23 January, 2011

News From the Park

I realize it has been a while since I last wrote. I also realize that when I last wrote I dropped a pretty big bomb. Very unfair of me. So sorry about that. As you might imagine, plans are being made and executed and revised like mad within my immediate family unit right now, so it's been a little hectic amidst all the excitement.

As of right now, my father's start date for his new job is my birthday, April 4. (A very auspicious sign, if you ask me.) That means that he and mom are planning to leave for Micronesia in mid March sometime. They are, however, possibly going to try to move that date back a bit. (Though I am not really sure if, and/or when, they'll do that.) All things staying the same, that would put me leaving for the islands no earlier than June. While I am ready to hop on a plane right now, that does give me time to get my duckies in a row before I go. Here's my plan [so far]:

First, I'm trying to get all my tax information together so I can get that to my accountant, and, then, to the IRS. I really don't want to have to scramble (like usual) to deal with this stuff around my birthday. Yuck. Second, I am going to study the personal trainer materials that I ordered late last year, so that I can take the test, and, hopefully, become a certified personal trainer before I go. I'm in a great position to do this, since the YMCA has agreed to pay for my testing. Third, I am going to get an HD Camcorder and take the New York Video School courses so that I can become proficient enough at producing quality videos to professionally (semi-professionally?) document my travel adventures. (This last goal was suggested by a friend who does video professionally. She is a great supporter of my adventure. Thanks, CL!) In addition to all of this, I am also trying to get myself healthier and fitter. I'm changing my eating habits and working out regularly. (I've been inspiring myself with episodes of Survivor Palau and Lost.) Lastly, well, coincidentally, I guess, I am going to try to finish putting the last touches to the camper. I think I have decided to try to sell her before I go.

Yes, you read that correctly. And, yes, I know it sounds a little crazy .. especially after all I've gone through to make her habitable. But, while I love Rosy, and really enjoy living in this tiny space, I'm starting to have some of those same feelings I had in my house. Those feelings of being trapped by the responsibility of owning something significant. It's like an albatross about my neck that makes it more difficult for me to take off and fly away. So, my theory is this: If I am meant to sell it, I will find a buyer, and, if not, I will store Rosy as originally planned. I doubt that I will get from it as much money as I invested, but as long as I can get a decent amount back, I'll be happy. So ... if you know anyone who might be interested in a beautiful vintage (restored!) camper, send them my way. (Though I'll not be selling until closer to my leave date, as I will need some place to live until then.)

So, that's the news from Spring Hill RV Park. Well, at least, that's the news from my little lot. As always, I'm happy to hear your thoughts on my plans. Have a great week!

PS: I am still hoping to have some photos for you soon. I've been trying to wait until I get the curtains made, but that seems to be taking longer than I had planned. I get to working ...

08 January, 2011

Drive-By Update

Well, it's official. I'm going to Micronesia! My dad formally accepted the offer yesterday. (I just got the message today.) I think they are hoping to leave in March. I won't be going until they've been able to get a little settled and figure out the logistics of my visiting as far as housing and such goes. Apparently, available housing in the Federated States of Micronesia is a scarcity. Real estate is prized by the natives and there are already several expats moving into the area. Most of the latter are there on business which usually ranges for a couple years (as in the case of my dad). So, we'll know more once they get there. I'm going to start doing some research on possible job options there as well as possible travel routes from the islands. Hmm ... I need to update my passport. I think it expires this year.

So, the other day I told my friend, Chris, about the possibility of the move. She did a google image search for Micronesia right there on the spot, and was in awe at the images that surfaced. (Go ahead and try it. I know you're probably curious now, aren't you?) Micronesia is a top diving location, as there are several japanese ship wreckages from WWII. She ordered me to get my diving license immediately, when she heard that juicy bit of news. When I explained to her my ridiculous (and totally illogical) phobia of sharks that keeps me from the ocean's depths (despite my love of the water), Chris told me that this was the perfect opportunity to face that fear and GET IN THE WATER! So, we'll see. I'd love to say that I will be brave enough to take her advice, but I won't know until I get there. I mean, I feel like I'm already using a lot of my bravery points just picking up and going to Micronesia. But ... maybe I should research some diving classes just in case ...

