June 28, 2017

Minimalism of Travel

From mid-June to mid-July, this is our home.
The picturesque Village Camper Inn in Crescent City, CA is tucked away in the sky-high pines and redwoods and is surrounded by the echos of birds by day and the foghorn from the lighthouse at night. It's beautifully peaceful here, with only the faint buzz of a chainsaw off in the distance from time to time. In the front half of the park are spaces for tents and RVs staying for shorter stays, along with the laundry and bathrooms.

We're staying in the back of the park with the monthly renters, among a wide array of RVs, mostly towables. There are a couple of "Tiny Homes", a mobile home, and a couple of structures that I couldn't even classify. Some of these homes appear to be built by hand, right here on the property. Each space is kept clean, well appointed and nicely cared for.

From the window of our toy hauler I can see our neighbors are quite busy today. This older couple is going in and out of their RV, toting bins, laundry, and grocery bags. I'm rather impressed with their industrious nature.

Dean is hard at work today.
The folks beside us have a 30' fifth wheel with a slide out. It appears they've lived here for quite some time, because they are quite dug in. They have a shed full of tools, a workbench, a chest freezer and a wishing well outside their RV. They also have a paved sidewalk, custom redwood steps to their front door and some beautiful plants, including a gorgeous hydrangea. Even though their space is narrow they have cut away some of the forest behind their rig to store even more items.

Our neighbors have quite the set-up, including the most beautiful hydrangeas I've ever seen.
We've enjoyed our stay here. We have hiked a little, spent time on the beach, enjoyed coffee shops, the local brewery and even had Thai food delivered to the bar. There's good riding here, along the coast and into the twisty, mountain roads. It's quiet in Crescent City, especially at night when the last of the open businesses close at 10 pm.

I can see how easy it would be to settle in here for a long time. And whenever one settles in, one accumulates.

I'm very tactile, so I tend to accumulate things that feel good to the touch. I love fine china, real furs, soft blankets, beautiful jewelry, bulky sweaters, etc. I'm learning to appreciate things without owning or keeping them, which has helped me embrace minimalism. And in minimalism I'm finding more freedom.

Certainly, seeing the panicked look on Steve's face each time I bring anything into the RV reminds me to keep things to a minimum. Steve has a terrible aversion to "stuff". His ex-wife is a hoarder and when he left that marriage he was determined to live with less. When we began living as vagabonds I began to see the benefits of minimalism. The less I had, the less I had to worry about.

I love this teapot not just because I drink tea everyday, but because it was such a thoughtful gift from my Mom.
Still, I have things I want to keep with me. My English teapot of bone china was a birthday gift from my mother in my early twenties. I missed having it when we were vagabonding by motorcycle, so it's been nice having it with me in the RV. But when I dropped the lid and chipped it last week it made me a little sad. It had been pristine up until that time, but now I'm left to wonder how long before it will fall and shatter.

I'm still attached to certain things, I suppose. I believe most of us are attached to a few things. If you're like me the thing you treasure reminds you of a special person or time. It's often not the thing that you value, but the feeling associated with it.

As we embark on our RV-vagabond adventure, minimalism is constantly in the forefront of our minds. We're still determining what we need and eliminating things we thought we would need and don't. We're also finding we don't have everything we need, such as a chair for my workspace, an outside WiFi antennae, and wheel chocks for our motorcycles. (At this point each bike has fallen over once, regardless of being strapped down snugly.) The balance is a difficult one and something we must remain mindful of.

As I watch my neighbors spend the entire morning moving stuff around, I'm grateful I don't have those types of things to worry about now. I have almost as few things now as I did when I first moved out of my Mom's home in 1983, when I packed everything I had into my Chevy Vega Station Wagon. I spent my life accumulating, hoping to find something I was missing, only to be left more empty than ever before. Now that I have less, I have found simplicity and peace and I've never been happier.

We're on another Road Pickle! We hope to find great breweries, tacos, steak and biscuits with gravy, as well as some roadside oddities along the way. If you don't want to miss a thing, join us by subscribing to our vlog on YouTube. I PROMISE you'll see some cool stuff!

And don't forget about my book, Rude Biker Chick, Lessons From My Daddy. Click below for more information.



  1. Sometimes less can be more. It looks like you found a nice park to stay at for a while.

  2. I lived in a tiny space many years ago, it was a floathome, we were conscious of weight and tried not to accumulate stuff, but when you live in one place for awhile it just sort of happens. My goal is to declutter and think about changes in lifestyle. I'm tired of stuff, which in the end doesn't mean much at all. Living tiny is about give and take, keep the few precious things and get rid of the rest. Now I just need to get back in that habit. Getting back to basics & keep it simple. It will fall into place as you go.

    1. I love it more everyday. Sometimes when we accumulate we need those wake up calls to purge. This was one of them.

  3. Where eill your next Adventure take you? Eill it be hard to leave Cresent City? It sounds so peaceful, cool, and nice people...

    1. You know Ladybug, it's a beautiful place! The sun is shining so brightly here today! Most days it starts out cold and foggy and some days it never gets warm. But I love the weather.
      I think we're heading south after this.

  4. I understand the need of owning less, and get rid of unnecessary stuff, but please do hold on to that teapot. It's beautiful. I got a similar one from my mom when I moved away from home, and it has survived twelve moves since...

    1. SonjaM, that teapot isn't going anywhere. I love it too much. I used it every day for the last two weeks. Yup! It's a favorite.
      And that's the measure of what's staying and what's going; how much I love it, use it, or need it in my life. If it doesn't meet that criteria, it's going.

  5. I went minimalist about 11 years ago, lived in my camp trailer for 3 years with just the boys (dogs) and loved it. Now the boys have passed, I got married and have a house again. While still very much living as minimal as possible; I have more things, but as you only ones I use.

    For you, a teapot, for others it's a garage full of crap and a storage unit they never visit....I think you're winning !

    Enjoy life!



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