I came out here on this trip to transition from a worker person to a retired person. From someone with a Manhattan apartment full of stuff, to a person who lives and travels lighter in a 26 foot motor home.
This morning, as I made a batch of applesauce and got dressed to go hiking, I realized how silent it is here in Joshua Tree—the campground is nearly empty because of the weather, I suppose, and I’ve only heard a couple of birds. It is so quiet that when a fly buzzed around outside, I could hear it. Every time she flew back into my airspace, I heard it!
I saw my morning rabbit scurrying across the campsite—on his way to work, I guess. Then I thought, maybe he’s very late for a very important date, like the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. He wasn't hopping, he was running! And yeah, I feel like Alice when I stop to think about it. I’m so very small, and this land is so very large and strange—Joshua Trees are seriously straight out of a Dr. Seuss book! I need to follow a trail map and marked trails to find my way around, since I’m hopeless with a compass. It is truly wonderful to tramp along in the country where I’m lost all the time, relying on GPS, maps, and trail markings. This is all so very different from New York, where I’ve been in most neighborhoods, know all the highways, and know how to follow the street grid from wherever I am, to somewhere I know, and go from there, to where ever I’m headed.
This has been a great shifting of gears from my life of "out the door everyday by 6:30," to waking up when I wake up, and maybe putter around in PJs until nine or ten!
It did occur to me that transitioning back to Manhattan in August is likely to be complicated. Possibly quite difficult. But the wild card in the mix is that I’ll still be retired, and will be able to set my own schedule, and to leave the city whenever I want to. This full-time RV adventure will be over once I sell The Beast, but there are other ways to travel, and SO much to see and do in town. As my pal Linda and I used to say every Christmas season when NYC would fill up with cars sporting out-of-state plates, full of people sightseeing and shopping, “People pay good money to come here!”
Perhaps the trade offs will make sense in a little while--giving up these vast spaces, the silence, and the stars at night, for the nearness of my family and friends, the convenience of the subways and bus service, and all the opportunities to experience culture and the arts. I'll have to give it all a fair shake. Clearly, I won't know until I get there. Like so much else in this life.