I wanted to shake up my life and go sailing (or learn on the job, so-to-speak) so headed to Florida to crew on a catamaran. This is about how it went or, rather, didn't - and my life since. Hopefully it will lead to a catamaran on the clear aqua blue waters of the Caribbean Sea, watching the sunset, a coconut rum and coke in hand. You must START AT THE BEGINNING of the blog, April 2009, to get the whole story...

Monday, August 22, 2011


It's about time I wrote again. I have neglected the blog because I have had a lot going on - not so much physically but certainly in my head. There was just too much swirling around in there, and resulting stress, to try to sort any of it out for a blog. It's still a bit that way but I think I can manage to pull together some coherent thoughts.

I have to be out of my place at the end of August. I thought I had to the end of September but that is not the case. So I have been earnestly checking CraigsList and other ads for an apartment within a 20 minute drive to work. I can NOT believe how many scammers there are on CraigsList. It makes me sick. I estimate that for every 10 ad's I answered, 3 were scams. What is the matter with people?! And the thing is, I can't imagine that they actually work because they are all the same - with slight variations, and so obvious.

I was house sitting in New Westminster for a week, for the family of the star of Mr.Young while they went to California. I planned to use the opportunity of staying so close to where I wanted to live view some suites. I attempted. I wasn't very successful. In a week, I managed to view ONE. The reason? Well there were a few. Some stood me up;  I showed up and there was no answer on the intercom I had been instructed to buzz. That happend THREE different times at one location. Some wouldn't even let me come and look as they weren't interested in hiring someone who worked in film. I am sure that is against the law as it smacks of discrimination, but I didn't have the energy to fight it. There were a few who asked me to call back or they would call me back to set up a time to view, and then when I called back, it was gone. I was so frustrated by the end of that week.

The next week, I viewed two apartments that couldn't have been more different. One was located on the second (and top) floor in a 90 year old building with 32 suites. The floors were the original oak, the ceilings were high and curved where they met the walls, the fixtures were ancient, the kitchen was miniscule. The view from the livingroom was onto a huge tree in the park next door. The other place was on the fourteenth floor of a 20 floor concrete hi-rise. It was to have brand new carpet, new blinds, new paint on the walls. The view from the livingroom was over the north shore mountains ahead to the river on the left. Both were the same price. The hi rise also had a swimming pool. I filled out paperwork for both places and, two or three days later, I heard back from the old building that I had the suite. I never heard back from the hi-rise.

Then the anxiety started.

I flew up to Kelowna to visit my daughter for 12 days (I am writing this on my last day here as I sit in the coffee shop across from where she works). I was waking up every night between 1am and 4am and couldn't get back to sleep. My stomach was in knots, my heart was racing, my mind was racing even faster. All I could think about was how much money this was going to cost me every month. Not only rent but parking, storage if I needed it, and all utilities. Going from $300 a month at my friends house to $1,300 a month was freaking me out.

I started thinking about the RV option again. I can't park a big rig on the studio lot because there's no room. But if I find something that takes up just one parking space, then it shouldn't be a problem.

One night, while tossing and turning, feeling sick to my stomach and sweating from the stress, I make a decision. I am not taking the apartment. I am finding a camper van or a small motorhome and that will be where I live. As soon as I make the decision, the stress just drains out of me, my stomach stops churning, and I fall promptly to sleep.

I know it's not going to be a cake walk. I am now stressing about how I am going to fit what I need into a camper van. I am stressing about getting rid of all of my stuff (not that I care about getting rid of it - but rather figuring out what has to go and then selling it in time). I am doing lots of research on line about living as a nomad; boondocking, camping, storage, and - worst of all - batteries and amps and converters etc. etc. The whole electrical thing freaks me right out. But I feel I need to learn it, despite my total lack of any brain cells devoted to science, physics, electricity, and my terror at getting shocked (not even electrocuted - just shocked).  And, although I am stressing, it's not of the same intensity I was feeling about taking the apartment AND it will be short lived, whereas I really don't see an end to the stress of rent and bills etc.  The experiences I have had in the past two years have permanently affected me and I don't know if I will ever be without financial terror in my life as a result.

I plan to keep blogging regularly about my agony and progress through this whole venture. It has nothing to do with sailing. But... BUT... in a way it does because living like this will allow me to save most of my income and then, perhaps... just MAYBE... I can make other dreams come true.


  1. Do you really think you will be happy living in a camper van, in a parking lot. I dont think it is very practical or sensible especially with winter around the corner.

  2. Well, whoever you are, I am prepared to see how it goes and how I like it. It's easier for me to change from this to an apartment than it would be to do it the other way around. If I am spending all of my income on living, then how do I have any options? This way, I am putting most of my income in the bank and THAT gives me options. The plan is to buy a small motor home by winter.

    I value the opinion of people who have invested themselves in my life, and almost all of them think this is a good idea for me as I love to travel, have a sense of adventure, and can do pretty much anything I put my mind to. Is it going to be easy? I rather doubt it. Will it challenge me in ways I probably haven't anticipated? Certainly. But I am up for it. And the prospect of being free of financial terror far outweighs the inconvenience of being a little chilly in the mornings.

    A lot of other people do it... I hope I can too.

  3. Go Sandra. Follow your gut. Freedom is priceless.

  4. Thanks Linda. It's so great to have you in my corner! Love you LOTS! xo


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