“In a VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER!” –Merry Christmas 2010
Ah the days of the stellar SNL cast, with Chris Farley as the motivational speaker, Matt Foley. The phrase echoed through the classroom and my circle of friends, “I live in a van…DOWN BY THE RIVER!” The ultimate phrase of failure.
Well, it’s a car not a van, and it isn’t always the river we live by. It could be the wild west coast, a calm sandfly free haven on the southern shore, the magical valleys of Fjiorland or it could be a small brown patch of land just outside town with some permanent caravan inhabitants. Living out of a car isn’t always glamorous, but it’s definitely not the failure of this classic SNL skit. It can be tiring being on the move, packing and unpacking every day or so– setting up camp, trying to find where you packed the bread last night. But the freedom that mobility brings is a wonderful reward. With no confines of a 2 week vacation schedule you can follow the weather or your whims to your next destination. You can take every interesting side trip, turn down that gravel road or seek refuge in the local backpackers while you wait for the clouds to clear before climbing that summit. We aren’t climbing the corporate ladder, and our real estate has 4 wheels and a shattered window. But we are adding important experiences to the résumé of life, and our possessions are rich with friends and memories.
We consider ourselves very fortunate this holiday season, and are lucky to have met a generous local on the West Coast who has given us her home to use for a month. It will be nice to not live out of our bags for a while. It will be nice to cook up some good meals without having to stress about whether the next hosteler is waiting for the pan. And it will be great to spend Christmas with our new friends, our surrogate family, as we are thinking of our families and friends back home.
Merry Christmas to all of our new friends, our families and friends back home. We miss you and will be thinking of you this season.