For most of the year we stay in hotels, and as you can imagine, staying in a hotel is a rather grand way to live. It's everything you want, really. Free breakfast, maid service, clean sheets, and all the amenities. If we don't like something, we call the front desk and it's fixed, immediately. If I want something special, most hotels are happy to oblige. Since we use our rewards club membership, we've reached Gold Status, and nearly Platinum this year (we would be at Platinum, but we switched hotel chains mid-season). And as one would expect, Gold Status truly does get one the a nicer level of treatment and accommodations. I haven't become bored with living this way, actually, quite the contrary. I'm terribly spoiled at this point, as is my husband.
We've nearly forgotten what it's like to mow a lawn, clean a bathtub, or wash our own sheets. We don't pay our bills because we have a bookkeeper that takes care of that. It helps that we have very few bills, which is a byproduct of living on the road. One simply doesn't accumulate debt and things while living this way. The hotel has it all, so we get one bill for not only our stay, but utilities, internet access, etc. Less to maintain, less to manage, less reality we need to be concerned with.
This lifestyle has given us a great many hours to devote to the things we want to spend our time doing. We work many hours. We ride for a few days in a stretch. We go to the gym, count our calories, find nice restaurants and bars, socialize, and explore. We think, simply look inward and think, about our lives, our pasts, our hopes, our feelings, and ponder the things which interest us. We discuss politics, religion, society and human behavior with one another, and others we meet. We look at maps and dream of places we want to travel to, read blogs that other riders write and add things to our "Maybe Someday" lists.
Nothing is etched in stone. Nothing binds us to any person, place or thing. We aren't really bound to one another. Each day we choose to spend this day with each other, or apart. We spend most of our time in the moment, dealing with the things that our at our fingertips, things that concern us right now, and we often forget about some of our responsibilities. This is why we have a bookkeeper/office manager and lists of things we need to do.
If we didn't run a business, we possibly would go completely off the radar, disappearing completely, and wander off down some dusty trail, never to be seen or heard from again. Both Steve and I crave independence, a lack of obligation, a lack of responsibility, and a complete absence of reality.
Because it's a wonderful way to live.
I'm not ashamed and I make no excuses for this. Being responsible for only myself this last year has been incredible. This trip that was supposed to last only 6 months has now turned into a permanent lifestyle; well, as permanent as we get. As long as we can sustain this way of traveling and living, this is the way I want to be. This motorcycle trip has opened my eyes into a hidden world that lies somewhere within the fringe of our society, a sliver of reality in which there is no future, nor past, but only the moment. It's delicious and savory, and I want to remain here.
I'm not afraid anymore. I'm not worried about tomorrow, the government, my retirement, Ebola, my heart condition, or my finances. I'm convinced that I can handle whatever comes along. This is the freedom I sought, but had no idea it was so easily attained. When I stopped caring about my things, what others thought of me, and all of the things I can't control, suddenly life became colorful and sensational. Every day has a multitude of gifts, all mine for the taking, if I can appreciate them as they come! How can life get any better than this?
In the meantime, we still run our business, which we enjoy doing. I'm not complaining, not at all! We are so fortunate to be able to do the kind of work we like doing in the field we love. Certainly I could use a few more advertisers for our websites, so if you have a motorcycle business and want to be seen by thousands of readers each month, just contact me! How many people have been lucky enough to put the things they love doing (writing, riding motorcycles, eating good food, photography, social media, and advertising sales) and earn enough money to support their dream lifestyle? Believe me, I am thankful everyday!
As writers, I imagine Steve and I will always write. I've been writing since I was 13 years old, so I can't imagine a life without it. Steve has spent his life in a number of creative fields; music, art and now web development and writing, which he loves more than anything he's ever done. Even if we had a million dollars, we would still write the blogs.
For now, we rent our reality, as very little in our lives is permanent. We stay grounded just enough to stay connected to society without becoming indebted or obligated to anyone. My daughter has some difficulty with this, but she's trying very hard to understand and be independent. I feel free on my motorcycle, but even more so when everything I need is on that motorcycle with me, and I know that no matter what crossroads I come to, I can go wherever the wind takes me, renting just a little reality when I arrive.
I used to believe if I had more things, more money, more, more, more, I would be free. I've learned it is all quite the contrary. Eventually, it all becomes so much to carry. The less I have, the freer I am. I already have all I need and the less I have, the less I want.