We hope you enjoy The Journey into nature. Fair Winds and Happy Travels!
.V.. (Peace) & Love,
We hope you enjoy The Journey into nature. Fair Winds and Happy Travels!
.V.. (Peace) & Love,
Like so many folks nowadays, I find myself longing to spread my wings and fly out into a vast world of discovery and adventure. In my own reality, I’ve been a nomadic spirit for as long as I can remember, so it’s nothing new to me.
Back when I was young, before school-age, I would pretend I was trekking through a jungle with the natives of some far-away land. I loved to climb trees, swing upside down, swim, flip and dive…forwards and backwards, from any high-dive I encountered. I look back on that little girl with the adventurous spirit, and I can see where she has been lost many times along the way of this journey that is my life.
Even now…as I sit writing this, I long to jump in my old VW ‘Adventure’ Van, and bump on down the road a-piece…to where ever we choose to set-up camp for the night…a week…a month. The only thing keeping us rooted here–like the papaya tree in my garden–is our lack of financial freedom. We’re working on it, but we’re not there…yet! : /
Like the tropical beauty of that papaya tree–which must’ve been a gift from Mother Earth, since I cannot take credit for its sowing–spreading its shallow roots…fruiting where it grows, I find myself blooming where ever I am planted. Though, unlike the papaya tree, I am not content to be firmly rooted in this spot forever…or ’til the end of my days.
I look back on our wandering days with pure happiness and the fondest of memories. That is the only time in my life that I can honestly say I was where I wanted to be. I was happy. I was everywhere the wind blew us, and the winding road led us. I was freer than I’ve ever been since…or before.
Such freedom was our goal five years ago when we sold it all…moved out of our lovely rock house (that we were merely renting), put all of our keepsakes in storage, and headed on down the road…bound for nowhere in particular at the time.
Since then, we’ve moved around like a band of gipsies (hence the nickname ‘Gypsy‘ Vin Rose, given to us by friends and folks we met in our travels (Vin Rose being our daughter’s middle name)), as I believe we are all gypsies at heart. We first ventured out in our home state; to the Guadalupe River, camping in our old girl ‘Peniki’. See VW Road Trip to New Braunfels.
We’ve traversed miles and miles…and miles in our classic hippie bus — living, loving, and laughing in our Peniki VW Campervan. Through many states…adventuring down to Key West and back again; staying near-a-month in paradise. Traipsing through Louisiana’s swampy bayous and national forests; smelling some of the freshest air I’ve ever smelled. –Ever…!
Playing on the white sandy beaches of the Mississippi gulf shores, and surviving the remains of a water spout come-ashore while camping at Buccaneer Park. Riding bikes on Dauphin Island in Alabama; witnessing history in the old forts that survived to tell a tale. Passing through Florabama; ecstatic to know we were on the same soil where Jimmy Buffett had his One Love One Ocean concert…following the big oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. We wanted to stop, but we were bound for the next camping spot. I wish now…we had stayed awhile; had a bite to eat or something.
So many places…we ventured for most of that year. It made selling our stuff, material possessions, so much-more worth it when we were out there on the road, giving in to Wanderlust. Unlike the papaya tree –even though I am forever grateful to Mother Earth for such a Blessing– this is not my last stop…if I have anything to do with it.
I long to feel the wind in my locs, as we bump down the road, closer…closer, but further and further still. So far from where this little suburban girl pretended to trek through a foreign jungle, yet so much closer to our next great adventure. I’ll be sure to pack plenty of papaya before I go.
*Be true to yourself…and set your spirit free*
Today, I’m thoroughly enjoying the first Saturday Nico has had off in about a year or so. Yes…we’ve somehow fallen back into a life of being ‘wage slaves’! –Not what we had planned when we moved to the island. Somewhere, we took a wrong turn, and…here we are. Stuck in the mud…again!
So we’re once again standing at a fork in the road that will lead us to ‘the rest of our lives’. –I rewind to 2010; back when we sold everything (save a few personal items that went to storage), bought our 71 VW Camper Van ‘Peniki’, and stepped out of the rat race.
Those were the times we cherish, to this day! We wonder how did we get burdened down again, with bills, too much stuff. Even though we no longer keep a storage, and live in less than 200 sq.ft of space. I know we live small by most folks’ need for ‘necessities’. I still feel we are ‘trapped’ in an endless…useless cycle of monotony.
