Goodbye, Old Paint

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Just over a year ago, I moved out of my residence in Lincoln and out into the world. I’ve been a lot of places since then. Primarily, I’ve traveled (and carried my things) in my vehicle, which was at times pretty full. My vehicle began to feel like my “house,” even though I only slept in it while camping.

It was fun to go up remote roads that required four wheel drive, and goofy to try pitching a tent on top of the car. farm in july 125Throwing a mattress on top and sleeping outdoors on my land in western Iowa was inspired, something I hope to do again. Sometimes my front passenger seat was the equivalent of my messy home office, and sometimes a mouse would move in for awhile requiring extreme measures. (See here for more on that.)

So you might wonder why my vehicle went to Colorado without me yesterday, a planned separation that is scheduled to go until March 8th. It’s just another step in a period of voluntary simplicity, an effort to learn what I need and what I don’t need. I practiced for a month last winter on the Space Coast, walking or biking to most destinations, and borrowing a car a couple of times. That’s what I plan to do again, walking the beach,2013-02-19_13-30-57_664 traveling with others, learning public transportation, and hopefully tallying up some bike miles. I have some flights scheduled, and some questions, and on the whole I am excited about giving up the Explorer for a few months.

The process of doing so required me to yet again sort and organize, deciding what to carry when my cargo space went from a large SUV to a backpack. I admit I have mailed a few things out to myself (cowboy boots and sundresses arrived beachside before me) and have purchased replacements for things that don’t travel well in a backpack or mail easily. (Hoops, my friends, hoops!) The acquisition of a hybrid travel pack with a detachable day pack helped inspire me, and taught me the exact confines of my packing space, so I have spent a few weeks packing and unpacking it to see what works. God willing, it will be what I am living out of in Florida, Seattle, Wyoming and Barcelona in the coming months.

My 192-cubic-foot storage space is filled closer to the brim than it has ever been, and I look forward to a time when I can further sort and distribute things tucked there that I don’t really need or want anymore, but for now, I am pleased to have this situation, all my “necessities” carried under my own power.

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