When I returned home from a month on the road at the end of July, I decided to sell out. I mean that in a lot of different ways. I sold my belongings that wouldn’t fit in a van. I sold my house. I even sold the domain name to my blog (mudkingdom.com is dead, long live themudkingdom.com). I have been going at full speed non-stop for six months straight and it’s starting to change me as a person. I’ve yet to have a day to sit down and take it all in.
So why sell out? In early June I drove from Virginia to Kansas to spend time with my family while my mother recovered from surgery. I’m the lone holdout on the east coast. When I was getting ready to return home to Virginia, it really started to annoy me that I had still not visited Colorado – only an eight hour drive from where I was, so I put the mud doggo into the mud wagon and off we went. The week we spent running around Colorado sleeping under the stars, in hostels, roadside motels, and mountainside resorts made me really think about what mattered.
My first night in my own bed at home, I knew I had to make significant changes. I drew up an effective plan and executed aggressively over the next couple months, but I started two weeks behind the ball and struggled to catch up for months. Ultimately, my plan was to no longer be tied to a particular place. I put together a team to prep and sell my house just before the market collapsed under the pressure of rising interest rates and the incompetent handling of our economy.
Over the next two months I would spend every non-work waking hour chopping up tree stumps, installing flooring transitions, and crawling on my hands and knees to prep the house to go on the market. For weeks we slept in a wet tent and the mud doggo spent a lot of time in the mud wagon waiting for me to finish up doing some more landscaping in the back yard. We listed the house just barely in time to snag our projected asking price and even then I had to offer seller assistance. Then the buyer didn’t close in time and threw my plans to buy the mud motorhome. All of this while trying to deal with a broken tooth.
Although nothing really went the way that I wanted to, most things went the way I needed to. I was able to buy a motorhome in Pennsylvania with just enough time for me to drive it to my mom’s house in Kansas for Thanksgiving. I had literally no margin for error, but I packed up into a U-Haul and loaded up the RV to drive directly to Wichita. A few nights and workdays nestled in among the big rigs at truck stops later I had thanksgiving dinner with the family and the next day I was off to the airport for a long planned trip to Vancouver, BC.
I’ve been out of my comfort zone for a long time and I’m exhausted. I’m kinda homeless. I won’t see my dog for another week at least – she’s with my brother and her step-brother Booster, apparently trying to steal puppies from strangers. All I have ahead of me now is the same thing that I had before: the great adventure. Only now I don’t have to worry about getting back to my house – as much. It’s sitting in a driveway in the middle of the country and I’m flying back to the Washington, DC area to close out my storage unit and affairs then drive the mud wagon to join the mud motorhome.
Someone told me that they were very jealous that I was going to do van life by myself – that I would have the freedom to do what I wanted whenever I wanted without considering what someone else needed. It is sometimes nice not to have to make decisions based on what someone else wants. But it’s horrible not to have anyone to share that with. Next update from the road – I should probably tell you guys about my Vancouver trip and the lovely friends I made along the way.