On one hand, we have to earn a living. The earnings from which go to endless expenses that get us nowhere. The time I spend throughout the day is for Baby, teaching her…guiding her, cooking breakfast…lunch…dinner, cleaning, and a ton of piddle-y things that seemingly go unnoticed…for the most part. Time with Baby and Hubby, is the best part of my day. Though it isn’t always time well-enough spent.
My meaning of this, you ask? Well, often times we’ll be side by side with someone, in the same room, the same dwelling, but we are not engaged with them. We are all doing our own thing. –Like right now…this very moment: I sit writing, Baby is watching cartoons, and Nico is putting his time-in piddling around outside. We are not together, but we are still so close.
Which brings me back to our vagabond days in Peniki. We were so close in many ways–watching the world passing by at 55 mph, as we sat gazing (holding hands…Nico and I)…talking about everything we wanted to do and the things we had already done, the miles we’d covered. I’d look back at our babyyounger then, and she’d be sleeping or looking around at everything that needed to be discovered. –And, all was right with where we were, where we were headed.
Back then, if anyone had asked if I’d like to be anywhere else, I’d have truthfully, and quickly, answered “No. This is where I’ve always wanted to be! –On the road to discovery, bumping down the highway from place to place, seeing new faces, and experiencing new adventures. My family by my side.”
These days, if someone were to ask the same question, I would undoubtedly have my answer as-to which fork in the road we should take. Getting there, on the other hand, is an entirely different matter. The secret of life is that one thing, something different for everyone (from City Slickers). It’s so simple, yet…it is so very difficult (to paraphrase a passage in Caroline Myss’ Anatomy of the Spirit). The fork we should choose in our road, I know, will be a very bumpy one. The journey begins today.
Many Blessings & .V..
One things for sure–us Nomadic Spirits rarely enjoy sitting still for long. There’s always someplace else calling us there…anywhere…any time of day, night…year. Sitting still is really getting this little ‘woman with wanderlust‘ to feeling low. But I keep telling myself, it’s for the good of remodeling our caravan home–Mermaid Mansion. She’s coming about quite nicely, I must admit to myself. Being stationary has had its ups; that’s for sure!
Though, on the other hand, it’s had its ‘downs’ as well. Such is life! And I know I’m babbling like a flooded brook, but sometimes this is my only outlet to shake the thoughts out of my crowded head: releasing it all out into the world for complete strangers–perhaps some friends–to read.
I write…! That’s what I do, And lately, I’ve been seriously working on photography. This month, I was ecstatic to have one of my nature shots featured in Galveston Monthly Magazine. I’ve since submitted more photos for consideration; I enjoyed it so much! It’s kinda got me hooked now, on sharing my photos and taking new and interesting photos of whatever I feel might be eye-catching.
So, I guess sitting still isn’t so bad after all! There are so many things I love about living on an island, but the seaweed is getting quite old; mounded up as high as the seawall, and smoldering to a terrible stink for locals and visitors (Poor visitors who actually spent money to get here!) to smell when we get anywhere near the beach. : / Though, on the bright side, I know it is just Mother Nature’s and Mother Ocean’s way of teaming up to cure all that man has made sick about the earth and ocean. I’m hoping we all don’t get burped right off the globe some day! It could happen!
And my garden, thanks to the very earth-friendly seaweed, has never been better! I swear–I’ve yet to see taller, healthier tomato plants…ever! Especially not in my own garden. But this year, after having lavished plenty of seaweed and compost on my bare garden patch last winter, my little caravan kitchen garden is super productive.
So, like any Gypsy-at-heart, Nomadic wanderer, I am beginning to preserve my Blessings from Mother Earth…and Mother Ocean (seaweed). After all, I must be ready with an abundance of provisions, for the day we hit the road. To where we go, could be anyone’s guess! The journey is always the best part.
But that leaves us with one more dilemma–whether to go by land…or by sea. I think I hear the ‘clanking of the mast’, the whipping of the sails, and a whisper from the wind…calling my name from somewhere afar!
*Where does a woman with Wanderlust go…? Everywhere her heart leads.*
It seems to me that there’s been a spike in popularity when it comes to folks wanting to mimic the Gipsy way of life. Well, let me just say; it looks pretty and all (the clothing styles, the caravans painted bright exotic colors) from the outside looking in, but in reality, it’s a very hard-fought way of life. I cannot claim to be a Gipsy by origin , though we’ve been referred to as-such many times (hence the name Gypsy Vin Rose).
