Let Me Introduce Myself!

Since my chance meeting with RVSue and the Crew a few days ago, this blog, One Wandering Spirit, is in the process of a substantial growth spirt!  Gosh I had no idea what a recommendation from Sue could mean.

It’s great that a LOT of folks have signed on!  Thank you Sue, and for the newer people here, WELCOME!  Joy, Shiloh and I are happy to have you along for the ride.

I feel like I need to let you know who I am, and how  this all started for me….in a brief way!

I’ve kept a diary/journal since I was a child.  It started with one of those little plastic covered books with a tiny key…remember those?  I was always something of a loner, and as I got older, writing became my therapy.  Until close to 2 years ago, it was always private, but then as I approached retirement and the plan for my new life began to unfold, I had a desire to share my thoughts, feelings and experiences, and this blog was born.  Fast forward to now, and I’ve posted about 200 blogs since I began.  I love sharing what I’m learning and feeling and seeing.

The first post was entered at the end of May, 2014, a little over 2 months before I planned to hit the road.  My retirement from nursing became effective August 1, and I rolled away from what had been my home on the morning of August 10.  There was a beautiful full moon that night at my first camp.

Joy and Shiloh are my much loved traveling companions.

IMG_5653

These are my sweet fur babies that are always by my side.  They are getting up in years and so where we go, what we do, and how much we do is all about them now.

My Casita is literally our ‘little house’.  Wandering Spirit is a 2011 Freedom Deluxe that I bought used in October of 2013.  It had seen little use, and came with goodies like solar on the roof, a Honda 2000 generator, a sound system, and some other nice mods done by the  original owners.  Since then I’ve had a few more mods done by Larry Gamble  (Little House Customs) and Konrad Szelock (Little House Customs Arizona),  and a lovely internet antenna my friend Joel (of Laura and Joel) created. (Affectionately called ‘the Joel Pole’).

I tow with a 2012 Ford F150 that I bought new.  It’s the 6 cylinder EcoBoost version, with the deluxe tow package.  It sees regular servicing but the only thing I’ve replaces are the tires.  It’s getting close to 50,000 miles on the odometer.  I’m totally happy with it.

I’m from California, but since I’m full-timing, home is where I park it.  My domicile is South Dakota.

IMG_5870

This is home right now.  Picacho Peak State Park, while the sun was setting last evening.  The whole sky turned pink and blue!

I love nature, and I am constantly amazed at the beauty I find….everywhere….just everywhere!  I can’t seem to get enough.

IMG_5873 More of last evenings sky!

The road has been winding and beautiful and there have been some bumps and even some boulders to work around, but we keep on rolling and I’m thankful for every morning that I wake up.  I’m enthralled by this wandering life!

So those are the basics!  I’m honored that you have chosen to ride along with Joy, Shiloh, and I!  I can’t wait to see what is around the next corner and over the next mountain!  It just doesn’t get old.

If you would like to introduce yourself, please just open up the comments section!

IMG_5789 Shiloh on the left, Joy on the right.

 

 

 

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34 Responses to Let Me Introduce Myself!

  1. Cyndee Cook says:

    I am happy to follow you now. I am also a nurse (RN) and plan to retire and full time rv at that time. So I am learning from all of you rv bloggers where I want to go and how to be successful at the rv lifestyle.

    • Hi Cyndee, it’s nice to meet you here! Nursing, though rewarding, can be stressful and dramatic…what a nice change you are in for when you retire and start full time RVing! I actually had to learn to relax….still learning. It’s an amazing life and I know it’s going to make you very happy. So glad you are along for the ride!

  2. Eileen says:

    Thanks for the intro and welcome note. I, too, am a retired RN. Although, I love nature, I choose a “boring” life in my little condo, located in a quiet 55+ Florida community, with my two rescued pets; a tri-colored elderly beagle and an 11-year-old black & white domestic (feral as a kitten) cat. Joy and Shiloh are absolutely beautiful. Although I’ve been enjoying Sue’s blog for a couple years, I’m not much of a writer, so I mostly read instead of write.

  3. Hi Eileen, so nice to have you here. Joy and Shiloh thank you for the compliment. 🐶🐶. I kinda doubt your life is boring with your furry family, but as a retired RN, ‘quiet’ can be such a GOOD thing, however you get it! Don’t get me wrong, I did love my job in the Family Birth Center, but I was greatly in need of a change, and so here I am.
    As long as you are enjoying your retirement, that’s what counts.
    I’m glad you are hitching a ride with Joy, Shiloh, and I, and maybe this blog will help you get your nature ‘fix’!

