Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Our Vanlife Plans

I've been a Nervous Nelly about work. Our plans require us to make money.

Our Plans:

I don't dare to say where we will be in one year. I barely dare to think ahead to next week. But right now, I want to live in a van. Kristin wants to live in a van. Our plan is to dwell in our home for as long as we can roll. As long as we want to.

We left Pennsylvania one month ago. The plan was open-ended then, and I downplayed how long I wanted to be gone. I claimed months, while in my heart I want years. I want to live in a van for years at the least. I want to visit home, but live on the road.

The thought of settling down in southeastern Pennsylvania made me nervous. Kristin asked what would help, and I told her she probably didn't want to hear about it. Living in a van. That's when I was happiest, and that's what I want to do.

"Let's do that then," she said. It was as easy as that.

With the decision made, the planning began. I pushed to make more money, and by the end of January we'd made more than I could have hoped for. I found the perfect van on Craigslist, in the middle of nowhere, and paid $2,300 cash in hundred dollar bills. I would have paid twice as much, but I kept that fact to myself.

The building phase began, ended, and then the rubber hit the road. Today, we're in Durango.

Making Money:

Doing anything for the first time is hard. Everything takes practice. I know how to make money from home, but we need to translate our business to the road. I'm slow to take action. Today we acted.

We've been buying books, and they've been filling up the van. I need to lift bags and boxes into the passenger compartment when we sleep. It is tedious, and it doesn't make money or sense.

Today, we found wifi behind a hotel, but the connection was ultimately too slow. And a guy with a weedwhacker wanted to know when we'd be gone. We had books in organized stacks, and we had to backtrack and put them back in bags to change location. At the second hotel, we were able to use wifi to process the books in the van, but I was unable to print shipping labels. We had to bag up the books once more - keeping them all in order - and move again. I was able to use the printer at the library - god bless libraries - and for sixty cents we had all of our labels printed.

What would take two lazy hours at home, took most of the day.

Learning Lessons:

Everything takes practice. Those who survive are those who adapt. We need to work in smaller batches and ship in smaller boxes. A wifi antenna seems now like a necessary tool. After today's lessons, I feel better prepared to have a more successful workday next time.

Will we have enough money? How much is enough? Some day I will take a minute to figure that out.

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