I can however, resonate with the way of life: moving often, though not as often as one might like, for lack of money (no residual income or retirement to keep us going); doing anything…everything to make a living (which often includes salvaging items from curbsides to sell…or selling aluminum/metal, thus saving it from the landfills); playing music for measly tips and meager offerings of passersby…but performing or playing for the love of music; living in a trailer (though many frown-down their noses at such living arrangements); shying away from many situations where crowds or socializing is involved (most Gypsies like to keep to themselves); overcoming the pressures to conform to societal molds; persecution for not being, or living, like everyone else; homeschooling of children, to keep them from the influences of others; being seen as outcasts by many mainstreamers, though they all want to act like Gypsies.
I could go on and on, when it comes to how actually living like…or being a Gipsy is different from just saying you are a Gypsy. Most folks are just full of a lot of hot air, though very few want to make the sacrifices or give up their luxury autos or 2 story brick monstrosities, nor do they want to scrounge for a living or live small in a trailer. They do, however, have no problem with saying they are Gipsy and dressing the part for their own image-appeal.
One thing that comes to my mind when I do see so many trying to play the part is: if you’re going to talk about it…try being about it. It’s not an easy way of life when you don’t have thousands to spend on travel, and you feel the need to keep on the move to avoid persecution. That is the Gipsy way of life.
I just wanted to share. Agree or disagree. It is….what it is.
Blessings & .V..
So…we went inland for the Easter holiday, to see family in La Porte. Funny how we’ve blended into the weave of fellow IBC’s (Islanders by Choice) here on our Gulf Coastal Island home. Even still, we long for the water, the rocking back and forth of our sailboat, the clinking of the masts in the wind. We visited with a local marina the day after Easter, after we got back to the island from a second trip to La Porte in two days because Nico left his phone at his Mom’s the day before. I have to admit, that day was a good one: lunching with Nico’s dad (the baby’s only living Grandpa), the lolly-gag-of-a-drive back to the island, the visit to the marina…and the smell of the water…down along the slips.
My wanderlust is really getting to me these days, and I miss our sailboat more and more. If not this year, since we just can’t bring ourselves to sell our old girl, I think next year we’ll certainly be bringing our boat to her new island home. For now, Nico and I are still working on new tunes for Gypsy Vin Rose, and getting ready to start touring…again. Gigs…? Well, that’s another story. If only we could get around the little problem of ‘no sitter’ and no room for another passenger (Grandma) in the Peniki van, we’d be good to go.
For now, I continue to write songs, and work on getting my voice back after a long battle with the crud. Honing my mandolin skills, while continuing to remodel our old Gypsy Caravan and Island home Mermaid Mansion is the way I’ve been spending my days lately. That…and going to the beach almost every day, if we’re not biking to Nixi’s favorite play park, has become our Island way-of-life. I can’t complain, though I sure do miss the smell of our boat, and the cold spray of water splashing up onto the deck as we cut through the waves…sailing into the sunset.
I guess you could say I’m kind of ‘sea sick’, though in an entirely different way. I miss the water, instead of being sick from it. : ) So for now, I’ll just remember-when, and continue to work on decorating Mermaid Mansion. This week…I’m sewing new couch cushions. And I must admit, I am so very proud of the way our old caravan is ‘coming about’! Next up…sewing a custom quilt for Nixi. I have the kewlest Hippie Van fabric I bought from Ebay, which I’ll pair with a flower child sort-of print. I can hardly wait to see how it turns out! I’ll post pics for anyone who wants to see how it all comes together.
For now, I think I’ll get back to my stitch-witchery, and making my vintage trailer a comfortable island home. Cheers to all who read my scribblings, and Blessings to those of you who comment. : ) And…Fair Winds to all you salty Sailors and deep-sea Pirates out there. May you find true happiness…just over the horizon.
I guess when you have no where to be at any given time, you lose all track of the hours, days, weeks…months. That’s pretty much how we had been until we drove back across the Texas state line. Even if we did enjoy our drive on the biways of Tejas, we realized with each mile we came closer to home, that our journey would soon be ending and we’d once again be back in the rat-race.
Some years back, I finally realized that me and the rat race…don’t mix. People are always in a hurry, they cut you off; even flip you off at times, and they really have no good reason to race to the finish line. We’ll all have our day at the finish line. I’m in no hurry to get there. Which is why our old girl Peniki is the perfect mode of transportation for our little family.
I swear, that old VW can get around town just fine, but she has to go at her own speed. Being a classic Volkswagen Westfalia, I’d like to think our van has earned seniority in mileage. Either way, she got us back home…safe and sound.
