Journalling, trip reports, musings, consistency in writing; for years I have ‘tried’ and continually felt as though I was letting myself down. Not reaching my full potential. The weight of a calling set aside year after year. I’m done with it! I have something BIG inside me. It’s been there my whole life. Do I know entirely what it is? No. But am I ever going to be able to articulate whatever IT is if I don’t consistently practice? Also, no. So I’m done waiting until IT comes to me. I’m going for it! Here and now with this very blog, Truck Tales.
My name is Amanda and I have lived in a van with my dog Frank for nearly 6 years now. I’ve gazed upon many landscapes and felt many more forests. Days, weeks and even months spent getting to know a area with a fine tooth comb only to take off to somewhere far from familiar. It has been an absolutely beautiful way to live, while at the same time endlessly challenging. I can’t allow myself to get too comfortable in one place. If I do I begin to stagnate. But too much movement on the other hand is beyond stressful. With this journey I am searching for a balance between movement and stillness. Moving towards a destination far South from ‘home’ can I maintain a sense of belonging? Perhaps.
This blog chronicles the tales of travelling in Truck, the 1994 GMC Vandura I call home. I can’t stand up inside, and there is no pluming, heat, or electricity. As I write this the ground is covered in frost, my fingers are numb and I occasionally tremble with uncontrollable shivers. Frank slumbers away peacefully and we are content after a wholesome day of hiking and feel good human interaction. Unlike with writing where I’ve waited for IT to come to me I haven’t done the same with life in general.
I realized that my time and energy was spent making someone else life more comfortable and luxurious while I was just barely surviving. I was miserable and anxious, continually feeling like I needed to ‘do more’ while living an utterly uncertain life with no sense of security. The way I was choosing how to live my life was allowing others to eat at fancy restaurants, go on vacations (decisively pleural), and live what appeared to me to be a lavish lifestyle which I felt morally opposed to. My own time was being spent working against my greater good. I was always a paycheque away from going without food or being homeless. In this state how could anyone ever create a meaningful existence? And yes I know I was very lucky to only be a paycheque away from homelessness when compared to the millions of people who aren’t so lucky. But one doesn’t have to be at the absolute bottom of society to choose pulling themselves up over lifting those with more. So I chose less. Less of everything: work, responsibility, material possessions, comfort, predictability. I chose less because what I wanted most of all didn’t actually cost anything. Contentment, calmness, community, these were thing that only required time to grow. Time that I could have in plenty if I opted for less of everything else. And yes I also realize that I am still on the edge of being homeless and hungry, but I am getting ‘ahead’ in many more ways. The sense of security I am building is not based in finances, it’s based in myself.
So instead of waiting for on the path I was on to bring IT to me I made a deliberate choice to go for it. This lifestyle is not without challenges, but they are my challenges. I work through them to lift myself up. I accept the challenges because it is an act of choosing me. I face the discomforts of a simple life because it means that my comfort is truly my own. It cannot be taken away by those with more. My comfort lives within me.
So these Truck Tales that I’ve mentioned. They are my life as I feel called to share each day. Some days it will be stories about adventure, or a note on where I found wifi. I might feel inspired to describe a landscape or share the workings in my mind after days alone. I don’t know exactly. What I do know is that it will be a very public expression of what I want to remember when all is said and done, because I don’t remember well much of what I have experienced on this path so far. I will write about the details that make this experience memorable and not some sugar coated depiction of an envy inducing #vanlife fantasy. This is simply my reality. Each day continuing the practice of lifting myself, and each day practicing expression through written word. Many words, few words, take what you want and leave the rest. Read this only if it is enjoyable for you, if you find it interesting or inspiring, and it adds value to your life. If reading my tales makes you angry, envious or down then please don’t read them. Go find what will help you lift yourself up. In this life only you choose how you spend your time. If you choose to read my words, Thank you.
Thank you for reading this blog!
If you are interested in more updates I am on Facebook as ‘Tideline to Alpine Photography and Adventure’ and on Instagram @tidelinetoalpine. I also have a podcast about backpacking with dogs called ‘WALK 9 Radio’ which you can find on iTunes, Spotify and many more.