I tried to avoid writing this blog.
The reason is twofold: one, I had told myself I was writing a series, and shouldn’t interrupt said series – but I’ll get back to that next week.
Two, I just didn’t really want to talk about the COVID-19 crisis that much. Truth be told, I wasn’t sure how to feel. I’m not sure Jeremiah feels the same way – he takes things in stride in every aspect of his life. Every aspect. When he can’t “fix” something, he lets it be. When he can fix it, he goes ahead and does just that.
But, I think I owe it to people who are considering traveling full-time to be honest with this blog. That’s one of the reasons I write this, so it seems a bit bullshitty to not write it.
So, how has the Corona virus affected our lifestyle?
In many ways.
And in other ways? Not so much.
I know, I know, it sounds wishy-washy. So, let me clarify how COVID-19 has affected our full-time RV living life. Ahem.
We decided about 8 weeks ago, when we got done with Mexico, that we would return to San Francisco – well, the bay area, at any rate, and we would hunker down for six months while Jeremiah started a new business. The reason he wanted to do it there is that there is a lot of opportunity for investors and the area is crawling with potential connections.
So, we arrived on a Saturday in March, actually speeding up how quickly we wanted to get there, and within minutes of us getting there, two of our best friends arrived. It felt right. For a moment, things felt like everything was going to be amazing, like it would be okay to be in the tightest RV park we’ve ever been in, again. The next day, we spent Sunday dinner with Risa’s folks, and instead of shaking hands or hugging, we bumped elbows. That felt strange, but acceptable.
By Monday, we were told to shelter in place, to not have contact with anyone, and that all non-essential work in the Bay area was closing up.
But we stayed. We stuck it out for six weeks, total, as the rain fell, and the RVs rotated, trying to leave spaces between each one for social distancing. It just wasn’t possible. Jeremiah wasn’t meeting with any investors, or making any possible connections, and we were paying about 1600 dollars a month to essentially live in a parking lot with hookups.
Two days before our 6 weeks was up, we’d already decided we’d leave that uncomfortably-close-to-other-RVers Fairground RV park. That’s when the police rolled in and the road crew.
Over a Wednesday evening, a crew set up signs and flags, road barriers and orange cones, and signs directing us to the exit…all right outside the only entrance to the RV park. Yep. They were setting up COVID-19 testing in the fairgrounds, with no notice to any of the people staying in the RV park. I don’t blame them for using the fairgrounds. It’s absolutely an ideal place to do drive-through testing. What I did not understand was not alerting the people staying in the RV park earlier. On Saturday morning, as we were packing up our rig to get the heck out of dodge, a volunteer came over and forgot all about social distancing to directly hand me information about COVID-19-testing.
We headed North, found a casino that was closed but allowed RVs to stay there for a reduced rate, cash only, with full hookups. We stayed and were able to walk around without seeing many other people. It almost felt normal. After two days, we decided to go where we had initially wanted to: BLM land, to boondock. To wait this out.
But here’s the thing: even parts of BLM land in California have been closed. (If you’re unfamiliar with BLM land, it stands for the Bureau of Land Management and it allows for people like us to camp on specific areas of land without hookups or campsites.) Here’s a second issue: all state parks are closed in California. And, finally, no RV parks are allowed to accept new “residents” to their parks during this time in California. The conjecture is that the Casino was allowed to let us stay because it was on tribal land, but there weren’t any others open along the way. We didn’t have many options.
So, yes, COVID-19 has affected us.
We drove on, stayed at a truck stop right beside Mount Shasta, and then kept driving.
We’re now in an RV park in Oregon, in Sutherlin. There are deer outside our window often, turkeys that look like they take steroids, and dozens of rabbits the size of a Nissan Altima. We sure didn’t think we’d be here in Oregon so soon, but we figure we’ll mosey on up to Jeremiah’s parent’s plot of land, dump some of our stuff in storage (we really abhor a chair we have but it matches the rest of the RV) and figure out what to do from there.
Oh, and the RV park? It’s 130 bucks a week, just a smidge less than the parking lot we were residing in when we were in the Bay area.
Traveling full time is not always easy. These past six weeks have made me question a lot of choices. I started to doubt everything about this journey. It’s not the first time. It won’t be the last.
Today though, I lamented a bag of half-eaten bean sprouts that had gone to waste. That’s when Jeremiah said something that I took to heart. “We waste so much less food than we ever did two years ago. We’re better people in general.”
And it made me stop and realize that this journey of full-time RVing has changed us. Maybe we’re not the best versions of ourselves we can be, yet, but we’re improving. And we’re making the most of this life, even during the shittiest of times. And yes, I think it’s pretty shitty times, but it’s going to be okay. We’re going to keep on RVing, at least….for now.