So many miles we had traveled, and by the end of the day…we were pulling into Fort Worth. I could hardly wait to see my kids, even though I was already missing the travel…and the next destination; knowing we’d no longer be spending our nights in Peniki. I was sad for that.
It wasn’t long after our return that we settled back into the old routine, but our journey was still fresh on our minds. We knew we would have to go again, but we didn’t know quite when.
Here we are, almost 2 years later, and the wanderlust is swelling up inside of us both, though we realize we have responsibilities and Baby is now older with a mind of her own. It was so easy when she was in her playpen. We could set up camp while she played safely in her space.
Now, she wanders everywhere and is like a little octopus with too many hands in too many things. But, she comes by that honestly. Nico and I are both exploring spirits with curious minds as well. And there is still so much more to explore.
*Live The Life You Love*
— Free Camping at Rest Stops —
It’s funny how scenes, places, conversations, and miles-traveled can all turn into one big blur after a full day on the road. Leaving Natchez Trace Parkway and Rocky Springs Campground was the highlight of this particular stretch for home. Booking it as fast as our old VW Van could travel; topping speeds of 60 mph at times, we made it across the Mississippi state line to Louisiana in one jaunt, and many miles and hours later we found ourselves once again on Texas soil…just barely.
After surrendering my former belief that folks just shouldn’t sleep at Travel Stops or Rest Stops, we bunkered down for the night in our camper van; exhausted and glad to be so close to home. Even if we hadn’t wanted to leave the Florida Keys, the one’s we’d left behind back home insured our return. One thing we know, looking back on it all, is that we knew the place to where we were returning…was surely not where we’d stay.
*Let your heart roam, let your spirit be…like the child you used to see*
‘Took off early–7:30 am–for once. Heading back to Hwy 84 from 65 Interstate; hoping to make it to Mississippi today. *NOTE * There are No places to camp along 84 East to West in Alabama! Only one State Park and one National Forest…that we’ve come across.
We managed to make it down to Natchez Trace Parkway to Rocky Springs Campground. This drive was one of the best of our trip! The speed limit was 55 all the way, no big trucks allowed, and the scenery left me in awe. I look forward to making this drive in it’s entirety someday.
Also, for the record, Rocky Springs Campground is one of the best, cleanest, most peaceful places we’ve camped. Besides being a FREE SPOT (Yes…I said Free) where you can stay put for up to 2 weeks, it is peaceful, roomy, and has plenty of room to set up camp, ride bikes, hike the rough terrain within the grounds, or just build a fire in the ring. Being surrounded by wilderness, it’s hard to believe the Ranger Station is within walking distance, and the restrooms provide showers and sufficient toilets. The water spigot by the restrooms might be the only place to draw water nearby (since there aren’t spigots by the campspots) but at least you can’t beat the price or the serenity of nature.
We loved, loved. LOVED Rocky Springs Campground on the Natchez Trace Parkway. Highly recommended!!!
‘Pulled out of St. Joseph’s Peninsula at around 1:30 or so, headed West on Scenic 98 to 71 North. We’re planning to visit the Southern Tip of Georgia before we head home on El Camino 84 to Texas 287. That’s the plan anyway.
We ended up at a rest stop off of Interstate Highway 65 at 1 AM in the morning. Ugh! ‘Drove all night, but we didn’t want to pay the $$$ on a room for just a few hours of sleep. So…after stopping numerous times at various motels–and trekking out to the ONLY (what seemed like it) National Forest in Alabama, we settle for a nice…much safer, rest stop. It was the best choice, and one we should’ve made much earlier in the evening.
*What I Learned* Sleeping at rest stops isn’t half as bad as I suspected. Guess it pays to listen to Nico sometimes; as much as I hate to admit it. lol
~ VIDEO ~
‘Pulled out around 11 am and headed North on 301/27/441, we will take 441 N/W when we see it and hopefully hit 98. *Camped at St. Joe Peninsula last night. I met a nice Mother-Daughter (Rebecca & Nicole) camping team, set up right beside us in a Classic Serro Scotty Vintage Travel Trailer. I loved their rig as much as they loved ours!
We sat up ’til way into the early morning….laughing and talking, tossing back a few cold ones, just having girl time. Lucky for me, Nico is great with Baby….so I kinda had the night off. Come to find out, they are Florida ladies. I exchanged emails with Rebecca so we can keep in touch.
*About St. Joe*
Beautiful beach. Had Fun fun fun! Watched a show-stopping sunset! We hope to return someday soon. Loved the beach and company, though the sites are really close together and very hard to get. I’d definitely make reservations for out next visit.