  4. Hi, I am glad RVSue ran into you! My wife retired in Dec after 30 years (Nursing). I have some time to go but we plan on going RV full time when the time comes. Thank you for sharing your travels with all of us.

  5. Hi Dan aka “Rusty Cutter”,
    Welcome to this blog, also welcome and a big congratulations to your wife on her retirement! I know that feeling and it’s waaay good!
    Of course, I think you made a great decision to go full time RVing in the future. 😊
    I’m sure you already know it’s never too soon to start preparing and learning. Time flies so before you know it you two will be on the road. While you get ready, I hope my blog will help you pass a little bit of that flying time!

  6. Alice says:

    Thank You for such a nice welcome note. Your fur babies are beautiful. I’m an retired as well from a utility company so I understand needing to learn to relax. I live in So. Fla. with a beagle (my sweet baby girl) and a Jack Russell (the baby of the family, only mentally). I don’t write much, mostly read. I guess I started to follow Sue’s blog a few months ago. I do have a 25′ class C but doubt that I’m going to be able to get on the road. I’m in a holding pattern at the moment. So I do enjoy reading the blogs.

    • Hi Alice, thank you for writing and introducing yourself. It’s good to know who is reading here! Welcome to you and your fur kids, and thank you for coming along for the ride. I hope this blog will help you in your de-stressing process. If you feel like reading and getting your mind off things, there are a lot of past posts here that you might want to visit.
      For now it may be good to know that your RV is there, waiting, in case your situation changes.

  7. Gail from Buckeye AZ says:

    Hi and thank you for the Welcome to all of us new readers. I love yours and Sues ability to be free and travel where and when you want. I wish so much I could live the life you both do but since that is not possible for me now I can at least live thru your adventures! Thank you so much for allowing me to tag along!

    • Hi Gail,
      Welcome and hey, I’m glad you have decided to tag along! It’s been a very interesting road so far, with lots of ups and downs, literally and figuratively. I’m thankful for the opportunity to be in this beautiful situation and am more than happy to share it with you.
      Hope you enjoy!

  8. Cindy in OR says:

    I’m happy to have found another blog by a woman wanderer with her dogs. I’m in my mid-50s and plan to fulltime similar to you and RVSue when I’m finally able to retire. I’ve yet to decide on my mode of transportation but already have the dog and will probably get more for the road!

    • Hi Cindy,
      I’m glad you are here and thank you for introducing yourself!
      It’s good that you have time to plan and learn. Deciding on a mode of transportation is a big deal. There are a lot of choices, and each one has its own advantages and drawbacks…yet there are none that are perfect…at least to my way of thinking. You’ll be able to do a lot of research before you make your decision.

      Glad you have your dog! So many people out here have pets. Mine don’t say much but they have a huge influence on our travels. It’s all about them, and I like it that way. 🐶🐶Welcome aboard!

  9. Reine in Plano says:

    Hi Micky. Glad you’re having fun with your fur babies and new readers. It’s great for folks to get different perspectives on full timing and even occasionally the perspective of those of us like Paul and I who are perfectly happy taking “trips” from a permanent home base. For those of your readers looking for different perspectives on full timing, another great blog is written by Becky Shade http://www.interstellarorchard.com . Becky is a 30ish single full timer who does a combination of work camping, writing and volunteering to enable her to live the lifestyle she wants.

    The common thread in all three blogs, yours, RVSue’s and Becky’s is that each of you identified what you wanted to do, researched what was necessary to make it happen and then took action to live the life you wanted to live. It didn’t happen overnight but the results have been worth it for all of you and provide interesting reading for the rest of us.

    • Hi Reine, good suggestion! I’ve been reading Becky for a long time and find her advice very practical and concise. I was able to meet her for a moment at the Fiberglass Rally in Quartzsite. ( Wish you had been there!). There were quite a few solo women there…we even had a little party at my house one night. 😀 Well, I mean outside my house….not a lot of room for partying in a Casita.

      I’m always happy when you step in with ideas and advice here Reine….you have lots of experience and you are sensible and practical, and that can be very helpful! Thank you.

      No, a big lifestyle change like full time RVing sure doesn’t happen quickly, it takes a lot of planning and thought and learning, but it can all be fun!

