without domicile for weeks or months.
I’m scheduled to move into my rental room today. When it happens, I’ll know it to be true. It’ll be the first time I’ve stayed put and had a consistent shelter (that isn’t my Subaru, that is) and shower and other luxuries of Western civilized living in quite a while.
A LOT of experiences, some terrific,some nightmarish, have been crammed into these six weeks and 4,000 miles on the road. Returning to a civilized routine and steady domicile are, in their way, a challenge. It’s the flip side of the coin — the other side being homelessness and the lifestyle of a nomad, which is a very much a part of who I am too.
A new chapter begins the minute I move into the rental room and inform the post office (and others) of my new address! Best I can liken it to is a girl having her first period. ‘Tis the birth of a fresh chapter. Can’t wait to see what settling in Prescott, Arizona, brings as the Subaru and I go “off road” for a while!