In ten months, I will join the ranks of empty nesters. As a single mom, it means something a little different for me when compared to couples or parents of multiple children.
Currently, in my world, there are two of us. We travel as a pair. We laugh until we cry at things only the two of us may find funny. We know each other better than a lot of couples. But, in 10 months, we will split as we have always meant to. Off he will go to become the man he is meant to be.
And I will start my own new adventure.
This one is for me. Not for my parents. Not for my family. Not for my fiance/husband. Not for my son. Me. This time it is all about me.
What the hell do I do?
How many other people have experienced this?
Hundreds of thousands I expect.
I've promised my son I would "get a life" and not wallow in missing him...or become the hermit I'm so good at. So I've been searching my brain for what I really have always wanted to do - and then figure out how to do it.
The answer came to me when I stumbled onto a auction show. Someone was trying to auction of their old AirStream trailer. It was from the 1970's and he wanted $10,000 for it. AirStreams are cool. Very cool.
I want one.
Wait a minute.
I really do want one.
How cool would it be to travel around the US? Go anywhere you want whenever you want? Drive your own home.
Right. People with huge retirements do that. Couples. People with more money than reasonable do that.
And then I thought to look into it.
The average full-time RV-er spends approximately $25,000 a year...some more, some less. And you can join groups. There are companies that will hire you seasonally - they will actually hire work-campers.
Okay...that would help. But I'm also a writer. It's what I do and what I'm good at. So...why can't I find a job that allows me to telecommute from the road? Seriously? Why not? It's 2011 - the age of technology and instant communication. With a cell phone, a computer and wifi (or hell, an aircard) I could be in immediate contact with anyone.
I could also write travel columns. Or blogs. I'm pretty damned good with a camera too - so I would be able to submit pictures to go with the articles.
Dear God I could freelance.
I wonder...is it really possible? How long would it take to establish myself and guarantee and income of $20 - $30K a year in a combination of freelancing and working various jobs around the nation? I couldn't expect much more than minimum to $10/hour ... but that would at least cover gas & food.
I would have to downsize. Severely. But I live in an apartment right now ... and have started to go through the remaining boxes in my garage. I'm already getting rid of stuff. So why not just get rid of more? Why not just keep stuff in storage? I don't have that much anyway. Very little furniture that I'm attached to. Like 5 pieces and my bed. They rest can go away. My art is a different story. I'm actually attached to 6 pieces and I'm not sure they would fit in an RV.
Then there's the idea of an RV. The little research I've done tells me I need a class C no bigger than 27 feet. I'll be able to tow my car behind it. I like my car and it would be the perfect vehicle for travel.
So all I need to do is figure out how to afford an RV and finance my life on the road.
I can have a life.
I will become Terri the Nomad.
I may actually manage it by the time I'm 55. That's 2015.
This may really be doable.
And that makes me happy.