  10. I have been following you for sometime now. I live in SF Bay Area with my husband and blog about our RV adventures close to home. We have another 7-10 years before we retire. Once we do retire, we plan to travel around the US in our RV. I’m slowly learning about the West as I read many wonderful RVers’ blogs and taking notes of places that interest me. So for now, I’m waiting patiently for the day to travel across country to explore those sites of interest. Thanks for sharing your adventures!

    • Hi Monica, thank you for posting an introduction. Well, we were almost neighbors, I was from the Monterey Bay area. Love the California coast, especially the Big Sur area.
      At least when you start out on your longer travels you will have had a lot of good experience under your belt.
      I used to take notes about where to go also, and in fact I still do. Between Benchmark Maps, and reading blogs and the internet, we have a lot of advantages for learning how to do this. Not to mention cell phones and GPS.
      It’s good to have you here!

  11. Laura says:

    I love your blog – funny thing that even though we’ve been friends for years and lived fewer than 100 miles apart, I feel like I ‘talk’ to you more now that you’re on the road! Either you’re ‘talking’ to me through your blog, or we’re talking via phone to talk about your travels. Great fun for me, and Joel always enjoys hearing about the adventures of the Joel Pole! We are ALWAYS interested in reading about stuff you figure out as you travel, from water/power saving tips to how to find a vet to cool mods of Casitas and especially enjoy learning about how you cook…
    hugs love
    Laura

    • Hi Laura. Also it seems like we don’t see each other any less than we did before I left…and sometimes it seems like we see each other more! Hey and I’ve given you an excuse to have a couple of very weird adventures to add to your stash. 😊

      Thanks for giving me ideas about things to write about! Saving water and energy tips would be good to write about sometime soon.

      ‘…adventures of the Jole Pole.’ I love it!

  12. Hi, Micky! So glad to have ‘found’ you! I enjoy living vicariously thru you wayward travelers. My list of places to visit continues to grow upon ‘recommendations’ from folks like you and Sue! I am also a huge lover of the furry companions and was once an aunt to a golden retriever, Abby. Have always loved the big dogs best. Looking forward to getting to know you, Shiloh and Joy.

    • Hi Sandy, I’m glad that you found me too! Welcome, and I hope you enjoy the ride.
      Since you were an auntie, I’m sure you know how sweet and cuddly these Goldens can be. I’m with you on the big dog idea. I’ve always had big dogs…but I’ve never had this small of a home before. People often shake their heads in wonder when they see the three of us coming out the door!
      I’m glad to hear your list of places to visit is growing!

  13. I am also very glad to have your blog and will enjoy reading and learning all I can.
    My husband had a massive stroke 2 weeks after he retired at age 54. That was 7+ years ago. We have a Sportsmobile sprinter van that I take him fishing and camping with. We both enjoy getting out of the house, we travel with a service dog and a wheelchair. We have found several places close to camp and even made it to Yellowstone and Zion national park last year.

    Thank you for sharing your life and travels.

  14. Hi Shelly, you are so welcome here! Glad to have you and your husband along for the ride.
    What a path you have been on for the past 7+ years! Congratulations for getting out there, carrying on, and enjoying life, even in difficult circumstances. Your service dog must be a tremendous help to both of you.
    Thanks so much for introducing yourself here!

  15. Pat (Freespirit)-from Texas says:

    I think we may be kindred “spirits”, in that we seem to have a lot in common. I also love the spiritual aspect of being surrounded by nature. I used to get “my fixes” on a motorcycle, but will soon be acquiring my first RV and setting off full timing it! Both nature and highly emotional situations bring out the writer in me. I saw you on RVSue’s blog and decided I also wanted to read your blog, and can tell I won’t be sorry for that decision. Sure do love Joy and Shiloh…one of my favorite breeds. They are such loving babies.

  16. Hi Pat (Freespirit),
    I’m really glad you want to read this blog and ride along with us. Welcome! It does sound like we have a lot in common…reflected in our ‘spirit’ names. Its exciting to hear that you will soon be full timing! This lifestyle offers is so much of natures different kinds of beauty to take in, day by day. With wheels under us, we can roll to the places that make our hearts sing. Or…to the places where we won’t freeze or boil or blow away….whatever the case may be! Every day is a new miracle.
    Thank you for introducing yourself here. I’m looking forward to our ride together!

