One Giant Leap

Photo credit: Sammie Vasquez on Unsplash

Photo credit: Sammie Vasquez on Unsplash

In a comfortable corner of a Tim Hortons in Nova Scotia, I effortlessly ignore the hum of the restaurant's harried pace. The long line of patrons and ambient chatter are irrelevant to me; I'm here for the free WiFi. I try to pretend it’s not all about the glazed sour cream donuts. There’s no denying that they shatter the sham of my discipline. I could almost hate myself for loving them. But I don't, because they're that good. 

The popular coffee-and-donut chain is almost exclusively my best connection to work in this part of the country. I even have a Tim Rewards card. I keep it with my Discovery Pass; they make me feel a bit Canadian.

To my everlasting delight, the coasts of the Maritimes are as dramatic as I imagined. My heart nearly breaks for their beauty. Driving rural byways between tiny port villages, I relish the sense that I am as far as possible from everything and everyone I know. Exactly where I want to be.

Hitting the road as a full-time digital nomad is the best thing I’ve done for myself in a very long time.

It took a few years, but I’ve finally done it! I sold every last thing and relinquished my tiny house to live and work on the road in my car. A minivan. Is this van life, then? Or car dwelling? The moniker doesn't matter. What matters is that I did it and I feel so much better for it.

I may owe some folks an apology, though. My departure from North Carolina was rather covert, only a handful of people knew. Certainly, those that would not abide my secreting away.

My landlord, for one. My immediate family, of course. A few others as a professional necessity. Even then, I shared only that I was leaving, as I was not quite sure where I was headed. I wanted - needed - only to go. While they peppered me with questions prompted by curiosity, concern for my safety, and perhaps even a bit of envy, that handful of people were supportive. As for everyone else: for years I'd been having increasing difficulty engaging. It is suffocating. I cannot endure more than is absolutely crucial, and I chose to withdraw.

Please forgive me if you feel I've ghosted you. I’m working on being better.

While there is much more reconstruction in my recovery yet to do, I have advanced one more step toward managing my mental health. Now, ten weeks on the road with nearly 5,400 miles traveled, I am going public with this new lifestyle and easing into reconnection. I understand that good relationships are essential to wellness. Still, I'm approaching this re-entry cautiously. Online. From another country.

My craziness notwithstanding, I want to celebrate what I've accomplished - I have realized my dream to live on the road and it's glorious!

Pleasant Bay, Gulf of St. Lawrence, Nova Scotia

Pleasant Bay, Gulf of St. Lawrence, Nova Scotia