04 January, 2011

A New Year & A [Possible] New Direction

Well, this entry is long overdue, eh? I managed to just skip right through the holidays to the new year. The holidays were nice, and (lo and behold!) white on Christmas day, which was lovely. However, I am glad that the busyness of the holiday season is beginning to settle down. I have been housesitting for some friends this week, so I haven't been spending much time at the camper. It's a nice confirmation, though, to be staying in a pretty luxurious house with a great many amenities (home theatre, anyone?), and to realize that I much prefer living in my camper to staying in these fancy digs. Can I get an Amen for following my bliss?? (Ahem .... AMEN!!)

Today Sister and I did a little clearing work. She took a first round of stuff to Goodwill, and she helped me load up some donations of my own from my Durham storage unit. Then I loaded up as many boxes as I could carry from the Durham unit, and took them to the storage units I have here. I proceeded to do some more organizing and consolidating of boxes. I have a big bag full of donations already and many more to come. Oh, and Dad and I emptied out my storage unit in Morrisville last week, so things are getting pared down at a pretty good clip. I can't wait to be done with it. It continues to feel so good to relieve myself of these things that no longer serve me. While I definitely still struggle with regards to sentimental attachments to some of my belongings, I try to remind myself that letting go of the object does not equal a dismissal of the memories associated with it. And, of course, the really important things will remain in the [ONE] storage unit that I keep.

So, now that I am beginning to get settled in my camper, and am getting rid of my excess baggage, so to speak, I find myself presented with a new and exciting opportunity. This is an opportunity like I've never had before, and like I've only dreamed of taking. And it's even more drastic than selling all my stuff and moving into an old camper. I may have an opportunity to move to Micronesia. Yes, that was Micronesia ... as in The Federated States of Micronesia ... island chain in the Oceania region of the Pacific.

My Dad has been offered a job there. Post retirement, he continued to send his resume out to opportunities that seemed interesting. A gig with the government of Micronesia was one of those. And after months of email correspondence and skype interviews, he has been offered the job. He and my mom (after many a long family meeting) are pretty sure they are going to go. (They are just awaiting answers to a few logistical questions they posed ... especially relating to Micronesia's regulations regarding bringing pets to the island.) This job is just a two year stint, so I think that makes it easier for them to take the plunge. It also helped that my sister and I expressed interest in going with them. (Yep, we're one of those families that actually likes hanging out together.)

When they told us the news, my immediate reaction was, YES! I'LL GO!! That was shortly followed by a big bout of fear and a chorus of reasons why I should stay here. That was then followed by my inner voice reminding myself that I have been yearning for travel, adventure, and excitement for ages; and I have been desperately wanting to get out of town for ages; and that now would be the perfect time to do something like this because I have no solid ties that are holding me here ... other than my family, and they're going to be where I'm going! So, I am once again whole heartedly grasping the notion that, if given the opportunity, I am moving to Micronesia. I might not stay there for the whole two years ... in fact, it's likely that I wouldn't. What I imagine will happen is that I will stay for a while, and then use Micronesia as a jumping off point for further travels. I mean, I'd be so close to Bali, Australia, Thailand, Hawaii .. not to mention any number of little islands. I get goosebumps just thinking about it.

But .. it's not official yet. Dad's still awaiting answers to his questions in order to make his totally final decision. And then I will still have to figure out when I would plan to go. It would be after mom and dad go, since they will be better equipped to figure out the housing and job situations once they're there. (It's my understanding that housing can be difficult to come by in Micronesia.) I will, however, keep you all posted on the progress of this new opportunity.

It's really amazing to me how when we make the first step toward living the life that will be most fulfilling to us, the Universe swoops in, takes us under its wing, and helps us soar into Living. Viva La Dolce Vida!