After a recent desert rainstorm with severe wind gusts, I woke in the morning to the screen shelter blown completely over … and it had taken out my entire kitchen. The stove, tables, utensils, every single fork, spoon, and spray bottle was on the ground, covered with wet desert dirt. In two years on the road, and the third season on the desert, this was a first. I wish I’d taken a picture, but I was in such shock I didn’t think of it.
So today, sitting here in my mini- van, to say I’m miserable would be an understatement. It’s been another rainy cold winter on the Sonoran Desert, much different than the much warmer first winter I was here. Weeks after the kitchen incident, it’s cold, wet, rainy and damp 53 degrees. The lows at night are starting to dip into the 40s and 30’s. Blah.
As the frigid days hang on, it starts to wear on me, body and soul. The cold and the dampness throw me into an autoimmune flare … which slows me down in mind and body, and makes me more emotional than usual. I grumble about leaving the cold and damp of NY state thinking I would be better off in nice, warm, sunny Arizona. Hhmmmph.
I’ve talked about the emotional toolbox we need to be a successful nomad in my book, Wild Women On The Road: A Women’s Guide To Nomadic Freedom In The Modern Age, and lately I’m definitely having to reach deep in the toolbox. This way of life ain’t for sissies! (Telesha, Mary Ellen. Wild Women On The Road: A Women’s Guide To Nomadic Freedom In The Modern Age (p. 126). Kindle Edition. )
My Emotional Toolbox Contains:
PERSONAL FAITH (NON-RELIGIOUS)
(If you’re thinking of becoming a nomad, or just making major life-changes, set aside a few minutes to take inventory of your own “Emotional Toolbox,” containing your own personal strengths.)
Right now, optimism is surely the most challenging thing to keep going. I just want to complain!
While I do get to bitchin’ on the cold rainy windy days out in the Southwest, it helps keep it all in perspective when I think of the sub-zero weather on it’s way to my old stomping ground in upstate NY. Cold rainy days in the Southwestern desert still beats freezing rain, temps in the negative, and vehicles buried in snow!
Besides the weather, there are other not so fun things that come along in a nomad’s day, for instance, loud neighbors … or nosy know-it alls butting into your business. … out of control dogs… or creepy guys. Putting up with not so courteous nomads is probably a close second to weather ruining my day.
Other things that would be easy to complain about are the critters, mice in the engine, having to find a shower, bathroom snafus, no running water, cooking outside, no oven, budgeting.
Do I Think About Moving Back Into A “Stick and Brick? (A regular house)
I have to admit when these times come along I do fantasize about thermostats, climate control and hot showers on demand.
When I think of my disabled self just sitting around behind four walls, not having money to travel and barely paying my utility bills every month, it infuses me with the courage, persistence, optimism and stubbornness needed to keep living this rich nomadic life filled with experiences, both good and bad.
Like everything in life, living as a nomad is a yin and yang thing. Good/bad, light/dark, rain/sun. Good people, shitty people.
The rainy days will always be followed by bright, bone warming sunshine, the dogs will eventually stop barking, peace will ensue.
I get to experience these deep cycles of yin and yang on the road. When the days are good, nothing can compare. I relish standing outside in my kitchen cooking a simple meal, as the sun and clouds and moon, the trees, the birds, even the ants, join me in my life. I soak my soul in the desert sunsets almost every day, and count myself beyond lucky to have a soulful, loving partner to share them with.
After a recent bitch session with my partner Nancy she put it all in a nutshell for us, optimistically saying, “We’re nomads, We can do it!”