Insights from the Road: The Morning After

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Dr. Shelly Zavala hiking near June Lake

Editor’s Note: In her last column, Shelly Zavala wrote about her adventures purchasing a Dodge Ram Promaster 3500 Roadtrek Zion last February. The next day, she wonders if she did the right thing.

What have I done?

Waking up at 5:30 a.m. with my first thoughts – as I think most of us do when we make a large financial purchase or a large change in our lives – being “did I do the right thing?” and “is this the right van?”

I ventured through YouTubes exploring reviews, how to videos, and of course, how to decorate.

My initial anxiety turned to excitement, yet while on my morning hike with a friend I shared my short (well, actually long) story, she is not so sure of my decision. My friend is trying to be supportive and somewhat went along with my reasons. Once we unpacked, we were both able to have a clearer and more positive outlook on my decision.

After my hike and discussion with my girlfriend, I texted another friend who owns an airstream and travels in it with her husband for months at a time. She texted back with such excitement and support.

“I’m proud of you, it’s what you wanted? You deserve this.”

Do you know how good that felt? It made me feel supported. I need that. I know it is my decision but was feeling a little rattled. I decided to shift where my head is at.

I took a trip to my favorite store, TJ Maxx. I am in my element now. Pink pillows, cute white plastic dinner ware, cool towels from Italy that are thin and don’t take up much room, cleaning products, baskets for organizing, draw liners to stop things from clanging while driving. Even a yoga mat for working out or stretching. That was a lot of stuff and my largest TJ Maxx bill ever. So fun though—except I wondered how on earth am I going to fit this all in the van? I can’t wait to start unpacking it all. But first I have to pick up the van.

The next day I worked on getting insurance, getting finances sorted, reviewing reviews and how to’s. I thought I would not be thinking about this till Saturday when I pick the Zion up, however it all needs to be taken care of before I get there. It’s a lot of work.  Chocolate has become my best friend. It soothes my anxiety.

One all that was taken care of, I desperately want to book a trip, but I don’t know where to start.

Fear starts to kick in again. I’m scared I won’t use the van. I’m scared I have made a mistake. What if I don’t like it and it’s too late. Maybe it is too much for me. I’m certainly overwhelmed.

Writing out the check for my deposit, that hurt. I hear my friends’ voices about the money side of things. I feel like my emotions are going up and down like a yoyo: regret, excitement, fear, excitement, terrified, excitement. I keep reminding myself to breathe. I can always sell it, or rent it. I keep reminding myself that often we have to take some risks to see rewards. I want to live fully.

Many people are satisfied living life in their backyards. I’m not. I want to explore.  Working full-time does make it difficult, but I can easily take long weekends. I also see myself sitting on the bed in the van, doors open and reading, writing, taking in the view or sitting outside enjoying my surroundings, hiking, and more hiking and of course exploring.

I’m going to figure out how to book a campsite—and I just did it. March 5 and 6 in Palm Springs. Let’s see how I do. I can’t wait.

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