Hoo boy it was a long winter. My attention wandered elsewhere as I waited for temperatures in my region to reach good camping levels. And now, of course, it’s almost too hot during the days. High desert living!
I had a slight meltdown the other day and said to my husband something along the lines of…I spent all this time and money getting the van, getting the stuff, researching, dreaming, and I’ve camped like four nights! I keep finding excuses to not go out, and I know that it’s about fear. I have a whole litany of what-ifs and “reasons” that keep me at home and my van parked in the condo parking lot.
- I’m overwhelmed by work (I am a freelancer but deadlines are real)
- My van is about at 85k miles and “everyone on the internet” says everything is about to break or fall off
- What if I get a flat
- What if the transmission goes out while I’m chugging up a mountain and I lose control and the van rolls down the mountain and bursts into flames
- What if I’m really cold at night (I camped out in October somewhere in Nevada on my way to CA and it was 24 at night and I did not plan for that and thought I was going to die haha haaaaaa ugh)
- What if my check engine light comes on again* and it’s an expensive repair
- What if my insulin freezes or overheats and spoils and doesn’t work and I go into diabetic ketoacidosis? (I am a type 1 diabetic, and that night in Nevada I slept with my bag of insulin stuff in the sleeping bag with me so it wouldn’t freeze)
- I should probably just sell it while it still has value and pretend none of this ever happened and I have no dreams, why want things, I’ll never be able to do this, etc.
I did not realize how scared I am to take risks and try new things until I started dreaming about the van thing. During the phase of “watch all the youtube videos and buy all the things and get all the apps”, everything felt positive, like I was doing something.
But now, I have the stuff, the season is right, and it’s time to fish or cut bait.
As my first baby step of the season, I have booked two nights next week at a KOA just barely a couple of hours outside the city where I live. I mean, it’s a KOA. It’s not like I’m back-country boondocking. I just want to refine my bins of van stuff, get all my equipment out, use it, sleep in the van (or in my tent on a cot–I will always carry this alternate setup with me), just kind of dip my toe in.
Even if the whole rest of my life I only camp at KOAs and similar, that’s still something! I may never boondock or go on months-long adventures or get the RV of my dreams. But I can do what I can do. And there are certain concrete steps I can take–like move my insulin prescription to a chain pharmacy like Walgreens or Wal-Mart so it’s in their system wherever I go, and keep my van loaded for the season with my bins of equipment so I don’t have to think about packing and unpacking every time I get a surge of can-do energy.
So, happy camping season to me and to everyone out there who might be dealing with their own fears and what-ifs.
*This is apparently a thing with my year and model of vehicle, that has to do with the electrical system and rarely an actual problem. But every time it comes on I want to cry.