|Us, ten years ago living in a van in Cali.|
What followed was a series of jobs, synchronicities and schemes that landed us in Arizona, aboard a donated Airstream camper, in the middle of nowhere, living on "borrowed" land and time.
|Homesteading by amateurs.|
|Clearing a driveway|
|The middle of nowhere was as good as anywhere.|
Our existence was a circular one.
We drove to the flea market on weekends. This served the dual purpose of charging batteries we kept behind the driver's seat, which powered our " homestead" for the week, and unloading our "products" which we made using the power provided by the said batteries. Life was a precarious affair punctuated by water hauling, battery charging, naked hacky-sacking and wild dancing by the fire pit.
|We made "Rollerboards" that we sold at the weekly flea market to support our "retirement"|
We scraped by like this for a few months. Our creative energy was high, but our funds could never match our ambitions. Experiments with wind generators proved too costly, solar panels were beyond our means. We were heavily dependent on the car, as our means of transport and power, and it too needed maintenance we could hardly afford. When it finally exhaled its last carbon monoxide sigh, and quietly rolled to a stop, we were facing a grim reality. Retirement cost money and we had none.
|Living in the RV park|
As our cash flow became steady, our thoughts turned away from the failed attempt at self sustainability. We moved out of the desert and into an RV park. Ironically, here we were surrounded by retirees or "snow birds" as they are called in Arizona. We watched these creatures, observed their migration patterns, studied their habits and nesting patterns.
This time of watching and learning the ways of the "snow birds", tempered our wild desire for freedom with the patience needed to earn such a freedom. The world didn't owe us anything. The desert didn't care how many great ideas we had, or how special we thought we were. That vast, hot landscape was impersonal in her judgements. If our preparations for life in that land were inadequate, that land would claim was what hers and cover it with a layer of dust. The only protection against such a fate was ... the set up.
This education in The Art of The Set-up, brings us to where we are today, celebrating our ten year anniversary aboard TARA, a key ingredient to our current scheme.
Ten years ago I could have not imagined that we would be living aboard one glorious yacht and ready to move aboard another. The lesson of the desert, the teachings of the "snow birds" and our own past failures at "freedom" are coming full circle. And this time around, at least for the moment, we find ourselves on the upswing.