  17. Tina says:

    Thanks for the welcome, glad to have found your blog. I spent most of yesterday reading about your journey from the beginning to get up to speed. I’m always curious how someone starts on this path to the road and especially a solo women. I did a road trip by myself from CA to NM and people were so freaked out I was doing this alone. Wasn’t I worried? That just makes me laugh really. There are many nice people I’ve met in camp grounds. I live in Antioch out in the East Bay and am a vegetarian, I just love animals. Enjoy tagging along on your travels to see where you go to next, you are a very good writer and enjoy your thoughts and rambles 🙂

    Take care,

    Tina

  18. Lisa, Tommie and Buddy in SoFlo (for now) says:

    Hi from me to you,
    I am Lisa, currently in FL, preparing to hit the road in June. Oh geez, I hope my landlord doesn’t read this, haven’t told him yet, lol. I love your old beauties, gorgeous pups! I have a mixed crew, one 18 yo geriatric cat and a 4 yo young pup who is my service dog. We traveled for @ 6 weeks last fall, up the east coast and back to retrieve my Boler 1300. That’s a fiberglass molded trailer like your Casita, but much smaller. It fits us fine and I am looking forward to exploring the road ahead. I am also a retired RN, seems like you are attracting those!

    • Hi Lisa, along with Tommy and Buddy,
      Welcome to all three of you and thank you for coming along with us!

      You are getting ready and June will be here before you know it! So exciting, isn’t it? I’m remembering those days not long before I left my previous life…counting down the days. I even had a countdown app on my phone that reminded me how many days I had left. (Patty, who often comments here, was the one that gave me that idea:-).

      I don’t know, are they still making the Boler, or were you lucky enough to find a used one? I bet you are in the process of figuring out what goes where and dealing with the minimalist lifestyle at this point.

      Yes, there are lots of us baby-boomer retired RN’s out there it seems!

  19. Hi Tina, thank you for the compliments about the blog, and I’m so impressed that you went back and read most of it! Thank you for introducing yourself here.

    We all have our story…our reasons for deciding on this lifestyle, don’t we? How do we end up with this wandering spirit? I often think that frequently it can go back as far as childhood…who knows.
    Acting on it…now that’s a biggie. Not everyone can due to various limitations. If we can, and if we do…well, it becomes a life changing learning experience, that’s for sure!

    Solo women…I’m happy to say it’s becoming more ‘accepted’. People are often still surprised. People use the word ‘brave’ a lot. I don’t feel brave, I am just following my heart. I get scared sometimes, I sure do. But I get over it. It sure isn’t a reason to stop what I’m doing!

  20. AbelInAustin says:

    Loved all the comments and wonderful replies for this post. I haven’t commented in a while but, I’m still reading all the posts. The post when one of your pets was running with a coyote always comes to my mind. Must have been scary and I am glad it all turned out good.. Anyway I still enjoy reading your journey makes me want to start full timing sooner than the planned date.

    • Hi AbelInAustin, thank you for the kind comment! I’m glad you are still enjoying our journey.
      I can’t remember when you are going full time but I hope you don’t have long to wait…though preparation stage is good too…lots of planning and some dreaming. 🙂

      Yes! Scary is right, when Shiloh could have easily become dinner for Mr Coyote and his family! Close call, but yes, it turned out good when Shiloh turned away…for whatever reason. He never told me. That was out off Rockhouse Road near Borrego Springs, CA.

  21. einercnm says:

    I love reading about all the women who do live the travelife. it always sounds like a dream come true.New places making friends wherever you make camp. My daughter,Marilyn and I are getting the VW camper in shape and looking for a small trailer for the dogs (5) to sleep in. I wonder, do you think a GPS is important for travel,instead of maps? We are planning to stick to areas we know at first,just to see what works,and what doesn’t. it really helps to read what you experience and how you deal with it. I look for your blog every time I get a chance. I even go back and binge read the real “life on the road” by M . I hear Mick is going to Cuba, WOW! What a show that will be.

    • Hi Elinor,
      So the dogs will have their own bedroom, good idea! That’s thinking outside the box…or at least outside the VW camper. 😀
      I LOVE having the GPS! It has led me astray a couple of times, but 99% of the time it’s way helpful. Often I look at Google Maps on my IPad too, I compare routes, or if I’m confused on the GPS I might look at Google Maps to get the big picture. But I also have maps…the Benchmap Maps, which are really books, are great, especially if you are thinking of boondocking. They show where public land is located. They require a lot of studying though, and probably a magnifying glass!

      Stones have been in South America and Mexico too…they just keep on Rolling!

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