As soon as I got to West Palm I wanted to leave. But I was sick and out of money. So I looked for the easiest job I could find. It happened to be an unbelievably soul-crushing position and one day after about a month I went out to lunch and didn’t go back. As soon as I quit I had to come up with a plan. I’d been reading about van life for a long time and admiring the movement from afar. Now was my chance to live the dirtbag life I had been longing for. So I went to the one place all the internet where you find information on any topic ever. Reddit’s vandwellers subreddit was invaluable in prepping my little Subaru to become a home for Jax and I.
It took a lot of trial and error to figure out the best configuration of my stuff. After a week of trying to make everything fit I got rid of most of my clothes, pared down my food (I definitely had way too much for just myself because I feel this need to always have a stocked pantry, even when I’m living in my car apparently) and left a few things that could never fit, at my mom’s house. But I had to pull everything out one last time to get the final configuration just right.
On the left, all my clothes in 3-drawers, a 3-gallon water jug atop a perfectly sized folding table. On the right, my bed and Jax’s on the other side of that. I am the perfect size for sleeping in the backseat with my legs in the trunk. And I managed to pare everything down so that it fits in any empty space with room to move and stretch out at night. The small folding table literally added a whole room to the set-up, and when I wanted to watch a movie I put my 17-inch HP on top and laid down in bed. It was so cozy. I bought Eclipse black-out curtains to keep our home private, and with all of them up, I could turn on my LED lights from Home Depot (they were so bright I only ever needed one to light the space) and they kept all light in. With home squared away and no real plan of where to go yet, we headed to St Petersburg, FL. We had lived in St Pete before and I knew there was a good amount of free street parking around town, parks to hang out at in the event that we had nothing to do and that we could park at night without being bothered.
While we were there I got a minimum wage job that I quit after 3 weeks, bought an RV that was badly damaged and didn’t run, and got a part-time internship with a cool environmental education organization. It was an interesting few months so I’ll have to dedicate the next blog in this series to those few months.
To be continued…