It’s been a few months now and it about time I put into writing what we are doing… Put simply we are finding our own way. I feel like I haven’t been able to write this because I didn’t really understand what I was doing to this point, though I may still have no idea. That being said we are roaming because it seems like a good idea, and in this country, it’s because we can. Never before have I questioned a dream or a path that has been laid before me and I won’t begin now. 6 years ago I found a Toyota Dolphin online. It was just a picture of an old motor home but it instantly grabbed me. I can’t explain it but I could close my eyes and picture so many different scenes and landscapes through its windshield. The more pictures I found the more the excitement grew in my heart and in my head. That night I couldn’t think of anything but the road. You hear that word so many times in books and songs… the road. What is this road and why is it so popular. I had spent some time discovering the meaning of words like travel and missions and adventure but I hadn’t even dabbled in this world that had been so regarded and so commemorated over the years. The road. That night I was looking for a way to accomplish what little of my goal I could see at that point. How do I get on the road?
My parents had a motor home pretty much my whole life. If we weren’t taking our family vacations in a motor home it was years earlier and we were in a tent trailer. I was too young to remember the intricate details but I remember enough to put a picture in my head. When you’re a kid you never think about the cost of things and you never consider what it would actually take to own the things that your parents had. When you get older this illusion of just having soon dissipates. I would say this version of life faded slower for me than most. I have been blessed to go through hard times with my family but the crispest memories are that of plenty. This bled into my adult life and to be honest the residue is still lingering on my life as we speak. My family has always been my backbone and they continue to supply me with endless gifts that make my life better, be it videos and pictures of home or the boots I currently wear that keep my feet warm and dry. But this motorhome my parents had was expensive and the one they currently have, even more so. So I have this urge but how. Toyota made this little baby motorhome back when I was 2 years old that was 21 feet long and had an engine you couldn’t kill. Originally this RV cost its owner more than the $4500 we paid for her but I found this price point and that is when my interest went through the roof. That night I felt like this was real and obtainable; my dream was not too far fetched. After that night I had to drive my friends crazy with all my adventures that I had not even embarked on. Just the possibilities felt so real I could touch them. I started enrolling co-pilots and caravan partners and telling them of all the things we could see and experience. Well if you ever have known me I am a dreamer. This was probably not the first time these same friends had heard a passionate proposal of such crazy dreams and I don’t think many of them took me seriously, I know I would have probably taken it with a grain of salt… But I kept telling everyone. I told my roommates and my ex-girlfriend. I met my wife and I told her that I was going to be taking off in a motor home with no destination to explore the world that is America. We moved to Kauai and I told everyone so mater-of-factly that I was going to move home and buy my motor home and get on the road to adventure. I moved home from Kauai to California and told the same story. I got married and moved to Tucson and let everyone know my plans and adventures to come. I did this everywhere I went but less frequent and less passionate with each move and year that passed but if you talked to me long enough it would come out. Then I was directionless. For me this is always just a temporary lull before something else comes along but this time was different. Me and my beautiful wife Juli had moved back to California from Kauai for a second time after our stay in Tucson. We had moved into my Parents 30 or 40 something foot motor home at the bottom of their property and Jules transferred jobs so she had the one car we had and work and I didn’t have anything. At first this was the best thing. I had all the time in the world to be with my family and friends in my hometown that I love so much and it was truly pleasant. I worked with my brother and worked with my dad in the woodshop and projects around the house. I would be able to push off any sinking feeling of no direction and no future plans with nights at my friends or dinners with the Folks(my parents). But a couple months went by and I just couldn’t really do it anymore. I had some hard times. I sent my resume to a thousand places to no avail. I couldn’t find the next step. It was a strange feeling. Me and Juli have a name for the time right before something big happens. We have a name for that feeling of excitement and anxiety and fear and joy all mixed into one. We call it the Limbo Phase. It’s like when the ocean pulls back its expended white water from the shore to aid in the creation of the next thunderous crashing wave. This wave wouldn’t come. I felt like I was being drawn back with no release. But God has a plan and you’re screwed if you think you know His timing. And then when you think it won’t happen, Whoosh!
