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EDITOR’S NOTE: We have asked RVtravel.com readers to tell us how they are adapting to life these days. Here is Cara’s story:
Hello! My name is Cara Ostara and I am in my 15th month of full-time RV travel. 12 of these months were completed as a solo traveler. Lucky for me, my journey led me to fall in love with another solo full-time traveler and in 2020 we will travel together in his 40 ft. Class A! A major upgrade from my 2013 24ft Class C.
Our travel plans for the year have changed drastically, as have many others’ plans. I made the decision to leave my work camping job in Salem, OR, two weeks early. My main concern was that due to the lack of reservations and income the park would close. My need to stay in Oregon would be obsolete if the park did close; considering the only reason I was in the state was for my job. When management started to cut hours and cancel reservations they supported my decision to head to safer ground.
In three days I made it over 1,100 miles to Casa Grande, AZ, where my partner was stationed. During my three-day journey, I did abide by quarantine rules in every state. I had enough food, water, dog food, and supplies so the only reason I had to stop was to sleep or fill up on gas. Every night I boondocked on BLM land and watched the sunset in isolation.
Traveling during this time in my self-contained rig with no human contact was very interesting. My drive hours consisted of listening to podcasts that ranged from 24-hour COVID-19 news, to mindless entertainment, to comedy, and back to COVID-19 updates. My evenings consisted of playing with my two Great Danes, taking photos of the scenery with my Canon camera, and updating my blog. In the mornings I’d make my coffee, play with the girls, and get back on the road for another 400 miles and COVID-19 updates.
Pulling into Casa Grande was an eerie but welcomed sight. Casa Grande is already a small and sleepy town but all schools, playgrounds, restaurants, shopping malls, small offices, and small businesses are closed. Drive-thrus, parking lots, and roads are empty which made it a nice three-day drive… but a lonely one.
The good news is I am now safe, isolated, and comfortable. For the most part, it is myself, Charlie, my Great Dane, and my partner. Unfortunately, the week I arrived in Casa Grande my 11-year-old Great Dane had to be put down. She had an amazing life and 2019 was her year to see 40 states and over 22 National Parks. After our migration to Arizona, she was tired and it was time to rest. It has been a huge adjustment for all of us but we know she is no longer in pain and she is watching us from above.
I will point out that I am not in true self-isolation as I am lucky enough to be quarantined with my partner. Thankfully, he has the ability to work from home and spends most of his days on conference calls and in his “office.” If you work in your RV you can imagine what his office looks like. A chair, small desk, and two monitors facing the window in our living room/kitchen. I am currently unemployed and spend three hours a day researching remote job opportunities, applying for remote jobs, and completing interviews.
Outside of work and trying to find work I spend a lot of time outside. These are also some activities you can try!
Every morning I walk the dog (or she walks me). There is a local track that we enjoy that has plenty of space to stay 6 ft. away from anyone.
Use the app called Fit Radio for my late morning workouts. I’ll be honest – I hate working out but I do love to eat everything in sight! So, this is why I have to at least get my heart rate up once a day. The app has 1,000s of workout plans that range from 10 minutes to over an hour and they all come with a sweet music track.
I love to rollerblade! It’s a great work out, it gets you to your next destination fast, and I love to wear crazy outfits when I blade. People can’t help but smile when they see you blading in neon past them.
Once the sun peaks around lunch time I bring my activities inside. My activities differ every day to keep me from getting bored, which then leads to panic or anxiety for me.
I blog. Blogging has not only helped me document my travel journey but it helps me stay calm. When I write down my thoughts and feelings it helps untangle them all and simplify why I am feeling the way I am. I also enjoy sharing my truth so if others are feeling the same way they know they are not alone.
Edit my photography. I have taken thousands of photos this year and have struggled to find time to go through them and edit all of them. This time has forced me to organize and edit some of my best shots. My next step is sharing some of my favorites on a new Instagram account.
Read. I’ll be honest I really don’t like to read, I’d much rather listen to a podcast. But, a 6 ft. run-in with a neighbor earlier this week has encouraged me to finish the book she gave me before she has to return it to the library.
Watch the stock market and educate myself on how it works, trends, day trading, how to make money, how to lose money, and all the pros and cons. It may not be something I actually invest in but it’s always good to learn a new skill.
Watch Tiger King? Oh wait…I’ve already completed this, Dang! Ha!
I could go on and on but maybe a few of these activities have encouraged you to dust off those rollerblades or take your fur baby for a walk this week. We will all continue to have ups and downs during this roller coaster in quarantine. The important thing is to check in with yourself, notice how you are feeling mentally and physically, do things you enjoy, continue to move your body, check in with your friends and family, keep the big picture in mind, and wash your hands!
Thinking of all of you!
— Cara Ostara
Your essays wanted
Here is your assignment (should you choose to accept it): Write an essay no longer than 500 words on this subject: “How I have adapted to a life in self-isolation.” Tell us what you do with your time, how you keep active physically and/or mentally, how you communicate with friends and family and other ways you occupy your time. Have you taken up a new hobby? Started writing a novel? We can’t pay for these articles right now, but you could earn a place on our staff if you impress us with your creativity. Submit your article here. Please include a photo of yourself or of something that helps illustrate your essay. We’ll post many, if not most of these every day in our RV Daily Tips Newsletter. If you’re not subscribed, sign up here.