I finally got my car back from the shop (got rear ended about a month ago) and it is time to make the trek from Maine to Florida to play sled hockey and paracanoe. It is always bitter sweet and I can’t help having crocodile, or in this case alligator, tears. A large group of my friends and most of my family live up here. I love the coziness of the log cabin that I grew up in, the clear, star-filled sky and the crisp air begging for you to consume everything pumpkin. I am even sipping apple cider right now! I feel like I am going to ‘summer camp’ as I cram as much as I can into every crevice of my two-door. I am starting to get used to living out of my car and/or a backpack and moving often. I find it freeing and fun.
It is an interesting lifestyle, and I have learned to live minimally- that is the key.
1) What about bills, bills, bills?
I currently have my stuff in a storage unit ($120). I pay and contribute, even when I stay with others when traveling. You can also make meals, get small gifts/notes or the best is to experience something together as a thank you. It is respectful to chip in and you’ll get invited back again, don’t be a mooch!! I do pay a modest rent during the season ($950 last year) have the smallest plan on my smartphone ($65) and pay the minimal for my student loans ($129), that’s it. I rarely buy things outside of food and gas; I have to budget very carefully because my profession doesn’t have work over the summer.
2) Well, what do you do for work?
I work remotely like 30 million people do around the world. This picture is the same day a year apart… proof enough. It’s not much money, but it gives me the flexibility to travel and pursue my dreams in competitive sport while still contributing. Also, if you noticed above I haven’t had cable or internet in my apartment or residence for almost a year (saving approx $1,200 per year.) I work mostly at the library instead of a coffee shop, because they have free internet, books, movies, and more! It’s like rediscovering an old classic.
3) What about a social life?
Thankfully, I have connections all over the country due to being competing in Ms. Wheelchair America, my outreach activities and now sports. Also, there is technology. I have learned to have Skype ‘dates’ like this one with my family last Thanksgiving. Also calls, texts, Facebook, social media, and email. I love sharing moments with people I care about, even if I can’t be there every time.
4) How do you give back?
Pay it forward! My home is always open to guests and just like I schedule to spend time with them, they do the same thing. I love to show people around my new area because I always end up discovering something myself. I’m a lucky gal.
5) It sounds too easy?
It is. It can be done, the only thing that is holding you back if fear. You can figure it out, plan along the way and improvise the rest.
6) What if it doesn’t work out?
If it doesn’t work out, you can always go back. Bonus? You have a story to tell. Plain and simple.
Live your life! ❤