Goodbye Lucy, See you Later, Van Life

The deal is done. Lucy the Van is moving to Montana, and will be home to a young woman who plans to spend some time as a full time van lifer, and then who knows what her next will be. Thanks to Van Life Trader, a website that worked really well for selling in this niche market.

I’m very happy that Lucy is going to get used and that her new owner is excited, ready and able to hit the road. At the same time, I’m really sad that van life and travel is a part of my dream that is on hold for now. On one level, I completely understand the circumstances (BA’s health, difficulties with travel and being on her own at home for extended times is just not going to work). There’s a lot of acceptance on my part that this is how it is.

And the grief is real. I love to travel, and my hope for retirement was to be a traveler, not a tourist, exploring the world. My fantasy was to spend at least 6 months of each year traveling, sometimes in the van, cruising North America, exploring places I’d never seen or only touched upon superficially. No schedule, no itinerary, simply going from place to place and seeing what happened. The other part of this equation is international travel, again, exploring in depth, allowing myself the time and space to learn different parts of this amazing planet of ours. And, at least for now, the pause button is firmly engaged.

I’ve longed to travel most of my life. We did travel with my family when I was a child, although as an introverted eldest child of four, the crowd and noise of family trips, whether in a car or tent or single motel room for the six of us was hard on my nervous system. My preference is to take my time and not be beholden to others schedules. Over the years, BA and I have done a number of trips, generally on our own domestically and with small groups internationally. They’ve all been interesting and useful, and its become more clear to me that my preference is for increased independence of itinerary, perhaps joining groups from time to time for the educational and access components of a journey, and at other times, exploring on my own. Slow Travel, please.

For now, it’s really slow travel, departure times TPD. Yet another reminder that I personally am in charge of very little, and mostly of how it respond. Interesting emotional surfing for me, and not the journey I’d imagined.

Safe travels to Lucy and her new people, and interesting travels to us all.

4 thoughts on “Goodbye Lucy, See you Later, Van Life

  1. Ah, so sad that your dreams have been curtailed. I loved our van life traveling to shows for 13 years. And my single van life for six years before that, but on short trips. As soon as you can, do live out those dreams, Steph. I, too, loved the un-overly-scheduled meanders the best.

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  2. I know what it is like to have to accept when our realities and dreams collide. It’s not easy, but we make the best of it. I, like you, prefer to travel and explore on my own schedule. I hope you will still find those moments.

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  3. Good to see you here again, even under the circumstances! I have been wondering how you are doing. I have had some wonderful times traveling on my own, joining groups for a day tour for orientation, or for transportation from one place to another. Combined with a few days to explore at my own pace, this has been my favorite way to travel, staying with a tour group only when it was the only way to explore. The pandemic and a year of chemo and radiation have ended that, although I still hope to get out and see more of the world (or at least more of this country). I hope there will come a time when you can comfortably enjoy leisure travel.

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  4. Goethe wrote about “renunciation” and that made no sense to me. For a long time I couldn’t understand what he meant. At a certain point in his life he was desperate to make a second trip to Italy. When he got to Switzerland, he got word that his closest friend — Friedrich Schiller — was sick and likely to die. He had a “dark night of the soul” knowing that he would not have another chance to go to Italy. That was THE moment. He turned back.

    Now I understand very very well. My obstacles are money and, to a lesser extent, maybe, I don’t have the legs I used to have. I feel fortunate to live in a place I don’t know well, so my life is continual discovery. At the moment there is no where I want to go more than I want to be here. That could change if the first obstacle changes (ha ha).

    Your style of travel sounds very much like mine, on my own and accepting the possibility that things won’t work out as I planned (because they never do). And you are right; we aren’t even in control of our dreams. ❤️

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