Juli helped me rediscover my dream that I couldn’t stop talking about when we met. I think she saw that I needed something. It’s a wife thing I don’t try to understand. We started looking at these little motor homes that had the bulletproof little 4 cylinder motor in them; we started looking, once again, at Toyota Dolphins. She searched and she searched and she called and she looked and talked and emailed. Now here is a little side note about my wife. My wife is the most amazing person to put on any sort of project. If you stand in her way you are a brave soul but mostly an idiot. When she puts her mind to something there is no other option other than accomplishing that particular goal. My wife is also an enabler. That word but with a different context than the usual negative “she won’t leave the abusive home” kind of meaning. She will stop at nothing to make sure my dreams come true. She enables me to have the dreams to talk about but also the deeds to give my words some validity. She wants to adventure. She wants to explore and experience and she trusts me, but more importantly she trusts God. Her whole life she has stoked the flames that forged my dreams and encouraged me simply by taking my word as eventual truth. Not here and now but one day what this man says needs to come true. No question. Makes no sense to me but thank God she is like that cause I have a hard time pulling down my visions from the clouds and actually putting them into place. Something she excels at. I can honestly say any dream that has come true for me has been a compilation of many helping hands along the way. But back to the motor home. She found a Dolphin up in Lake Arrowhead where both of us grew up about 10 minutes from her dad’s house. We went up there with the highest hopes that were shattered the instant the owner of the vehicle walked out the door. I looked at Jules and she whispered to me that she recognized her as the crazy lady from the mountains… Not a good start. The motor home was wrecked. Holes in the floor kinda wrecked. Bad. Our hears just sank. I was so sad. It seemed so real. It was there and then it just wasn’t. Not today. But the dream lived on in my wife’s determined mind. She searched and searched. It was actually my brother in law that accidentally found us our lil vessel. Bryan lives on craigslist when he has the time and so happened to find a Dolphin in Chula Vista. I looked at the ad and it looked perfect. The interior looked clean and the motor only had 66 thousand miles on it, but one thing, it was like 3 grand out of our price range. I just sat there and looked. I showed my friends. I showed my parents and I was just sad. It was just gonna pass by without us being able to do anything about it. 2 grand came in the mail about 2 days after I had forgotten about the Dolphin. My grandparents had been investing since I was a kid in some stocks somewhere with my name on it and so chose this time to close em out and send me the money. My small company had a payout. My wife had been saving some here and there. And Whoosh! Destiny was born. The sea had released me and it all came true. The exact one from the picture I pestered all my friends with I owned. My stories of grandeur and adventure now had a catalyst.
Now we are here 35 weeks later on the road. No fridge. No running water. No shower. Hunkering down and waiting out the weather in Walmart parking lots. Turning the car on so the heater will work. Running around with cups and towels catching leaks. Watching snow fall right on the day that we are trying to leave for our next destination after 4 days of delay. But it makes sense now. You cant really understand the full depth of a dream until it is reality. The warm fuzzy glow and the soft blur effects go and you are left with raw real you and your dream. You find yourself asking is this your dream?! See this has taught us something already that we can’t help but get better at from here on out. We have learned resilience. Nothing goes as you foresee it. That was a big problem for us at first. Trouble at every turn. Frustration at every bend. Dreams aren’t real. But they can be if you don’t expect the warm fuzzy soft glow. So we have an Ice Box that we fill up every couple days. We go buy a couple gallons of water to keep on hand for dishes and such. So we have to find friends and network with the people and love on people who happen to have a hot shower or if you are feeling antisocial pay for one at a truck stop. So you spend a couple days chasing leaks and you cant leave when you want to. No matter to us. This has evolved. This has changed us. We stare at each other every day with nowhere else to look but we never fight. We find problem after problem but we don’t fret. When one of us can’t muster up a laugh, the other does something stupid and embarrassing just to crack a smile. We have evolved. We can’t get down because everyone wants us to win. Everyone is on our team it seems. All the strangers we have met want nothing more than to see us succeed. We have people whose name we don’t even know bring us food or want to have us over for pie or drinks. We have impromptu jam sessions with some right brainers. And we have lectures with left brainers. We get to hear about “back in the day” and “When I was young.”
We just started. So much to see so much to do.
So we wander because we can. Because others kindness allows it. Because in this ever changing country it is still possible to throw caution to the wind and go. Because we truly believe that there is something better out there even if it is just “out” itself. Because there sometimes just isn’t a notch that is the right shape for us quite yet. Because this country is too beautiful and needs to be seen and shared and written and shown. Because this dream has come upon us and who are we to say no. Because freedom to us is exploring and adventuring wherever we see fit. Because I can’t watch another documentary on the many facets of this country and not see it for myself. Because there is snow falling and leaves changing. Because there are waves crashing and mountains pointing. Because you are either staring at your screensaver wishing you were there, or… you’re there. Because sometimes thinking backwards IS thinking forwards. Because this is our way and this is our home. Because me and Jules have a story to write. So find us and talk to us. Let us hear your stories and we will share ours. Let’s find the one thing that makes us all the same. Humanity. Let’s dream dreams and find answers. Shoot let’s find questions too. Until then, Happy Trails. God Bless us all.